Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Jumbo “HJ” Wagon.

Back in the days when stations accepted goods, Station Masters would allocated or order wagons that best suited the loading being offered. Various factors were taken into account, this started with the type of load, does it need protection from the weather, how will it be loaded, weight, what’s at the destination to unload the wagon, class of track the wagon will travel on to the destination etc.
If the load could be loaded into an open wagon and it was under 12 tons, an “H” wagon would be used. “H” wagons come in various lengths, if ordering a wagon the size would be requested. Most times a wagon on hand would be allocated.  Should the load be over 12 tons, a “HJ” or “HJS” wagon would be used. The “J” in the classification indicated the wagon bogies was fitted with 8” x 4” journal.  This allowed a 8 ton axle load, a higher carrying capacity than the “H” wagon with a 7” x 3” journal, thus it was jumbo version of the original class. Station staff gave the title of Jumbo HJ wagon to a very different HJ wagon.
The jumbo HJ was a wagon with 5 plank high sides (3’ 6”) with a centre standard 4 plank (2” 6”) door. The wagon was 32’ long with an 8’ centre door and ran on 4’ 9” diamond frame bogie with 2’ 9½” wheels. The class had an average tare of 10T 12 cwt and carried 21T 8 cwt. In 1969 the carrying capacity was reduced to 12T and the wagon was reclassed to “HH”. Prior to 1969, the Goods and Live Stock Rates Book allowed a 2 ton overload on HJ wagons.
 
Given all loading need to be undertaken by hand through the centre door, the wagon had limited use. Using a tarpaulin over the load was also a tall order, there were no securing rings on the sole bar. You could say that about most wooden open wagons, very few had securing rings, generally tarpaulin ratline was tied around the door stops.  General Appendix 1950 clause 67 had this to say about DF four wheeled wagons which had similar size sides. (h) DF wagons should be confined to firewood traffic as far as practicable. Goods liable to be damaged by water must not be loaded in these wagons, as the high sides prevent sufficient fall being given to the sheets (tarpaulins) to run off the water.   
The model was scratch built from styrene and runs on Caintode Flats CFB 11 S bogies (the correct diamond frame type bogies are not available, these are similar with the correct size wheels). PGC “Red Oxide” was used to paint the wagon. After 1969, the wagons were painted QR Freight Grey. I don’t recall seeing one loaded, most were empty. I could not find a photo of one with a visible load. 


 
After kicking it about for a few weeks I came up with a return empty tar drum load. Most drums/kegs conveyed on the forward journey loaded were give free travel when being retuning empty to the sending station, thus the term “Returned Empty”. Going back a few years, tar (bitumen) was convey to councils in 44 gallon drum to repair roads. There is a good chance most of our early bitumen roads were constructed using tar transported in 44 gallon drums.
To reduce the number of drums required to load the wagon a raised/dummy floor was made from styrene. The drum load was made using Tichy Train Group US 55 gallon drums. They come in packs of 12 # 82111 and 96 # 8212. (as per the “U” wagon previously) was used. Painting of the drums was by airbrush, a length of masking tape sticky side up was fixed to a pine stud (3” x 1” timber). Drums were placed on the tape and painted.   
 
Drum loads were still common into the 70’s, when at Landsborough in 73/74 fuel for the Golden Fleece depot at Maleny arrived in “H” wagons. All the ASM’s had a drum of “Super” in the goods shed. Each company had its own colour for their drums.
Silver – Shell, Golden Fleece
Brown – Mobil
Red – Caltex
Blue and white - Ampol
Green and Green with White centre band – Castrol.
Black – Tar drums.
Others were blue and grey drum as well. In later years, similar size drum (200 Lts) painted various colours were used to transport various chemicals. Drums loads are a great way to add colour to our rollingstock and layout.  

Going back in time, the following is shown in the 1950 General Appendix.

Clause 523. Branding of empty Petrol Drums.  In order to readily identify empty drums being conveyed on account of the various oil companies, the following markings have been adopted.
Shell Company of Australia Ltd – A red band around the body of the drum.

