Friday, 10 November 2017

Bomen Station Building Plans

Over many decades, I have been acquiring information to aid my prototype modelling.  Unfortunately, the Bomen Station plans have not surfaced.   My understanding is that Bomen station building is unique in NSW, so it would be highly doubtful that a kit would ever be produced.  Drawing my own plans seemed the best way forward.

Bomen station was commissioned as an important station – being the temporary terminus of the Southern line in 1878, and the location of the town of North Wagga Wagga..  But soon after the station was built, the townsfolk drifted to South Wagga Wagga.   Bomen station remained as a staff exchange point, site of the Wagga meatworks, and for general goods.   I covered this in my earlier blog post
A trip to Bomen, armed with my digital camera was the first step.  After taking 50 or so pictures, I returned home, and printed 10.  Armed with these pictures, pen, and tape measure, I returned to Bomen and recorded these measurements on my pictures.  I used metric measurements, as this makes the reduction simple on a drawing

In 1974, I did Tech Drawing at high school, and I found these skills useful.  Whilst I probably should be using CAD, I spend too much time on the computer now, so it was good to get out my set squares, rulers, pencil, eraser, and paper, find a sunny spot, and do some drawings.  Before I started, I added up all the measurements, and compared the 2 sides, and the front and back.  I was out by 1cm on the sides, and 6cm on the front, and rear measurements.  This is well under 1% error, and reassured me that I had not made any major measurement errors.   It took around 6 hours, spent over 2 weeks to finish the plans. 

As I drew them to scale 1:100, a trip to Junee Library, to use their enlarging photocopier made short work of the conversion to 1:87.  My plans will not win any awards, but are suitable for marking out the sides, front and back on styrene brick sheet.  The one aspect that I know is wrong, is the roof. I initially thought a 30 degree slope was close, but the 25 degree for the end drawings is closer again.  I also have the chimneys in slightly the wrong spot – so I will have to go back to Bomen, and really look

What struck me is how big the station will be.  The HO scale footprint of the main building is 30cm x 13cm, and this is not including the Toilet block, and signal box (or indeed the car park at the rear).    I should be able to construct the station full size, however, I will do some more detailed track planning of the Bomen area to confirm I can fit everything in without the baseboards being too wide.
Now comes the “fun” part – actually building the station.

Happy Modelling.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Bomen - The original North Wagga Wagga

 Bomen is located on the northern side of the Murrumbidgee River bridge, and viaduct.  It actually predates Wagga, as the main line opened in September 1878.  In fact, Bomen was originally known as “North Wagga Wagga” when it opened.  As befitting a terminus station, a 2 track engine shed, inspection pit, and engine facilities were established, along with a fine station building.  A new town also sprung up – it is said that there were over 16 hotels.
The river bridge was completed in 1879, and trains were able to run to “South Wagga Wagga”, and later to Albury.  The engine facilities were relocated.   The name “Bomen” was adopted in 1882.  The  town that had come about due to the end of the railway line faded away, as almost everyone moved south to Wagga Wagga.
Bomen station survived as a crossing loop/staff exchange, loading ramp, and  a large abattoir.  Wagga City council was keen to grow Bomen as an industrial estate in the 1970s.

A rough timeline.
1952 signal diagram shows the abattoir, including sidings for stock unloading
1975.  Weekly notices have the establishment of a cannery (now run by Heinz), with a siding off the abattoir siding.  Freight rates for shunting this siding are $2 a wagon
1975. Weekly notices also mention a siding to “Hollanders”, which I understand was a leather tanning operation. Freight rates for this siding were $2.50 a wagon.  (The Hollanders siding attaches to the goods siding from behind the station building)
1979.  Saleyards closed in Wagga, and moved to Bomen.  A long siding was established off the “Hollanders” siding

1983.  Fuel depot created (as fuel depots in Wagga were closed), and pointwork also off the “Hollanders” siding

[Sidings at rear of station building - Left to right beyond the level crossing - , Hollanders, Caltex, Stockyards, and Austrak]

[Shunting the Abattoir siding in the 1980s.  Note the cannery siding just visible lower RHS ]
[Stockyard sidings were used for headshunts, and equipment storage]

