North Shore Railway Modellers' Association, Inc


The model railway club for Sydney's North Shore and Northern Beaches


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Page last modified 2 July 2017

Club Layouts Members' Layouts
Dungog St Enodoc
Mainline Mark 2 NSW Main Line
Kidz Power Railway Bridgewater, Yorton and Garstang
Valley Central
Blue Mountains
Bullo Pill

Club Layouts


This layout, modelled to a scale of 1:87 in H0 gauge, represents the station of Dungog on the North Coast line between Sydney and Brisbane. Dungog is a small quiet country town, located  about 80 km (50 miles) north from Newcastle's main locomotive centre of Broadmeadow. However, its geographic position allowed efficient crew and locomotive operations to be made for the heavy express passenger trains working the North Coast Railway, as it was called in the 1940s.

Most of the layout is constructed from blocks of High Density Foam sandwiched between two panels of 7 mm plywood, this providing very strong and extremely lightweight units joined and aligned by aluminium dowels. Code 75 Peco trackwork is rubber glued to the foam.

Uncoupling is achieved automatically via electromagnets laid under the tracks and operated by a timer and push button on the control panel.

The trees, scenery and buildings are the work of our members and the backscene is made from actual photographs of Dungog.

A lot of the rolling stock has been either scratchbuilt or kitbuilt, with a good percentage of quality proprietary products altered to improve their appearance and to represent the types of trains typical of the area. These include timber from mills on the North Coast, fruit expresses, and daylight and overnight passenger trains. Trains are both steam and diesel hauled. Although the AD60 Beyer-Garratts only worked as far North as Martin's Creek quarry, through the use of modellers' license they may be see on our layout.

The layout can be operated either using DCC or conventional DC control, and can be changed from one to the other within minutes.

Dungog won the trophies for "Best Model Railway Layout" and the "Best Australian Prototype Layout - Club" at the AMRA Exhibition, Liverpool, October 2011.


Mainline Mark 2

This 00/H0 gauge layout, which consists of a double-track elongated cross-over figure-of-eight, was constructed in modules and was intended to show off trains of all nations in a continuous "main line" setting. It was improved and enlarged over the years, like Mainline Mark 1 before it, but the decision was taken to dispose of it to make room for other, new, layouts. Consequently, the layout has been sold and has a new home in Tasmania.

Trains operated on the layout were H0 or 00 gauge from many eras. They were mostly British, American, Continental and Australian. Steam, diesel and electric are featured hauling all types of rolling stock.

A new module, incorporating a model of an iron foundry from the Forest of Dean on the border between England and Wales, was completed before the sale.

The layout allowed DCC operation on one track with conventional DC on the other.

Here is a short video of Mainline Mark 2, made in 2006 by Terry Smith.

Kidz Power Railway

In 2009, Kevin Phillips of the Central Coast very generously donated a single track L shaped terminus to fiddle yard layout, in working order with basic scenery complete. This has been taken on by our youth group as its development layout called the Kidz Power Railway.

The under-18 team, one of only a few in local clubs, has been planning, building and operating the layout since the beginning of 2010.

The current group of six, which comprises of members aged between 7 -13 years,
have been completing tasks such as:

Before the layout's first display at the 2011 exhibition we achieved

The youth group meets fortnightly on Fridays under the supervision of senior members. If you are under 18 and wish to participate please contact Michael Grey via

Below are some photos of the layout as donated by Kevin Phillips.

The Junior Group is now building an extension to the current layout to teach members about the importance of joining a layout in a modular form and further developing skills in track laying and scenery.  The proposed track plan is shown below:

It will be interchangeable between being a U Drive layout and a Club driven layout depending on the needs of the exhibitions attended.

The Junior Group is also grateful to a kind donation from Keith Hayes of Beecroft of track, points, controllers and some building kits, which will be put into good use on the layout extension.  The donation could not have come at a more welcome time.

Valley Central

Valley Central is the club’s N gauge layout. It was donated to the NSRMA by David Hulme and family in 2011 and had previously been seen at many exhibitions in the late 1990s. After having a prolonged period of storage in a basement and having unfortunately suffered extensive water damage, it has been a major restoration project for the club, led by Alby Anderson.

