Friday, January 16, 2009

Making a home for the big silo. . .


Photo by &Drew via Flicker of Pacific National grain train loading at Narrabri "A Silo".

"Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made."
-- Otto von Bismarck


And for that matter, so is model railroad benchwork. Some modelers, I'll admit, are fabulous benchwork-builders--it's almost a shame to cover up their amazing spline-roadbed creations with trackage and scenery. I don't fit into this category. I take a little open grid here, a tad of l-girder there, and eventually, I get something that works. Like that helix--it was like wrestling with a pig, but finally I ended up with something acceptable.

Lance and I tackled the railroad above the helix last week: this will be the location of the large circular "A191 Silo" grain elevator which on the prototype is on the south side of Narrabri, near the triangle leading to Narrabri west. The actual elevator complex is really three components: the large circular "A191 silo", built in 1955; a two-silo-plus-headhouse elevator, added at a later date, and a large metal grain storage building. I'm modeling the first two. (Kieran Ryan's Silo Data page has a rundown of all circular "A" silos constructed.)



The helix has a lid, which almost floats above the helix structure itself, attached at four points to the helix frame as well as to the wall.


View of the silo area looking into the helix hole. Big "A Silo" elevator will fit into the semi-circular hole.


Better view of the trackage on the helix blob. The single track to the left will serve a Superphosphate distributor and oil jobber.

I don't yet know the actual dimensions of the prototype A Silo; in scaling off of photos, including Google Earth and Google's "Street View," it appears there's 18 cylindrical silos arrayed in a circular shape; i'm guessing the structure is around 250-300' in diameter; I've left an 18" radius half-circle cut out in the middle of the tabletop atop the helix, which I will be able to build the silo on at the workbench.

As of this afternoon, trackage is mostly down; the connection to the helix has been made; backdrop is up but not yet sanded or painted, and i'm ready to put the lighting valance over the top. Later will come fascia material enclosing the helix in a tidy sheathing with an inset DCC control station built into it.


Great view of the 19,100 ton capacity "A191" silo at Narrabri by Moximus via Flicker

8 comments:

JFS said...

http://voicesofsalvation.blogspot.com

IainS said...

Blair,

another source of aerial's images in NSW is the Spatial Information Exchange at https://six.maps.nsw.gov.au/wps/portal/ go to the SIX viewer on the RHS of the page and navigate from there. They have a tool for measuring distance.

BEK said...

a great resource, Iain, once I figured out to how download the software and get the thing cranked up! Far better than the Google views. Thanks for pointing me in that direction!

--blair

railmod said...

Blair,
I think I have some details photos of the grain silo @ Gulgong taken a year or so ago - let me know if you want them * I'll have a hunt for them - just hope the kids haven't umm deleted them. - could possibly reduce them to email if you wish.
Cheers Alex...

BEK said...

Alex--that would be great! I've determined the diameter of the thing is 245', but don't know the number of individual silos on the outer ring (I guess 18 or 19) or their diameter. I'm also most curious about the loading/unloading shed. If you have photos, I'd love to see them--bkooistra(at)sbcglobal.net

thanks for offering to share such great information!

railmod said...

Hi Blair,

OK - I'll have a hunt for them, bear in mind they are of Gulgong - probably the smallest of that type of silo, but probably good enough to use as a basis to make a model from.
I notice you mentioned to Rowan about getting together - let me know if that eventuates as I may be able to give Rowan a CD of the images.
BTW - there was small article in AMRM a few years ago on making one of these silos, included a plan - if you don't already have it, it might be useful for you.

Cheers Alex...

BEK said...

I'd love to pick up a copy of the magazine that covered modeling this silo--do you happen to know which issue it was in? I'll pick up a back issue.

Actually, I'll be in Narrabri in April and will be checking out the prototype. We'll work something out regarding photos, i'm sure.

railmod said...

Hi Blair,

AMRM Issue 234, June 2002, page 58 - Storing the Golden Grain - The A Depot.

Cheers Alex...