[Shunting of the oil wagons onto the stockyard siding]

[Hollanders Siding was reasonably lengthy, and had its own right of way through the Bomen estate]

[Hollanders Siding crosses Lewington Street, and ends up at a concrete block loading dock.  The tin shed that was once there has long gone]
 [Rail approach into Heinz Cannery. Inside the building, the track still exists]

[The Bomen Abattoir has erased the track approach but the loading dock is still intact

As an operational layout, I am going to try and incorporate as much shunting interest as possible.  And this does mean that I will be stretching the 1970 timeframe a little.  Both the Cannery, and the Tanning facility will get modelled.  The stockyards, and fuel depot however, are essentially just relocated from Wagga, so I see no advantage in moving them to Bomen.  The other constraint is space;  I estimate I have around 4 linear metres for Bomen, and at most 600mm wide. 

By 2017, Bomen has grown considerably.  The platform signal box, mechanical signals and staff exchange platform disappeared in 1983 with the introduction of CTC.  A small intermodal facility has been set up in the yard in the 1990s, Austrak created a concrete sleeper fabrication facility a short time later.  Unfortunately, both the abattoir and cannery have lost their rail sidings.  “Hollanders” relocated within Bomen, although the long siding and loading dock they used was abandoned.  The saleyards sidings saw their last stock trains by 1989, however, the sidings were retained for rail storage, and headshunt purposes.  The crossing loop was extended about 5km towards Shepherds Siding.  As oil trains stopped in NSW around 2007, the oil depot saw no rail activity until last year, when all the wagons were recovered.  The oil sidings and stock sidings were pulled up, and new roadworks for the future Genesee and Wyoming intermodal were created.  And in October 2017, the old pointwork on the Austrak siding was removed, and new concrete sleepers  laid.   The Bomen station and platform remains, heritage listed, although it is unmanned.  The Station masters cottage is still standing, it too  no longer occupied.   The gatekeeper cottage/gatehouse is long gone, and interestingly, the automatic level crossing lights and bells that replaced it are themselves out of use due to the aforementioned intermodal roadworks

[ The trackwork as it exists today.  This track was only installed last week (October 2017)( The Caltex oil depot is still visible in the background, but all pointwork has been removed.  The siding now serves just one customer - Austrak.  The original road at the back of the station, has been reworked onto the old stockyard siding alignment - part of the new intermodal yard - 
[Austrak - the siding is to the LHS of the picture]

I want to thank all the people who have supplied me with photos, particularly Rod S, and the Wagga Rail Heritage group, and Pete N for access to records.  A number of  pictures too by the late Andy Browne have added greatly to my appreciation of Bomen

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Tumbarumba Station Building

Even if was not trying to model the Tumbarumba branchline, the station building deserved to be modelled.   I was fortunate in being able to photograph the station in 1980 before it was demolished.

The station is a prefabricated design, close to the NSW Pc3 design, but predated the Pc3 by a couple of years.  At the 2017 Malkara scale model exhibition, Casula Hobbies were selling the Rail Central Pc3 kit at a discount, and I acquired one kit.  The kit comprises of all main detail items, 6 windows, doors, downpipes 2 water tanks, roof, awning, and the steel support frames that support the rear of the building

Train Hobby, and Tumba Rail have both published pictures of the station, but I cannot show these for copyright reasons.  Fortunately I was able to locate some additional pictures from the NSW Rail net internet, in particular, the rear shot, which I had nowhere else.  The rear side is how the station building will be seen from the aisle on my layout, so I am indebted to the photographer.. 

Compared to the Greg Edwards data sheet, the Pc3 kit is very accurate.  I compared the photos of Tumbarumba to the kit, and found that rearranging the panels of the kit's front  would match Tumbarumba, the rear was just too different.

So I made a decision to scratch build both the front and the rear from styrene, and use or modify everything else.

It took around 2 weeks elapsed time to finish the task (I had seriously  underestimated the time needed).

The roof sections also needed to be reduced in size.

