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Author Topic: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)  (Read 288 times)

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Offline rob_au

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Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« on: December 28, 2019, 12:58:57 PM »
While my current N scale layout build (Bayswater Station) has slowed due to the requirement to purchase additional electrical infrastructure, I have started a more simple, straight-forward layout to work on in parallel. So, why I am posting here rather than in the Layout Planning or Layout Construction forum? Well, this is because this layout is being performed with that Horrible Other scale track (HO) in anticipation of running either HO or On30 scale locomotives on the track and I didn't want to run foul of forum rules.

Nevertheless, I think that this "side layout" project has enough novel features that it might be of interest to others here on the forum, hence the reason for this post in this forum group.

What's unique about this layout? Well, for a start, it is built on a pair of "donut" baseboards:



Alright, so while that might be "different", it doesn't make for an interesting layout, does it?

Well, this is a point that I would probably concede, but this layout is going to be based on the "Puffing Billy" narrow-gauge tourist railway here in Melbourne. Specifically, I am going to replicate the trestle bridge that curves in a semi-circle and forms a major tourist attraction in it's own right:







And from Google Earth, it becomes clear why this layout is suited for these "donut" baseboards:



So far, I have built the baseboards into two layers, representing the upper running track of the train and the lower ground level that falls away under the trestle bridge. On the upper level I have additionally installed some inclines to add some interest to this "non-focal" area of the layout.





In terms of stock, I have purchased a Powerline Victoria Class T diesel (analogous to the DH31 engine in the prototype photo above) in the HO scale, but ultimately I may end up running an On30 model (available from a specialty model provider here in Melbourne) of the "Puffing Billy" steam engine and carriages which form an iconic element of this tourist railway.

Anyhow, I am having fun with this very simple layout and thought I would share this with the forum (but didn't want to run foul of forum rules by posting in the other groups).
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Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 01:41:14 PM »


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Offline rob_au

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Re: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 01:46:18 PM »
obviously not keen on Elf'n Safety!!

I know what you mean, but it is actually quite safe (perhaps more than what this photo suggests)
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Offline rob_au

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Re: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 11:18:01 AM »
A frustrating derailment on this build this evening ...

I was soldering dropper wires on the track that I was about to lay when my youngest got talking to me, asking me about what I was doing. As the discussion went on, I ended up getting some track and engines out to demonstrate the different model sizes, only to find that my HO engine doesn't fit on the "HO" track that I was working on. So after some head scratching, I found that I had been sold HOm (or HOn3Ĺ) flex track rather than HO flex track. It turns out that HOm gauge is used to represent metre-gauge trains in HO scale. It runs on 12 mm (0.472 in) TT scale tracks. And of course, I have lost the receipt as I did a "clean up" a week or so ago.

At least I found it now before I laid the track on the layout, but still ..
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 11:27:00 AM by rob_au »
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Offline Bramshot

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Re: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 11:24:33 AM »
I recently uncovered some home movies of the Puffing Billy taken back in about Ď64 / Ď65. Returned on a holiday in 2000, donít recall people hanging out the carriages on that trip, though we were diesel hauled.
I guess the steamers will be out of service at the moment due to fire risk, and hope the fires arenít threatening that trestle or any other parts around there. We used to live in Boronia, not too far away!

Offline rob_au

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Re: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2020, 10:10:28 PM »
I guess the steamers will be out of service at the moment due to fire risk, and hope the fires arenít threatening that trestle or any other parts around there. We used to live in Boronia, not too far away!
The steam engines are definitely out of action at the moment. Fortunately however, there aren't any fires in the immediate vicinity of the Dandenongs, but even being a hundred kilometers or more from the fires, Melbourne has been blanketed in thick fire smoke this week. While there have been large bushfires in the past, the current crisis is absolutely overwhelming and for which there seems to be no immediate end in sight.
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Offline rob_au

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Re: Puffing Billy Trestle Bridge Layout (HO/On30)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 08:58:01 AM »
Some interesting reading about this bridge:

  • Built 1899 for narrow gauge railway line (at a cost of 482 pounds) on standard Victorian Railways pattern but unusual in its curve.
  • The Rail Bridge, over Monbulk Creek is architecturally important because it is an essentially intact example of a timber trestle bridge and is possibly the most extremely curved surviving bridge in Victoria.
  • The bridge is a timber girder bridge with fourteen spans of 6m and carries a single 0.76m gauge track, at a radius of 60m on a ballasted timber deck. It is of considerable height, with piers to 11m high.

From http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/yarraranges/result_details/115714
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