Sunday, 2 December 2018

2300 DEL

Today, Southern Rail Models 2300 class DEL arrived in the mail.


I don't really have a train of the correct era for these locomotives, thus I used my "Bomb" and 6678 trains for a quick run on the layout. When introduced to service in 1997, there a good chance these locomotives did their test run from Brisbane to Toowoomba on "Bomb" train 6694.   
With limited running a quick test train of 33 wagons, both trains joined together, that's about 85 unit (Max is 95 units for a general freight) was handle with one loco.


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Train 209/309

Train 209 on the Layout.

During the 70’s and 80’s, Train 209 (Mackay Goods) departed Mayne @ 01:45 Tuesday to Saturday, On Monday the train ran to Rockhampton as 309. On Wednesdays, the train run through to Townsville. In later years the train was numbered 7209/7309.

Not a fast trip, the train conveys ordinary rollingstock at 60 km/h shunting at most major locations on the coast,  Gympie 06:38/07:45, Bundy 13:17/14:40, Rocky 00:18/01:15, Mackay 12:04/17:00 (Thur), Townsville arr. 07:03 (Fri).    The 1973 Working Time Table shows the train crossing or being passed by 7 trains between Bundaberg and Avondale, which is just 4 stations to the north of Bundy. The train was also timed to bypass Gladstone.   
Older locomotives were usually rostered to work the train, today 1208 is in charge (Hollywood band drive mechanism). In later years, crews would not shunt with this class of locomotive due to restricted visibly when setting back. As the train only shunted at major locations along the coast, the local yard shunt engine would be coupled to the front to do these duties.   
Timetable Instructions:- 309 Mondays will convey all available loading for Gladstone and for Central Division and be restricted to 70 units in length. This train will convey roadside between Gympie and Bundaberg and must be worked with a suitable van.
209 (Tues to Sat) will convey Mackay traffic loaded in ordinary rollingstock.   This train will convey roadside between Gympie and Bundaberg and must be worked with a suitable van.
209 was also the train that conveyed special loads, many of these loads were “Out of Gauge” and required special instructions. Some of these loads included, wide plate steel, caravans, machinery, rain water tanks etc. In 1990 the instructions for a car & caravan travelling between Roma Street and Cairns were
1.    Load must not enter shed over 2, 3 and 5 Roads at Roma Street.

2.    Must NOT travel between Brunswick Street and Roma Street via Central.

3.    Loading not to enter Maryborough Platform Roads.
 In 2006, instructions for wide plate steel had no fewer than 49 do’s and don’ts.
Mayne Yard Orders:- For Tuesday the 13th of March 1984 show the following arrangements for “Out of Gauge Loading:-
7209 Wed;
MS 18105 Mt Isa ex Strathpine 7012
M 19256 Ingham fwd Innisfail ex Moolabin 7027 Tuesday

M 5250 Mackay ex Moolabin 7027 Tuesday

PE 31616 Rockhampton ex Roma Street 7027 Tuesday. 

MTW 19190 ex Sarina arr 7472 Wed send to Roma St 7F06 Wed.

MTW 101 Ipswich Workshop O/H Mayne to go to Roma Street 7F16 Wed.

FJS 26361 Kingaroy ex Sunshine 7943 Wed to go 7209 Thursday.            

Photo above:- The train in the photos consists of 22 vehicles, approx. 52 units long and comes in at 520 tons. Some wagons were scratch build, loads added (some were kits) and secured in accordance with QR regulations.  
The train has various classes of wagons with various load types which I will cover over the next few weeks.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Paper Paper

In sixties when travelled by train in highly polished wooden carriages, the windows were open and fresh air filled the carriage. For us train fans, the open windows allow us to poke our heads out and look at the action, looking forward towards the engine often ended with a cinder in the eye. But, it did allow us a second look after passing something interesting track side. It also allowed noise from the track and track side to enter the carriage.  

From time to time when passing track side fettlers leaning on their shovels, you would hear outside the carriage window in a loud voice “PAPER”  “PAPER”. Passenger having finished reading the morning newspaper or their magazines would toss them out the window for the fetters. This gave the boys looking after the track we are running on the latest news, many of them worked and lived in isolated locations. Even in the sixties paper was recycled, after being read by all in the gang the paper was using to light the fire for the billy or for ones business behind the big old gum tree.

