The “South Western Railway” is a freelance HO scale railway operating both QR and NSWR trains. Currently where is four stations on the layout, two on the Queensland Railways narrow gauge (H0n42) network and two on the NSWR standard gauge network. If I alter my workshop arrangements, a third QR station is possible.
Westgate is the main QR station on the layout. I was born, grew up and started work at Charleville, approximately 483 miles west of Brisbane. The nearest junction to Charleville is Westgate, this is where the Quilpie line branches off the Cunnamulla line. The other QR station on the layout is Wyandra. Stations on the NSWR network are Wallal and Winbin. Wanko is reserved for the third QR station when built. All five stations can be found on the Quilpie and Cunnamulla lines west of Charleville. These locations are all located in what was known as the South Western Division (SWD) of Queensland Railway.
For many years I have modelled both Queensland and New South Wales Railways in H0 scale. The QR rollingstock runs on Peco H0m track for the 3 foot 6 inch gauge track (H0n42 or H0n3½). The NSWR rollingstock run on Peco code 100 H0 track. I wanted both systems on the layout as both were the same scale. There was a couple locations in Queensland where both systems come together and goods/freight was transhipped between the two. Using some of the facilities at one of these location gave me the purpose to have both on the layout.
Westgate on the layout is a junction, currently the branch is being used as a head shunt. Within the yard limits on the branch is a siding for loading coal. This is just a timber ramp where trucks can back out and tip there load into wagons. 7 Road is the tranship road adjacent to the NSWR standard track. Clapham near Moorooka station on Brisbane southside has a similar arrangement. Four different facilities are located in the road, a gravel loading bank to tranship wheeled vehicles, overhead crane across both roads, a tranship shed for produce and a stock race. A crossover between 7 and 6 Roads gives access to both ends of the tranship shed.
Tranship Shed and Stock Race
The station main line platform can accommodate an 8 car train and the dock platform has access to both the main line and the branch. The station building was built from styrene using photos of the original Charleville station which was burnt down in 1954.
Charleville 1927. Photo State Library Qld
Charleville 1927. Photo State Library 1908
The engine shed is styrene and built off photos of the Charleville shed which came crashing down around locos during a willy-willy (dust twister) in 2005. Much like Charleville, the track around the side of the engine shed leads to cattle and sheep yards. The yards on the layout were modelled from photos of the private trucking yards at Sommariva about 30 miles east of Charleville. Also located on this siding is a district track maintenance camp with portable buildings.
Charleville Engine Shed 1967
On Westgate 2017
The loop will hold a train equal to 80 F, just 10 F short of a full length train for a diesel electric locomotive in the 60’s. F wagons were used as the unit for train lengths which equalled 15 feet. Roads 3/4/5/6 are marshalling roads used for making up or breaking down trains. These roads vary in length and hold equal to 30/40 F. Crossover are located near the middle of each road to divide each road into two.
District Track Gang Camp
To control train movements on the western end of the yard a small signal cabin was built from styrene. Plans for this structure (Dalby) were drawn up by Jim Hutchinson and can be found in the 2002 Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention handbook.
A label/card system is used to make up trains, one system used can be found in the February 2017 edition of the Australian Model Railway Magazine (Issue 322 Vol.28).
The layout is powered by 12 volts DC wired to operate two controllers. This allows for one train to run the main line with another shunting, or two shunting.