Largely Victorian Railways prototype with some South Australian Railways and Australian National Railways. Era is fuzzy as locos include A2s in 1920s condition through to BLs, generally it's 1950s and 60s. The layout is operated using fast clocks and a timetable. There are no signals or bell codes yet so it's largely verbal train order to get from station to station. Trains are driven by signalman at each station, there are no assigned drivers. There are five "stations":
  • Costerfield, a large country town where locomotives are replaced on every train, locals serving the remaining stations originate and terminate in here. Through freight trains drop off and pick up here. There is a short branch to a pier on the nearby river.
  • Graytown, a wheat town with a rock crushing plant nearby, a 30 inch narrow gauge line serves the quarry and plant.
  • Hazel Dale Loop, passing loop only and the end of a long grade (the climb to the second level).
  • Ninamanima, another wheat town with a cattle siding.
  • Redcastle, this is a virtual station in the down end staging yard where local trains from Costerfield terminate.
The railway represents a 50 - 60 mile length of a main line between two major cities about 600 miles apart. The modelled length is about a third of the distance along the line. This means that there are major passenger trains passing through each way three times per day including one night train as well as freight trains. Local passengers are served by railmotors. The rest of the 600 miles is represented by the staging yards that are wrapped around the outside of return loops. The return loops (staging yards) are the lowest and highest level of the railway, there are two other levels. The main line is 200ft long and all this fits in a 25ft caravan (travel trailer in US I think). Next major job is to move the railway into a room in under our new house, it is bigger than the caravan. The railway needs 5 to 7 operators this is a small range but reflects the fact that the signalmen drive the trains. About 25 trains move in the 24hr time table, this takes about 2.5 hours.

LAYOUT'S NAME AND SCALE: It's never had a name, it could be the Great Caravan Railway.

Page written & maintained by David Head.