On our layouts there are many aspects of track workers activities we can add beside the line. This will very subject to era. In the fifties they camped in tents, went to work on pump trollies and it was all manual labour with hand tools. In the sixties things started to change, portable huts and motorised transport. The seventies saw the introduction of mechanised tools. Little later things moved on to demountable building and hi-rail vehicles. Also over time there were changes in gang size and how and who did what.

 On my layout “Westgate” the period is set in the sixties. In this era a fettling gang was about six men and they were allocated about 15 miles of track. There main tasks were to “run the road” to inspect the track, this was done daily first up. At weekend one or two guys would get overtime to check the track and make sure it was safe for trains. Depending on the job location, one fettler may “run the road” on the trike with a couple of spanners for fish plate bolts. Once the road was run, he joins the rest of the gang. Other duties include packing holes that form due to substandard foundations to keep a good top and line, this could be a clay hole that may require extra ballast. Replace an odd sleeper or two to keep gauge when required, run ballast, unload sleeper, repair fences. Friday was yard day, oiling points, weeding etc. At isolated sidings and stations the gang would fold tarps, report wagon status to supervising stations and do signals (keep the kero light burning). 

 Each gang had a number relevant to the division and line. Their area of responsible had markers much the same as mile posts (24/25, 25/26). Each gang had a trolley shed at their home station, most being two or three stalls. They were nothing flash, generally C.G.Iron sides and back and picket sliding gates on the front. Only the valuable were locked up in the shed, Fairmont quids, tools etc. flat tops, pump carts, trikes etc. were chain up outside the shed. Outside looked a bit like a junk heap, 44 gallon drums of fishplates, bolts, dog spikes etc. You could also find a few sleeper and may be a rail stack near-by.
Some larger stations had a trolley shed each side of town, at other locations they could all be together. May be an inspector or two who have their own scooters and sheds. On the QR network there was generally two gangs every two stations, one working each way from home. At isolated locations were would be a few houses and portable huts for the boys to camp during the week at work. Gangers were entitled to a free house.

Gangs worked Monday to Friday, 07:00 am to 4:00 pm with one hour for lunch. The day started with the Ganger visiting the local Station Master for train times for the day. The Station Master would get estimated times from the Train Controller, and any track issued reported by train crews. The Train Controller would mark his diagram with these times and trains would not run before it unless the gang could be contacted. Between trains the boys would set off for work on the Fairmont quids towing a flat top of tools. Flat tops were also used to convey ballast and sleepers. At times, a length of rail would be required at a work site, “flat tops” were placed at each end of the rail. Sometimes, subject to the size of the Fairmont, they may tow two or more Flat Tops. The bigger gangs had “Flat Tops” set up to carried the troops, a frame for seating much like the Fairmont arrangement was added to the top. The section authority was not required for on track movements.
At regular locations there are “Take Offs” where the gang can remove their on-track vehicles off the main line to safety. These are made from worm rail with just a few sleeper to keep gauge. A white post is used as a marker, once again this could be a piece of worn rail. A small wooden platform is made between the running rails to assist in getting the vehicles off track. If the track is elevated, a few old sleepers are stacked in a pig sty would support the take off. Most of these locations will have some means to erect a fly (tarp) for shade. Plus you need a suitable place for a fire to boil the billy.

If there was a trouble spot, i.e. a clay hole that requires packing every few weeks. The boys will make a bin from old sleepers to store a small amount of ballast. This could be topped up from an open wagon arranged from passing train. The wagon may be spread over the a few bins along their section of responsibility.       

Fettlers are also call out outside working hours to remove stock on the line, derailment, washouts, etc.

On “Westgate” I have various gangs working around the layout on both the QR and NSWR networks. Some kits were used with many items being scratch built from the junk box.