Valley Central is an American layout, set in the 1970s, depicting a very busy industrial area based around Black Rock coal mine and Hinton Chemical Plant, located on the North Eastern border of Utah. The layout features extensive bridges, river valleys and waterfalls as well as a town, the coal mine and chemical plant.

During the restoration of the layout, the modules have been made into similar widths and fiddle yards added to the rear of the layout. Most of the trackwork has been re-laid and aligned across module boundaries. Several operating features have been added to provide interest for exhibitions.

The layout is based on three tracks :

The West and East tracks are formed into a double mainline on the layout.

Most of the lines are directly connected to power buses under the layout fed directly from each of the three controllers fixed to Module 3.  However, there are some sections of track which may be isolated and these are controlled from the switches on each module control panel. A fourth controller may be optionally plugged into Module 3 or Module 1 control panels and used for shunting local sectors on those modules, or for independently operating passenger services to shuttle workers from the station to the Chemical Plant or Coal Loader.

In addition, an auto reversing controller is connected to the Valley Floor track (laid on the floor of Module 4), to have a small engine such as "Thomas" appear and return to amuse younger viewers.

Valley Central made appearances at our 2013 exhibition and the 2013 Liverpool Model Railway Show, where these photos were taken by David Taylor.

Following our second successful exhibition of the layout, further work is proposed to further improve the layout. Module 3, which has the townscape, is to be extended by about 1040mm to match the length of the adjacent Module 2.  Also slide frames are to be built so that the layout can be more readily transported in the Mainline trailer without damage.  Improvements to scenic details are to be completed.

Blue Mountains

Planning work on the new H0 layout has continued and approval has been given to go ahead.

The layout is to be modular. Stage 1 will be a dual track loop, with a station plus scenic module based on a typical Blue Mountains scene, and a fiddle yard.  The approach is to keep Stage 1 simple so that it can be rapidly completed. 

One track will be capable of both DC and DCC, whilst the other will be DCC only.  Code 83 track will be used as the point work accommodates fine scale wheels better (a trial length of track and points are in the Club Rooms to try out locos and carriages to check compatibility). 

The modules are designed to fit into Mainline or Dungog trailers for transport.  An access drawbridge will be provided to save the creaking knees and backs from the trauma of a duck-under.

The subsequent stage will be for a major station with stabling sidings and goods yards together with a turntable.  Then future stages could encompass a loco depot, expanded scenic sections and Zig Zag track.  Being modular, a mix and match approach is the aim, and perhaps one day a Mega Layout of all modules will be at an exhibition that has plenty of space.

Some further design and construction details have been ironed out.  The electrical design is also progressing.  Purchase of timber, ply wood and aluminium stock has been initiated and construction of the fiddle yard modules has started.

Further assistance will be gratefully received.  This is an opportunity for new members (or older members) to become actively involved and learn a lot about layout construction very quickly.  For example, many volunteers will be needed to make a “forest of trees” to scenic the layout.

Bullo Pill

This 0 gauge point-to-point shunting layout is based on the docks area of a 'pill' (the word Pill being Welsh for tidal inlet) off the River Severn in the UK. It is based loosely on the real Bullo Dock. The principal activity in the docks is that of transferring minerals from rail wagons to canal barges.

The layout consists of two modules made of foam boards and plywood. Track is mainly Peco with mechanically-operated, handmade points. A number of mechanical devices adds interest to operation including a loco turntable, three wagon turntables, a loco/wagon traverser, two mineral tippers and a lifting bridge.

Here is a video of Bullo Pill in operation:

Members' Layouts

St Enodoc

St Enodoc represents a station on the British Railways Western Region Newquay branch in Cornwall in the 1950s, modelled in 4 mm scale 16.5 mm gauge (00). It is the third layout to bear the name St Enodoc - the first was a simple branch terminus, and the second a double-track main line junction. St Enodoc was in reality a Cornish saint whose church lies half-buried by sand dunes opposite Padstow on the Camel estuary, and which is the resting place of the late Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.

