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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Murringo Branch

This is a blog for my model railway, Murringo that I am presently building. It has taken me five years just to get to the stage of being able to really get stuck into building Murringo This being because of indecision, school work, space restrictions. Now I at last have a dedicated space in the garage in which to start building.

Murringo is set in the 1955-1957 era as a small Whitton era branchline to a village tucked away in a fold of the hills in the southern wheatbelt of NSW. This short branch, built to connect the grainfields that surround it to the coast for export and distribution through the state and nation. I will admit that while Murringo is a real town, the railway is purely fictional. I chose to model a fictional line because it frees me from the restraints of the prototype and allows me much greater choice in where I set my layout, etc.

Why Murringo?
I chose to model a branch to Murringo because I've always been interested the cross country line from Blayney to Demondrille and the branchlines which stemmed from it, but all of the station layouts that suited what I was after exceeded what space I have available and those that did fit, lacked in operational interest and complexity. I finally decided on modelling Murringo when I was reading about James McInerney's layout "Lambing Flat" and the fictional "off stage" branchline to Murringo. A bit of research into the village and the surrounding area showed that it was just the right blank canvas for my layout.

Why 1955-1957?

The 1955-1957 era was chosen because of the variety of rollingstock it offered. The mid-late 50s were a time of great change on the NSWGR. Many of the 19th century steam locos had been displaced onto small country branches out west leaving a good variety of small motive power for my choosing. Along with this, many of the pre war freight wagons had been shifted to the branches and even new bogie wagons were beginning to find there way to the extremities of the network. To top it all off, it was a time when the grain industry was shifting from the old method of shipping grain in sacks toward more modern bulk handling, allowing me to model the indispensable S truck piled high with grain sacks protected only by a canvas tarp next to, then modern, covered wagons loaded with 20+ tons of grain sealed up from the elements.

That's why I've chosen to model Murringo in the 1955-1957 era.

I hope to keep this updated in future with news on the tracks and trains of Murringo, as well as the town and that you enjoy reading my railway ramblings.

Murringo's shed foreman.

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