Site seeing – September 09 (the follow-on Inglenook folio edition)

Yesterday we looked at Yandilla Sidings, an excellently presented Australian Inglenook exhibition layout (read more about that post here). Today we have another Inglenook that jumped out at me on the Micro/Small Model RR Layouts group on Facebook.

Site 1: Ben Gray’s “Rozelle Street” layout

First we need a little context before we get to the layout’s brilliance. As a Western Sydney boy, I regularly saw long and short freights during the 1970s come through Blacktown in Sydney’s west before and after school. Living in Marayong on the Richmond branchline we had regular freights to and from the Riverstone Meatworks, and further up the line to Richmond itself.

In the inner west (when I could wrangle a train trip into the city) I saw several locations that I always thought I’d like to model. The Mungo Scott flour mill siding for one as shown below seemed ideal. It was inner-city, working class, railway grit that has had me fascinated all my life. Here’s two examples from that location.

Image courtesy of Rob Cook
Image courtesy of Rob Cook

8042 at Mungo Scott

Image courtesy of Trent Nicholson

So now that you have a visual context of the type of layout that I’d always wanted to build let’s take a look at Ben Gray’s vision of inner city railway industry in a small space (not that you’d notice).

Image courtesy of Ben Gray
Image courtesy of Ben Gray

The image above caught my eye immediately. First, I loved seeing these 46 class electric locos working freight and passenger traffic around the Sydney network. Designed for heavy freight drag work out of the Sydney basin and over the ranges to our west, these locomotives were built by Metropolitan-Vickers and its partner Beyer, Peacock and Company in England for the New South Wales Government Railways. For many years these were the most powerful locomotives in Australia with a one-hour rating of 3,780 horsepower (2,820 kW) and the ability to deliver more over short periods. They are to me the most beautiful locomotives (electric or diesel) built and look fantastic on this Inglenook (if only there were overhead wire – sigh).

There are some very clever uses of visual trickery here. The layout is just an Inglenook but it is so much more because the focus is not on the Inglenook; rather the focus is on the concept of the viewer’s experience of the layout. You have to be an inner city kid, who saw locomotives similar in appearance, doing what locomotives do with freight cars. And how it worked on me. Good one Ben and well done on taking me back 30 years with one photo.

Enjoy another view of the layout. Follow the links above and if you’re a Facebook user head on over to the group and join in the small layout love. Finally see if you can work out some of the clever tricks used in the design of the layout.

Now for a little more 46 class locomotive weathering porn (model first, prototype last):

Image courtesy of Dean Bradley

And

Image courtesy of http://nswrailrambler.blogspot.com.au/
Image courtesy of http://nswrailrambler.blogspot.com.au/

The lovely old 46’s were notorious for getting and staying grubby, but really what’s not to like eh? All the best see you over the weekend.