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Peter Upgrades His Layout

Peter Field from South Africa recently upgraded his model railway prompted by one board warping which had to be replaced. Peter writes:

In 1985 I built my first layout which was 150×120 and was an oval type of layout that served me for many years +-34 to be exact as this layout was used as a demonstration layout and convention layout. In 1990 I built my first permanent layout which was again 150×120 and over the years added on to it until it became 3.0x120m and in 2019 added my last extension bringing the board to 5.0m x 1x20m and in September 2021 had to replace the original board due to warping and put in a scutter board of 2.0m x120 which lies diagonally across from the original two other boards making the board 8.4m in total length by 3x20m across. The board is based on the SAR in the 1950s to mid-2000s when steam diesel and electric traction worked side by side.

The passenger rolling stock goes from the wooden balcony coaches of the 1950s to the present steel passenger rolling stock and has the Blue train South Africa’s premier train and a Metro train.

The Goods or freight wagons range from Coal, Fuel, Cement, and container trains made up as unit trains or general freight trains, or general goods trains.

The locomotive roster is Electric locos Class4E, Class5E, Class 6E, Class 7E. Steam locos comprise Class 16E 4-6-2, Class 15CA 4-8-2, and Class 24 2-8-2. Class 6 2-8-0 whilst the diesel locos range from Class31 from the late 1950s to Class 34, Class 35, and Class 36 shunter loco.

How do I run all these locos at once, I select 5 – 6 and use them as required and after a period of three months swop them over with other units and do likewise with the rolling stock.

What does the layout comprise of well it is based on a small village north of PIETERMARITZBURG called Hilton which is a village with various trains running through the village?

The layout consists of a few small farms, some small holdings some just outside the village, the village itself has a Church, One Stop garage, small shops, a post office, station which is modeled on the actual Hilton Station here dating from 1880’ and the container depot and Loco facility plus some houses and smallholdings and past the game reserve, Jenny’s Furniture factory and past the Container depot and into the station again.

Let’s take a journey on my train leaving the station the train does the right-hand curve past the Anglo Boer war Blockhouse and over the river into a left-hand corner past the loco sheds and past the shunting yards, which contain the Cat Factory, then we reach our first farm which is a typical African farm with the farmhouse, dam, and windmill, and sheep grazing in the paddock with a cattle loading platform, to the right-hand side there is a branch line going to the coal mine which is in the mountain and a coal staging point for loading the coal wagons from this point the track makes a right turn past a Xhoza village and into a mountain cutting which is part of the coal mine then through a tunnel and back onto the main straight past another farm and the Squatter camp and the track makes a slight right turn past two small
holdings and over the points onto the mainline of the new board past Jenny’s Furniture Factory and the Container depot and into a cutting and over the points and into the two-line Hilton village station which is then the end of the journey on my train.

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