Kanunda & Emu Flat Railway

By Ken House

The K&EFR is an HO layout that I started building in 2000 it is 7.5m x 3m and takes up half of our double garage.

There is nothing really special or difficult about the K&EFR. Construction is of 16mm particle board topped modules and some L girder bench work with 16mm particle board roadbed. All track is Peco code 100 with either curved and medium radius points on the main line and mostly small radius points for yard and industry tracks. Minimum curve radius is 600mm and maximum gradient is 2%. Over the years this construction has been extremely stable and reliable.

The code 100 track is pretty well bulletproof. All points are controlled with Peco point motors operated by switches mounted on the facia near the relevant point.

In 2011 I managed to get the K&EFR to a state where it has a finished look. The plaster hard shell land forms are built over either chicken wire or cloth laid over crumpled up newspaper. I coloured the plaster with brown oxide colouring as I went along. Ground cover is dyed sawdust. I have used some commercial trees as well as making some of my own. Water is two part epoxy resin.

Structures are from kits and scratch built using card. The layout is controlled using a Lenz set 90 with four hand controllers.

The K&EFR represents an imaginary section of the line between Adelaide and the Victorian border in the early 1980s. Allowing AN and SAH Liveries as well as V-Line and VR liveries. The period modelled is shortly before brake vans and LCL traffic were discontinued.

The double ended fiddle/staging yard represents Adelaide and over the Victorian border. Kanunda is the first town out of the Adelaide staging and is the largest town, having a number of industries. Branch line trains to Maranalgo and Myrtle Springs are made up in Kanunda yard. Wooldowie is next down the line and is a typical S.A. small station with a main line, passing line and goods loop. After passing through Jimba Jimba Jn Emu Flat is the final modelled station and has a similar layout to Wooldowie. Penstone Quarry is shunted from Emu Flat.

During monthly operating sessions cars are forwarded using car cards and way bills. Trains are scheduled using Time tables and Train orders with the help of my scratch built automatic block signals and train order signals. An operating crew can vary between four and eight with a controller, two road crews, a yard master at Kanunda and a hostler operating the fiddle/staging yard.

Ken House


TrackPeco code 100
Mainline turnoutsPeco medium radius and curved
Curvature radiusMainly 600mm
GradientMainly 2%
Size7.6m X 3m