Neptune Oil Company Pty Ltd – A blue band around the body of the drum.

Commonwealth Oil Refineries Ltd – A yellow band around the body of the drum.

Vacuum Oil Company Pty Ltd – In addition to having the company’s name on the top of the drum, are stencilled with the word “Vacuum” in black twice on the bilge of the drum.

Caltex Qld. Pty Ltd – A green band around the body of the drum in addition to “Caltex” branded on the end of the drum.
Independent Oil Industries Pty Ltd – Various identification marks as follows: - Motor Spirit – Drum heads – Pale blue. Bilge band markings – Ethyl – Red band, Purr Koll – Pale blue band; Purr Pull – Dark blue band. Kerosene, Power – Drumheads – Pale Blue; Bilge band markings – Nil. Kerosene, Lighting – Drum heads – Dark blue; Bilge band markings – Nil. All drums will be stencilled with “Independent Oil Industries Pty. Ltd. around the drum head.
Atlantic Union Oil Coy. Ltd. – A red band with the word “Atlantic” in white.
I just wonder what colour was the drum, silver maybe??? . Just shows how things change over the years. 
There was also a smaller 21’ 9” long similar wagon classed PTH.” Sides were added to a platform PT wagon in 1938, thus the PTH class. Plan 181 (Drawing 1700) shows the following numbers 19091, 19092, 19224. My plan has a date stamp of 1963, the following numbers have been ruled out 19088, 19222, 19223, and 19220. The floor height above rail is a little higher than other open wagon at 3’ 6½”. They had an average Tare of 10T 11 C and carried 21T 9C.    
 
 PTH 19091 Toowoomba 1974.  
The early history of both wagons can be found in John Armstrong book on “Wooden Wagons of the Queensland Railways 1880 – 1980”.

Three open wagons with different height sides and ends with loads.  
 
 

Thursday, 20 July 2017


“U” Wagon.
21 ' U Wagon with sleeper load. Charleville

When I look around the layout I have more box wagons an open wagons, it don’t look right. I often ask myself what ratio of each should I have, given I model a prototype railway. From what I could recall, there was more open wagons than box wagons on “Goods Trains”. But, I guess it is subject to the area and goods being moved. Rollingstock at one location could be different to another location due to traffic being conveyed to and from the area.

Checking out a Queensland Railways annual report for 30th June 1960 I find there were about 5 open wagons for every box wagon in service, on top of this there were many other classes of rollingstock operating on the network. Other types of rollingstock on the system include stock wagons, service wagons, coal, timber, flat wagons, runners and bulk cement/lime etc.

Looking at rollingstock on the layout I was short on open wagons. Queensland Railways has a great collection of open wagons in various sizes and types.  The classification list shows three types, “F” class wagon – 4 wheeled, “G” class wagon – 6 wheeled, and “H” class wagon – 8 wheeled. By my era in the 60’s, all the 6 wheeled wagons were gone. Some were converted to 4 wheeled wagons with Grover’s bogies. Others to 8 wheeled wagons, thus we have a great collection of shorties to model.  On the layout I have a fair collection of 4 wheelers, so my next few wagons need to be 8 wheelers. Looking through the plan book I found other 8 wheeled open wagons within another classes, one being the “U” class ballast wagon. There use as ballast wagon in the 60’s was long gone, a few were allocated to loco ash towards the end of the steam era (which was used as ballast/fill mainly around yards), but most were in general goods traffic.         

As per the norm with most QR wagons, there were various sizes within the class. The list below is a quick summary.   All wagons have low 1 foot 6 inches sides (2 Planks), 7” x 3” journals, thus the gross weight when loaded is 20 tons.  They have a tare between 6½ to 8 tons (subject to length) and carried between 13½ to 12 tons of goods subject to their tare to equal 20 tons gross.