The pump trikes are a Sequoia #12 sq Standard Gauge Velocipede available in the US for $ 8.99. The two on the QR network had the outrigger reduced for 3’ 6” gauge operations.     
Flying Gangs: - Each district had Flying Gangs that would move about doing major track jobs. These boys would do relaying work, replacing sleepers and rail replacement. As locomotives got bigger and heavier, the track needed to be heavier too. In the fifties and sixties the gangs camped in portable bond wood huts, as the gang moved from place to place, the huts were pulled down and loaded into open wagons. The contents of the huts were loaded into box wagons. The stove was placed in the open door to allow cooking during the move. Beds and effects were placed in each corner of the wagon. Toilets and showers were portable units, the showers were just a bucket on a pulley. The gang would consist of about 30 men, the youngest being 15 years of age, he was the Nipper. The Nipper kept the billy boiling and was a runner for tools etc.
                                              S Wagon with bond wood hut
The huts were set up facing each other with a small covered deck between them used as a meal area. One side had a stove recess for a wooden stove for cooking. As time moved on these gangs moved into modified old carriages and were called Mechanised Gangs. In the eighties demountable buildings were fitted to old carriage underframes and they had another name change to Migratory Gangs.
On “Westgate” I have scratch build a camp mainly from styrene.  

Bridge Gangs/Bridge Painter Gangs: - As the name suggests, these boys look after bridges and stock yards and move about similar to like the Flying Gang.  
 Concrete Gangs: - By now you have worked it out, Yes these guys mix cement and work on bridges and culverts and moved around their district.


As 8028 slows down entering a “Temporary Speed Restriction” zone (TSR) for bridge repair, the concrete gang labours take a break.  The roadside water tank was made from a cotton reel with C.G.I wrapped around it. Local shunt trains on set days of the week conveyed a water wagon and filled tanks that displayed a flag. The hard hats were made from styrene sheet using a leather punch, a hole was drilled in the centre for his head, paint to colour of choice. Bridge corbels are wooden dowel shaved flat on both sides and painted black. Sand heap was added near the mixer.
Fence Gangs: - Likewise, these blokes replacing the fences each side of the track in their district. 
Most of these gang moved from town to town and set up a camp and went to work on section cars.  
Other maintenance workers moved around their district in mobile accommodation called a camp wagons. Most were just box wagons with a few window punched in the sides and end. Both four and eight wheeled wagons were used subject to the number of men in the gang. Most have support wagons attached for tools and materials, these wagons were generally the oldest wagons on the network.   

26' C wagon made into a camp wagon. 
In the seventies QR started a project to replace and upgrade camp wagons, over the next  20 years over 400 new camp wagons were build. Bottle gas was installed to make life easier for the troops. 
Station Painters: - Painted stations, goods shed, railway houses. Support wagon could be a box wagon for paint, ladders, trestles, planks etc. 
Station Plumbers: - Plumbing activities to railway buildings. Support wagon would be a box wagon for tools and materials. May be an open wagon covered with a tarp for roofing iron.
Station Carpenters: - Repairs, extensions to railway buildings. Support wagons could be similar to the plumber.
Interlockers Fitters: - Maintenance on signal cabins. Generally a support wagon was a four wheeled box wagon.

Weighbridge Fitters: - Maintenance on weigh bridges, (rail/cart) and station scales. Support wagons could be a box wagon for tools and materials. Most rail system had an odd mix of weigh bridge test wagons.    

Signal Maintainer’s:- Maintenance on signals, boom gates etc. Support wagon would be a box wagon.   
Plant Operator: - This guy had a grader and worked trackside keeping drains clean and formation work. Support wagons would be a wagon suitable to carry a grader, an open wagon for fuel, oil, grease, spare parts, tool boxes, portable toilet and shower unit.            
Temporary Speed Restrictions (TSR).
Many of the jobs carried out by maintenance crews requires trains to travel over the work site at reduced speed.  To achieve this “Temporary Speed Restrictions” are put into place. In the sixties on the QR network, this was just two boards, one each side of the work. The approach side was green and the departure side was white. Lights of the same colour were placed on the boards. Location of speed restrictions was on train notice, drivers were to read these notices before leaving the depot. 
Today there is a minimum of six boards/signals each side of the weaken section, Caution Board is placed 2000 metres from the work site, Slow Board with speed required details 50 metres from work site and a Cancellation Board 50 metres after the work site. There is provision for repeat boards should there be a stopping location within the zone between the boards. The type of board will very between networks.

