The last couple of weeks have seen work progressing on the layout, mainly working on finishing the last module which contains the end of what is effectively the main Gunnedah yard section.
On the prototype, this siding is the site of what was the Bruntons Flour Mill, which consisted of a typical for the period three-storey building of brick construction, which was joined in 1946 by a set of six 110 foot silos.
Looking into the history of the mill, it was interesting to see that the portion of land that the mill is located on, was originally set aside for the cattle sale yards, way back in 1890. This somewhat uninteresting fact does however allow me to draw a very (very very very……) long bow in relation to what I have planned for this location on the layout.
I quite like the look of the old flour mill buildings, the problem that I have is that where this is situated on the layout, space is somewhat at a premium both horizontally and vertically, the latter being somewhat less of a problem.
At a rough measurement, I’ve probably got about room for a structure no more than about 14cm wide, and probably limited to about 20cm tall. The height issue is not really a problem, because of the way the outside top fascia panel is slightly below eye line when standing, you wouldn’t actually see the top of the building anyway. It would basically be a matter of building the structure so that it stops just short of “the sky”, whatever happens to fit within that height is all that needs to be built.
There are a few potential kits on the market that bare a reasonable likeness to the prototype building, that could no doubt be modified to fit the available space, right now that’s not the priority so I have time to contemplate what may go there when the time comes.
On the layout the line that comes around to the mill siding splits into two sidings on this last module, both being around 1200mm in length. So while the rear siding (which is located roughly 210 mm from the front edge of the layout) is at the moment likely to be the mill, the siding closest to the front of the layout is going to be the cattle siding.
In reality, the Gunnedah sale yards are located slightly further along the main line, however, the shape of the layout doesn’t quite lend itself to having the cattle siding where it should be, but it does fit in nicely on this last module, and in reality the only real difference is that it is now accessed via the main yard rather than the main line
Operationally, it probably works better that the cattle siding is an extension of the main yard, and being that this siding sits in about 110mm from the front edge at its closest point towards the end of the siding, it gives enough room for some loading ramps, and where it widens to around 300mm there is room for some semblance of a cattle yard.
In any case the scenic aspects of the layout are still a little way away, but it is nonetheless pleasing to see more track and points permanently down and operating. This last module is reasonably simple with basically one set of operating points and four separate lines of track, by the time you wire droppers off every individual piece of track and add a point motor, you still end up with quite a few wires.
Once again the modular construction makes the task of wiring much easier, with the module flipped over to access the dropper wires that have been passed through holes in the foam board, it is a relatively simple task of running a pair of thicker “bus” wires that the droppers all attached to in a relatively neat fashion. A few cable ties and some masking tape sees the wiring neatly held in place.
All going to plan there should be some more progress over the coming weeks with more track going down permanently and wiring completed on modules around the room.