Alan Birse

The Layout

Picton-Mittagong Railroad

Layout construction started in 2012. At this stage, the layout is not complete. 

Layout Description

The Picton to Mittagong line is part of the current main South Line between Sydney and Melbourne in the Southern Highlands in NSW, Australia. The Loop Line, as it is now known, part is the original single track main line between Picton and Mittagong, and was opened on the 28th February, 1867.

The double track main line was opened for the first train to Sydney on July 13, 1919. The new main line was built to increase rail traffic and reduce the gradients from 1 in 30 (3.33%) to 1 in 75 (1.33%). Tunnels had to be used in this mountainous country.

Both lines encounter steep grades, tight curves, high embankments and deep cuttings. The loop line remained in service until September 1987 when part of it was closed to through traffic after repeated bushfires had made the line uneconomical to repair.

The northern end of the loop line, from Picton to Buxton, remains in use to this day by “NSW RAIL MUSEUM”. The museum is located at Thirlmere on this line.

Further information can be found in 2 books by William A. Bayley. Titled “PICTON-MITTAGONG LOOP-LINE RAILWAY” and “PICTON-MITTAGONG MAIN LINE RAILWAY”.

Site Information

Layout Owner:Alan Birse
Address:443 Thirlmere Way Thirlmere 2572
Phone contact:0407 145 188
Layout details:Name: Great Southern Railway
Scale: HO with DCC
Size: 14 x 9m
Other information:Refreshments are available
Special instruction:Park in the street only, and walk to rear shed via righthand side of house.

Layout Visits

The layout is open to guests at the following times:

Event TypeDateSessionLinkPlaces
Event TypeDateSessionLinkPlaces

The layout is not open for viewing during the course of the 2023 NMRA Convention on Saturday 30 September or Sunday 1 October.

*Places indicates the remaining spaces available for each session.