In this scene the pump trike is Sequoia #12 sq Standard Gauge Velocipede, the out rigger has been reduced for 12 mm. The billy fire is $ 2.00 cheap store “T” candle, the outer candle base was removed to expose the LED and terminals. A few dots of paint were added to get away from just a bulb appearance. A few fallen twigs from the back yard were painted black and placed over the bulb to give the camp fire look. A billy stand and billy was added. The “Road Runner” was painted, a hat made and added. To give a bit of colour to the scene, a yellow tucker box was added to the trike.
When my skills improve I thinking of adding a push button animated voice call of “Paper” “Paper” to add just that little more.      
If modelling an era research could be required, in the sixties the guys did not have a set dress code, by the nineties hi visible clothing was the norm for everyone. Likewise with equipment, section car, flat tops were red in colour in the sixties, a few years later yellow was standard.   
Most of these railway activities can enhance your layout and set the scene just like the prototype. These can make a great little modelling project and can be achieved within a few hours.  


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

OV 9 Mobil Tank Wagon

Over the last few months I have been building tank wagons. Some of the tank wagons on the layout date back to the mid 1970’s, they are on their third set of bogies and my modelling standards have improved a little over time.

Thus a program to replace a few of these wagons has started. In this batch I did six wagons. One of the tank wagons in this batch is OV 9.

A couple of weekends ago I entered the wagon in the NMRA Regional Convention Modelling Contest. The judging is carried out with 125 points on offer. The model scored 113, I was marked down for not adding some detail. I build rollingstock to run on the layout, if you cannot see it standing on the track I don’t add it. But, it is something for me to think about in the future. The items missing are not hard to do and on tank wagons could add more to the model. 

OV 9 Homestead 1969. The wagon was taken off a train due to a hot box.

 One plan covers all wagons within the class.
This wagon I used Evergreen styrene for the underframe. Some of the other wagons in the batch I used "North Yard" brass strips.
The model was painted with Tru-color TCP-010 Black.
Decal were made by Ted Freeman in Toowoomba. Email
 The model was weathered with Vallejo  Model Color acrylic paint.
This coming weekend (Saturday14th of October), I will be doing a clinic on Tank Wagons at the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention. How the wagons were constructed and the missing parts will be disclosed.
The other wagons will make it onto the blog after the Convention.

Mutton Bird nesting Season

Over the last few weeks, Westagte has hosted a number of meetings and visitors. During the NMRA Divisional 1 meeting I was informed by the CEO of Cassino (who will remain nameless) that a mutton bird had landed in the Jacaranda tree on Smith’s farm and was making a nest. 

The photo below is what I found ????

Well done Craig.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

WHE Wheat Wagon

Landsborough (General Traffic 1973)
WHX were constructed by Commonwealth Engineering Salisbury between April 1959 and November 1960. All up 300 wagons were built (31308 – 31607) to supplement the 200 WH class wagons to carry bulk wheat. At first they were mainly used to carry bulk wheat from the Darling Downs to the State Wheat Board terminal at Pinkenba. Wagons were unloaded on a tippler. Wagons also conveyed wheat to various flour mills on the Downs and Brisbane.  
The wagon floor footprint was 12 185 mm by 2 440 mm, and the sides were 1220 mm high, 140 mm higher than the earlier WH wagons, given them 36.25 m³ cubic capacity. The wagons had a nominal tare 13. 4 t and could carry 30.2 t on “S” (20 TAL), “A” (15 TAL) and on some “B” class lines, or 26.1 t on all lines (10 TAL). Supplement to the Working Time Table allowed them to carry full loads on most branch lines on the Darling Downs.

The wagons were fitted with “Premier” (later known as D2) drawgear, drawhooks with fixed screw couplings at each end. Bradford Kendall cast steel QR 9 Bogies were fitted to the wagon, 850mm (2’ 9½”) wheels running on SKF rolling bearings. A chain/ratch hand brake secured the wagon from movement when not in a train. I would think this was the first wagons to be fitted with this type of hand brake. Wheel hand brakes were on BLC wagons and various tank wagons, but they were the screw type. The chain/ratch hand brake is still being fitted to wagons today.
A single tarpaulin was used to protect the load from the weather. Seven supports along the wagon kept the tarp off the load and provide fall to let water to run off during wet weather. The supports each side of the doors pivoted to allow a ridge bar to telescope inside each other across the doors. Early photos of the wagons suggest this may of been added later, they are standard on wagons in 1969. The tarps were 48 feet x 14 feet (13 700 mm x 4 000mm), originally they were green in colour. With the introduction of P.V.C traps around 1972, the colour changed to yellow. During the trial period of P.V.C traps for a short period in the early 70’s, some were orange. Prior to 1962 grain traps were numbered by the year and the wagon number. I.e. Q ^ R (first line) 62 (second Line) 25561 (Third line).  After 1962 the number was the year of manufacture and the number made for that year i.e. 82-11. In later years the QR was replaces with the logo.   

