Tuesday, 21 April 2015

BIG Changes

Well, seeing it's been nearly 12 months since my last update, I thought I had better get off my backside and fill you all in. I decided some time ago to change the layout design and a shift of locations to an imaginary Island called " KANAGRA" It lies just off the South Australian mainland adjacent to Goolwa and the Coorong coast stretching some 280 miles ( 430 KM) north south and sort of triangular shaped being a narrow triangle.  It has a decent harbour at the top (Port Selby) and another at the Bottom called Vaneed. I attach a History as an attachment. 
 As I am moving house and Shrike Models is finally getting off to getting stuff here , I have put all else on hold but as soon as the move is over and all gets settled I will begin doing my Layout, which will encompass just a part of the line.


The History of Kanagra Island

It is believed that the island came into existence about 900 AD.  About this time 3 huge meteors hit South Australia with major earthquakes, the largest forming the huge lake 29 miles north of the Murray river near Loxton and 2 smaller ones hitting the ocean south of what is now Victor Harbour. This caused a massive land shift upwards forming the Island some 280 miles north to south and about 4 miles across at the north end, widening to 65 miles across at the mid South.There is evidence from the Fleurenaux Peninsula Aboriginal tribes of the major upheaval in their legends and they considered Kanagra Island to be an evil place.
When the first British arrived in 1834, they found a pale skin tribe in the area around Gills and Jagandulcie that spoke a sort of Dutch language and used , what they called Ferrestone, as fire. This Ferrestone was actually Black coal! There were only about 3 to 400 in the tribe and their legends say that some women were kidnapped but the Dutch and they settled on the island.  This would most likely be the Able Tasman or Mahogany ship crews.
As this was officially a part of South Australia, there was mainly English, Scotts and Irish settlement at first, but in 1867 a ship of Swedish and Danish settlers arrived, all being Lutheran and similar style people. The first main settlements were around Port Selby and near what is now Selby plus at the lower point of the island around Vaneed.
The population in 1869 was around 4,000 including the Jagandulsi tribe. The SA government realising how valuable the Coal was decided to build a railway from the Port Selby to Jagandulcie and work began on 18th June 1870. This line was easy grades at first but the hills near Jagandulcie, meant a hard slog up a 1 in 48 grade, at that stage the hardest grade in S.A. The line opened in 1874 with 4 locomotives in line haul and one for shunting at the port.  This was connected to the SAR at Goolwa from 1885, with only 6 miles (10 KM.) of sea crossing via a ferry.
As the population increased, there were new villages and areas populated by mainly Scandinavian and Scottish migrants and by 1890 there were nearly 80,000 people on the island. It was a favourite place to escape the summer heat, being about 5 to 8 degrees cooler overall than Adelaide. Hotels sprang up along the coastal areas and Vaneed, Zumsteig and Barnett Bay were very popular vacation spots. The SAR extended the railway as far as Vaneed, 197 miles south of Selby, by 1896 as well as a northern line 26 miles from Selby to Lagoda, on the northern end of the island, opposite the North Coorong area on the mainland. More migration in the late 19th century saw the first post Federation Census as being 136, 418, a huge percentage of the South Australian population at the time. Selby became the capitol and largest city having in 1909 34, 500 residents and the SAR actually double tracked the line from Port Selby to Gills in 1911.
After World War 1 more European migrants, coming from Austria, Germany Holland and Belgium as well as Britain and Russia arrived and by 1929 the population had increased to 275,000. Then during the depression, migration slowed to less than 500 per year. 
Kananga grows many fruits and vegetables not easily grown in the rest of South Australia, including Greengages, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Celery, Peas, Pomegranates, Gooseberries and cool weather grapes. Also there is not much wheat grown but a lot of Corn, potatoes, Oats and Barley. There are cattle, sheep, Pigs and Goats as well, thus giving a nicely managed food source. Oil was found near Vaneed and off shore in 1935 and a refinery was established there in 1938. This made the economy boom and before World War 2, a petition to succeed from South Australia was begun. The war stopped any proceedings and it was not brought up again till about 1960.
The first Coal mine was started by George Halsey at Jagandulcie in 1860 and is still going today. More coal was discovered in 1870 and mines were established at Ashmore, Sleeman and Kavinka on the branch line from Beanula to Taschig. These are worked as a private concern with their own locos and rolling stock, as is the Halsey mine.
More coal is mined at Hinnakka using KR locos and rolling stock to take it to either Port Selby or Jinkarra Power station.
A daily Oil train runs from Vaneed refinery to Lagoda , dropping various company tank cars at various locations. There are 3 Air conditioned north- south passenger trains daily from Vaneed to Port Selby as well as 2 others from Selby to Lagoda, these as well as the branch line services are well patronised and the speed is gradually being increased, to 70MPH and 75 MPH ( 115KMH and 125KMH), were possible. Mainlines are all continuous welded rail mainly 100 Lbs or 50KG with a small section of 60KG rail . the Main line is double track, then CTC from Gills to Vaneed, the north line and branches are worked by train order.
On the 1st of July 1966, Kanagra succeeded from South Australia, becoming the 7th State of Australia. The SAR handed over 7 930 class, 5 Rx class, 6 830 class and 4 740 class locos, as well as 800 freight cars and 36 passenger cars. 6 300 and 2 400 class DPMs with 3 860 class cars were also built in the early 1960s purely for Selby suburban service. The new Kanagra Railway (KR) bought 2 RDC2 and 1 RDC1 from various US railways in 1967 to serve the 2 branch lines etc. A small number of VR 4 wheel stock was also acquired and this made the KR a nice profitable railway, which it still is. 1970 saw 20 US type Flat stake cars for timber traffic and 36 new (US 70 ton) Hoppers similar to the SAR H type built, and as time progressed more modern types arrived.
1974 saw the population hit 450,000 total with Selby and district having 150,000, Vaneed 45000, Beyanula 35,000 Lagoda 22,000 and Taschig 20,000.

More to come including a track plan
See you soon, happy modelling and may GOD truly Bless you, Hopey


  1. Great blog!!

    If you like, come back and visit mine:

    Pablo from Argentina

  2. Have you made any progress? :)