Sunday, 22 April 2018

OHE Amoco Tank Wagons

OHE Tank Wagons (AMOCO).

In the early 1960’s there were a few changes and new comers to the distributions of petroleum products in Australia.

1960's :- STANDARD OIL OF INDIANA commenced marketing from AMOCO service stations.

1960's :- STANDARD OIL OF NEW JERSEY replaced the ATLANTIC signs with the ESSO oval in their Australian service stations.  (OA Class wagons)

1960 :- CC WAKEFIELD & CO. changed its name to CASTROL LIMITED.

1961 :- PHILLIPS PETROLEUM commenced operations in Queensland using the PHILLIPS 66 brand name. (OE Class wagons)

1965 :- AMOCO opened a refinery at Bulwer Island , Brisbane, Queensland.

This information was located on the web at, the site has a timeline of events in the Australian Oil Industries as far back as 1854.

The Brisbane AMOCO terminal for loading tank wagons was at Pinkenba, just a few miles from the refinery. The siding was located on what later become known at the Bulwer Island Branch. In 1962 on the line there was ACF and Shirleys, Shell, Phillips 66 and Amoco. Later Speed-e-Gas had a siding next to Amoco and in 1966 the line was extended to the Oil Refinery. The refinery siding later became known as BP-bitumen. In 1962, Ampol was also at Pinkenba on the western (other) end of the yard.

The first Amoco tank wagon OHX 1 entered service in 1962, by 1967 the company had 29 wagons in service, all built by Scotts. Two were OHY wagons (OHY 11, 12) , the rest were OHE wagons.  OHE 1 – 5, 18 – 24, 27 -29 were two dome tanks, OHE 6 – 10, 13 – 17, 25, 26 were single dome tanks.  By 1983 the company had 55 wagons on the books. 19 OHO wagons and 7 OHAO wagons being added.
OHE 19 No red circle or tow anchor's. Photo AMRA Qld.
OHE 3. Red circle. no tow anchor's Photo AMRA Qld.
OHE 1 Pinkenba

OHX (1 – 10) were reclassed to OHE in 1965. Early 1970’s the class were upgraded to express freight status and the red circle was added. Soon after tow anchor’s were added to the sole bar above the bogies, most being painted white. 1970 Supplement to Working Time Tables  showed some wagons fitted with automatic coupling classed OHET. 1984/85 with the introduction of Rollingstock Information Control System (RICS), the wagon were given 5 digit numbers (44136 – 44188), OHE 13 and 21 had been written off by this time.  Also around this time the Australian Dangerous Good code came into play, wagons were then fitted with DG Information panels.  

DG panel on side. '
1984 : BP bought the downstream assets of AMOCO in Australia - including the Bulwer Island oil refinery, the wagons were then used by BP, the classification of the tank wagons did not change.  (BP tank wagons carried an OC classification).

Another change took place in 1992/3, most of the first 29 wagons were fitted with modified first contract (32369 – 32668) QLX frames, except OHE 22 (44155) was placed on a WHE frame. All wagons were classed OHET and a few months later when the buffers were removed the wagons were reclasses again to OHEM. During the modification the tanks were painted black, the underframes mainly retained their grey colour. A number of the class were written off in 1994.
OHE on QLX frame.
Two dome OHE on QLX underframe.  Photo Internet.
OHET Charleville. QR Locomotive fuel
Around 2000 some were fitted with ground loading / unloading equipment with an extra dome/hatch fitted to the top of the tank, photos suggest this was done mainly to single dome tanks which had the higher carrying capacity. By this time, orders for small consignment of mix products was long gone, most wagons were being used for bulk orders.

Ground loading/unloading equipment.
QR Plan P 245 has many pages covering imperial and metric measures. The diagram on the plan is for the two dome tank wagon. All tanks had the same inside diameter 6’ 1½” (1 867).  Two domed tanks were 38’ 8½” (10 579) long, the single domed tanks were 10 850 long. (Opp’s that something I missed ???). Likewise the carrying capacity was greater in the single dome tanks, 29272 Lts (6429 Gals) to 27768 Lts (6108 Gals), this was subject to product being carried.  The single dome wagons tared weight was around 16 tonnes as to the two domed wagons at 17 t.  Loaded, all wagons were 40.6 t gross.

