Gawler & Districts Layout Info

Location: Gawler SA, including Roseworthy, North Gawler & Penrice
Prototype: South Australian Railways
Era: 1950-70, with the occasional 2000+
Scale: HO
Layout Size: 6m x 6m (20' x 20')
Layout Type: Triple-Deck, dogbone?
Layout Height: 1450mm upper, 1000mm middle, 800mm lower level (57", 39", 31")
Track: Code 70 Micro Engineering; Code 100 Peco in staging
Min. Radius: 30" mainline;
Points: Scratch-built #6 (Fast Tracks jig); commercial mediums in staging, Shinohara Code 70Slips & Crossovers
Control System: EasyDCC

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Lower Level Progress

The plan is to start on the Lower level and work my way up to the top level. This will allow the Yard to be functioning with the return loop.  When the Middle level is being tested we can run from Gawler down to "Adelaide" and back again. Also with limited space between the Lower and Middle Levels, it will be next to impossible to work on the tracks in the Yard.

Flat Creek Yard

Well, after a slow start the Flat Creek Yard has been laid. Points and power connected, and a trial run with a DCC friendly engine. As can be seen in the photos I went for the Box Frame. This allowed me to wire up and lay track in modules of 2.4m lengths. No crawling on my sore back soldering upside down.  I am using UniStrut (EzyStrut) for mounting all of the benchwork on. This allows small changes to heights as I was working on sections.  All track is Peco Code 100 with Electrofrog points.  The reasoning is I do not want any problems down here when the next level is started, so make this "reliable", well, as reliable as possible!
Flat Creek Yard Entry
The Yard has the twin Mainline track to the front with 5 yard tracks. The trains come down the Mainline pass the yards onto the return loop then either into the Yard or remain on the Mainline to head back to the Middle Level.
Flat Creek Curve
Each Yard line has approximately 4m of length. Plenty of room to park modern freight consists like the Ghan or just the Gawler Race Trains waiting for the next Saturday Race Meet.
Flat Creek Yard Exit
Upon exiting the yard it is a curve and the climb starts to the next level.
Mainlines are the far left 2 tracks, the Yard here is an exit only to the Main.

Next...The Return Loop

This "train room" was also storage for all of my train related equipment, and that is not only HO. There was also Garden Rail equipment.  SD70 and 2 five pack container wagons, with containers, 2 PA1's with 5 coaches, and a lot more. This has all been relocated so I have room for the base of the return loop and the helix/climbs that will be located roughly in the centre of the room. Now a clean up and relocation of more equipment and placement of the Loop is the next step.

By the way, the above has not happened since the first post. This has been a couple of months of "free" weekends. So the next post may be a month or two away.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Beginning

Where to start? The beginning of trying to use a blog. The beginning of the construction of a layout. All of which will be a new learning experience.

The layout

As the blog heading suggests, it is based on Gawler, South Australia, in HO scale, all fitting into a converted double carport UMR. I live close to Roseworthy and remember the Grain train when it was running so i wanted to include the Roseworthy Junction when it was at it's peak, and if at all possible let's include Gawler North as well. The structures and visual look of the layout will be SAR era, but, (there is always a "but") there will be times when my son and myself will want to time jump to modern AN & ARG/NatRail/PacNat. This will let the modern consists run as if Gawler was still the main through station to the rest of Australia.  So we will have the Ghan going to Darwin, the IP heading out of state and the occasional Overland bypassing the Adelaide Hills to keep the whingers happy. Stations that will be visible are Gawler Racecourse, Gawler, North Gawler, Penrice & Roseworthy.

North Gawler Branch  from Gawler

What is beyond North Gawler? Return loops and Penrice.What layout would be complete if it has Gawler and not the Stonie!!  The "Stonie" is a well known regular (it was pre-2014) from Port Adelaide to Penrice carrying stone, not just any stone but limestone to the soda ash plant. The Stonie heads off to Penrice for it's daily run and return loaded. There once was passenger traffic to Truro and Angaston, as well as mixed goods, so they each have a hidden loop for the return journey.

Roseworthy Junction

From Roseworthy we can go to Morgan, Roberstown, Spalding (and the Clare Valley), Balaklava and across to the copper triangle of Moonta & Wallaroo, or onto Gladstone with Port Pirie, or North. then there is Peterborough, onto the rest of Australia; North, East or West. Morgan would be a thriving inland port requiring rail to transport goods to Port Adelaide, all interstate travel will go through Peterborough, and whatever else the country people need will come in by rail, or take them to the big smoke for a day out.
My idea of the layout is the Green line would not have been laid.
Image borrowed from JohnnysPages


How many levels?

The Layout will be triple deck, yes 3 decks. I asked the impossible and a colleague was able to design it. If I just want to run a consist around there are numerous return loops where one train could run up and down all day.

Lower Level - "Flat Creek" Yard

This represents all south of Gawler; Port Adelaide, the Port Flat & Dry Creek Yards & Adelaide Railway Station. a return loop at one end and a gentle climb will bring us into the next level.

Lower Level Plan

Middle level

As we ascend from the lower level we pass the Gawler Loco area and the Gawler Racecourse Platform. Next stop, Gawler. A busy Station with suburban railcars, country passenger and mixed goods passing through. Lots of shunting jobs here with Jeff's Flour Mill, 2 Goods Sheds, and livestock yards. If it was race day, the steam locos would leave the coaches and horse boxes in the Gawler Station and go to the Loco Yard to be turned, take on coal and water and wait to hook back on for the evening return trips to Adelaide. Some suburban railcars would continue onto North Gawler but most would return back to Adelaide. Country passenger services and mixed goods now continue on under the Overway and the line splits, one line to Roseworthy, the other to Gawler North. Steam engines will require a helper to get up the climb into Roseworthy (as what was required with the Rx) and this is up to the third level.  North Gawler stays on this level and is a terminal stop for suburban railcars. Country passenger services pass through and into the return loops of Truro & Angaston. Only the Stonie continues to Penrice, also on this level. Now when i am feeling lazy, i can watch a single train come up from the lower level, (Adelaide) non stop through Gawler and North Gawler to the return loops and back towards Adelaide.
Middle Level


Upper Level

Here we come to Roseworthy Junction, the gateway out of Adelaide. Roseworthy has Grain Silos and currently one of the largest open storage of grain facilities. Unfortunately the last Grain train was 2006 (? I know someone will correct me here). But i will keep it going. :) Livestock and farm machinery all leave here as well as through traffic, so it will constantly be busy.  Thankfully leaving Roseworthy you have the option of Robertstown and Morgan or the rest of Australia, depending on which way you enter the staging yards. Once this level is complete I can run from the lower level through Gawler, through Roseworthy and return loop back down again and be smug that the layout is now running.
Upper Level

The End?

Yes, for now, thankfully the end of the first entry to this blog.
So this is the start of my blog and the construction of the layout.  I hope I can keep the updates going and not let this become an added burden for me or for you to follow.