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!

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.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Starting on Jonestown Yard

Having worked the track aruund Jonestown Junction last weekend, I made a strong start on Jonestown mainline, to the terminus station, plus started the planning for the main yard.

The main and loop tracks are laid, and wiring will happen over the next few days, and then onto the yard.

The yard ladder is difficult as I am trying to get good length sidings, but basically run out of room at the far end of the photo, where the trains all converge and run to a head shunt which needs to be about 1m long.

I'll get the main and loop operational, plus install the Tortoises and do the control panel, and then start planning out the yard arrangement.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

General Update

I managed to weasel about 10 hours this weekend in the shed, and progress has been very good, although I could easily put in another 10 hours for wiring and installation of Tortoises.  Here are few photos of where I am up to:

The overall shad taken from Jonestown Junction.  The long mainline run along the left hand wall and back down the peninsular is wired up and gives a great mainline run.  The points in the bottom left of the photo are ow installed and just waiting on the Tortoise to go in.

Another shot of the overall layout.  A little messy and I keep moving my work space to suit progress.  The large space down the left will be Jonestown Yard (6 track, on layout staging/fiddle/functional yard).

Jonestown Junction.  The outer loop is the main and the inner is the Grain loop.  Junestown Junction has a wye.  Why?  Because I can!  The bottom left of the photo is a dead end leg of the wye and will go to a small steel siding, but it will also allow me to put in a lift out bridge to allow continuous running on the layout, as it is built as a point to point design.

Jonestown Junction again, but you can see the points on the right which will swing trains into Jonestown Yard.