Nathan's Point

A modern-era proto-freelance H0 scale layout with a NSW terminal and regional theme.

The layout is a point-to-point design with the open staging yard being the main yard (Jonestown) of the layout and comprising of a basic loco facility, intermodal terminal, grain receival terminal and a passenger station.

From the yard, the mainline (or in this case the branchline) operates through a grain loading town (Heidiville) and then continues onto the terminus town (Nathans Point) which is also a grain town and includes a regional intermodal terminal, passenger station, and small steel distribution centre.

There is no hidden staging, with all trains operating with an on-layout purpose.

Follow along as the layout finally gets closer to reality during 2018 and 2019!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Nathan Points - New Sidings

Spent a few hours in the train shed this long weekend doing a few jobs here and there.

Main project was to wire and switch in 4 signals for Nathan's Point and Heidiville.  These are controlled at a panel near the front end of the shed so a train controller can give signalled authority for the single line sections.

Also installed about 8 slide switches which are for manual point changing but are also DPDT so I can power the frog.

Finally, three new sidings have gone in.  Two at Nathans's Point and one on the peninsular which is accessed from Jonestown Yard. 

The new siding at the south end of Nathan's Point.  This will likely be a sugar siding to add more traffic for my steel trains, but it could also be a concrete batching plant.  Concept is for it to take 2 or 3 wagons at a time.  

The grain complex is unchanged, but might grow in size and become more of a sub-terminal, so it can receive and dispatch grain, leaving Heidiville as a mid-section country silo, and Jonestown as the port or mill destination.

The new boxcar siding.  This is designed to be Sadleirs and will receive 3 to 4 boxcars and may a container wagon at times.  A large loading dock will go in as the back drop.  An X200 will be the shunter, as the loading dock will only be able to handle 3 boxcars at a time.  Potential to also use this as an SCT depot, and also with my US outline.  

A couple of the signal that have gone in.  The facing signal is green/yellow and runs off the Tortoise DPDT and only gives a turnout indication.  The opposing signal is a starter and shows green/red and is controlled by a separate switch.  I have placed it at the end of the turnout yet it will authorise both the main and loop.  It gets expensive to start running lots of signals.

A new second siding on the peninsular.  This will be all steel, probably with  slab on one track and structural on the other.  A large steel yard will go in between.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Layout Update - Painting

After a bit of a break over summer, I have got back into running some trains and trying to get the layout into a decent look with minimal effort, in preparation for a few running days around Easter.

The two main improvements have been the installation of the island divider and subsequent painting of the sky blue right around the layout, and the second aspect has been the installation of a fascia and the subsequent painting of that into a black finish (need a little bit more paint to complete!).  

The overall layout needs a good clean up as it has become the home to tools and materials of late.

I'm keen to add a few more sidings at Nathans Point plus another set of cross overs, but will see how operations go to start with.  

Also need to install a few Hex Frog Juicers in the main yard and some PSX circuit breakers as the next project.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A little Progress

Been making a little progress over the last week, with some tidying up in the train shed, the installation of another Tortoise point motor and the completion of the Jonestown loco depot. 

I've started to install a PSX-4 circuit breaker for my four districts and just need to an an auto-reversing module for my wye/triangle.  I haven't fully installed the PSX-4 as I need to read a bit more about programming it on DCC, so don't want to kill the layout before I know what I am doing.    

I have designed a basic signalling control panel for positioning at the main entry to the layout where a 'network controller' can control the primary signals on the layout to provide authority for trains to move between towns and take key routes.  All signals on the layout will be wired back to this main control panel.  There will be a few route indicating signals where high risk points are, but these will be automatically set by the route through the Tortoise power and do not show a stop indication (only Proceed/green and caution/yellow).  

The control panel will be operated with ON/ON DPDT switches where signals are Green/Red, or with ON/ON/ON switches where you can also have yellow for a turnout indication.  I'm not planning on any LED or light indicators on the control panel as I would like to have this completed sometime this century!  I simply don't love wiring and soldering all that much.

The control of all turnouts is the responsibility of the train crew.

I'm hoping to get a start on backdrops and fascias soon, and also need to rejig the NCE UTP panels and wireless base station back onto the ceiling.

Hope to get another update in a few weeks time.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Adding Staging

After thinking about adding an interchange siding, I set of on a conquest to add hidden staging.  I should have planned this from day one, but thankfully there were a few good spots to add tracks without too much trouble.  Better yet, I had a few spare turnouts, all of which were the correct size and orientation!!  