The walls were then glued together, and attached to the base (also modified from the kit).  Note the   the roof support awning corbels lower down then the Pc3 kit


Tumbarumba sits at 645 metres ASL, and normally expects a snowfall each winter.  So it gets cold, and heating is necessary.  In the prototype photographs you will note an external chimney.  As a stroke of luck, I happened to have 3 detailed resin chimneys in my "spares" bin.  These were made by "Empire Trading" and I have no idea where I obtained them, what cost, or whether the company still exists.  But, as far as I was concerned they are 100% correct.  I know I will have to extend the chimney to the ground once I elevate the rear of the station, but for now, I epoxied the chimney to the rear side of the station.

Painting had commenced.  I used Tamiya Deck Tan for the off-white of the station - looked quite good as a match on the workbench, until I got the station outside, the deck tan colour morphed to a pale green

Fine detailing continued.  I fitted internal walls (more of a brace, windows, toilet,  vents, and doors.  The roof was further modified to accomodate the chimney, and added a valence to the roof end that was sliced off.  Lastly, downpipes were installed at one end.  The water tank won't be installed until the station is planted.  Colors for the roof sheeting (asbestos?) was Tamiya RLM Grey, and Tamiya silver.  The terracotta tiles were painted in a terracotta craft paint.  Guttering with Tamiya German grey - a good match for the downpipes.  I weathered the roof sheeting with yellow pastel powders, where a darker brown on the corrugated iron sheeting of the awning

Final work on the station will have to wait until I build the station platform, and sculpt the earth bank.  The Pc3 kit has all the building supports, so I don't anticipate any further problems.

Happy modelling

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Tumbarumba Goods Shed

One of the satisfying aspects of building a model railway layout, is that one finds a use for many of the purchases one has made over the years.  Such is the case for the Tumbarumba Goods Shed.

 In March, 2000 according to the sales docket (17 years ago), I acquired the Bergs NSW G1b goods shed kit, and it remained unopened, and largely forgotten until 3 weeks ago, when I stumbled across it whilst looking for another kit.

If you have built a USA craftsman kit, then the contents and construction style will be familiar.  The kit consists of some thin plywood, a selection of stripwood sizes, a scribed sheet for the deck, some styrene resin and brass parts, a few sets of corrugated iron, and 6 pages of instructions and plans.

The first stage was to cut out the door, and vent opening in the plywood, and reinforce the ends with heavy stripwood.

The next task is to cover the plywood with the corrugated aluminium, and trim the excess.  Assembling the walls, and floor makes up the box.  Note the metal ruler used to prevent the corrugations from being squashed by the peg clamps.

Fitting the floor joists  is the only real problem area of the kit.  Enough joists are provided for the full width of the shed, however, the shed construction has the rail and road shed sides extends below the floor level.  I am not sure that building the platforms and glueing them to the shed sides as recommended by the instructions is strong enough.  So I created  some gaps in the lower walls to get some of the joists through.   If I build another shed, I will make some amendments.

 Bearer beams, trim, and walls edging cut and fitted.  I have also painted the walls with Floquil grey primer

The roof is removable.  Thus created another set of problems - the first was that the awning support struts have to be positioned as such.  Both the kit, and the Greg Edwards plan show only 2 whimpy struts, where my photograph shows 6 longer struts.

Small details were next,  After struggling to try and make up a set of steps, I decided to use the Walkers Models step sides that I had surplus from the Ladysmith goods shed kit built earlier.  I made up some steps from stripwood, and later reduced the height by one step.  I do not know if someone makes the steps,  but it would  be a neat 3D printed item.  The water tank stand is fabricated from stripwood provided, the resin tank painted, the water tank awning constructed fully from styrene sheet, and strip, rather than the kits wood parts.  Lastly, add the stumping on my heavy cardboard base.  The latter requires these stumps to be cut from dowel, and getting each stump base square, and each stump the same height is problematic.

After fitting the timber guards, vents, doors, painting (yes the doors are green), the shed was positioned on the base, to enable the downpipe to be fitted (as per my  Ladysmith station building blog post a few months ago).  Rather tricky, particularly as the roof is still removable.  Fortunately, I can still make adjustments to fix the unfortunate gap on my model.

Lastly, I must mention that the roof is weathered.  The shiny aluminium was painted silver, and I used pastel weathering powders for the rusty look.  I guess I will have to do something similar for the shed sides, and wood platform prior to fitting on the layout.

