Friday, 11 September 2020

Western Bridges

For some time I have been following the upgrading of bridges in South Western and Central Queensland Darr River is located approximately 33 km north west of Longreach near Morella. The bridge was damage during flooding in February 2012 and collapsed under a ballast train, the hauling locomotive made it to the other side without injury to the crew. The bridge was repaired and reopened in July.
April 2013 A contract to VEC Civil Engineering Pty Ltd for $ 1.33 million saw the bridge replaced and open to traffic on the 20th Arial 2015. The VEC construction crew battled temperatures in excess of 43 degrees Celcius. A Cultural Heritage Induction taught the crew how to find artefacts and how to report it correctly to Queensland Rail if some artefacts are found on the site. This bridge is higher than 6m and when working outside the handrails, and thus required the crew to be hooked up with the harness and apply working at heights rules and regulations. The VEC selected design allowed for the ease of substructure construction between trains and for a 60 day possession period to demolish the existing superstructure and piers, place the new crossheads packers and superstructure before re-connecting the rail and re-opening to rail traffic. I was in the area in during April 2016 and the new bridge was complete and the water hole was dry under the bridge. What a great opportunity to check out new constructions methods.
Being out in Longreach (Aug 20), it was time to check out the bridge again. This time the weekly Winton to Rockhampton freight service crossed the bridge. The train would pick up another 5 similar wagons at Longreach and two at Alpha. Like most things over time things change, likewise our railways. At first trains were steam hauled, then diesel. Wooden wagons were replaced with steel. Structures also changed over time. During the mid 1990’s, QR upgraded a number of lines from “B” class (10t, some were 12.2t axle load) to “A” class (15.75t). “B” class lines were restricted to 63t locomotives (1700/1720 class DEL), many were in need of overhaul. The upgrade allowed a wider use of the 93 t locomotives. Upgrading of the lines include strengthen the bridges.
1701 crosses Angellala Creek at Angellala (Morven – Charleville) in the mid 1980’s. At the time the line was “B” class with an axle load of 12.2 t. To allow 93 t DEL’s to cross over Angellala Creek, a new sub frame was constructed under the iron section of the bridge.
The timber trestle section of the bridge didn’t require muck work. When looking at some of the trestle bridges on the Longreach to Winton section, some additional timbers were required. The Darr River overflow highlights extra piers and supports were used.
My last visit to the bridge in August 2020 I found the bridge had been upgraded.
New bridges and other work done on bridges on the line, has not done much in increasing trains speeds. Hardly, competition for road transport with a highway speed of 110 Km/h..
Timber bridges on older “A” class lines have much more to them.
Cooranga Creek Warra. For us modellers, bridges over flood plains we have endless choice, some have simple structures.
Spirit of the Outback, 671.271 KM near Longreach. August 2020. “A” class line
Cunnamulla Line near Westgate. "B" class Line. If you are a era modeller, the photos highlights how structures change over time.
Awesome bridge scene on Bob Harding Layout “Mosquito Creek”

Saturday, 8 August 2020

New Station building for Wyandra.

The station building at Wyandra was always going to be replaced.


 The building in the photo below was a resin kit I had and was a quick fix until I constructed the type of station I wanted.

The platform in this photo was to short and was extended some time back to accommodate more than a rail car. The platform was extended back to the level crossing, the cream shed became part of the platform. The short dead end was also extended at the same time without moving the station building. 

The new station would reflex the Coopers Plains station I worked in from 1974 to 1982. The building had been modified before my arrival to have a men’s toilet on one end. The Ladies toilet was reduced by half with a wall making two separate rooms. The door to the gents was added to the end of the building. My era goes back before sewage and a gent’s toilet/lamp room I wanted to keep in its current position. 

The city end of the station had a cabin which I didn’t require. My guess this would have been added with double track in the early 1950’s. In this photo the waiting room had been boarded up to stop the locals using it as a toilet at night.

