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Sept 15, 2015

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The Sandstone & Termite is a 45 mm gauge garden railway situated in my backyard in Loftus, Sydney, Australia. All of my locos are now battery powered and radio controlled. The area occupied by the layout is approx 20 x 25 metres (60x75'). I started work in 1994 and now have about 160m of mainline track and 100m of sidings and passing loops.
The picture at left gives a good overview of half the layout. Sandstone station yard is at left under the bridge, and the lattice in the distance supports Melaleuca station.
Use it with the plan shown below to get a feel for the layout of the line. (This pic is taken from the top right corner of the plan, looking to the bottom left.)

This is a video of how I built the line,....................................................and this one follows a coal train right around the line from Sandstone to Termite,

Link to all the SaTR videos on Youtube

The Sandstone & Termite (in its earlier, smaller form) was featured in: Garden Railways Magazine (US), October 1999; and Australian Model Railway Magazine, December 1999

By building my own track and trains, I have been able to get into this hobby at minimum cost. One of the great things about this scale is that you can get most of your materials at the local hardware store instead of specialist model shops, and you can use your normal power tools.

plan of the line
The layout consists of two separate 'runs' -
1. a reversing loop at one end (Termite - top right), then single track out to a 2nd reversing loop at Lilyvale (centre ), with two passing loops (Melaleuca & Maple Jn) part way along. Total run out and back is 200m.
2. a circle around the boundaries of the yard with 4 stations - Sandstone (top) , Blackwall (left) , Ti-tree (bottom) and Oleander (right).Total length 100m.
However, by using a set of crossovers at Maple Jn, and the line right around the yard as a 'giant' reversing loop, a single track line 200m long, with 5 crossing stations (Melaleuca, Maple Jn, Sandstone, Blackwall, Ti-tree, Lilyvale and back to Maple Jn) can be operated from Termite to Ti-tree and return.
To take a tour along the line, use the 'Pictures' -'clickable Map' menu at top.

I have used Bachmann locos and rebuilt the bodies, or Aristrocraft motor blocks with scratchbuilt bodies.
All wagons are scratchbuilt from either balsa or styrene sheet. I originally turned my own wheels from Nylon on a wood lathe, but now use Bachmann plastic ones. I make no attempt to model fine details. If it looks like a carriage at first glance then that is good enough for most of the people who see it. I'm more of a copier of the general ideas of a vehicle, not an exact modeller. I'm in the hobby for the fun of driving trains around the back yard, standing back and listening to the sounds and talking to the neighbours as they come to look.
What I really wanted from G scale was good sound and smoke. I've achieved the first but the realistic smoke is still a goal.

I use radio control of track voltage and of the battery locos. The R/C are either from kits of car burglar alarm remote controls, and more recently 2.4GHz model plane radio controllers.

Here's just two pics to hopefully whet your appetite to explore further.
This pic shows the sandstone ledge that gave the railway part of its name, and forms the major engineering work, with its 1:25 grade requiring banking of trains. sandstone ledge

and this is Sandstone station, in the shadow of the rock! sandstone ledge

If you've got this far, I suggest you use the menus at the Top of Page to continue. These are in 2 parts - Technical stuff (hints) and pictures. There are over 40 pages of descriptions, hints, electronics and 180 pictures for you to browse!

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