SAR "Commercial Street" - LMS "Wellingford & Bakewell Bridge Railway" - GWR "Porthminster" - Port Dock Station

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Concrete floors for Port Dock

Common in the construction of railway locomotive service facilities was the use of ash pits for collecting ash, but also access to brake gear and mechanical ash-pan servicing. At Port Dock there used to a "running shed" or locomotive depot that was used to store and maintain a local locomotive fleet for use around the yard and in the port area in general. Duties included local goods shunting, pilot duties for the station and goods movements up to the nearby Gillman Yard, but locomotives were often used to deliver and collect goods from Dry Creek further away. On my model, I wanted to have that capacity to receive and dispatch goods to and from Commercial Street, which in essence are trains to and from Adelaide or Mile End goods yard. Port Dock had all the connecting lines to the local area from Adelaide and was quite extensive. The running shed had ash pits just outside the front of the shed. The four road shed was a simple rectangular shape with a small workshop off to the side.
The running sheds at Port Dock. Photo taken by Douglas A Colquhoun.
The two ash pits were on the two central roads.
The ash pits.
The running shed floor.

The ash pits and the floor for the 4 road running shed. Balsa-wood was used between the tracks and on the sleepers to build up the height to about 1.5mm from the top of the rails, then 1mm plasticard was layered over the top. This leaves about 0.5mm clear of the rail head so cleaning of the rails isn't made difficult. Then the joins and cracks were scribed into the surface ready for painting and weathering. Weathering powders were used to highlight the scribed lines and give that dirty concrete floor effect.
The styrene is then painted with "concrete" enamel - two coats let to dry then powders used to get that grimy look.
I used an "Exacto" knife to scratch in the lines, but instead of using the sharp edge, use the blunt edge (use it
upside down), run lines at random connecting the tooled cement lines (which were also done the same way)
Ash pits completed with the pits made by building up depth using balsawood strips glued under
the baseboard to create the rectangle pit sides and ends. Then a piece of styrene added for the floor.
A set of steps at one end in each pit are yet to be installed.
The ballast will be filled in around these floors to "bed" them in to the flat ballast and dirt filled surface required. Till next - happy modelling...!


Its winter here in southern Australia (June, July & August), and a good chance for some modelling to while away those "too cold to go out" times. I decided to make another fold up layout companion for Commercial Street. The same size yet it would complement Commercial Street with trains to and from a terminus. In the port of Adelaide in South Australia, there used to be a terminus, now gone and nothing remains of the site. Now it is a police station, car park and a railway museum. My design is a very much condensed but I think quite interesting plan to run passenger and goods trains from and to Commercial Street, along with somewhere to store (and lets face it - show off ) one's locomotive fleet.
The connection to Commercial Street is at the top right hand end of the drawing.
Few photos are available of the old station, originally called Port Adelaide but later in life was renamed Port Dock.
My research collected this photo taken by D. Castle in 1955. The station looking rather derelict here but will make an interesting feature on the layout. The canopy and station building were demolished in 1963. The platforms were kept and an "Art Deco" style building was erected in its place. My model will replicate this era of the late 1950's An old "Red Hen" railcar set sits in the station.
The original station building that I want to make a model of, with its
painted stone work and red brick quoining. A quite handsome
building, attached to the end of the barrel roof canopy.
The basic fold up baseboards shown here
with the turnouts laid out to see if its going
to work off the drawing.
Some tweaking of the placement of the tracks was needed but essentially it laid out like the drawing and would work. The hinges which will be hidden under a lift off bridge are seen here.

Shown here the two fold up layouts are
connected to see if the track will
line up from Commercial Street.

Once happy that it would work, then track laying commenced with PECO code 75, the same as on Commercial Street. The track coming through the opening at the end of Commercial Street needed a slight realignment to match up so a short section of about 100mm of track needed lifting out. Having laid all the track I had completely forgotten to install the under track magnets for shunting. I use Kadee Couplers on everything so the strategic location of magnets makes shunting a real enjoyable experience. Hands free operation of shunting movements keeps things a little more real for me.

The join between the old and new
baseboards with the
small re-alignment.
The two magnets seen here with both
Kadees activated.
I use two button battery sized rare earth magnets as uncouplers. I drill two 10mm blind holes, place in the magnets attracting each other and lay the track directly over the top.

A reground 10mm drill bit is used to drill two blind holes
 just deep enough to accept the magnets. They don't need to
be glued in if the drill size is a neat fit for them.

The 10mm drill was ground to an almost flat profile. This was done to stop the drill from grabbing the timber as it drills through. Its far more predictable than a standard profile drill bit which can grab without notice.

The two magnets side by
side - attracting each other,

The completed installation - very quick and easy.
I usually mark the magnet's position with either a small
post or a painted mark on the side of the rails after
the ballast is done.

The magnets are 10mm diameter and 3mm thick......

Next post I'll discuss the Locomotive shed floor and ash pit construction. A task that is made easier before ballasting. Till then - happy modelling!

A ballast train visits.......

My Commercial Street layout has had a tremendous reception in recent times and many hours have been spent shunting the layout by friends and colleagues. Some less than usual trains have visited and a couple of specials were on the roster.

One sunny afternoon a SAR 500 Class deisel is spotted bringing in a rake of Z hoppers.
The train eases into the main yard past the Cold Stores

On another day, a special historical society tour special arrived...! This 500 Class model locomotive No.504 was scratchbuilt from a myriad of materials, has a brass chassis and driven via a pair of universals through the cab from the tender. The motor has two flywheels on it, and provides for nice smooth running capabilities.

South Australian Railways 500B Class number 504 "Tom Barr Smith" arrives with  Dining Car "Adelaide"
The big 4-8-4 pulls over the crossing to run around the train. The guard stands his
ground with a stop  sign. This was a common occurrence up until
the 1980s on the railways here.
Some assistance was needed as the train was too long
for the run around loop. So diesel shunter No.500 pushed
the consist up to allow the 504 to back on to its train.
504 is ready to leave. An ex Overland wooden "E" Class car
and a 500 Class steel car make up the consist.