Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MMW Modules - a plan

Am_Fet ponders:

From MD's last post comes this photo from the Fatherland:

I've got to admit this sort of layout has always got the juices flowing....a meandering, free form layout with lots of operating potential and the ability for someone to  perform a job before meeting back up with someone else at a main station and tying up for the night.

Some of you will have heard of Lance Mindheim from the states....he currently is featured in a lot of hobby publications making exquisite models of the industrial trackage in the Miami area.

He has some really interesting ideas about how to make a layout larger via operation....I can recommend you read his blog at  http://www.lancemindheim.com/blog.htm

Anyway, these two things got me thinking about how we can do this in a NZ prototype....and found just thing:  The Wanganui Castlecliff branch.


I wont go into the history too deeply, but it was essentially built as a private railway  before being taken over by the NZR.  It was closed under TOLL but reopened when a diary plant and inland "port" were opened at the end, so today the line is run by DC or DBR powered shunts.

However, wouldnt it be fun to model the line as it used to be but set in todays timeframe?  Just look at all these private industrial sidings!

Each one could be rejigged to handle ZH or ZA traffic, and some of the buildings are just crackers.  Take for example this warehouse from the NMACo:

And just to show how simple the track layout is.....

Right at the end of the line was the Harbour Board wharf and sidings which would include some real interest as far as modelling and shunting is concerned.  Hidden over the back where depots for Shell and Golden Bay cement as well, so there is the chance to run UC tankers to make life really exciting.

And you can even model it how it used to be if you were that way inclined....

Okay, so what have we got?  Roughly about 6km of actual trackage with about 10 industries to shunt, a long narrow right of way that suits the MMW modules and lots of photos on the Interweb with lots of support from streetview in Google Earth.

If I was doing it, I would look to support 3 crews of 2 people each.  You would have 2 "shunt crews" equipped with DSC/DSG locomotives who would maybe have "zones" they would shunt from the main yard at the wharf.  A third crew would take a couple of DC's (or DBR's for the adventurous) with main line traffic to and from the wharf out to staging.

I've got lots of industry track plans for anyone interested....its a fascinating wee line well worth a look, I feel.


beaka said...

I have to agree. Castlecliff is a fascinating line. I have seen numerous videos on you tube and its great how the line meanders through the streets and industries, not to mention road crossings. I seem to recall a short tunnel as well. I had never even been aware of it until about 6 months or so ago. Mind you there is a lot of stuff i am learning about since getting involved in NZ120. I remember building a scene on a club HO American modular layout about 20 odd years ago and it was a line running through industrial and shop buildings off a mainline to a hidden storage yard. I was in my element and still have visions of the mini Elle MacPherson poster I had as a billboard on the roof of a large factory.Mmmmm maybe its time for one in NZ120

Anonymous said...

Love the Google Earth map - bit obsolete now, though.

0-4-4-0T said...

I suggest you build one of the modules (one that would be interesting as a standalone if necessary). Others can then "catch the bug" and build others if they want to.

Is the Head Druff going to do a South Island-based corner module called Waihao Forks?

Amateur Fettler said...

Hee, busted....thanks to Patrick and his mapping website for the GE track. I've also downloaded some of his other areas I'm interested in.


Anonymous said...

I just put up an update, which is corrected from the other day's one.

However I prefer to draw in a proper GIS these days so this sort of thing is more typical and can still be related to GE if one should so prefer:

Anonymous said...

Hence to say, the more up to date maps are on the Flickr site, though not all of them have been published yet. Roslyn was a very interesting discussion for example:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Fettler

I am still drawing maps of the Castlecliff Line and would very much like to draw in all of the old sidings on the line. If you know where I can get any more diagrams like the ones attached to this post, please advise. Thankyou.