The plan shows OHE 1 – 20 was fitted with QR 11 bogies (5’ 9” axle centre with 2‘ 9½” roller bearing wheels).  QR 11 bogies were also used under PE, OBY, OTE, OPY, OFY, OGE wagons. Some of the later OHE were fitted with QR 22 A bogies. One plan shows the drawgear at D2, another shows D4. Photos of OHE 3 shows a coupling hooks under the headstock. This was common in the early 1960’s for new wagons to come with fixed coupling at each end. The hook was provided so the coupling not in use could be fixed back under the wagon. At the time these wagons were all classed as “premium” drawgear which later become D2. The overall height also was different, two dome tanks are shown as 3 454 and one dome tanks
3 660.
OHEM 44162 (29)  One that didn't receive a new underframe. Jan 98 less buffers.
(Don’t look to hard at the models ?? One should not assume ??).  

Operations:- Fuel companies had terminals along the east coast at sea ports, Brisbane, Gladstone, Townsville etc. This varied company by company with some using other ports as well. Tank wagons conveyed the company product to company depots and customers from these terminals. Each terminal being responsible for a set area with a fleet of tank wagons.

Below is a list of incidents involving Amoco facilities and wagons. This will give you some understanding of what was where within a given time frame. Some show other wagons in the incident which give us some idea what was on trains around that time.      

13/3/73 - 123.75 Km (GNR) Mungunburra. Derailment of PCC 25624,  PCC 25793, HSAT 34708, FJS 28706, OHE 6, UR 20535, FJS 28230, H 9539 on train 52 Up due to track buckle.

21/12/74 - 613Km Bajool – Archer. Derailment FJS 28861, HO 38107, OB 68, OB 78, FJS 22455, OHE 20 on train 387.

26/05/75 - 86.5 Km NCL Marmor – Raglan. Derailment of DEL 1637, OVE 64, OTY 50, OPE 17, OP 15, OHE 23, OHE 25, OHE 14, HSA 33134, QLX 34389 on 356 Up due to broken rail.

24/9/75 - Auckland Point. Damage to Amoco siding gates by a train. 

29/5/76 - 230Km Pentland (GNR). Derailment of DEL 1408 and OHE 17 on 19 Down due to striking a beast, loco rolled on side.

26/2/80 - Maxwelton (GNR). Derailment of QLXT 37011 and OHE 7, due to points not being correctly set.

23/8/80 - Townsville south yard. Collision of OHE 6 and OV 23.

8/7/81 - Morey Street, Townsville. Derailment of OHE 6 and OTY 48 (being shunted by DEL 1170), due to vandalism of points.

Emerald Fri 2nd January 81.  Train 54A 1609/1653, CMIST, 2 / QLX, 2/ QLXT, BLCT, QLX, BLCT, OTE, OBA, OP, OTA, OC, OTA, OHE, QLX, BLCT, QLX, CMIST, 2/QLX, CMIS, QLX, TDV 1885,TLV 1848.
16/12/81 - 379.900km Hannam's Gap. Derailment of DEL 1610 and wagons on 66 Up. Petrol tankers ignited, loco burnt out. Board of Inquiry. Loco condemned as a result

JULY 1982 ARHS Sunshine Express.Hannam’s Gap derailment , OHE 13, 21, OTA 6, 24, OV 76, OBA 68, OC 21.
21/10/83 – Cardwell. Derailment of ALY 33642 and OHO 33 on 154 Up, due to incorrectly set points.

10/2/84 - Pinkenba (Amoco siding). Derailment of OHAO 52 during shunting, due to incorrectly set points.

18/6/85 - Gympie yard. Derailment of OHO 44171 during shunting, due to an error by the shunt foreman.

30/7/86 – Redbank. Derailment of OHO 44176 and VAOS 34052 on 7682 Up, due to the track spreading.
1/9/86 – Yukan. Derailment of TGVS 1774 and OHO 44177 on 7J22 Up, due to being pushed through stop blocks.
20/5/87 - Homestead (GNR). Derailment of OHE 44142 on 7269 Down (hauled by DEL 1261) on points at 7.06pm.
18/8/87 - Maxwelton yard (GNR). Derailment of OCE 44055 and OHE 44150 on 7269 Down (hauled by DEL 1470) in the goods shed siding at 5.33am.