Detail hounds might find some differences though with my model and the real thing.  Particularly the downpipe is on the RHS (other side), and descends to the ground, rather than to a tank.   And there doesn't appear to be any timber guards.  Well in my defence, I have no photos showing the shed's LHS, and the timber guards might have been removed and repurposed after the line closed in 1974.  But in the end, it is a model railway, and I like the shed as I have built it.

Happy modelling

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ladysmith Goods Shed

The Goods shed at Ladysmith has been restored by The Tumba Rail group, and is one of the structures that has to be modelled.  It is essentially a NSW G2 design, although, it was built "mirror image", and the side shed, and extended platform are on the wrong side.  Ladysmith lost the extended platform, and side shed at some stage, although the evidence can be seen in the single window, and timber guards on the end.

I acquired a pair of NSW G2 laser cut kits from Walker Models.  As with the Ladysmith station building, having access to Greg Edwards Data sheets, and pictures of the prototype helps, as the kit instructions are rudimentary at best.

The first thing I did was remove the extended platform, and reverse the end wall framing, so as to get the window positioned as per Ladysmith.

An aspect of the kit  disturbed me:- this, was the thickness of the planks on the loading platform. After some deliberation, I carefully thinned the edge of the platform, made up dummy joists, and painted the "hole" black.  Once the bearing timbers were in place, it would be difficult to tell that these holes don't extend into the shadows.

The corrugated wooden overlays were fitted over the assembled shed, noting that I had to manipulate the ones around the window that I repositioned.  The overlays do not fully cover the sides, and the prototype shed has an exposed wooden framing, at this point.  But I ended up just cutting some more corrugations to cover the gap.

The bearer beams at the bottoms were heavy 10" x 12" North Eastern strip wood, I happened to have handy.  I positioned these beams by referring to the prototype pictures.

Once completed, I painted the outside corrugation with Floquil grey primer., and the wooden deck with Floquil rail brown .  

I then fitted  the timber guards provided by the kit, but on reflection, these are too wide  Unfortunately, by the time I realised it, the glue had gone off, and I would have caused damage to remove them.  Maybe the next G2 goods shed, at Borambola will have correctly sized timber guards.

The kit provides two sets of steps.  Once again, I was not convinced that a scale 12" thick step support looked any good, so I simply used the sharp knife, and the 12" became two  6" thick supports It was surprisingly easy, as the "timber": is actually compressed board, and can be cleaved with little pressure .  After gluing, and then sanding the edge, I was mush happier with the steps.

The windows on the kit are marginally undersize, but once made up, they looked OK.  However, I added window surrounds with North Eastern stripwood.

The roof was my next step.  As per my normal standard, I like to have the roof removable, so as one can access the interior for super-detailing, or simply for fitting a light.  Fortunately, the kit has very positive locking for the roof trusses.

Keen observers may notice the extended roof support angles.  These were made from 2 x 4" northeastern stripwood, glued into holes made at the appropriate angle.  A fiddly task, to get all of them aligned, and probably the reason why the kit does not provide these parts.  I also fitted some guttering to the roof.  Colours used are  Floquil Silver, Depot Buff, and Roof brown.

Lastly, there were the brick piers.  The kit provides a laser cut  integrated bearer beam, and post, which I am sorry, looks ugly.  After more deliberation (and coffee), I came up with a simple method, that used material on hand.   A balsa rod, approximately 37 scale cm square was made by cutting, and sanding, and after painting with Floquil Concrete, cut into 20 equal lengths using my chopper tool.

Whilst my Australian made chopper was bought 30 years ago, a .NSWL chopper would work equally well.  Once all the piers had been cut, each one was wrapped in brick paper - which could be printed off the internet, although mine was a commercial sheet  made by Superquick.  All the piers were then glued to a  temporary base of thick cardboard

I have not fitted downpipes, as I need to do some more research on when the water tanks were removed.  I also have the superphosphate sign to add when I can figure out how I manipulate images in Adobe Photo Elements.

Anyway, I will leave you with a few more images of the real goods shed at Ladysmith.  Happy modelling