Australian Model Railway Association NSW Inc.

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N Gauge Permanent Layout

48 class diesel hauls goods towards the Watsons Flat terminus.

A short goods train, headed by a new 48 class diesel, passes over the through truss bridge before entering the terminus of Watson's Flat in the early 1970s. Bridges of the same basic design, but of different span lengths, still exist on pioneer branchlines all over NSW, including those to Yass Town and Barraba. This bridge and its wooden trestle approaches have been scratchbuilt from brass by David Bennett and Neil Watson. The pylons were constructed from styrene tubing and sheet. Backdrop by Val Bennett. Scenery designed and constructed by Glenn Watson, with trees by Neil Watson. Photo copyright Glenn Watson April 2000.

48 class diesel hauls goods towards the Watsons Flat terminus. Photo copyright Glenn Watson 2000

The N scale layout was originally located in the main hall at the Rockdale clubrooms, under the mezzanine formed by the O gauge layout above. Like its HO equivalent, its design is based on a dogbone of double mainline on the outside of two large rural stations, BOWNEN and WALLAMUNDRA. The latter is the junction for a "pioneer" branchline to WATSONS FLAT, passing over the bridge seen here and on our home page. At the Bownen end a new fiddle yard is being constructed so that trains will not be installed using the yards of the main stations, leaving them free for operation.

The dogbones allow a train passing along the mainline to turn back on itself either under the road bridge at Bownen or through the tunnel past Wallamundra. On the mainline, a small island passenger platform, BENNETT, is set in the 1960s in the Blue Mountains and with the new tunnel between it and Bownen. On the branch, a small mine siding and an isolated intermediate station COOPERS CROSSING are also featured. A new peninsula is being planned that will provide another scale kilometre of double mainline running through spectacular scenery such as a bridge based closely on that at Hawkesbury. The peninsula will also feature another industrial spur.

The N gauge layout attempts to represent a broad period between 1960 and 1975 - the dying days of steam and the onslaught of diesel – when the railway system of NSW was becoming dilapidated enough to be interesting but was still largely intact.

3324 sits quietly in at the stock race during shunting at Cooper's Creek on AMRA's N Gauge Layout

3324 sits quietly during shunting at Coopers Creek, a typical southwestern NSW branchline passing loop in the late 1960s/early 1970s. New pine plantations and sheep are the main industries in this area. The stock yards in the foreground have been constructed from brass in situ; the race was constructed separately from soldered brass and code 40 rail and then glued in place. Blackberry bushes will be planted among the rocks on the right. Wire fences will define the surrounding farm paddocks and sheep and cattle will populate them. Scenery by Glenn Watson. Structures scratchbuilt by David Bennett. Backdrop painted by Val Bennett. Trees, yards and races by Neil Watson. Points constructed and track laid by John Lischeld and Neil Watson. Locomotive built from scratch in brass by Phil Badger of the NSW N Scale Group.

Between the stations are expanses of Australian scenery so suited to N scale. The entire continuous stretch of skyboard on the inside area of the N scale layout has been graced by the oils of local fine artist, the late Val Bennett, who started her project in 1988 and continued as basic scenicking was completed over the next decade. She finally signed her name to the interior skyboard surface in 1999.

The layout was commenced in 1987 in Rockdale and that V-shaped layout plan was cut into several sections for the move to Mortdale. The dramatically increased floor area has permitted a second peninsula with a multi-span Hawkesbury-like bridge, another passenger station, a wharf siding with a fishery and even a gravel mine.

Work in progress from AMRA's N Gauge Layout (57kB)

Work in progress on the Coopers Creek area of the N gauge layout in August 2000. The scene now depicts a typical southwestern NSW branchline passing loop in the late 1960s/early 1970s. New pine plantations and sheep are the main industries in this area.

The layout has progressed slowly in recent times with work taking place on a number of fronts. A recent addition to the layout is a large roundhouse at Wallamudra, this is shown in the photo below, it has had LED's installed for lighting of the internals. It is made from laser cut plywood and acrylic, the laser cutting work is apparant in the end of the shed being designed to look like corrugated iron sheets and also the roof being made from shingles.

Work in progress from AMRA's N Gauge Layout (57kB)

Another view if the roundhouse showing a couple of interior lights glowing in the dim interior.

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AMRA NSW is dedicated to promoting the hobby of model railways throughout New South Wales.
These pages last updated 16 June, 2017 by Damien George.