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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

4 years and 4 months

On the 3rd of May I had the pleasure of inviting experts in there chosen field to come and partake in the first official operating session on Wattle Flat.

I commenced construction in January 2010 and hence it is fitting to celebrate "4 years and 4 months" with a blog update.(It has taken me a month fighting with blogger to finally post this.)

The Brisbane Model Railway exhibition was held on the same weekend so the invitation for drinks and a sausage sizzle was to commence from 17.00hrs to allow everyone time to arrive after the show.

Cheers, the first official session

There was plenty of food and drinks all round and as it turned out a rather cool evening, we quickly retired to the train room and the details and trains were assigned.

I have liked the idea of a two man crew concept as it allows for one to concentrate on the throttle and driving the train and the other carrying the X2010 and preforming the shunting. The crew can then bounce ideas of each other as to how there going to perform each shunt and of course change positions on the return trip if they choose.

As I mentioned in a post from last year, I have gone away from the car card idea in favour of a modified, for my purpose, form X2010 just like the NSWGR used. I would like to thank Ray and Colin for there input and making available the type of paperwork they use. Thankyou also to Shelton and Geoff for there input.

My version is taken from the original and I just remove the bits that aren't needed in the model form.

X2010 form for train 15

The form has listed on it all the info needed for the operators along with instructions to help them.

During and after the session it was pointed out that I need to add more information in the instructions portion of the form. Point taken.

As there were 6 of us I let the fellas team up themselves, which meant Craig was stuck with me or as it turned out on his own!! Well done as he had the unfinished paperwork and had to rely on my instructions to make up his return train. I hadn't planned on getting that far through the session

Craig has the role of driver and shunter as he works No109 Goods

This job (109) arrives from Sydney (hidden staging) and shunts the various sidings at North Gulgong.

While Craig was busy with 109, Brendan and Geoff  had there hands full with No.19 . This job from western destinations via Dubbo and arrives at Goolma where it needs to reverse and then make its way to the Mill at Gollan. The first job is shunting the meat works at Goolma.

Geoff and Brendan shunt the meat works siding at Goolma

If you are a bit lost here, let us stop for a minute and take a quick history lesson.

In my version of events, North Gulgong was constructed to prevent the need for major bridge construction over the Cudgegong River when the line was built to Maryvale. After leaving the main the line makes its way to Mebul Rd ballast siding and then on to Goolma.
Goolma is a junction station where the line either heads through No.5 tunnel to Spicers Creek and on to Maryvale and Dubbo (hidden staging) or continues through the modelled portion of the layout and onto Wattle Flat.
The photo above showing the track heading to the top of the picture is staging for Maryvale Dubbo.

Geoff and Brendan shunt the mill

No. 19 has reached the end of its journey, arriving at Milling Bros sidings. Here the remainder of the train will be shunted into the various roads and exchanged for loading or empties.
Milling Bros is a private siding and the loco is not allowed within the confines of the complex so the crew will need to think about how they place their wagons to ensure they are in the right spot. The return loading and empties form No.20 .

Paul and Greg shunt Wattle Flat

No. 15 arrives at Wattle Flat with loading for the fertilizer, co-op, fuel, goods shed and loading bank.
The grain siding also needs to be cleared and empties replaced.

The session ran for just over 1 and half  hours and only 3 trains were run and at times there was only the sound of locos running while the crews thought about there next move.

As mentioned the feed back was inspirational, with plenty of laughs, great company  and the culmination of a 30 year dream has finally been realised.

To the fellas that attended, I thankyou and look forward to the next one in June.