From time to time I look for prototype trains to run on the layout. Usually I look at the rollingstock on the layout and think about trains that I have worked in one form or another.
Currently I have a number of box wagons on the layout, but I didn’t have a lot of them for a big train. Thinking about my presentation for the Modelling the Railway of Queensland Convention “Operations on the near North Coast Line in the early 70’s” I recalled Train 275.
In the late 80’s I also travelled on the train in special car 1236 from Roma Street to Mackay with two display QLXP’s for the Mackay Show. To refresh things I went looking for my North Coast Line Timetables. To fit in with my presentation, I checked out the November 1973 Working Time Table (WTT) which was the same period I worked Landsborough and most other stations between Caboolture and Monkland as a relief Assistance Station Master.
275 is an Express Freight Train running six (6) days a week. Monday to Friday from Roma Street departing at 8:10 pm and Sunday departing Mayne at 8:20 pm for Townsville. The train conveys Red Diamond and Red Spot wagons. The WTT showed the train was worked with a single locomotive with a load restricted to 750 tons, that’s about 20 to 22 vehicles loaded with mixed general freight. An amendment to the WTT showed the train was restricted 560 tons in 16 vehicles. Given the Sunlander had become a morning train (7:35 am) out of Brisbane three (3) days and a late afternoon (4:00pm) the other two (2) days, the train became unsuitable to convey daily parcels traffic north from Brisbane. (Parcels traffic was a small freight business conveyed on passenger trains under the Coaching By-Laws). 275 filled this gap and was known as the parcel’s train. The marshalled different each day subject to requirements and other trains running on the day.
To see what train I could run I checked the rollingstock on the layout. I have red diamond wagons (QLX’s, BLC’s, CMIS’s, CMR’s, CJFP), red spot wagons (CLC’s), and one (1) small baggage car. Red diamond wagons have a max. speed of 80 km/h and can be used on Passenger Trains and Express Freight Trains. Red spot wagons can travel at 80 km/h on express freight trains only. Checking the WTT, Mondays looked achievable.
QLX – Townsville and western traffic.
(Front of Train)
Small Baggage Car – Mackay traffic
Small Baggage Car – Ayr Road containing Bowen, Proserpine, Home Hill & Ayr loading.
CMR – Townsville Road Perishables (Loading for north of Rockhampton).
MV – Roadside traffic north of Bundaberg to Rockhampton and mixed roadside for stations north of Townsville.
Small Baggage Car – Maryborough traffic (roadside north of Maryborough to Bundaberg to be loaded in the doorway of the wagon
(Rear section of the Train)
21A “Capricornian” trailed a wooden baggage car for Bundaberg.
Given I only have one small baggage car a situation that could arise in the prototype operations, I made the following changes. The small baggage car I have was used for the Maryborough traffic and trailed behind the Mail Van (MV). After consideration a BLC and a CLC was used for the other two baggage cars within the train for the following reason.
By 1970, all long distance passenger trains were being worked by “M” class steel passenger stock. This largely made the wooden baggage cars (BC class) surplus to requirements. However from time to time they would still be required for relief and second division passenger trains worked by wooden cars during holiday periods. Wooden baggage cars were passenger stock fitted with D3 class hook drawgear and mainly maintained by Mayne Car Shed. D3 drawgear limited these vehicle towards the rear of trains on freight and goods trains.
BC class baggage cars were still being used to convey parcels from Brisbane. As above 21A trailed a baggage car for Bundaberg. Train 101 (Evening Brisbane – Maryborough) passenger train conveyed three baggage cars, 1 for Gayndah – Monto, 1 for Gympie and 1 for Kingaroy. All up some night’s eight wooden baggage cars were leaving Brisbane for the north. You may recall in the 209/309 series that train conveyed roadside between Gympie and Bundaberg and must be worked with a suitable van, now you know where it came from, off trains 101 (Gympie BC) and 275 (Maryborough BC).
Train 275 loading roadside, Ice-Cream Shippers, Movie Films and Parcels.
Earlier I indicated that QLX’s and BLC’s were red diamond wagons and available for passenger trains, so what not use these wagons as a baggage car on the relief/second division passenger trains during the holiday. Yes they could be used, but the marshalling order would need to be altered. The General Appendix indicates that wooden passenger vehicles conveying passengers are not to be marshalled between steel vehicles. Generally if a QLX or BLC was used as a baggage car, it was marshalled on the front of the train behind the hauling loco. This means parcels/mails/luggage etc. were at both ends of the train, this made life at stations difficult with limit staff with roadside in two locations instead all being at the rear of the train. Time to load and unload roadside would blow out and delay the train.
275 has a guard in a wooden van, exchanging the two small baggage cars for Mackay and Ayr to steel wagons keeps the marshalling in order and did not place steel vehicles each side of the van conveying the guard.
The WTT shows Day old chickens consigned to stations north of Gympie from Beerburrum, Beerwah, Eudlo and Woombye were to go forward on 101 to Gympie and then on 275 north.
The train was given a good run up the coast with just 2 stops between Brisbane and Gympie. One stop at Yandina (10:39/55) was for the crew to have a meal and cross 242 (10:53), this train was one of two “HOT” south bound express freighter conveying interstate fruit for Clapham. All up, 275 crossed 12 trains coming south towards Brisbane between Elimbah and Woondum. Arrival in Gympie was 12:29 am, just 4 hrs and 19 mins for the trip. The afternoon Sunlander (241) were given 3 Hrs 42 mins without a meal. The morning Sunlander (237) worked with MU Locomotives was given 3 hrs and 20 mins.
