A classic 1980 view by Chris Anderson of a Gwabegar-bound goods train between Ryalstone and Mudgee, with a 48 Class up front followed by an assortment of S-wagons, a bogie goods van, nad several flat wagons loaded with RACE containers. RACE was a cooperative effort by several Australian state rail systems to pool containers for domestic less-than-carload shipments of traffic (think: United Parcel Service). These cars would be set out at Mudgee.
I like a little bawdiness in my Australian place names. South Coast Rail has a whole epistle given to unusual Australian place names. (Burrumbuttock--there's a name to fuel the imagination. How about Coonabarabran? I'm mostly intrigued on that one given the Wikipedia entry on how it got its name:
"It seems no one really knows the source and meaning of the word Coonabarabran. It may derive from a person's name or from the Kamilaroi language word 'gunbaraaybaa' meaning 'excrement', translated earlier as meaning, 'peculiar odour', this possibly is a bowdlerisation. Another meaning is derived from an Aboriginal word for 'inquisitive person'." Quite a divergent pair of choices. I'm guessing the former is the real story, and the Aboriginals just told the settlers the latter to appease them. But I digress.) Walla Walla doesn't even make the list!
So, there will be no double-decked dual Walla Walla railway this time. I'm sticking to New South Wales, and proto-freelancing a rural branchline terminal. I'd been kicking this one around for quite awhile after seeing railway models in Australia based on this concept. Bowen Creek quite comes to mind. And most recently, Burrowa. I like the idea of a sun-baked, drought-stricken nowhere little town in central New South Wales. Call it late 1970s, when rural traffic was in decline. The franchise was on shaky legs. The inspectors weren't as regular out on the far reaches of the territory, so the paint is peeling, the weeds and high grasses are taking over the roadbed, and without steam, those Sellars turntables are starting to get a little balky in their operation.
I scaled back ambitions from Narrabri this time. I'm hoping that by concentrating on the visual and operating experience of such a branchline terminal, I can accomplish my goals. I'm still striving for operations, but realistically I know I'm somewhat of a lone wolf (with a few other wolfs time to time for company) and need to have a railroad that is fun to build and scenic, doesn't require an overwhelming amount of rolling stock or locomotives, and can be operated by two or three--or even one.
So, welcome to Buggardine. Okay, bad joke--but the original name, Dilgonga, was even more double-entrendred.
Where is Buggardine? The name is influenced by Baradine, on the Gwabegar line. I love the Warrambungles, and the idea that grain trains came off the plains and down the canyons of this rugged piece of New South Wales. I didn't want to be constrained by an actual prototype, so le's forget for now that Gwabegar didn't exist, and Buggardine did.
Another 1980 Chris Anderson view, as the 4853, an earlier series 48 class, wheels 10 empty S-wagons and a GHG guard van along the Gwabegar branch near Yearinan with a Baradine-bound goods train. Light rail and minimal ballast!
It's a small town, maybe the council seat of the shire. To the south and west are the jagged Warrambungles. To the north and east, the flat plains of the wheat belt. A thrice-weekly goods train calls here, the timetable bolstered by conditional extra schedules for wheat, occasionally livestock movements, and depending upon contracts, containerized cotton extras (the cotton industry, as it has in the nearby Namoi region, has recently taken root in the area, and containers are loaded on a newly-paved apron adjacent to the old flour siding).
The infrastructure is typical of rural NSW locations: station, loading bank, light crane, goods shed. A silo. Livestock pens. There's a weed-grown track leading to a 60' turntable and unused coal stage, and near there, a decaying bunk house for crews that no longer stay in town. A stationmaster's home, water tank and ganger's shed complete the terminus scene; two parallel sidings run into town, serving two oil distributors and a flour mill, and the aforementioned new loading area for cotton containers.
Just outside of town, on a separate dead-end siding with a run-around track, partially obscured by trees and rising hills, is a new, modern wheat board high-throughput grain elevator complex, visited in season my tandem branch line locomotives and the new WHX/WTY wheat wagons.
Completing the scene is a panorama leaving town, dropping down into the Warrambungles, a peaceful scene across the paddocks where sheep and cattle graze.
It seems doable, and given the right amount of "restraint," I have the room to keep the layout uncrowded and believable.
Just a sketch, but. . .you get the idea.