Body
Bogie
Wheels
# of Doors
QR Plan
21’ 3½ x 7’ 9½”
4‘ BF
2’ 2”
1
204
22’ 9” x 5’ 7”
4‘ BF
2’ 2”
2
 
23’ 9” x 7’ 6”
4‘ BF
2’ 2”
2
 
30’ x 8’
4‘ BF
2’ 2”
3
205
32’ x 8’
4‘ BF
2’ 2”
3
205

 

The class was also modified to carry water “UW” and platform wagons “UP”. It appears some UP’s were converted back to U wagons. Plan 205 was dated 1938 showed the wagons were converted from “UP”, “P” and “S” wagons. Other were modified for molasses and weed spray (poison) without changing the class.
 U Weed Spray Wagon
 
UW water Wagon

Some of the top two wagons in the table were fitted with a ratchet “T” type hand brake mounted floor level on the headstock down one end. I like the little bum seat mounted to one side on top of the end. Other wagons had the usual “V” type on the sole bar, some did differ a bit with the smaller wagons having a longer levers to bypass the bogie.  

The class were limited in the types of general goods they could carry, they were mainly used to carrying departmental materials, sleepers etc. I have seen a few carrying 44 gallon drums. Freight above the sides on open wagons only need to be 6 inches below the sides.

Prior to 1969, most of the class I saw were painted black, 1969 onwards they were painted QR Freight Grey.

U Wagon Ipswich
 
The 1960 Annual Report showed there was 75 wagons in service, including 5 fitted with molasses tanks.   

Model; The model was scratch build using “Evergreen” styrene (floor, sole bar, headstock), sides were scribed sheet styrene for the correct board size. Caintode Flats CFB 2 bogies, buffers and brake cyclinder. Kadee 158 medium scale whisker coupling were used and mounted in scratch build coupler box to allow the bogies to swivel.  Maybe I should cover this in more detail down the track, I think I’m onto a winner in reducing derailment when pushing back during shunting. The drum load was made using Tichy Train Group US 55 gallon drums. They come in packs of 12 # 82111 and 96 # 8212. They are like a kit with a choice of lids, wood or steel. All you need to do is to add lid of choice to the drum, for me it was the steel lids. These work out to be about 208 litres which is not far off the Aussie 44 gallon drums for the 60’s era. 
 

 

“UR” Wagon:- But wait, there is more to the class, the UR wagon. The plan book show these wagons as “Convertible” wagons. We may recall a few weeks ago we had a “CC” covered/box wagon with the same title. This time around we have an open wagon ???. So, what’s going on, “CC” wagon could be used for another purpose if required, maybe the UR also as a dual role too.

The wagon has a couple of features that is not on any other open wagons on the network. Dates on the plans suggest these wagons were built much later around 1938/42. The ends could drop down onto the floor. Plus the door stops on the side were different to all other open wagons, doors in the dropped down position could be pinned to the door stops allowing the wagon to travel with the doors down.
UR ARHS Collection showing different door stops and Hand Brake
This also brought around a different hand brake arrangement so the brake can be applied with the doors down. Looking at photos I found three different arrangements. Some had the standard arrangements with the “V” hanger in the middle of the wagon. Shunting staff could secured the wagon by using sprags in the wheels or leaving another wagon coupled up. The other two methods the hand brake lever extended out past the headstock giving shunting staff access to the hand brake. This was achieved by using two methods, one method required two “V” hangers, one in the middle of the wagon and a second hanger near the bogie. The lever was connected to the second hanger and a steel rod connected the two hangers. The second method had one hanger located just in behind the bogie in front of the brake piston.

So by now you should have worked out the other role for the wagon, we can run it as a flat top wagon. If we were to check the classifications codes, “R” had a few meanings when added as a second letter, SR - rail wagon, CR/CMR - wagon fitted with chiller/refrigerator, VR - raised sides. In later eras it was also used to indicate a “Runner” wagon, PR. Some may know  “Runner” as a cover or match wagon. Plan 208 shows the wagon could be used as a runner.  There we have it, a “U” ballast wagon that can be converted to an “R” runner. I guess the more correct classification could have been “UP”, but there was already a wagon with that class with a different role.

