News sheet:

"Appalachia Valley"

LAST UPDATED: 24/9/2001

24/9/2001: Construction Update

Over the last weekend, we have managed to complete the spiral section (baseboard and track). And finally we have some pictures (by Brendan Robinson) to show for it!

Click here to view the Appalachia Valley construction photo page

With less than a week to go to Liverpool, we have to make barriers to prevent our trains taking the 165 scale metre plunge, we also need to wire up the layout and fix up the track over the joins. However it is certain that Appalachia Valley will be operating (minus the top balloon loop) at the exhibition.

2/8/2001: Construction Update

Tracklaying has commenced. Over the last weekend, we have laid the lower level of the layout, laying all points and most of the track bar parts of the fiddle yard and inside track. A problem became apparent with our joins, when it was discovered that it would be exceedingly difficult to slide in pieces of Peco Setrack with fishplates. It was decided that as soon as possible we will buy some small metal L girders to be fitted under the rails at the joins, to guide the setrack. Photos detailing this will become available as they develop (I apologise for the lack of update with photos as we have not had the opportunity to develop them).

21/7/2001: Construction Update

The partially completed frame in early June. More photos will be posted as they become available

Over the last months, work has continued at a fairly quick pace. Since the above photo was taken, the frame has been completed and the legs it stands on, so it is now freestanding and laying of the track base has commenced. There was a setback - our leg design was deemed unpractical (we were going to bolt them in). So we built a trestle-like structure on which the baseboard sits snugly. As a result, it is very easy to take the layout apart and set it up again, and it is very sturdy. The slight downside is that it does make transport a little more difficult.

We have recently recieved confirmation that Appalachia Valley has been accepted into the Sydney Model Railway Exhibition to be held in Liverpool in October. We have stepped up our construction pace accordingly, so that hopefully the track will be laid and the layout will be working for the exhibition (if it is not, we will be working on it during the show!!!). Visit the AMRA (Australian Model Railway Association) website from the links page for more details about the exhibition.

16/5/2001: Work begins on Club's first N scale layout

NSWSSMRC members Nicholas Munroe, John Hallett, William Kerr and Peter Stack

On the 12/5/2001, the above members (as well as Brendan Robinson and Peter Haack) commenced construction of Appalachia Valley, delayed a couple of weeks due to bad weather.

After working out what was required for the frame, we measured out and cut the lengths required for three open frame modules (two 900mm x 900mm and one 1200mm x 900mm) and for the legs of the layout. There are a number of design features on this layout that will differ from Sandy Creek. The way the frame is assembled will be different to make it stronger, and there are more cross supports to compensate for the open frame construction. The legs of the layout will be paired sets, to ensure that the layout does not sway or rock (a problem on Sandy Creek). Instead of screwing them into the baseboard, they will be bolted in using wingnuts and bolts. This layout, as a result of the lessons learned from Sandy Creek, will be much sturdier than any previous attempts.

During our next planned meeting (Saturday 26/5), we will be assembling the frame, and hopefully we will get most of the frame and the legs completed by the end of the day.

20/4/2001 - Thanks to the success of the last club open day, we have raised enough funds to start a new layout. There has been an increasing number of members interested in N scale, and so we are building a sizeable (about 10' by 3.3') U.S.A prototype layout which we can exhibit along with Sandy Creek.

The name "Appalachia Valley" was decided on recently, to reflect the location of the prototype. Our layout will depict upstate New York in winter, in a mountain range. On one line that spikes out of New York City, the line passes through the Appalachian Mountains at Appalachian Trail. Our layout will therefore be based on a fictional location in this area.

This layout will come apart in three sections. American prototype was chosen because the majority of our N scale modellers already have these trains, and because although Australian outline kits and ready to run products are available, they are not as abundant nor as cheap as American brands.

The plan has been agreed to, and it allows the running of one to three trains at any one time - or more if we install block signalling! The diagram on the right shows the plan (drawn using Abracadata's 3D Railroad Concept and Design). This shows the main lines which have been finalised, and I will update this soon with a plan of the updated sidings. Scenery wise, the only definite scenery item displayed on the map is the river, and even this is subject to change! However, once finished, this layout should depict a very mountainous, winter (snow) scene. The viewing side is on the left of the diagram.

Although it will probably take a long time for us to bring this layout to an exhibiting stage (i.e: 2 years or so), we hope to have the layout on display at Liverpool in the October Exhibition, with at least the track being operational. During it's construction phase I will be updating this site with photos and news on how it is going. It will probably also be on display at future open days if all the track and electricals have been laid.

This layout will be a first for the club. It will be our first N scale layout, our first layout with mostly elevated track, gradients, and a spiral, and our first attempt at an American outline layout.

We have now bought the materials to begin construction, and as soon as we start I will post up some pictures right here.