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15x3 Crookwell, NSW
 
Submitted by Gary, Sydney
 
This entry in the current layout competition is closely based on the railway facilities at the real town of Crookwell, NSW. The town and station, located in prime sheep and cattle country in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, is at the end of a branch from the main line connecting Sydney and Melbourne. The line, which opened in 1902, branches off at Goulburn (site of "The Big Merino"). It has not been used since 1985, although it has not been officially closed.
 
The main business of the line consisted of agricultural commodities, especially superphosphate. During WW2 the line moved the output of an iron mine to the steel plants at Port Kembla and Newcastle, but the mine closed at the end of the war. Passenger traffic was of secondary importance for most of the history of the line.
 
The layout, which uses Hornby 00 sectional track, is closely based on the real track arrangements at Crookwell (please see the diagram below). The only change I have made is to eliminate the turntable to gain an extra turnout (and there wasn't room for it anyway).
 
The red line indicates a scenic divider behind which would be a two track fiddle yard. The divider could depict the town of Crookwell and surrounding farmland.
 
Alternatives to the fiddle yard could include a simple return loop or a traverser under the top level of the layout. The line should not disappear into a tunnel, there are none on the real line, but rather behind a hill - the district is characterised by rolling hills.
 
I envisaged the setting being in the period 1970-1985, with diesels handling the traffic - yes Dave, including Class 48s! I'm not sure, but maybe Class 73s might have been used on branches like this as well.
 
The infrequent passenger traffic would be handled, as in the real line, by rail motor cars and trailers. Of course if you wanted to you could have short passenger trains, for example for the annual show, pulled by diesel locos.
 
This is a layout for the modeller interested in scenery - there's plenty of space for it. The board size is 15' by 3', which might be possible along a garage wall. It would certainly be feasible to reduce the length, although not the width if you wanted to retain the turnback curve at the left end. Apart from the space needed for that curve, it might be possible to reduce the width along the rest of the baseboard.
 
Track arrangements like the one in this layout could apply to a number of places, and not just The Antipodes - for example the USA and parts of Germany (eg Thuringia or Lower Saxony, but not Bavaria).

Following are some links so that you can find out more about the real Crookwell and it's branch line:

http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.p ... :Crookwell

http://www.gchr.4t.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crookwell_ ... outh_Wales
 
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