Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tenterfield Abattoir gains a rail connection

Hi Everyone,

Like many fellow blogger I’m lagging way behind in an update!

Firstly to all those fathers out there I hope you have had an enjoyable Father’s Day! Perhaps as part of my celebration of the day I’m being allowed 20 minutes away from my normal list of non-train jobs to type out this long overdue post.

Abattoir's loading ramp will be on the left hand track.
Note the lack of space behind the track which means
relief type structures will be the order of the day.

 Tenterfield moves ahead; unfortunately the scenery makeover has not yet started but we do have another industry from which to generate traffic. There was a Tancred’s abattoir at the northern end of the township and a Google search reveals it operated until 1981.  Unfortunately there isn’t much left to investigate or photograph. The track diagrams I have indicate the facility was accessed by a set of “up” facing points with an internal loop. I assume that this would have been shunted at the same time as the stockyards as these were only about 400 or 500 metres south of the abattoir and had a loop off the main line. This would have saved having to propel wagons all the way back to the yard at Tenterfield.

My version of the abattoir siding is a bit more complex. The design will allow an operator to take a train off the main line, shunt and still allow others to run mainline trains.

Entrance to the Abattoir sidings from the main
with the run around loop in the distance.
Note the vertical clearances!!

 The buildings themselves will be in relief as the complex will be on a section of the layout which is only 450mm wide and that includes the main line which is located at the front of the scene. It is also challenging because of my planning error in only allowing 300mm vertically between the 2 levels. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!! I planned the layout of Tenterfield yard in great detail but underneath it I simply allowed for out of site storage. However, as construction progressed it became very obvious that trains were not going to be seen for considerable periods of time. This resulted in a re-think of how to turn some previously hidden areas into an area where one can watch a train go by and also increase the operational interest. Yes, next time if it’s a multi level layout the top level will be 1500mm + and the lower level will be something like 1000mm so there will be a 500mm separation. I’m trying to see it as a modelling challenge rather than a disadvantage!

The track diagram may help to make sense of the photos which will also give some idea of the tight space available.

Sketch / Track Diagram of the Abattoir & Mainline
 Just waiting on some tortoise motors to arrive and then this should be operational. The final bit of track to then go in will be the passing loop half way up the climb to Bungulla. There will probably also be a goods siding and maybe this is where that Shell siding could go that I mentioned in the previous post. Those new SDS oil tanker wagons certainly would look good.

Perhaps I could also use the oil tankers at Tenterfield itself as the town had an operational power station until the 1970’s which was supplied by rail!

Until next time enjoy your trains.


  1. Great work mate, the progress is coming along nicely and the sketch refreshed my memory well. Looking forward to seeing the real deal in March... Darren

  2. Bill, from your photo and my memory the top deck is set back quite a bit so vision to the rear of the bottom deck is not that hidden at all. Even though the split between decks is not that great, you really won't notice it when all the detail stuff goes in. Oh and Happy Fathers day to you as well! Geoff.