Orchard Wharf July 2019 update


Ben Weiner


30th July 2019

Reading Time

2 minutes

It’s been a year since news of Orchard Wharf last appeared on here.

While we were not updating the blog, we have been busy in the club.

We’ve become a team of around half a dozen or so meeting regularly on Friday evenings.

We designed and build transport storage boxes that double up as supports for the layout.

With some difficulty, there being many candidates, we have selected suitable buildings to support the layout’s theme of a characteristic riverside yard that could have existed at the real Orchard Wharf location close to the mouth of Bow Creek. We’ve started to get drawings ready so that some of these can be made up from laser cut wood.

We have researched stock and timetables for the period around 1960 and come up with draft schedules (complete with train diagrams) for operating the layout. So now we know roughly how much stock we need.

We’ve identified issues of common interest in the team and the wider club — like lack of experience in track building — and arranged sessions open to all club members so that we can learn from those with greater experience. Look out for more of those as the electronics build gets going.

Speaking of electronics: this has become a major feature of the layout. The specification is founded on CBus components available as kits from Model Electronic Railway Group (MERG) but there are also power distribution cards and uncoupler controller cards, both of which are original designs intended to increase the reliability of the electronics and support a fail-safe approach. Components have been ordered and there will be much soldering to come.

We’re now working hard to get the sleepered track built and installed. Electronics will be needed to control turnouts as soon as the track is down — and then for the first time we will be able to start playing trains! (Did I forget to mention that we also have to build some of the components for our DCC system too?)

All members are welcome to get involved with the layout. Talk to us on a Thursday evening,
email us ( or join us for a Friday evening session.

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