Guest Operators

South Australian Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Inc

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Help sheet for visiting locomotive drivers at non-paying Public times.

While SASMEE encourages you to enjoy your visit to our grounds, we do reserve the right to require locomotives to be removed if they, or the operators, are deemed by our Safety Officer to be causing a hazard.
All steam plant must be shown to have a current boiler certificate. If your club issues a driver’s competency certificate, please present that as well.

Loco unloading and car parking

7 ¼” steaming Bay

  1. This is accessed on the right hand side as you drive along the lane. Be aware that there may already be trains operating toward you on the track that runs down the lane. There is no rail/road signalling interface, so use the No1 eyeball method and take care.
  2. There is limited space at this steaming bay, and it is necessary to back into either a track with an unloading ramp, or to the hydraulic lifter.
    You may have to cross the 5inch track and double gates to line up. A SASMEE member can help you with this manoeuvre and the lifter functions, and can also assist in the positioning of your vehicle.
  3. Because of the limited space, it will be necessary, once unloaded to move your vehicle to the spaces at the north end of the grounds. Be aware that some of this space is required for the 5” unloading area, so please be considerate of others, and if in doubt, or needing assistance, please ask a SASMEE member.

5” steaming bay

  1. This is accessed, via the lane, at the north end of the grounds, beyond the 7 ¼’ area. Please read point 1 above as well.
  2. This steaming bay has a hydraulic loader, and it is necessary to back your vehicle up to the track on which it runs. Unless there are more than around 10 vehicles, you will be able to leave your vehicle in place ready for pack up time.
  3. If you have rolling stock to run, this can be unloaded here, but please wait until you are ready to go into traffic, so that the steaming bays are not filled up.

Lighting up, fuel and water supplies for 5″ and 7 ¼”

  1. The 7 ¼” steaming bay has compressed air, and a 12V DC power system for steam raising
  2. The 5” steaming bay only has compressed air available for steam raising – using barbed outlet suitable for ¼” and 5/16” plastic tube.
  3. All water points at the steaming bays provide rain water. There are watering cans for transporting water to your loco. Rain water is also available at each station.
  4. Depending on current availability, coal is found in coal bins at the 7 ¼” station, and the 5” station. Please check with a steam loco member as type and quality can vary.

Track layout and signalling

  1. Both 7 ¼ and 5” systems have colour light signals which indicate track occupancy. Signals at vital locations such as entry to tunnels, are Absolute, and are marked with an “A”. You must not pass this when at Red. You may proceed on a Yellow, but be aware that there is a train in the next section beyond the one you are about to enter. Others are permissive, (with a “P”), and these may be passed slowly after stopping to ensure the line is clear ahead. In some places there are route indicators using a set of LEDs to indicate which way a turnout is set. Entry to the main line is controlled by sets of LEDs, Red indicating that the main line you are approaching is occupied.
    On long sections of relatively straight track, there is no track circuiting, so you need that No1 eyeball again.
  2. Both systems operate in a clockwise direction only.
  3. Some turnouts on the 7 ¼” system have movable frogs, so ensure you are fully clear before changing them. Check both the turnout blades and the frog to ensure both are set correctly
  4. Choice of station tracks on both systems is enabled by the use of a magnet held between two red lines on a control box preceding the turnout. On the 7 ¼”, the left hand option (the box is part way along the top bridge) accesses the through track.
    The signals at these turnouts are route indicators only.
  5. On the 5” it offers two alternatives, both being station roads. There is access to sidings (by manual point operation) after passing though the right hand option. The signals at these turnouts are route indicators only. With care you can reverse out to the station track, or by observing signals, depart forward direct onto the main line.
  6. Departure turnouts at both stations are trailable, but please check the signals before you go as these do indicate track occupancy
  7. For operators who want to utilize the 5” laid in the 7 ¼” loop you can do so via a cross over track, accessible from the track between the 5” steaming bay and the 5” main line. Ensure that drivers on the 7 ¼” are aware of what you are doing, as the cross over is not signalled.


  1. In the interest of safe operation for all, maximum speed is limited to 10kph
  2. Covered foot wear is to be worn by all people riding your train.
  3. If you are having issues with your locomotive, or want a rest, please make use of a siding – don’t hold others up by occupying the main line, or station roads
  4. You may allow people who may not have driver certification, to operate your locomotive. However, you, or another competent driver who is familiar with you loco must ride with that person
  5. If you are new to train operations, or lack confidence in using our system, please talk to our members who will be happy to assist you.
  6. If running after dark, you must have a working Headlight, and a Red tail light that is clearly visible to following trains.
  7. Additional information on signalling etc can be found in our drivers’ training manual. If this document varies from that, please observe the requirements of the training manual documentation.

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