4/8/88 - Gilliat (GNR). Derailment of OHO 44168 (empty).

14/12/88 - Charleville yard. Derailment of OHE 44153, OTE 44367 and OTA 44356, due to incorrectly set points.

For many years, AMOCO had the QR contract for diesel fuel for locomotives. The last use of the wagons was to convey premium unleaded petrol from BP at Whinstanes to Townsville. Three wagons of mixed classes, two or three times a week would go north on the steel train 6243. This traffic finished around 2009/10 when the product was transferred to sea transport. Most, if not all were scrapped soon after.


OHE 6 and 1.
Wuiske Models QRG053 Kits which I purchased at Austral Modelcraft a number of years ago. The underframes are pewter which gives a bit of weight in the right spot, the tank is PVC tube.

Bogies: Southern Rail.  To drop the underframe down closer to the correct height, just over 1 mm was filed off the centre casting.  

Decals: Ted Freeman. Email

Paint: Tru-color. TCP-007 Silver for the tank. TCP-171 Weathered Black for the underframe. (Austral Modelcraft)

Weathering: Model Color/Air. 70.941 Burnt Umber, 71.133 Dirt, 72.762 Earth, AK 723 Dust. (Hobby one / Hobbyrama)

As above, various tank wagon in a block on a train.
What next:- More tank wagons, I’m trying something new, scratch building the underframes in brass.

Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention:- Saturday 13th October 2018.

I have been told I will have a rollingstock display at the Convention. You will be able to check out how well I went with my soldering skills. Plus, I’m doing a presentation on “O” class tank wagons in a bit more detail and how I have modelled them. 

Registrations will be open in May/June.  Webpage

Wednesday, 21 March 2018


Fly shunting and loose shunting was the “NORM” until the mid-1980 on the QGR...

On the arrival of a train at a station the train engine would head for the shed and a shunt engine would break up the train. The shunters would bleed the air from all the wagons leaving the hand brake as the only working brake, that is, if it was working. Most yards had a section of track on a slight grade, some western locations it was the main line into the station.  Most trains arriving at depots stations were not marshalled. For example, a train arriving at Charleville could have Quilpie loading in 4 places, Cunnamulla loading in 3 places, Charleville in 5 places, plus there could be Wyandra, Cheepie and other loading through the train for smaller stations down the track.  

To break up the train the shunters would pull the train up to a suitable location and come back kicking wagons down various roads to bring the loading together for other trains and the yard. The shunter would cut the wagons off and they would roll down the set road until they hit the first wagon in the road. Sometimes a shunter may apply the hand brake if they need to pick up the wagon again. If you are thinking this a sure fast way to damage freight and wagons you are on the right track. Wagons coming in on a train rolled better than wagons sitting in the yard, one has hot bearings as to the other cold bearings. Roller Bearing wagons put a new spin on things, they would run away just sitting in the yard without a hand brake on. When loose shunting roller bearing wagons they would pick up speed quickly, often slamming into other wagons that had gone before them. They would rebound and come back towards you until they stopped and then roll back onto the other wagons, at times this would happen several time before the wagon stopped with the other wagons.    

Roma Street was a gravity yard, all wagons were kicked from Normanby end, some of them ran all the way to 24 Road beside the old platform 8. I recall taking a PE wagon down to the 24 Road one afternoon in peal hour, platform 8 was packed with passengers. The hand brake on PE wagons was on the headstock, so you would sit on the deck with your legs hanging over the headstock and turn the hand brake wheel. Once on the wagon you would take the slack out of the mechanism and test the brake, you would it in a position so a couple of turns and the brakes were on. This day I came down, turn the corner into the loading area heading for the overhead crane riding the wagon like being on a surf board. The passengers didn’t look to happy after a day’s work at the office, so I decided I would change that. I gave the hank brake wheel a couple of turns and left the wagon. At great knots the PE wagon slammed into the first wagon sounding like a bomb had gone off. Me, now hiding behind a wagon in 23 road with a view of 24 road I could tell the passengers on 8 platform were all awake with many going into the air. It was great walking back up the yard to pick up the next wagon/s, as I made so many people happy on their way home. There was sauce and beer running out of wagons just about every day. The door on 7 shed got knocked off there hinges about once a week. Every road had a name and a hand signal for day and light signal for night. The Shunter in Charge would cut the wagon/s off and give a signal, the shunting waiting 100 yards down the track would set the road and jump on as the wagon/s as they rolled by. He would test the hand brake to see if it works, if it didn’t he would jump off and wait for the next wagon that had a brake on his side. Timber wagons only had a hand brake on one side. Yes, all good fun. 