On the main, approaching Jonestown I have added two turnouts.  The one going towards the wall gives me about 3m in length, and will be hidden by a low backdrop panel.  The one facing the yard will sneak down and around the layout, before splitting a a set of points and hiding under the elevated section, giving two 4m long staging roads.  I am also extending the head shunt at the end of the photo and this will lead to staging also (single 4m track). 

Looking the other way.  I laid this siding this afternoon so will post some more updates soon.

The other staging track (and original interchange idea) was from Heidiville.  This track will go through the backdrop and sneak long the raised section and wrap around the back of the layout, giving another 4m long staging siding.  I did this siding in concrete sleepers so it looks like it is a different network connection.  

So, after a week of thinking, I have ended up with 4 x 4m staging tracks and a 3m staging track, making it seem like there are lots of different connections to my little train world.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

A bit of a tidy up, and getting things ready

After running my US outline stuff the last few weeks (mainly Wisconsin Central), I have been really torn about going back to Aussie outline, especially with the wide variety of US freight cars and the ability to have a lot of small industries, and even large industries (ie paper mill) that receive a lot of different freight cars.  I may still go back to that space, but I thought it be best to get out the real models and start planning an operating session.

The rural container terminal located at the terminus Nathans Point.  I had a pair of SCTs on the layout from the other day, so they did the honours of running a 15 wagon container train.

A pair of SSRs on a mill wheat train at Heidiville.  A normal sized grain train cannot load without a shuffle of wagons.  Also at Heidiville I am looking at installing another turnout which leads to a single hidden track/staging/interchange.  This will give the feel of a branch line not modelled.  

The container terminal at Jonestown has had a kick along over the last few weeks and especially today.  I painted the ply, extended the sidings slightly, set up the containers, and put containers on a second intermodal train, ready to depart.  The container block the two long grain intake roads.

Jonestown Yard with a Graincorp grain train waiting for the next turn of duty, plus quit a few steel wagons needing some sorting.  Jumbo coil and butter boxes will be the main freight on the layout. 

The other end of the yard with a pair of Graincorp 48200s on a short string of NGPF/KF hoppers.  

I'm still torn with if I want/need off layout staging.  I initially didn't build anything as I know that a second level or deck would take a lot more time and I ran the risk of never actually getting anything finished.  The option now is to put a deck over Nathans Point, but it will kill the scene, but there isn't enough space underneath (which is where is originally should have gone).  

I've also been busy filling in the track joints with sleepers and brushing a bit of brown paint around to get rid of that unbuilt look.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Jonestown Yard Completion

Three weeks ago it was an empty space, but yesterday saw the completion of the track laying for Jonestown Yard.  

The yard is a 6 track arrangement that is connected to a triangle at one end and has a dead-end head shunt at the other end, effectively making this a terminus yard (and also acts as staging).

I've already been thinking about getting my Wisconsin Central stuff out and using it like a classification yard, running locals to other parts of the layout, and through trains around the layout, only to return and to be classified as per the waybills.  

Currently the frogs are not powered, but I have a hex-juicer to install and test out, along with a PSX circuit breaker.  

Sorry about the lack of prototypical trains scattered on the layout.  The kids are having fun! 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Jonestown Continues

A few hours on the weekend working on Jonestown Yard.  This is the only significant yard on the layout, and acts as a working yard, plus open staging, having a total of 6 tracks in a 3+3 configuration.  The front 3 are common roads (mainly for steel and intermodal) and the rear three are the grain roads as they have access to the grain unloading tracks in the foreground.  

Each yard track will be around 3800mm long although the tie in at the far end will be a bit of a challenge.  All the roads will run to a single head shunt about 4 locos long, to allow run-around moves.  

The control panel was a bit of a tester to see how things fitted, and safe to say, the wye/triangle needs to be bigger to allow a better fit for the route indicator lights.  I'll also split the panel so the far right end of the yard is located near the points (about 8m away from this panel).

With the 6 yard tracks, I'll square them all up so they start as the same length which will make it a lot easier for wiring, as I can put all the droppers in the same place.  I learnt this after doing Nathans Point with staggered joints on the main, loop and grain road.    

By the end of the week, I will hopefully have 6 fully laid and powered yard tracks, but they'll be stub tracks for the time being.