Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pondering Cathkin.

Cathkin was the junction on the Goulburn Valley Highway where the track split into the Mansfield line continuing in a north - easterly direction and the Alexandra branch going towards the Southeast. There were three roads, one (livestock?) stub and a turntable off the Alexandra road, past the level crossing. I am not at all sure why Cathkin had a turntable, as both Mansfield and Alexandra had one and it seems pretty unlikely that trains regularly terminated at Cathkin. The only reason I can think of is that there could have been direct goods traffic between Mansfield and Alexandra and vice versa, in which case locos may have been turned at Cathkin, but it was never a terminus, as the line was immediately continued to Alexandra Road (Koriella).
Better informed heads than mine may be able to tell me the reason...

Having another look ...
Newsrail photo           

(Thank you , Mark Bau)

Now, the thing for me to do was to decide how to deal with Cathkin. There would be no turntable, the only one would be at Alexandra, so the 'J' Class could be turned - should I ever be able to obtain anything that looked remotely like the VR prototype...(I eventually did get J529 from PSM!!)

The next thing that bothered me was the fact that both Cathkin and Alexandra stations were on the aisle (South) side of the layout.I didn't fancy the idea of looking over the top of them. So the decision was made to transfer both stations to the North of the line . In the case of Cathkin, I flipped the whole yard around. putting the goods shed onto the stub track. I also deleted Nr.3 road.

The only thing left to do was to take the Mansfield line, once it was past the level crossing, into a cutting, duly camouflaged, and take it underneath the layout and back all the way to 'Tallarook', 'Homewood' and back into Yea.

                                                      Cathkin diagram source: Mark Bau

Theory is a wonderful thing, but all this would have to be turned into reality.-