It’s about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and we’re in Ipswich looking down on part of a stabling point for the western arm of the Brisbane suburban network.
You’ll notice that the yard here is long and narrow with part of the old town on one side and the double-track mainline to Toowoomba and points west on the other.
There’s not a lot of room here but the designers have managed to find space for quite a few trains. While there are still empty tracks that will change as more trains terminate at the adjoining station during the late afternoon and evening and run into the sidings to stable.
By 6am Sunday morning this small yard will be quite crowded although at least one train will have moved out to form part of the Sunday services on the network.
The mainlines will have also seen a reasonable amount of movement with full and empty coal train movements and perhaps even a wheat train or two during spring and summer.
On this particular line, the size of the locomotives and wagons are limited by a narrow tunnel located closer to Toowoomba so older stock rules here. You may even see a working steam engine now and again as a tour train passes.
An exhibition layout that followed the track arrangement here would certainly be interesting with suburban trains … of any sort … coming and going and it might provide some interest as part of a larger home layout too.
One detail that you may have trouble modelling is the razor wire that is strung along the top of the security fence that surrounds this yard. You may not notice it in the photos but it’s there to deter those who might want to vandalise the trains.
And just in case someone thinks that I took the accompanying photo using a drone in a public place … an act that would have been illegal … I can hold my hand on my heart and say that no drones were used at all.
My partner and I stayed the night at the Oakes Hotel and this was the view from the apartment windows on the 12th floor.