Modelling the railways of Tasmania

Layout - East Tamar

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Max/Simon Chandler

Tasmanian Rail Modellers

Simon Handby

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Layout Name: East Tamar
Owner / builder: Tasmanian Railway Modellers
Constructed: Early 2006
Disposal date: n/a
Scale: 00
Gauge: 16.5mm
Control: Digitrax brand DCC
Purpose: Exhibition layout


This layout is based on the prototype location East Tamar Junction which is located in the Launceston suburb of Elphin. The prototype area encompasses Pacific Nationals main workshop complex as well as storage areas, a marshalling yard and some industrial sidings.

The Layout

The layout consists of 17 modules (each 1500mm x 750mm or 300mm) for a total size of 11.1m x 2.8m. The mainline is a single track, and the dominant features of the layout are the marshalling yard and workshops at the front of the layout. Also featured are the two North Esk bridges (one at each end of the layout), and modules representing the adjacent Dowling Street sidings, the remainder of the reversing triangle and the line into Launceston Workshops.

Initially the fiddle yard from Glenrose was adapted for reuse (to save time), but after the first showing this was found to be larger than was needed, and was replaced by a smaller yard as originally intended.


The layout consists of 15 modules, constructed in conventional style with plywood tops and pine framing & legs. Scenery is a mixture of Woodlands Scenics, Chucks Ballast and natural materials, on top of polystyrene foam and cork tiles.

Track was a mixture of Peco Code 100 points and GT brand flex track. Points are controlled via Peco point motors. A single control panel is fitted in the center operating well.

All buildings were scratch built from the prototype, using a combination of Styrene, MDF or Foam-Core board and specially drawn pre-printed sides. Whilst not all are fully detailed, they convey the size and impact of the originals, and are being progressively upgraded.


After 13 years exhibiting Glenrose, the decision was taken to retire the layout and build a replacement that more accurately reflected an actual location, was easier to set-up and transport.

After many ideas were floated, work commenced on this new layout in mid 2006, and was completed sufficiently for display at the 2007 Model Makers and Collectors exhibition in Hobart. The layout was next exhibited at the Easter 2008 “Collingwood” exhibition in Melbourne, following major rewiring of the layout and further work on the scenery

In early 2009 it was decided to construct an additional three modules to join the then dead end by the container yard with the main fiddle yard in a representation of the line into the old Launceston workshops area at Inveresk. This was first displayed to the public at the 2009 North Rail Model Expo, and gave the operator a choice of routes at this end of the layout as well as more scenic running and a representation of the oil depot that was located in the area. For the 2010 Model Makers and Collectors Exhibition, DCC control was installed on the layout.

The layout appears in the August 2008 issue of Australian Model Railway Magazine


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