I have just spent an inordinate amount of time removing a thin layer of 'plaster' and ballast next to the main near the Ulan Colliery branch junction. Now this may not seem much but it took me about 10 minutes to remove about a 1" square section to provide a flat area to mount a new bracket signal that Dale Richards made for me. Now this piece of layout was sceniced in about 1982 with plaster and ballasted using PVA (I think; it has been a long time). I have struck this same problem before with scenery around the Bylong station area which was originally done in 1979.
I don't have any answer to this riddle it just had me amazed at the difficulty.
I took this photo to check how the signal looks and am very happy with it.
I will soon be removing some of the plaster on the small bank in front of the white railway gate so that I can install a small sleeper built retained area for the signal box that will control the junction and the Sydney end of Wollar yard. Given the difficulty experienced so far this could be an interesting exercise.
I also contracted Dale to build another bracket signal and two home signals for the branch junction on the main beyond the Gulgong end of Wollar yard. just past the flour mill.
I decided that it was time I did something about signalling the layout and finally decided on the 'style' of signalling.
I went for homes signals outside of stations and loops, the two junction brackets and a couple of distants where there is room.
The next step upwards in signalling gets very complicated with brackets inside yards to indicate main or loop, starting signals, etc.
I have decided that the trains will be started by the signalman or stationmaster using a green flag (as they did) and yes, Bylong is operated with signalmen and stationmasters as we can only run about 4 - 5 trains at any one time and there are about 10 of us when we operate.
The 'green flags' in my case though will be green LEDs on the fascia of the layout opposite the ends of the loops or on the main. These will be operated by the stationmaster/signalman using a momentary contact push button. The button will be pressed for a few seconds and the train driver will respond by blowing the whistle before proceeding out of the station. It will be a momentary push button as I am sure that the real stationmaster would not hold his arm up forever (no there won't be any silver whistles issued either).
The purists will say this is all wrong but I am looking for something that appears to be more or less correct without all the complications that would tie up the operations too tightly.
Now, if I follow my usual work regime, it will probably take me another two years to finish this little exercise.