As in the HWO review, fly shunting was getting wagons on the front of the engine to behind the engine without running around. This photo by Ted Ward shows a shunter in action. I bet you like the safety gear.   

The white circle chalk mark above the axle box indicates the wheel flanges are getting sharp. No computers them days, but the word still got about.

Ken was over on Sunday and took a few movies with his phone.  

I think there is a few more on Facebook with loose shunting as well.

Controlled shunting is still allowed by approval of management, but cannot think of any location where it is done today. Controlled shunting is much the same as loose shunting without the engine kicking wagons off. Controlled shunting is allowing a wagon to roll freely using the hand brake to control the move. Pinkenba grain terminal used this method to unload grain wagons. The wagons were dropped down onto the tippler for unloading and then dropped out of the shed. Many of the grain loading facilities on the Downs could do this to load wagons.

Until next time, enjoy.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018



As indicated previously, various loads were carried in HWO/HWOS wagons.  Steels loads are easy to make.


In this wagon the steel sheet is styrene sheet cut to size and painted with gun metal. Pigments were used to add some rust.


The steel rod bundles were made from Evergreen styrene rod. Most are .040”, one bundle of .035”. A few bundles of angle were also done to make a mixed load. All were painted gum metal, pigments were used to add some rust. Dunnage used to separate bundles of steel is 4” x 4” hardwood. I used 4“ x 4” Evergreen styrene cut to size, about 4’ long and painted brown.  Most steel wagons had loose dunnage laying around on the floor and old car/truck tyres. The tyres in these loads are off my old Matchbox cars I had as a kid. The axle/hub centres were drilled out with my cordless drill. They were painted black mounted on a skewer.  

In the Sep - Oct 2016 issue of MainLine,  Rod Tonkin has an article on “Building Material Size”, this gives a run down on steel sizes and lengths.
Auscision Models have suitable loads for Open Wagons for about $ 20.00 per single wagon. These include “H” Frame (New or Rusty). Wire, Pipes (Silver, Yellow, Black), and Telegraph Poles.
Evergreen Scale Models offer a verity of structural shapes in channels, “H”– Columns, “I” – Beams, Angles, Round Rod, Round Tubing, Square/Rectangular Tubing and strips. Most hobbies have a stand with the various sizes in each type. Cost can vary from store to store somewhere between $ 7.00 to $ 10.00 a packet.  

This wagon is loaded with Roof top vents made by Rix Products Stock # 628-0610.


This wagon has a load of concrete pipes, Evergreen # 234 - 7/16” Tube was cut to length using a razer saw and a mitre box. They were painted concrete and added to the wagon. One packet will give you a load for one wagon with most of the second tube in the packet left over. This could be used with tube of a different size for a mixed load. Note the tyres at each end to stop longitudinally movement during travel.

All these loads can be easily removed and can be exchanged.    

Loads covered by Tarpaulins.

The loads were made from styrene sheet and off cuts.


The 1982/1989 General Appendix shows general freight traps are 6 700mm x 5 200mm.                     

I made a template from styrene sheet to make it easy. I make most of my general freight tarpaulins from Lipton tea bags. After making a cup of tea, I wash the bags out in the sink. The tea bag is placed outside in the sun to dry out. Once dry the staple at the top is removed, open the seam with care and remove the tea. Using the template I cut two tarps out. I was using a fine black felt pen and cut around the line. However the black line is hard to hind during painting. Lately I just cut around the template. The centre is marked on the traps in a couple of places in pencil. I also mark a centre line on the load so the trap has equal overhang on both sides.  

