Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday night module idea

Further to our other ideas for modules, even if we collectively have still to decide on a standard design.

This week I've been looking at possible test track/layouts for 'Der Room'. Among the many ideas that were battered around the 'wibbly wobby woo' was the possibility of modeling the J'ville line in the 1960's to match the set of electrics that I'm in the process of building. in this time period this branch was more than just the commuter line that today's version has found itself degraded to. There was a daily good shunt on the line, and most of the stations had a small goods yard. J'ville itself had a sizable yard (now buried under a shopping mall).

On station that did pique my interest was Raroa. In the 60's there was a freezing works here and stock trains were run up the branch (in season there could be 3 a day).
The plan shows a nice wee station (the passing loop on the back shunt had a capacity of 14 wagons plus a van) on a curve so it can be stuffed into a corner. there is a fenced off area with a cattle stop at each end. sadly there were no refrigerated wagons going out here, I think they all went from down the hill at Kaiwharawhara

I've not seen any pictures of Ed's shunting the line, but I assume that they must have been used some times.
Just the other side of the hill is the suburban sprawl of Khandallah. Even today this location is still undeveloped and looks quite rural.

1 comment:

Amateur Fettler said...

This from Euan McQueen, The Grand Old Man of New Zealand Rail and Head of the Rail Heritage Trust (and quite possibly the nicest individual I have ever met):

"Raroa was a long backshunt which the stock trains headed straight in to from Wellington. There was a longish loop on that backshunt which ran by the stockyards. The stock unloading race was on wheels set in the concrete front to the “platform”, so the train remained stationary while the race was moved past each wagon. While that was happening the Ew ran out the top end, and back down the back shunt , then reversed back on to the train. The guards van was rarely shunted to the other end.

On a Saturday there could be up to three trains, as much of the stock came from the Feilding Stock (butchers’) sale, and came down overnight. The trains were limited to about 12-14 total, because of the need to cross units at short loops like Wadestown and Ngaio. In the latter case the train would sometimes shunt to put coal or timber in the back shunt, and while it did this the main part of the train was put in the south back shunt and the Ew was locked into the north backshunt.

If there was general traffic for Johnsonville it was usually sent up during the week, with smaller lots of stock. I think the train went to J’ville, did any shunting, and came back and reversed into the stock siding. J’ville handled a lot of timber and building materials, and in summer fertiliser which was spread around Ohariu Valley and by air around the Ngaio Hills (at 5 am!!)