History of the GC & CD Railway
The evolution of the GC & CD Railway can be seen in pictures on this page.
My interest in MODEL RAILWAYS goes back to 1957 when I received a Marklin Train Set for Christmas. An 8' X 4' Layout was then constructed. This layout was finally dismantled and stored in 1966 when I moved to Melbourne.
Model Railways took a back seat for the next eleven years as there was no space available to build a Layout. In mid 1977 plans for a 12' X 6' layout based on LNER / BR Eastern Region were made. Construction began very slowly of this layout in August 1978. After joining the Australian Model Railway Association Vic Branch in late 1978 and participating in the Hobsons Bay Convention in Easter 1981 I could see that a 12' X 6' layout was not for me. The final decision to dismantle this layout was made after a visit to the Mousehaven Railway in May 1981. Within two weeks of this visit the 12' X 6' layout was dismantled and plans for the current layout commenced.
After reading many magazine articles and visits to other Layouts it was obvious that the layout being planned needed a name. So "GC & CD Railway Company" was born. Actual construction commenced early 1982. The first train ran from Barrington to Dannyville in June 1982. The original continuous run was officially opened with our first run night on Wednesday 20th October, 1982. At this time Barrington had only two platforms and two sidings. Dannyville had only one siding. Over the next 12 months both Barrington and Dannyville stations were built.
Chrisford station was added to the system during 1983 with both St.Davids Halt and Fishers Creek being added during the same year. The original timetables were by number sequences. A fast Clock system (Electronic Digital Type) was constructed and installed during January 1987 with the first Trains to run to time ( Not necessarily on time ) on the 4th February 1987.
Around mid 1987 plans were laid to add a new station to increase the length of run and have a longer point to point system. This meant that the continuous run was no longer possible and was removed. Hunterfield the new terminal station was officially opened with the breaking of a tape by 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley steaming out of The Great Chasney Tunnel on the 10th February 1988.
The 20th October 1992 saw the 10th anniversary of our weekly runs of a Wednesday evening when all passed and present members gathered to celebrate the occasion.
During March April 1993 the Main Line between Dannyville and Hunterfield, and, Chrisford and Dannyville was realigned to allow longer running between Chrisford and Dannyville at the same time eliminating the short shunting lengths on the Main Line. The first run on this new section was on the 29th April 1993 .
Late in 1993 a decision was made to completely rewire and upgrade the electrical system which would involve the complete stripping out of all the wiring. Work commenced in late December of 1993 and continued on for most of 1994 with the layout coming back into service at the beginning of October 1994. The upgrade or complete rewiring of the system and construction of new signal boxes has proven to be worth all the effort.
Late in 1994 major works commenced extending the layout so that Hunterfield's Passenger Terminal could be relocated and Industrial sidings and facilities upgraded and improved. These works were completed in early 1995 with the new passenger terminal opening in late March of that same year.
March 1995 also saw the introduction of a totally new operating system for freight movements. A Computer System complete with printer was installed so freight traffic movements could be run more realistically similar to actual prototype operations. The software required, Freight Tracker, was developed specifically for the GC & CD Railway by Chris Attrill and as at July 2000 it has proved to be extremely satisfactory and has added much realism to our operation.
Between June and September 1995 the scenery saw a much needed refurbishment with extra detailing and freshening up. Most buildings also were repainted or painted for the first time.
During Mid 1996 Dannyville was completely redeveloped and enlarged including the addition of the Rodhurst Railway Co. an 009 scale Narrow Gauge railway which serves the township of Lower Hartnett and the mineral traffic from Richards Siding to Dannyville.
Also added during the second half of 1996 a portable connection was added to the end of Barrington Oil Depot so as to allow the connection of portable sections of layout to be connected to the main layout. The first section to be connected is Trillborough a Military maintenance depot. To see the evolution of the GC & CD Railway from a baseboard to the current layout, visit this page.
Vist us and our new web site at www.gccdrailway.org