The trap is placed over the load and tacked into place with a drop or two of super glue. I let is dry before attaching the trap to the sides with super glue. Using a tea bag the super glue will soak through paper onto the styrene load. I use super glue as some of the other types of glue will distort the styrene over time. Allow the super glue to dry before folding the corners into place. The ears should be folded back across the wagon ends, but you will find some that were folded back along the sides, this was much easier than across the couplings if you were on your own. I won’t talk about a windy day, I’m sure you can understand the fun we had. If there is more than one tarp covering a load, consider must be given into the wagons direction of travel. Over laps should not be allow to balloon up during travel. The leading tarp should go over the top of the tarp behind it, In other words the rear trap goes on first and work towards the leading end of the wagon. Contractor with mix loads would place the traps to suit the various heights of the load to stop water entering, if the overlap was the wrong way around, ropes over the tarps near the overlap would be used to stop ballooning.


These tarps were painted with Vallejo acrylic paint # 70.915 deep yellow. This is the first time I have used this paint for traps. The colour didn’t cover the black felt pen marking. A light grey was used to paint out the lines, then covered with the yellow, a few coats were required. In some cases, the black line on the covered trap is still showing. The stain in the tea bag add a nice weather effect.

Tarps are secured to wagons with rope called ratline. I think they are more trouble than they are worth on a working layout. After a short period of handling they all come off, so I left then off. On the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention website in downloads there is a copy of my presentation on tarpaulins from the 2012 Convention The presentation covers various materials used to make tarps and other references.


This wagon is a load of empty stubbies, two pallets high. ARHS Sunshine Express reported HWO’s 39546 and 39544 conveyed empty stubbies from Roma Street to C.U.B Cairns on the 14th April 1979. 

 As an experiment I have added trap numbers. A few moons back, a colleague by the name of Mr. Ken Edge-Williams made some home printed decals for my WH grain wagons. The decals have not made it to the grain wagon yet. Thus, the number are for the mid-sixties and not the correct for the era. From 18” the number are not visibly anyway.  Vallejo # 70.510 gloss varnish was apply to the traps, when dry the decals were added. After the decal set another coat of gloss was applied over the decals.  To finish off the painting, the traps were given a coat of Mr Hobby water based acrylic flat clear H 20. I would normally stick with the same brand of paint, but the Vallejo Flat clear had been sold out. One tarp on both wagons were given a wash of dirt using Fatigue Green pigments. Just a bit of fun to see how it looks, I let you judge if I have made a rod for my back.    


 This wagon had a coat of Vallejo # 70.522 satin varnish applied to the tarp to give a PVC look. The wagon is modelled on a Hiles contract wagon with a mixed load for Warwick. More on the contract train 6678 will be in the next blog. A few more loads are needed to complete the train.  

The wagons were lightly weathered using an airbrush with Vallejo Model Air # 71.133 Dirt, Game Air # 72.762 and AK 723 Dust.
The HWOS was weathered using Doctor Bar’s Scale Consortium Industrial Weathering Pigments. I have had these for a number of years and purchased them from Rails in Scale at a Sydney Exhibition. The following colours were used Brownstone, Dry Fresh Rust, Light Rust and Fatigue Green. The Pigments were applied with a wet (water) brush and allowed to dry. A dry stiff brush was used to remove excess pigments. Areas around the doors was added by dabbing pigment with a fine wet brush and let to dry.   

Trust you enjoy, please yell out if you have any questions.     
Arthur Hayes.


Monday, 26 February 2018

Sunshine BL Carriage.

Over Christmas I was able to finish off a Sunshine BL (Second Class Sitting Car with Lavatory) Car.

The model is a Three Foot Six Model running on Caintode Flats bogies.  The bogies should have  rolling bearings to be 100 % correct.  

Yesterday I finished the model with a light weathering using Vallejo Model Air 71.133 Dirt, Earth &2.762 and AK 723 Dust.  Mainly I wanted to highlight the detail (water tanks, battery boxes) under the carriage.

Before weathering

Light weathering.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

HWO Wagons

This week CGL Models ( HWO wagons arrived in the mail. The wagons come in a pack of three, with four different packs for you to choose from. Pack 1, general traffic wagons (1980’s), Pack 2, one general traffic, one Q-Link, one QRX (1990’s), Pack 3 is three HWOS steel wagons (2000’s), Pack 4 is one general traffic, one QRX and one HWOS (2000’s). The prototype wagons entered service in 1974, in the mid 80’s the class was modified by placing the inside stanchions outside to give a uniform loading area between the doors. The wagon size and carrying capacity made it a popular choice for Transport Companies. Many of them were captive to various companies across the state. The wagon modelled is the modified version with the uniform loading area. As freight moved towards containers, the wagons were given a new life in BHP steel traffic as HWOS wagons. Plus a number were allocated to Q-Link Traffic for cranky/ruff loading to western and north coast centres. Other were reclassed WHOI for infrastructure service.

HWOS and other HWO’s.
The wagons come in packs similar to other wagons made in China. The outer cardboard packaging leaves no doubt to what prototype is inside, a company logo similar to a 1200 DEL chevron, with blue, white and orange on the box.   Inside the pack is a plastic sleeve of fine detailing parts (Air hoses, uncoupling rods, and door stops) and a two page instruction sheet. The sheet details model features, Safety Notes, Important information regarding  delicate parts, warranty, spare parts, adjustable coupling pockets 16.5 & 12 mm track standards), fitting brake pipe hoses, uncoupling levers and door stops. I found the fine detailing parts were easy to fit, plus it allowed me to position parts how I wanted them. The model can be purchased to run on both 12 mm and 16.5 mm track systems.  

The detail on the wagons is awesome, having worked with the prototype for many years, nothing is missing. The manufactures have done there homework, plus have considered how the model will look and run on the layout and handle by the modeller. The brake gear looks that good you would think it works. The bogies have brake beams and blocks, and a SAV value (Load/empty device) on one bogie. The bogie class, manufacture and other marking are all there. The wagon end has bifurcated brake pipe hoses, one has the tap open and the other is closed, just like the real thing on a train.  Stencilling on the wagons is spot on, all correct size an information for the era.
Underfloor detail.

On the track straight out of the box the wagon rolls very freely, leave them on a slight grade, and they take off.  Across rail joints the wagon sounds just like the real thing. On my Peco track and points the wagons operated faultlessly and pass the requirements I use as a standard for rollingstock going on the layout for operations sessions. After this I gave them the “flick” test, most times this end up in a mess all over the layout. This time with six coupled wagons, I had to go down at the other end of the layout to find them. The bogies are strong and there is no side play in the wheelsets. In trying to derail the wagons, I pushed the six wagons on the front of a loco at speed through a double crossover. They were like glue and stuck to the track without incident.

Pushing through a double crossover (Peco Points)

Note the different shades of grey, the 1980 wagons are darker than the later 2000 era wagons.  

Fly shunting was something I enjoyed watching, after the 90’s it was outlawed by management. This move saved time, to get of the other of a wagon, if often required the shunt engine to run around via the loop, not to many short loops in most yards. Fly shunting the engine would push the wagon up the head shunt or main line. In the steam days the shunter would ride on the cow catcher. The engine would come back and the shunter would drop the coupling, the driver in hearing the coupling drop onto the cow catcher would increase speed to clear the points. Once the engine was clear of the points, the shunter at the points would reverse the points and the wagon would go running down another road until it hit another wagon or the shunters applied the handbrake. The shunt engine would come back to the points and run back onto the wagon. This is one thing I have not been able to do on the yard until today. At first I tried one HWO off the shunt straight. The trick was reversing the tortoise point motor between the two. After a bit of practice, I could fly shunt six HWO wagons from the front of the shunt engine (Paw Paw) to the back of the engine without running around.     

For the modeller who likes to add his own stamp to his rollingstock, what a canvas you have to work with, endless opportunities for loads and weathering. Wooden floor inserts and bullhead all have wood grain. That gives you both inside and out to weather. One could write a book highlighting the detailing on these wagons.


Wood grain on the timber floor inserts
If this manufacture produces anymore wagons I will need to rethink my QR modelling era/eras in much the same way I did with my NSWR rollingstock. I have had a FNH 2170 from day one, I guess it’s about time it did some real work.  



 Bogie Detail and markings 
Congratulation Carl, Graham and Lincoln (CGL Models) on an awesome model and for making a popular uneek prototype general freight wagon available to modellers.