Like the “U” wagon, there were a few different sizes, all had 7” x 3” journals, thus a gross of 20 tons. Having a tare between 6½ to 8 tons they carried between 13½ to 12 tons of goods. The various sizes are shown in the table below. The most common being the 5’ BF wagon to plan 209.                

Body
Bogies
Wheels
# of Doors
QR Plan
26’ x 7’9”
4’ BF
2’ 2”
2
208
32’ x 7’ 9”
4’ BF
2’ 2”
3
208
30’ x 7’ 9”
4’ BF
2’ 2”
3
208
32’ x 7’ 9”
5’ BF
2’ 9½”
3
209

 

Plan 208 showed the wagons were converted from “P” wagons.

1960 Annual Report showed 129 wagons were in service. A 1½ ton overload was allowable for both wagons.
UR Newstead
 
The wagons were painted black until 1969, and then QR Freight Grey. A few of the class was still around in the early 80’s. The wagons carried much the same as the “U” wagons, but the UR wagons were used to carry larger C.G.I. rain water tanks with the doors down. How about that for a feature project, I must keep an eye out for a 10’ dia. C.G.I. tank.

26 foot UR 3246 wagon is on the ARHS Rosewood Railway (Photos attached). UR 20269 was in a very poor condition at Linville in the Brisbane Valley. This wagon is one fitted with 5’ bar frame bogies. A series of photos of this wagon can be found on Wuiske Models prototype photos website.
UR 3246 ARHS Collection

For the older time modellers were was also a “UB” wagon used as a Brake Van. A small Guard’s compartment similar to that on a “KKB” was mounted in the centre of the wagon. Most appeared to be the shorter wagons.     

Sunday, 16 July 2017


Westgate

 
The “South Western Railway” is a freelance HO scale railway operating both QR and NSWR trains. Currently where is four stations on the layout, two on the Queensland Railways narrow gauge (H0n42) network and two on the NSWR standard gauge network. If I alter my workshop arrangements, a third QR station is possible.

Westgate is the main QR station on the layout. I was born, grew up and started work at Charleville, approximately 483 miles west of Brisbane. The nearest junction to Charleville is Westgate, this is where the Quilpie line branches off the Cunnamulla line.  The other QR station on the layout is Wyandra. Stations on the NSWR network are Wallal and Winbin. Wanko is reserved for the third QR station when built. All five stations can be found on the Quilpie and Cunnamulla lines west of Charleville. These locations are all located in what was known as the South Western Division (SWD) of Queensland Railway.

For many years I have modelled both Queensland and New South Wales Railways in H0 scale. The QR rollingstock runs on Peco H0m track for the 3 foot 6 inch gauge track (H0n42 or H0n3½). The NSWR rollingstock run on Peco code 100 H0 track. I wanted both systems on the layout as both were the same scale. There was a couple locations in Queensland where both systems come together and goods/freight was transhipped between the two. Using some of the facilities at one of these location gave me the purpose to have both on the layout.  

 Westgate on the layout is a junction, currently the branch is being used as a head shunt.  Within the yard limits on the branch is a siding for loading coal. This is just a timber ramp where trucks can back out and tip there load into wagons. 7 Road is the tranship road adjacent to the NSWR standard track. Clapham near Moorooka station on Brisbane southside has a similar arrangement. Four different facilities are located in the road, a gravel loading bank to tranship wheeled vehicles, overhead crane across both roads, a tranship shed for produce and a stock race.  A crossover between 7 and 6 Roads gives access to both ends of the tranship shed.
 
Coal Ramp

Tranship Shed and Stock Race

Transhipping.
 

 The station main line platform can accommodate an 8 car train and the dock platform has access to both the main line and the branch. The station building was built from styrene using photos of the original Charleville station which was burnt down in 1954.

Charleville 1927. Photo State Library Qld
Charleville 1927. Photo State Library 1908
 






 
The engine shed is styrene and built off photos of the Charleville shed which came crashing down around locos during a willy-willy (dust twister) in 2005. Much like Charleville, the track around the side of the engine shed leads to cattle and sheep yards. The yards on the layout were modelled from photos of the private trucking yards at Sommariva about 30 miles east of Charleville. Also located on this siding is a district track maintenance camp with portable buildings.