Another factor to consider is the QR “worm” logo, it came into play in late 1970. Thus only new wagons or wagons coming out of workshop overhauls would have it on.
Train 6275 was still shown in the March 1985 WTT running six days a week. No 6275 Down will convey a maximum of 650 tonnes be restricted to 75 units in length and will be marshalled as followed:-
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
QLX …… Townsville Road (dogs) Tuesday Only
QLX …… Townsville and western traffic
QLX …… Mackay traffic
QLX …… Ayr Road (containing Bowen, Proserpine, Home Hill, Ayr loading).
MV ……. Roadside traffic for stations Bundaberg to Rockhampton and mixed roadside for stations north of Townsville.
6275 Monday to Friday must not shunt enroute without approval form the Office of the Chief Traffic Manager.
6275 Down Monday and Friday will convey roadside from Roma Street for stations Gympie to Bundaberg and load all roadside for north of Maryborough . At these stations, in addition, this train will load any cool car traffic offering between Caboolture and Gympie, and load roadside at Gympie, conveyed by special roadside truck from stations Caboolture to Gympie. The train was not listed to convey contract wagons (QRX, Brambles, TNT, NQRX, etc.). Bundaberg Express Freight 6J59 was a similar train conveying wooden baggage cars, one for Gympie and one for Kingaroy.
Carriage & Van orders for Tuesday 13th of March 1984 showed MV 1058 on hand Roma Street station was to work 6275. The following day, Wednesday the 14th of March, MV 502 on hand Roma Street station was to work 6275.
1990 WTT did not show train 6275, QR operations changed in two main areas. The “Superfreighter’s” had commenced running on the North Coast Line. A single 3900 class EL between Brisbane and Rockhampton was hauling 1,400 tonnes and the train length had increased from 450 metres to 650 metres. The other change was the Goods and Livestock By-Law (Goods Trains) and the Coaching By-Law (Parcels on Passenger trains) was replaced by the Freight Manual combining both operations. This new service offered door to door freight system, gone was sending small parcels from your local suburban station.
On the layout my train has 13 vehicles, about 500 tons, the maximum length of the second crossing loop on the layout without blocking the level crossing. The oldest goods wagon on the trains is a wooden CJFP, in the mid 30’s a number of new louvered box wagon on “Jumbo” bogies (8 ton axle load) were built and classed CJF, some older CLF were fitted with “Jumbo” bogies and reclassed CJF, some were modified to be used on passenger trains, thus CJFP (red diamond). On my train I was thinking the CJFP may not be just right.
The period I model is the mid to late 60’s, when CJFP were in service. One was used as a baggage car on the Charleville – Quilpie “Flying Flea” with MV 1224 until about 1964. From an operational point of view, the CJFP with two sliding boors on the train would have been must better for getting stuff out than a small 32’ baggage car with a single swing double door. With additional QLX’s being built in the late 60’s, CJFP were reclassified to CJFF (red spot reducing maintenance requirements).
Some were also downgraded back to CLF’s, CJFF were common on express freight trains in the early 70’s, being D3 hook drawgear they were marshalled in the rear half of the train. CJFF were still around in the mid 80’s mainly as maintenance wagon, one was part of the ND (Townsville) breakdown train. But a little research found in John Armstrong book “Wooden Wagons of the Queensland Railways 1880 – 1980 shows there was still 18 CJFP’s on the books in June 72, thus my train was found to be in order.
CJFF downgraded and reclassified to CLF (Carry capacity reduced from 20 t to 8 t).
CJFF 20979 with boarded side/ends. Wagon used with the ND Brakdown Crane No. 7 to carry equipment (slings/Timbers) for derailments. Townsville 1979. (As a note the Breakdown Crane was restricted to 60 km/h ??)
September 74, CJFF 19543 was observed stencilled Coorparoo to Roma St Tranship Traffic Only, suggesting the class was now taking a back seat in conveying freight.
The wagon on my train is a Fox Casting kit running on Turntable bogies with Steam Era wheels built some many years ago.
Caintode Flats currently have CJF/CJFP/CJFF kit (CFK 18) available in their range.
The other wooden vehicle on the train is the small baggage car trailing behind the van. It is the only scratch built wagon on the train, built about 1988. How I know is I have a Certificate of Merit First place for an advanced Passenger Stock dated 1989 in the annual AMRA Modelling Competition. I look at now and think it must have been the only enter.
When built the wagon ran on Roundhouse “Fox” bogies narrowed to take K & M 12mm wheel sets. Today it is running on Steam Era B4 VR Plate Frame bogies which have been narrowed to take Steam Era 12 mm spoked wheel sets. Today, the correct bogies are available from Wuiske Models QRB 003 (12mm) or QRB 005 (16.5 mm). Caintode Flats have CFB 4 bogie, their CFB 10 is the same style of bogie with smaller 2’ 9½” wheels.
All wagons on the train are now just a memory, the way it was. Maybe it worth a look at the other wagons on the train and the roles they played over the years.
Trust you enjoy the post.