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Wombat Creek Tramways

Wombat Creek is a H0 (1:87) scale model of a fictional town situated somewhere in the Victorian Goldfields, Australia.

The time is 1963. Geelong wins the VFL Championship against Hawthorn (109– 60). John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. ValentinaTeresjkova is the first woman in Space. The men behind The Great Train Robbery get £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London.

The town consists of several buildings. The “Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange” is a prominent building in the town centre. You will also find several other commercial buildings; among them the daily newspaper“W.C. Chronicle”(colloquial known as the "Toilet Paper") and “Wombat Creek Brewing Company” (Famous for the “Wombat Bitter”). “The Big Nugget Gold Mine” is situated at the Western outskirts of town near the small Chinatown. The War Memorial is in a small park along East Street.

The town’s mayor Alfred Campbell together with his son David Campbell owns several businesses, including the bank, the pub and the newspaper. AC/DC basically run the town and make most decisions on behalf of the rest of Wombat Creek’s residents, who, on the other hand, are too busy with their own businesses.

The mayor’s latest initiative is Wombat Creek Tramways. Wombat Creek doesn’t really need a tram system, but AC reckons tramways will improve the town’s reputation. Partly because of limited funds the tramways' construction and rolling stock depend heavily on second-hand requirements from other Australian and overseas tramways.

In the shadows

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Sun, May 08, 2022 17:58:31

You will always try not to cast any shadows on you background panel, but they can be rather dramatic. Just look at the shadows created by my work lamp.

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The trackbed for the mine loop

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Sat, April 30, 2022 16:10:34
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The loop around the Big Nugget Mine

After a holiday away from Wombat Creek I have worked on the trackbed for the final part of Wombat Creek Tramways – the big loop around the Big Nugget Mine. The sloping trackbed to the left of the loop leads down to the Explosives Factory in the background. I will need to test the trams on the slope to determine, how steep it will be. Because part of the ‘mine line’ (see Wombat Creek Consolidated Mines Pty Ltd) will pass under the tramway, track laying will commence after tracks for the before mentioned line are in place.

Progress – or lack of

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Mon, April 04, 2022 18:01:22
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Still getting the extension right

The last few weeks have seen little progress on the extension of Wombat Creek Tramways. The last points has arrived and the turnout towards the ‘Explosives Factory Line’ has been put together. And from here work has stalled!

The original idea was to have the gold mine in the middle, but a line-up of the points for the narrow gauge railway showed a better position in the lower left hand corner and the sawmill in the middle. However I was concerned for the delicate works of the poppet head so near the edge. Fortunately (well, sort of fortunately) there is not sufficient room for the sawmill in the middle, so it is back to the original layout again, but…

I will need to put part of the narrow gauge track down before I do the ‘upper level’ tracks for the trams. I had hope I could wait, but it will be too complicated to do track work under the bridges with the tram tracks. So works have stalled until I get hold of some lengths of narrow gauge track.

Just planning for the future

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Wed, March 23, 2022 17:45:26
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The lay-out of the extension

The extension to Wombat Creek will serve as a workbench for a while, but it is difficult not to plan for the future tracks for both the trams and the narrow gauge tramway.

The standard gauge points (with one on order) and the crossing indicates, how the connection down to the explosives factory at the far left will be made. The crossing and the right-hand points will also connect to the tracks at the far right.

The six narrow gauge points and the two cardboard cut-outs show the general flow of the little railway serving the goldmine at the front left, the explosives factory and the the sawmill in the middle. The points are a bit ‘big’ for such a small enterprise, but I paid just $51 for six new electro-frog points from Ebay. The old Heljan factory will have two doors cut into the front and serve as a repair shop / shed for the railway.

Latest – and last – extension to Wombat Creek Tramways

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Fri, March 18, 2022 17:33:27
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Wombat Creek Extended

With Wombat Creek Tramways in a new room it has been possible to extend the layout to its final size. The extension measures 120 x 90 cm with a further 30 cm hidden under ‘Main Street’ to the right. For the time being the extension will served as a workbench., but in the future the double track to the right will loop around and connect to the track(s) in front of the ‘Regal’. Three points and a crossing near the front will give access to a line towards the ‘Explosives Factory’ at the far left corner. The ‘Big Nugget Goldmine’ will sit at the front left corner. A narrow gauge railway will connect the mine to the factory, a sawmill and the ‘Small Nugget Goldmine’ (situated somewhere under the town itself!). The railway will have its sidings and maintenance facilities near the front. The bottle a whiskey is just to ‘stress test’ the extension. To be sure the weight wasn’t too much I took out a glass or two!

The double-decker facing problems – again!

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Thu, March 10, 2022 18:15:25

The driver of the double-decker tram ran into a new problem today. As shown in an earlier post the crew at the workshop made a test-run past the Golden Fleece petrol station. All good, even the clearance was a bit tight.

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A tight fit

Unfortunately the tram has a tendency to swing from side to side. In its hometown Hobart it caused a few derailments and overturns. In Wombat Creek it stayed upright put hanging from the canopy of the petrol station.

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The hanging Tram

All tram lines pass the petrol station, so the canopy had to be cut back. Fortunately not a huge job and it is impossible to notice the difference between the original and cut-back version.

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All Clear

The trees are growing

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Wed, March 09, 2022 17:58:21
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‘Tree extension’
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‘Tree extension’
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Tram no. 17 in front of the Queen Victoria Market

The double-decker tram are no longer barred from the Circle Line. The offending trees in front of the Queen Victoria Market has grown in height. Not unusual for trees to do so, but the point of growth is normally at the top of the tress and not at the lower end of the trunks. A skewer was inserted into the existing trunk and ‘No-more-gap’ filler applied. After some brown paint was added the tress were put back in place. As seen in the third photo, the double-decker tram can just pass under the trees.

Low-hanging branches

Text & photos from Wombat Creek Tramways Posted on Mon, March 07, 2022 17:57:59

The driver of No. 17 has a problem approaching the Church Street stop. The double-decker tram can’t pass the trees in front of the Queen Victoria Market.

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Problem trees outside Queen Victoria Market

The ‘traditional’ Australian solutions would be cutting the offending branches. Often big gum trees (eucalypts) are used along the streets even under power lines. Said trees will grow to more than 20 metres in height, which of course will interfere with the power lines. The solution is not planting lower trees, but cutting the main trunk. Instead you will have to major branches each to facing sides with the power lines passing through the middle of the tree, which to my opinion is not very attractive.

So the solution in Wombat Creek will not be cutting branches. Instead the trees will grow taller!

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