Charleville Engine Shed 1967

 On Westgate 2017

The loop will hold a train equal to 80 F, just 10 F short of a full length train for a diesel electric locomotive in the 60’s. F wagons were used as the unit for train lengths which equalled 15 feet. Roads 3/4/5/6 are marshalling roads used for making up or breaking down trains. These roads vary in length and hold equal to 30/40 F. Crossover are located near the middle of each road to divide each road into two.    

 
District Track Gang Camp
 
Cattle Yards


Sheep Yards.
 

To control train movements on the western end of the yard a small signal cabin was built from styrene. Plans for this structure (Dalby) were drawn up by Jim Hutchinson and can be found in the 2002 Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention handbook.

 


A label/card system is used to make up trains, one system used can be found in the February 2017 edition of the Australian Model Railway Magazine (Issue 322 Vol.28).

The layout is powered by 12 volts DC wired to operate two controllers. This allows for one train to run the main line with another shunting, or two shunting.   

  

 

Friday, 14 July 2017

GM Fan Club.

This week we had some visiting locos in town.

It's time for a line-up of QR/QRN GM's across the decades.



Sunday, 2 July 2017

S Wagon


“S” Wagons.

Various railways around the world have/had platform/flat top wagons fitted with bolsters which used stanchions/pegs to keep the load on the wagon. Chains are generally used to secure the load during transit.    

The plans for these wagons on Queensland Railways called the wagons, timber wagons. At first QR had 3 types, “Q” class wagon – 4 wheeled, “R” class wagon – 6 wheeled, and “S” class wagon – 8 wheeled. All having a 5 ton axle load. By the early 60’s only “S” wagon remained on the network. These wagon were all timber construction with bar frame bogies. Steel plates were added to the top of the bolster to assist with ware. Stanchions were steel and could be removed from the bolster, but not from the wagon. A short length of chain attached the stanchion to the bolster. All bolsters also had chain with a screw turn buckle to secure the load.    
 

The table below gives an overview of the “S” class wagon.

Class
Wheels
Size
# Bolsters
Tare
Carry
Bogies
QR Plan
SG
4
20’ x 8’
3
5T 17c
10T 3c
Grover
192
S
8
19’ x6’ 4”
2
7T 9c
12T 11c
4’ BF
 
S
8
19’7” x 7’6”
3
6T 3c
13T 17c
4’ BF
 
S
8
26’ x 6’ 4”
3
6T
13T
4” BF
191
S
8
26’ x 7’6”
3
7T
13T
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 7’6”
4
7T 15c
12T 5c
4’ BF
190/188
S
8
30’ x 6’ 4”
3
6T 15c
13T 5c
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 7’ 6”
4
7T
13T
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 6’ 6”
3
6T 17c
13T 3c
4’ BF
 
S
8
30’ x 6’6”
3
7T 2c
12T 18c
4’ BF
 
S
8
32’ x 8’
4
8T 15c
11T 5c
4’ BF
·         189
S
8
32’ x 7’6”
3
7T 8c
12T 12c
4’ BF
 
SJ
8
27’ x 7’6”
3
7T 9c
24T 11c
5’ BF (a)
 
SJ
8
32’ x 7’ 9”
4
10.5T
21.5 T
5’ BF (b)
193
SR
8
42’ x 7’ 9”
4
11.5 T
20.5T
5’ BF (a)
194

·         Plan 189 shows Class S. 1924 Standard.

5’Bar Frame (BF) bogies had 8’ x 4” journals (8 ton axle load), some were fitted with 2’ 2” wheels (a), and others had 2’ 9½” wheels (b).  

“Q” class 4 wheeled timber wagon were 14’ x 6’6” and carried about 6T 14cwt

“R” class mainly 6 wheeled timber wagons some 30’ x 6’ 6” with 2 bolsters, others were 20’ x 7’ 6‘ fitted with 3 bolsters. The wagons carried between 8½ -10 T with a gross of 15 T. 

