The railway station building at Philden may still be just a hollow frame shell, but the station platform, gardens and surroundings are now almost complete. After days spent 'model gardening' and building station signs, all that remained for me to do was add the galvanised steel handrails to the rear platform edging.
|The long-stemmed nozzles that are used on aerosol cans are perfect to use as steel hand rails.|
I started by painting some long-stemmed aerosol can nozzles silver using the same silver paint pen I used for the hand rails on my cement plant, and trimmed these to a height of 13 mm.
|The trimmed steel posts ready to be installed along my platform.|
Next I measured where each handrail post would be positioned along my platform and drilled a 3 mm deep hole. When glued into place each post will be 10 mm high, and just to be sure, I measured each and every one with a ruler while the glue set.
|Each steel post is drilled and glued into place, checking that they are all a uniform 10 mm high.|
While the glue was drying, I played around with where I wanted to position each light post and station sign that I had been busy making over the past few days, until I was happy with how it looked. I next added an easy access ramp between the 2nd and 3rd posts in the above platform.
|The platform end with the finished hand rails in place.|
I then measured and cut the top hand rail sections, once more using the painted long-stemmed aerosol can nozzles as tubing, and glued these into place. Once the glue was dried, I touched up any glue marks or scratches on the painted tubing with the silver paint pen, and turned my attention to blending the station surrounds with the station garden that lies at the other end of the platform.
|8243 worked 'light engine' to Philden to inspect the track along the finished station surroundings.|
After letting the glue dry overnight, I carefully vacuumed the station surroundings, cleaned the track and sent 8243 light engine to the platform to inspect the finished work. The concrete slab in the bottom left of the above photo has been laid in readiness for Philden Signal Box.
|8243 standing alongside my finished station garden and new platform signage. Note the easy access ramp.|
I finally decided on using my Countrylink sign on the platform above the station garden instead of the Model Train Buildings laser-cut kit I had custom made, simply because the Countrylink sign is smaller and allows better visibility of my trains pulled up at the platform when viewed from this side of the layout. The large NSWGR black on white station name board will instead be erected in the car park. I think doing so will help tell a story of when passenger services to Philden were cut in the mid to late 1980's and the nameboard was relocated to face the arriving road coach. Fast-forward to 1993, and passenger services to Philden were reinstated following the introduction of the Countrylink Explorer. Sounds a bit like Moree and Armidale doesn't it?
|I think the dusty outback station garden at Philden Station will forever be one of my layout's highlights.|
Finishing the scenery around my railway station means that I now have the scenery completed for just over half of my layout. It also means that I have the goods shed, my railway station building and now a signal box to finish. With each of these buildings designed to be removable so that I can also model the interior, it also means that there's no rush for me to finish them. So for now I might put the tools away for a bit, and just have some fun running some trains. After all, I don't want to get this finished too quickly. See you down the line!