Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prototype correctness or 'artistic' effect?

I have an interesting 'issue' on my Bylong layout involving the placement of the NSWGR trackside line poles.

Now, on the prototype the line poles are placed on the left hand side of the line when leaving Sydney however I have placed them on either side of the line due to space constraints and sometimes because they look better when placed on the wrong side of the track. This has been brought to my attention several times but I have resisted correcting their placement.

Sometimes the poles are placed so that they do not throw a shadow on the backscene and this can put them on the wrong side but then there are other places where I have purposely placed them incorrectly.

I have to say that I like to see the trains in the scenery and not running in front of it and this extends to the line poles if it suits the scene.

I haven't done a search of photos to determine if the line poles were sometimes located on the right hand side of the track when leaving Sydney so I don't know if this ever happened. It can be a problem when viewing photos to know if a train is an UP or DOWN train which of course would be necessary to see which side of the track the line poles are located.

Well I like the layout as it is so I probably won't change anything.

Here are two videos, the first shows the poles on the wrong side and the second on the correct side.



Jonathan Smith said...

Hi Ray

I remember on the south that the line route between Picton and Medway was on the up side of the line or the right as you looked with your back to Sydney but the line route on the Illawarra through Bombo was on the down side or left with your back to Sydney so I would not get to hung up on that detail just remember that the crossarms were mounted on the Sydney side of the poles.

Cheers Jon

Ray P said...


I am not particularly hung up on it, I have known for a number of years, I just thought it would make an interesting post following on from the earlier line pole posts and it gave me an excuse to use the videos.

I actually like the effect photographically of having the train behind the line poles some times.

Thanks for that information, I figured that there would be exceptions to the rule, there always are.

Yes, all cross arms are on the Sydney side, I guess that would help identify which side the poles are on in a photo now that I think about it that way.


South Coast Rail said...

The best indicator for the Down and Up side of the tracks were the mileage/kilometre posts.
They were always put on the Down side of the tracks (i.e. away from Sydney), and being smaller than a tele pole easily located.
I would rather position the tele poles to be out of the way from knocking over than on the "right" side.


Colin Hussey said...


They were on both sides of the line, often they were incorporated with the larger PMG wires, while at other times by themselves on the left hand side of the line.

Cast your mind, to the couple of photos I posted on my blog west of Blayney, two sets of lines, one on the up side, the large group being the PMG or public lines, on the down or left hand side being the railway lines.

Back on the Bathurst side of the line, the two lines ran on the right hand or up side of the line through to Blayney.

There is a large line of wires in one of my photo's at Murrubo, that run over the 2 main lines into Murrubo signal box.

At the time Murrubo was still using Kerosene in the signal box as well as both staff exchange platforms for the sighting for drivers of the signalman.

There are also quite a few other areas that are the same, so having them on either side of the line, down or up is prototypically correct.

Ray P said...


Thanks, it supports what Jonathan was saying and what I suspected.


Towelly said...

Hi Ray,

My family had a diary farm in Moss Vale running along side the railway line, just south of the town. The railway line passes through a cutting before heading down hill, around a left and corner and on to Werai. I am sure the the poles and wiring were on the diary side which was located on the right hand side heading south on the down. I remember sitting under them looking at the Broken insulators while watching trains go past. As the saying goes, there is the right way, the wrong way and then the railway way. I think there will always be an exception to a rule. I too like watching trains move through scenery. I have to like it as 50% of my layout is in a cutting ha ha.


AlbertM said...

Most of the pole route on the Blayney-Cowra section had the poles on the right going away from Sydney

Rod said...


Certainly were positioned on the up side of the main south thru Nth Goulburn, Murray's Flats etc...Love the videos BTW

Regards, Rod