Monday, August 4, 2014

Bringing it together

Since I started this blog in 2008 I have posted a lot of photos of the layout.  Today I thought that since I have been a bit busy of late that I would try to bring a number of the photos together to present a more complete whole. I have previously posted a video run along the mainline but it doesn't show every part of the layout, but then neither does this post. The following pictures while not covering everything might give a better idea of the layout. The pictures are a combination of overall layout photos interspersed with 'local' photos.

We start from the Muswellbrook staging at the lowest point of the layout and progress through Kerrabee, Bylong, Cox's Gap, past the colliery junction, Wollar, the Cassilis branch junction then up the final grade to the Gulgong staging. Finally we have just a few photos of Munmurra and Cassilis on the branch. Cassilis has not progressed for more than a year, I must get back to it once I remove the overflow of stuff related to recent events from the layout room. Emptying, painting and setting up three bedrooms had a flow on effect.

Please note that some photos have been digitally modified to remove either brickwork above the layout or the edge of the layout by 'rubber stamping' with parts of the existing scene.

Anyway here we go:

Lower Muswellbrook Staging to Kerrabee

Lower level - Kerrabee and grade from Cox's Gap to Wollar on upper level above

Bridge over Kerrabee Creek - Built by Ian Dunn

Lower level - Grade approaching Bylong and Wollar Station on upper level above

Lower level - UP end of Bylong Station and Down end of Wollar on upper level above

McCauleys Hide Merchants and ash filled buffer stop

MV meat van at Bylong Abattoir and McCauleys on left

4434 on Empty Stock in Bylong Loop

SHG on stock train at Bylong

Lower level - Down end of Bylong Station with grade to upper level Gulgong staging
also shown is the Cassilis branch line just below the grade

Bylong tunnel approach

Stock train leaving Bylong

C3262 on stock train enters Bylong No2 tunnel

Climb to Cox's Gap - bridge built by Ron Cunningham

Cox's Gap Signal Box - Model by James McInerney

The line climbs out of Cox's Gap and passes under the bridge on the road to Wollar
4434 on goods on the Cox's Gap to Wollar grade

4434 on goods cresting the Cox's Gap to Wollar grade

4434 on goods passing the colliery junction bracket signal near Wollar

4434 on goods approaching colliery junction with Wollar township on right

A Summer day in the country

4820 and 4831 on goods leaving Wollar

Up Mixed passing colliery branch

6037 leaving colliery at level crossing before junction with the main line

Cross country view with the S08 wheat silo at Wollar in the distance

3647 simmers in Wollar loco as 3390 checks brakes

5139 resting in Wollar Loco Depot

The Wollar depot dog

CPH 28 in the back platform at Wollar

The Mid-West Express resplendent in a new coat of paint pauses in Wollar - Green 3827 leading

4908 on the main at Wollar

4434 sits in Wollar refuge loop

NSWGR 3390 on Cassilis Branch goods train approaching Wollar

3390 passing Wollar level crossing

Farmers Co-operative and the general store at the other end of Wollar township

Cassilis Branch Junction with the flour mill at Wollar in the background
Grade to upper level Gulgong staging also Cassilis branch line
and lower level - Down end of Bylong Station

Gulgong Staging on upper level above lower level -grade to Cox's Gap Loop

5085 on branch goods

10 Munmurra Station overview

Cassilis structure placement mock up

2540 on Cassilis turntable


Rod said...


Brilliant photo montage...with the aid of the video it is all becoming clearer. I do like the shots that appear as if taken from the cab of a train arriving...very nice indeed.

Talk soon...I hope


South Coast Rail said...

42 of the best. A fantastic look at your layout and a great showcase for your talent.
You have just spoilt us all.
Now with all those great shots around I can't see any reason why AMRM can't actually produce a calendar with actual MODEL railway photos. I'd certainly buy one.
get onto James next time you see him.

Iain Robinson said...

This set of photos is such a pleasure to browse through. I was going to say which was my favourite, but it's impossible. Beautiful work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ray,

A great selection of photos.



Ray P said...

Rod, Bob, Iain and Ian

Thanks for the words, I am glad that you appreciated the post.


Pete Coombes said...


Excellent photos, very inspirational, and as Rod stated above, in conjuction with the video the scope of the layout is becoming clearer. However I (and I imagine many of your followers) would be so grateful if you would post a track plan, as I'm still a little unsure of the orientation of certain sections.

Just on another subject Ray, these photos also highlight an aspect of Bylong that piqued my curiosity for many years, and that is that apart from the odd train driver there are no people on the layout. It seems an ebola breakout has wiped out the entire population of the area.


Ray P said...


There isn't a map of the layout, I have been building layouts long enough to know what will work and what won't so I don't draw up a plan.

Regarding people, there is one locomotive inspector and the depot dog in the Wollar locomotive depot. Most country stations had little human activity unless the train was due, even the station staff were often in the building. I also find that people in movement poses usually destroy the scene, if the train is moving, why aren't the people?

I will have a few people around eventually and there are a number of drivers and fireman in the locomotives but not all.


B. Kooistra said...

Ray, though right now my modeling has gone cold, I'm always incredibly inspired whenever I see your work. I'm also proud to have you as a friend and to show these photographs to US modelers who wonder what the appeal of this Australian modeling is all about. And just think--now you can go down to Canberra and experience an HD60 class steam locomotives in the flesh (again)!!

Ray P said...


Thank you, I appreciate your friendship too. I had noticed that you had gone quiet, these times come and go when life or other interests intrude. I daresay that it is partly related to the delays in delivery of models out of China particularly the 48 class I would suppose.

The video of the 6029 trial run from Goulburn to Canberra made me quite emotional while watching it, just to see it running again and to think of the magnificent work that the small band at ARHS Canberra achieved.

Perhaps showing the 6029 video to some of your local modellers might also give them an appreciation (including the 44 class of course).


Both Sides Of The Border said...

Hi Ray,

Amazing work. A 6 minute mainline run. How cool is that. Have you ever published a track plan of Bylong that can be viewed to get a better idea of your layout. Also, how large is your layout room? I have been playing around with the idea of double decking for some time now because of the increased run you get. Tony Koester's book has been a real inspiration. Are you happy with the double deck way it works for you?

Regards Daryl Blake

Ray P said...


I haven't published a track plan of the layout because I don't have one. I answered a similar question a few comments above yours. I guess time spent drawing up the layout plan could be more enjoyably spent doing something else, perhaps one day.

The layout wasn't designed as a double deck layout as such although it did have a staging yard below the Wollar station originally.

The layout gradually grew into it's current state over time as I worked out how to add extra main line run and a branch line. Unfortunately, this has meant that the distance between the levels is smaller then preferable. The alternative would have been to add a spiral somewhere but this would have taken up too much room and virtually eliminated two of the four walls as potential places for station yards. Only two walls are used for station yards anyway but the spiral would only have added mainline run within itself which is not visible. I prefer to have as much main line visible as possible. Basically the main line is itself a spiral that climbs around the 20' x 20' room.

Am I happy with the double deck approach, yes in terms of the longer main line run and no because of the vertical restrictions for viewing and for photographing.

Overall, yes.

Tony Koester's book is good but I don't like his current focus on narrow baseboards as to me they destroy the illusion of space and of a train passing through the countryside.