Loads:- As the title suggests the wagons carried timber. Most wagons I observed carried logs to sawmills, generally the logs were free of bark. The wagons were also used to carry departmental materials for bridges, piles, girders, braces etc.  Other long items were also carried on the wagons, poles, steel beams etc. The Goods and Livestock Rates Book allowed a 1½ ton over load on these wagons. There was also a minimum charge for timber/logs subject to length of the product. Most wagons carrying timber/logs were weight on wagon weight bridges in transit so charges could be added to invoices.  If the wagons could not be weighted, the logs were measured and an estimated weight was worked out using Hoppus measurements.  SR wagons were mainly used to convey 40’ lengths of rail.

Conversions:-

“S” wagons were modified to carry water “SW” class, pineapples “SP” class, sleepers “SS” class, motor vehicles, cars, caravans, trailers etc, “SM”, “SMC”,“SMS”, “SML”, later around 1978 these wagons were changed to “M” class. Some “S” wagons had tanks fitted for molasses and kept their “S” classification. The tanks varied in size and shape with capacity between 1850 and 2000 gallons.   

Some “SJ” wagons carried 5T cement bins and were classed “SBC” wagons.
 
A couple had tanks fitted to convey water, class “SJW”.  Most SJ modifications were for molasses keeping their “SJ” classification. Tanks of various size and shape were fixed to the wagon, capacity of the tanks were between 1920 and 3279 gallons. Many had the timber floors removed to allow more product to be carried.

Some of these wagons worked around the Brisbane area conveying molasses to Beenleigh and Normanby distilleries. The Beenleigh distillery was a couple miles south of the station, loaded wagons were placed in the morning and the empty were picked up early evening. On the evening shunt it was quite common for the crew to sample the overproof product. From stories I heard sitting in the Gabba boardroom at night, not all drivers came home on the footplate. These wagons are marked “Beenleigh Rum – that’s the spirit”.
 
The Normanby distillery was at Strathpine on the western banks of the South Pine River behind the current site of the Westfield Shopping centre. A small branch line left Strathpine station, crossed over Gympie Road and ran along the side of Mecklem Street. That is just out the front of where Railway Modellers of Queensland Club hold their exhibitions. Before the line was strengthened in 1942 to take locomotives, horses, bullocks, and later tractors would pull the wagons across Gympie Road. Both distillery’s ceased using rail in the mid to late 60’s. S and SJ wagons were also used to carry molasses from sugar mills in the Townsville area, it was difficult to find any two wagons the same. HJ wagons minus sides/floors fitted with tanks were used in the Mackay area, these tanks were much more uniform than the Townsville bunch.     

Models:- All up I have five “S” wagons on the layout, 2 by 26’ long, 2 by 30’ long and one at 32’ long. The wagons are all scratch build using styrene and run on “Caintode Flats” CFB 2 bogies. An article on building timber framed wagons for the 2008 Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention is on the MRQC website www.qldrailheritage.com/mrqc. It contains various photos of S wagons and an underframe plan. Of late I don’t have a lot of detail under a wagon, I’m only added detail that you can see when the wagon is on the track, not when it is upside down. I like to add a bit of plumber’s lead sheet between the sole bars on platform wagons. Thus brake cylinder is glued into the lead sheeting. Given I shunt a lot which involves pushing and pulling strings of wagons, I like my 8 wheeled wagons to be about 50 grams. 

Two wagons are loaded with logs. The logs were from branches cut from a tree overhanging the back fence. The bark was removed before being cut to size.
 
S 10097


S 18528
 
 
A 26’ wagon is loaded with timber. The timber load was made from 1 mm thick balsa cut into strips and loaded onto the wagon. A breeze free area is recommended for this exercise, don’t sneeze or you will start over again??.
 
The other 26’ wagon is loaded with four 18’ bridge girders made from 5mm dowel.
 
 
The final wagon is conveying a bondwood hut. These hut were made to be transported from site to site and consisted of 2 side, 2 ends, 2 floor sections, and 2 roof/ceiling sections. The hut parts were made from styrene.