Saturday, October 30, 2010

What's Been Happening?

Another drought of posts from Bylong it seems but what has been happening?

Well, a few things that I didn't seem to think were worth talking about but maybe if I put them all together?

I just finished another hand held video of a train moving over the main line as an experiment in working out good angles, etc. I like it but the sound coming from the locos does get a bit boring but then I suppose it would be if you were driving them. There is a cycling noise coming from 4434 which has an Alco v251 12 cylinder Soundtraxx Tsunami but not from 4530 which has an older Alco Soundtraxx DSD decoder. The 45 also sounds more 'rounded' even though it has the 8 bit decoder compared with the 16 bit Tsunami. I put this down to the use of a good quality oval speaker in the fuel tank of the 45 as against the supplied Trainorama speaker in the 44. I think that the cycling sound is because I had been playing with the reverb settings, I must check. Also the horn that can be heard as they start out of Wollar has a vibration which is a wire running across the speaker front. I have to open up the 44 to fix this and we all know what an interesting job that is.

Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and decided to do the scenery around the flour mill at Wollar that is situated between Wollar and the branch junction. I think I managed a reasonable transition to the backscene although the general impression is too much green (it is supposed to be set in the spring of 1965 so it's probably not that bad).

I now have a 3 foot section (sorry, no metric this is 1965 remember) between the flour mill and Wollar station which is a drawbridge section used to enter the layout from the house. Part of one of the hinges can be seen in the lower right of the above photo. There are two hinges and they will be an interesting challenge to scenic and keep operating as they stick up above the baseboard by about 1 1/2 inches. Anyway, the Wollar loop ends on this section of the layout about half way across and I have decided to add a level crossing after the point with some shops and small industries on either side of the road and crossing. I dug into my collection of kits last night and think I have come up with some interesting possibilities but you will have to wait, don't hold your breath.

I went to a 90th birthday party last Sunday for my great aunt who is the last of five sisters and three brothers who came to Sydney from Werris Creek in the late 1930's. Needless to say there was some railway connection.

My wife Chris has been doing family history for the last 25 years or so and a few years back we called into Werris Creek station museum before it was done up and in the books and various documents on display were some records showing details of the workers including family members. To my astonishment she has since found something like 10 or so that have worked for the NSWGR down the years.

I had a great-great grandmother Gatekeeper at Turanville a few miles south of Scone in 1884.
Turanville Level Crossing 2005

Another female Gatekeeper at Limbri north of Tamworth in the 1890's.
Site of Limbri Station 2005

My great grandfather worked in the yards at Werris Creek and my grandmother was a RRR girl in Sydney until she retired. There was also a ganger and earlier generations lived and worked at West Tamworth.

Werris Creek Station 2005
I have memories of watching trains from the verandah of my great grandfather's house at Wiley Park, a nice old federation home (the reason that our present home is a modern federation interpretation). Incidently, the family house is still in Dewhurst St Werris Creek in really good condition.
Cartwright house (1920/30's) - Dewhurst St Werris Creek 2005
Chris could certainly tell me about all the others but I won't bore you here. I guess I was wondering if there is a genetic effect, no not really, it was those trains from the verandah and my great grandfather taking me down to the tracks to watch the trains.

It all makes it all the more interesting when I work on and operate on Ron C's Werris Creek layout, I feel a very strong connection.

What's next?

Yesterday I picked up copies of Train Hobbies Steam Locomotive Depots - NSW Part 2 and Country Branch Lines - NSW Part 3 for Cooma, Bombala, Canberra and Captain's Flat at Berg's and a nice quiet read with a coffee will go down well.


South Coast Rail said...

nice video. Nice having sound locos,
can't wait to get the 40 class. hurry up Ron

Anonymous said...


I like the way your backdrops have gone, although I still like the piccies behind.

Not too sure about green in the spring of 65 though as the drought of 65 was well advanced with nil winter rains.

Col H

Ray P said...


That's just the way they ended up when I was painting them. I haven't worked out the colour of dry grass, yellowish/greyish/brownish/etc?

I have to install 2' high backscenes around the rest of the layout now to match it up so I might eventually work out how to represent that classic dry grass colour/effect then I may go back and repaint it.

Ray P

James McInerney said...

G'day Ray :)

I'm with Col on the timeframe, the '65/'66 drought in the west was one of the worst. There is no way that the Bylong area was as green as your layout in '65! Perhaps the easiest way to deal with the problem would be to set it in a different year! Many years ago at one of the slide nights at Burwood, two slides were shown in succession of the same location at Locksley, one was in 1965 and the other was during the '70s, in a good year. The difference in colour was startling! To accurately portray a drought year, not only would you have to repaint all your backscenes, you would also have to re-scenic the entire layout! There are some good 'drought' shots on Chris Nelson's Fotopic site:

Col Hussey said...

Thanks for the backup James.

Certainly that drought was the worst I had ever seen, especially in the western & norht western regions. Whenever I look at my slides of those years its quite incredible to see how the land looked, then of course when it broke it was a huge change.

I recently went on a trip around Cowra - Canownidra - OGE & home, & to see the change, one would have thought he was in England or some locations on the continent.

Ray I must admit that your work in the scenery dept is very insirational, & as my new layout is progressing well, I am challenged very much in what to do, already I am looking at the sky area as a start, then decisions else where.

Ray P said...

Colin and James

To model a drought scene you have to be aware that there was a drought in 1965. As this layout has scenery going back to the 1980's which is very dry looking as it was meant to be that will have to be the drought (tear drop section).

Anyway James you were in the group at that stage and didn't mention it then ;-)

I won't be repainting the backscene unless it really starts to bug me.

There is a limit to how far we could go to try to replicate reality since that isn't possible anyway.


Col H said...


You are right in what you say, & yes the 80's were dry especially at the creek from end 82 onwards.

One also has to realise that each area/district all display differences during similar drought conditions & how long they went for.

For mine you have captured very well a mid season type of scenery in the backdrops very well & convincingly.

& as I said, your work is inspirational & I would like to capture it half as good.