The layout is based on Victoria's old main western line from Parwan to Ballarat. The period is around 1960. Of course nowadays this line carries mostly passenger services and is no longer part of the interstate route. (bit dull now really, bring back the 60's!)
Most of the main line is code 83 rail, with some code 100. Many of the (electrofrog) points are still operated by hand but automation is gradually creeping closer and some areas (such as the Bacchus Marsh yard) are mostly automated now with slow motion Tortise point motors. Trackwork is Atlas, Peco and Shinohara.
Control is analogue, The wiring is currently being upgraded for DCC.
Power is supplied by a number of transformers (some transformers are used for points, some for locomotion), predominantly H&M Clipper units. Despite being 35 or so years old, they work fine.
Wiring is using a common rail (return) with the other rail being isolated into sections, Train controllers operate the points and track sections.
The driver of the train can control the train anywhere on the layout. Thus multiple trains can be operated at any one time and in different directions or at different speeds. Additionally, the controllers can "switch out" a section of track and isolate any train they desire. It is quite common to see double, triple, quadruple or even more(!) locos on a train, and with multiple trains running at once.
There are typically four transformers controlling trains at any one time:
1. For the main line and Bacchus Marsh yard (controller located at Bacchus Marsh).
2. Alternative control for the main line and Bacchus Marsh yard (also located at Bacchus Marsh - this controller is usually set to operate in the reverse direction to No. 1 controller).
3. For the main line from just west of Ballarat, Ballarat yard, through Ballarat east and just beyond Gordon (controller located at Ballarat).
4. Maddingly yard and coal depot (also has it's own switch panel for track power; controller located at Maddingly).
The landscape is constructed of paper mache' over chicken wire. The frame is pine with some substantial supports, including steel beams in places. While the baseboard is plywood base uner Canite sheets.
The track forms a loop (i.e. it is not at all circular, but one end is joined to the other) with multiple passing loops so that trains can pass at various locations, depending upon their length. Total track length, not including yards or double line, is approximately 150metres.
For a comprehensive history of the Bacchus Marsh station and yard including track plans, click on the following link: