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Posted in My Projects by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Thursday, February 06, 2020 at 21:28:03 AST.)

PROJECT: Sydney & Louisburg Coal & Railway Company

I had a few inquires about the status of my Sydney & Louisburg Coal & Railway Company retirement layout, and a few other people asked for an update on the project. I currently have about 75% of all the materials needed to build the triple-deck design. I had to import almost everything from the US, and with the weak exchange rate, I already spent over three times more than I had initially budgeted for the entire project.

There really hasn't been all that much work done on the track plan for a few years now. I had been working on a new version of Havenside that included a few schooners, and I already presented that module on this blog as a stand-alone layout.

After spending a few months back in late 2016 operating a previous version of the layout in 3rd PlanIt, it didn't take long for me to see that operations on the layout were too ambitious. I also wasn't happy with the limited room for scenery, and simple scenes that I like so much.

Back then, I also decided that I wanted to concentrate more on coal operations, and make all other traffic secondary. I also wanted to reduce the track work even more, and arrange it more prototypically. So, it was back to the drawing board to downsize and simplify my original plan to the version presented here.

Instead of designing the layout all at once, I decided to design it one scene at a time, then operate the daily local to work out operational bugs before moving on to the next scene. I started on the lowest deck which depicts Havenside and Mira Gut, then moved my way up. Just for fun, after finishing the third deck, I also designed a fourth one. I know its height is impracticable, but I enjoyed designing it.

On the design you will notice there are no turning facilities on this version of the layout. Almost all of my original versions had a turntable at Sydney and Havenside. However, I decided to use the same double Fairlies that the prototype used. These small locomotives had two boilers and operated just as well in reverse as they did forward. Although they look small, and engineer that assessed the railway, said they were actually overpowered for the duties they were required to do.

A builder's photo of S&LC&RyCo's Double-Fairlies #2 before delivery to the line. The loco had two boilers, and was only 29' long:

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Track Plan of the 1st Deck - Havenside and Mira Gut:

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A view  from the east end of Havenside showing the coal export wharf, team track, freight house, the station, and the Lighthouse Coal Company in the distance:

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A view  from the west end of Havenside showing Lighthouse Coal Company, the scale house, the station, the coal export wharf, team track, and the freight house in the distance:

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The local has just spend almost an hour switching at Havenside, and it is now headed back to Sydney. The train, lead by Fairlie #2, is seen crossing the swing bridge over Mira River, and headed by Mira Gut station:

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Another view of Fairlie #2 as it passes the Mira Gut station, and is about to cross Horns Road:

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A shot of the local passing the Mira Brick Company which had already been switched almost two hours earlier on the eastbound trip to Havenside:

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Track Plan of the 2nd Deck - Broughton and Birch Grove:

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Two views from the east end of Broughton with the Four Star Coal Company in the foreground and the station to the read:

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Two views from the west end of Broughton showing the station, the section house, and the bridge of Mill Stream:

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Two views from the east end of Broughton showing the station and the team track:

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A view from the west end of Broughton showing the road bridge over Sand Lake Brook:

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Track Plan of the 3rd Deck - Reserve Mines and Sydney:

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Three views from the from Reserve Mines showing the station, team track, and the Lorway Colliery:

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View between Reserve Mines and Sydney showing the bridge of Muggah Creek:

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Five views from the from Sydney showing the station, engine house, car shop, frienght house, and the transfer track with the Intercolonial Railway:

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Track Plan of the 4th Deck - Port Caledonia and Schooner Pond:

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A view from the west end of Port Caledonia showing Clyde Coal Company, the station, and the team track:

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A view from the east end of Port Caledonia showing the bridge over Blackwater Brook, the team track, the station, and the Clyde Coal Company:

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A view betweem Port Caledonia and Schooner Pond showing the bridge over Blackwater Brook and the Acadia Coal Company:

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Two views from the east end of Schooner Pond showing the station and the team track:

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An overview of all four decks from the doorway of the room:

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TAGS: Theme: Industrial Railway, Theme: Mining, Theme: Narrow Gauge Railway, Layout Size: Small Layouts, Design Feature: Train Elevator, Canada (Provinces): Nova Scotia, Canadian Railways: Sydney & Louisburg Coal & Railway Co, My Projects: Sydney & Louisburg Coal & Railway Co


User Comments:

Posted by Duncan McEwan on Tuesday, February 04, 2020 at 2:26:56 AM.

Love it. But where are the schooners? There have to be schooners.


Posted by Robert Chant on Tuesday, February 04, 2020 at 7:13:42 AM.

Thanks Duncan ... this track plan hasn't been touched since 2016 ... I came up with a plan for adding the schooners to Havenside early in 2019 but I haven't modified my "master plan" yet ... but I still have almost two years to go before retirement ... LOL.


Posted by Pete Lake on Wednesday, February 05, 2020 at 10:51:35 AM.

This is great! With the different heights involved how do you access the middle? (I probably missed that part above!)


Posted by Robert Chant on Wednesday, February 05, 2020 at 12:18:27 PM.

Hi Pete, all movement between decks is accomplish via the train elevator. My intentions are just to make it a manual lift, but I might have to go with a motorized system. Train elevators have been used in the past on other layouts, so it is a feature that should work. Not having a helix to deal with was a big plus for me. Take care, Rob.


Posted by Duncan McEwan on Thursday, February 06, 2020 at 7:45:44 PM.

The first instance of 'train elevator' I recall was maybe the 50's by none other than John Armstrong. I've seen a number of manual and electrical plans over the years but never seen one in operation. Do you have a particular plan in mind and have you ever seen an operational example?


Posted by Robert Chant on Thursday, February 06, 2020 at 9:28:03 PM.

A few years ago I viewed a couple of videos on YouTube showing a mechanical elevator in operation, but I have never seen one in person either. There is also a complete elevator system for sale, but it is geared more towards vertical staging. On one of my threads on the Railroad Line forums there was a discussion started in 2016 about my plans to use an elevator and I received some feedback. I have a write-up of what I have done so far and a graphic of a my working design that I will be posting here when I find it. As I mentioned above, I plan to go with just a manual left between decks. There are two gates at either end that come down to protect the cars from falling off. In On30 there is only room for a loco, 6 cars, a caboose on the 72" length I plan to use, so it should be light enough to lift up and down by hand. I just think of it as a staging cassette that moves vertically.


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