A blog outlining the construction of the 'Gladstone Yard' in HOn3 ½

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Gladstone Yard

Overtime the Yard has grown to suit the demands of its ever increasing traffic. However, one would beg to differ if a visit was made to the station in today’s time as very little traffic is seen. The road in and out of the yard consisted of a single main line. The increase of traffic could have justified a double main line between Gladstone and Callemondah but this was never to be. In the 90’s the yard would be heavily congested, particularly in the early mornings and late afternoons. The yard was extremely busy that trains would be held at Parana (first crossing loop to the south) and Callemondah (first crossing to the north) until a path was available. To make matters worse peak periods would often occur around the time the morning and afternoon Spirit of Capricorn was due. During this time all other movements in or out of the yard were held until the Spirit of Capricorn had cleared its path. This was the general rule if any mails had departed Parana (from the south) and Mount Miller (from the north) and heading to town.
The Yard Shunt has just entered the yard from No.12 (Auckland Point).
 A mixed freight occupies the loop with a Brisbane bound service while
two 3900's sit in No.1 with a Rockhampton bound goods.
The yard consisted of the following roads:
The Main Line; was obviously connected to the station platform. It is also connected to the three dock roads (originally four) located at the southern end of the yard. The general rule was to keep it clear for passenger services but in desperate measures it was used for freight and coal services running through town. On one occasion someone had made the decision to allow a stock train to briefly stop on the main line. After it departed the station porter spent a good couple of hours cleaning the waste off the platform before the afternoon Spirit of Capricorn was arrived.
In 1998 2800’s, electric coal locomotives fitted with protruding steps and the new VSA coal hoppers fitted with Kwik drop doors were no longer permitted to use the main line due to clearance issues. The main line was 135 units in length.
The Loop; is the same length as the main line. This was still inadequate as often longer freight services known as Super Freighters would stop and still foul the sections in and out of the loop. This would often affect shunting and other train movements in and out of No. 1, 2, 3 and through roads.
No. 1; was primarily used as a ‘secondary loop’ for freight services and was 68 units in length.
No. 2; was 55 units long and generally was used to stow the ‘Limey’ which generally consisted of a 1460 and 11 VBO’s or VLO’s.
No. 3; was usually kept clear to allow South Gladstone bound coal and the Auckland Point bound Woodchip services to pass through the yard. Often the Yard Shunt would occupy this road during shift changes and meal breaks.
The Through Road; is a relief road and enables access to the Gladstone Diesel Shed, the diary, the angle and number 12 Road (the Auckland Point balloon loop). The Through Road was not electrified and has claimed a number of pantograph from electric locomotives.  
Water Road; is a storage road situated between the north and south entrances of the angle. It is parallel to the Through Road and is usually used to house the shunts and coal locomotives during off periods.
The Angle; is connected to the Through Road and is used to turn locomotives, in particular those arriving from the Moura System. Once the train had unloaded the locomotives would detach from their train, run into town, turn on the angle and head to Callemondah. The Angle was not electrified and therefore electric locomotives were required to use the angle at Auckland Point. QRX is situated at the tip of the angle. A number of sidings were situated there which enabled indoor and outdoor loading of wagons.
The Southern End of the yard. The dock can just be seen to the right. 
Sidings were located at the Dairy which ran off the Through Road and situated at the southern end of the yard and the dock as previously mentioned. The wagon shops were connected through Auckland Point yard and also No.3 road. The wagon shop sidings were removed when the shops were relocated to Callemondah. The original shop building was converted into offices/work shed. The yard was connected to Auckland Point via the northern end of the main line, the loop, No. 3 and the Through Road. The yard was also connected to South Gladstone Yard via the northern end of the loop and the Through Road.  Access to the Gladstone Diesel Shed was also via the Through Road.

The Yard Shunt is shut down in the Water Road with two other locos.
A solo 2250 sits in No.3
Attached is a link to a sat view of the yard.

I was hoping to add more detailed photographs but for some unknown reason every time I attempt to download a photo an error pops up saying something like the file server is down. Has anyone else experienced this?

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