The layout is based on the real-life Bugle station, with its passing loop and branch to the local china-clay works. This is one of those relatively rare locations in Great Britain where express passenger trains can be run legitimately over a single-track branch, Newquay being a popular holiday resort with through trains on summer Saturdays to and from all parts of England and Wales.

At the back of the layout are two dead-end fiddle yards linked by a single through track for continuous running. The entire layout measures 2.8 m x 2.2 m with a central operating well and can be dismantled, which allowed the room in which it used to be sited to be used as a spare bedroom.

Baseboards are made from ply, with 1/8 inch cork as a trackbed. The track itself is SMP, with hand-built points using printed-circuit board timbers and operated by SEEP point motors powered through DCC Concepts Masterswitches. The ballast is from Chuck’s Ballast.

St Enodoc is fully signalled with the signals being built from Ratio kits fitted with Scalelink etched brass arms. All the signals, including the ground discs, are operated by memory wire actuators built using Bic Clic ballpoint pen parts. St Enodoc signal box lever frame is made up from 30 ex-Post Office key switches, which provide full electrical (although not mechanical) interlocking between points and signals.

The rolling stock is a mixture of kit built and modified ready-to-run items, and is fitted with DG delayed-action autocouplings. These are operated by home-made electromagnets consisting of fine enamelled wire wound on sewing machine bobbins.

Structures and buildings are made from plastic kits or scratchbuilt from plastic sheet, but landscaping is yet to be started. 

The layout is operated by DCC using NCE equipment, allowing the roles of driver and signalman to be separated. Operation follows a sequence timetable derived from the real-life working timetable for a summer Friday in 1952. Goods trains are run using a system based on playing cards and dice to determine the destination for each wagon on the layout.

St Enodoc has recently been re-erected following a house move, and will form part of a new larger layout including the main line junction and branch terminus as well.

NSW Main Line

The builder of this layout, a long-standing member of NSRMA, passed away in early 2012. This description reminds us of a good friend and fine modeller.

This H0 layout is built in the basement area of a Federation bungalow and extends through three separate rooms. From the main terminus, the main line passes through the suburban junction of Slobston before heading out into the country through Bunyip Lakes and climbing through the mountains to Nulla Nulla. The line then returns to the terminus, or on to a continuous run, via storage loops. A branch from Slobston runs through Willow Creek to Nulang.

CCTV allows a single operator at the main terminus to see what is going on in the other two rooms.

This layout was featured in the NorthSide newspaper, published by Cumberland Courier Newspapers. Click here to see the article and a video, and here to see some photos.

Bridgewater, Yorton and Garstang

This 0 gauge layout is located in the basement of its owner’s home.

The fiddle yard is entered through a two-road tunnel and is assumed to lead to a large station such as Preston. There are eight storage lines about 12ft long and the yard pivots at the right hand end so that two of the tracks line up with the approach tracks at the left hand end most of the time.

The first station, Bridgewater, is double track with a bay road entered from the left therefore one is able to terminate a short train and send it back round the layout without using the fiddle yard. The through roads and bay are the only part built at the moment.

The double track (now entering the scenic area) continues three quarters of the way round the room to Wolvercot Junction. After this one track curves sharply left. We will follow the other single track as it swings slightly right and crosses a 7 arch viaduct curving left into a tunnel. This is the end of the scenery at the moment.

Leaving the tunnel there are a few sidings on both sides and then we enter second station, Garstang, which has an island platform. This station is directly above the fiddle yard where we started. The single line continues round a corner on a narrow shelf and then opens out into a small halt with one siding and no passing loop, which is above and behind Bridgewater.

After leaving the halt we keep climbing at about 1:100 and then enter a short tunnel at the summit. When we come out of the tunnel we are dropping and curving left through about 180 degrees and after crossing the double track (and back into the scenery) on a plate girder bridge we enter the third station, Yorton, with its passing loop. There are several sidings and the remains of a derelict branch line here. The line leaves Yorton on a sharp curve to reach Wolvercot Junction again, and continues back to the fiddle yard.

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