 Many stations across southern divisions were built, not two the same. Sunnybank two station towards Beenleigh had the same style, but very different.

 The station was removed then the third track was added, a whole new station was build closer to the city on straight track. 

Sunnybank also had a cabin on the far end which was boarded up to make a store room after electrification in the mid 1980’s.

 Murarrie on the Lota line was similar.

Number of country station also had this style of building.




 An odd one or two could be located on Branch Lines. How about this one for a modelling project. 


When it coming to building the station, plans were hard to come by. Plans were able for small waiting sheds, but not the station. Luckily, Arthur Robinson was able to throw some light on it for me along with some measurements from Sunnybank, a plan was drawn up. Sunnybank is heritage listed and was not replaced when the third line to Kuraby was added.

The station walls was built from Evergreen clapboard styrene. It’s not size I would of liked, I had a bulk sheet that was labelled incorrectly, the boards are a little wider that I would of liked. .080thou spacing would have been nicer and closer to the prototype. The door frames and windows were made from evergreen strip. 

Various paints were used:-

Outside Walls- Floquil Antique White.

Inside Walls – Creation Blue (Australian Export from Super Cheap, rattle can)

Office floor lino- Model Color Uniform Green 70.922

Office Bench & Tables – Model Color Burnt Umber 70.941

Cupboards & Parcels rack - Model Air Dirt. 71.133

Waiting Room and Toilet Floors - Model Color Stone Grey 70.884

Window Frames and Door trim- Gloss white

Windows Tinting– Model Colour Sky Grey 70.989

Roof- Floquil Tuscan

Trim- Model Colour, Burnt Umber 70.941 

Bill Boards were added using signs resized from the internet. Backing boards made from styrene were made and painted before adding the sign.

I always intended to have interior lights, furnisher and office fittings was a after though. All were made from styrene strip cut and filed to shape and painted. The roof has been made to lift off to view the interior when required. The office layout is much the same as Coopers Plains except the parcel rack is across the side wall. Figures are sitting figures purchased on EBay and painted. The figures were placed so they could be viewed when the building was added to the layout.     

I’m sure some work mates will want to know where all the staff in the office came from. It’s the shunt crew having a meal. The staff boxes indicate there is two trains in the yard, yes a busy place.

 Wiring Details.

Two enamel wires, one (-) and one (+) run the full length of the building, one on each side of the building.

The wire is supported by small blocks at each end and the walls.                           

These two wires form the main power supply for the building. The wires are .25mm enamel wire. With the enamel in place the wires are insulated. The two wires come together in the top L/H corner block to exit the bottom of the build and are hooked to the layout “Lighting Power Grid” (12V DC on my layout).  Hot solder on the end of the soldering iron will remove the enamel. 

A 1 K resister is attached to the (+) (longer wire) of the LED and attached to the (+) power feed wire. The other LED wire is attached to the (-) feed wire. The LED wires are shorten and twisted before attaching the resistor, this puts a small stem on the light and allows you to adjust the light into position.

The LED’s are 0603 pre-soldered SMD LED’s purchased on eBay, these had multi strand insulated connecting wires. The outside light on the R/H end of the building is a DCC Concepts Nano – NLPW LED, these have a very fine enamel wire about the thickens of an hair.   

Two lights have been added to the platform awning as well to light up the platform.

With a bit of practice and a bit more care, I guess a much neater wiring could be achieved.  

When reduced lighting is used on the layout, the interior lights can be seen through the walls, it is planned to dull the lights a little. The waiting room has double walls, an interior wall was add inside. (It’s is not visible when the building is on the layout.)  

Stumps were added to the back of the building when fitted to the platform on the layout.

A water tank and weeds etc. was added to complete the station on the layout.

The station is also a part of the latest YouTube video with the Second division of the Westlander passing through, Train 2nd 13 Down.

 Trust you found the information is helpful and assist you with your layout.

Arthur H.