Sunday, July 11, 2010

We Came, We Saw, We Took Photo's, We Drank Beer

Elscotto, my son Tom and I went for a drive down to Picton for a look around and to take some photo's for later reference. We took about 170 photo's of Picton, Hill Top and Thirlmere which will be the 3 stations on the layout and of course Stonequarry Viaduct. Here they are if you want a look

We also measured a few structures including the Viaduct and what's left of the platform at Hill Top. During its mainline days, Hill Top was a busy little station with passing loop, refuges and siding

Track and Signal Diagram dated 17/5/1897

There's some photos at NSW State Government Records dated circa 1900, 1910 and 1955 which clearly show how Hill Top was in both mainline and loopline service. I really love the photo dated circa 1910 with the hedges, topiary, bullhead rail in the loop and wooden platform extensions to the original stone platform. This is what I'll be modelling. The only thing left of Hill top now is the stone platform which measures 75' long by 22' wide at the Station / Signal box and 52'6" to the top of the platform before it starts sloping down to the ground. That, and the pine trees which border what would have been the up platform. If there's anyone who knows of any other photo's of Hill Top from the early 20th Century I'd love to hear from you.
We also did some measurements of the Viaduct with the arches being 27'6" long and the stone blocks being 5'6" long and 1'2" high. While typing this I just realised I didn't measure the width of the arch base or the width of the stone blocks (smacks forehead). Oh well, I'll just have to go back for another beer, I mean research trip. I'll have to measure Thirlmere Station and Goods Shed as I've read that these were both bespoke designs built by local contractors and that there's no plans in the archives.
We had lunch at The Imperial which was built in the 1860's and was originally named "The Terminus" no doubt due to it being close the railway station. If you look at photo's of Picton station in the 19th century, you'll see a 2 storey building on the hill behind the station....that's The Imperial. The food was good and the beer was Reschs so Elscotto and I were happy. And also, there's a nice photo in the dining room'd never expect it, Picton Railway Station! And what a beauty it is. Never seen it before and it appears to be turn of the Century and was before the signal box was moved to the Melbourne end of the up platform. In the up dock are 2 LV's and opposite on the down is a horsebox. So for Linton, who's also building Picton, the use of the up dock still remains unclear as I've now seen a Redfern car, 2 x LV's and a HFL in the dock as well as the coal filled D / S trucks you mentioned. There's also another photo of a P climbing the hill outside Picton on a train of 3 dogboxes, a Cleminson and 4 wheel van / horsebox. Beautiful.
And I got to do some modelling while Frannie took the kids to see Shrek 4. I'm working on some old carriages that I'm going to put on EBay as they're no longer needed and I chopped up some sleepers ready for staining this week.
All in all, a fun weekend.


  1. Hey Rob,

    I have an engineering type drawing of the Viaduct, station building, goods shed and loco shed if you would like them? AMRM published an article in the 80's (I will find the issue number for you) on NSW 60 foot turntables which included a few pictures of Picton. I can make a copy along with all the other stuff I have and send them to you. I will have to send them via the post though as I don't have an A3 scanner.

    Yeah, the up dock will provide for some interesting operation, as soon as we figure out exactly what it was used for!

    It's such a shame most of Picton is missing now. I remember catching the train from Moss Vale and seeing the turntables remains but apart from that, I only have photo's.

    Let me know if it will be useful. I have found google earth quite good also. My email is


  2. Hi Linton,
    Cool!!! Thanks for the offer. I'll drop you a line soon and we can exchange resources.