The wagon class was changed to WHE in 1964/5, the new ROA coding being introduced at the time put a new meaning to the letter, the “X” on the end of a wagon class identify the wagon are being able to be bogie exchanged. The new “E” class indicated 11/12 ton axle load vehicle. 
On trains, WHE wagons having the stronger drawgear (D2) than the WH class wagons (D3), they were generally at the front of the train to obtain the maximum load for the haling locomotive.

The wagons were also used to carry barley to Whinstanes when in season. The wagons were unloaded by a back hoe. A “U” shape scoop with sides that could be moved out was fitted to the rear arm. The barley was pulled towards the open door into a hopper fitted with an auger to load trucks. Previously I referred to the pivoting trap supports, by folding back the supports and removing the ridge pole, the scoop could reach to the far side of the wagon. Grain in the corners was shovelled out to within the reach of the scoop. 
General Appendix states the wagons should remain covered at all times, loaded or empty. It also indicates particular attention must be paid to avoiding tarpaulins sagging between supports.  

A full load for a 90 ton DEL (1450, 1460, 1502, 1270, 1300 class etc.) from Toowoomba to Brisbane varied a little over the years. In 1976 it was 1120 tons for D 1 & D2 rollingstock, 880 tons for D3 and 630 for D4 wagons. WH wagons, on QR 5 bogies had a gross of 36 tons and were D3 class drawgear. That about 24 wagons and a van for a full load. In the early 1970’s these wagon were fitted QR 17 bogies and reclassed WHA, a fully loaded wagon had a gross of 39 tons, that’s about 22 wagons with a van for a full load. WHE wagons fitted with D 2 drawgear fully loaded were 44 tons, that’s about 25 wagons with a van for a full load. Most trains had a mix of classes, WHE wagons would be marshalled on the front to achieve the maximum load for the hauling locomotive. Thus the number of wagons on a train would alter  from train to train. The leading 240 tons (6 wagons) must be WHE wagons.

Between Toowoomba and Brisbane it was a common sight to see a full train load of grain wagons. The depots on the Downs didn’t have a huge loading capacity, many in 2002 still had equipment that could handle about 150/200 tons per hour. Grain sets were spill up over two or three locations. Turnaround time was around 2 to 3 days. Some photos suggest small numbers of wagons were conveyed on local goods trains to Toowoomba.  A few years back there were 13 sets of grain wagons with up to five (5) loaded trains a day coming to Brisbane when a ship was in port.      

 In 1969 all goods/freight wagons were painted grey. After mid 1970, same has QR logos added to the side.   

Around 1972, automatic coupling with transition links were progressive fitted to the wagons, converted wagons were classes WHET, D 1 drawgear.  Fitting of the stronger drawgear paved the way to multi – unit operations resulting in bigger trains. With the introduction of QGX wagons with bottom discharge, commenced the start of WHE wagon being used for other traffic, wagons allocated to general traffic were classes WHES/WHETS. A number of wagons were allocated to Fertilizer traffic, WHEF/WHEFT.

Around the mid to late 1980’s grain export moved to Fisherman Islands, only bottom discharge wagons could be used.

A number of open grain wagons were allocated to Coal & Minerals, WHETC was given to these wagons. WHEU identified Rollingstock Maintenance allocated wagons (Traction Motors 31607/31557).
30 WHE wagons used in the Thalanga (ND) Traffic (91) until the arrival of the PHY wagons.

Brake gear.

Author not known
In the late 1980’s, the underframes of WHE wagons were being using to replace older wagons in other traffic.

WSC 31330 Trail Sheep wagon fitted with WAGR Containers, became PCS Sheep wagons. Carry 208 head of sheep.

Containers were removed (95) reclasses PCEX .

PWH Pineapple Wagons, end extended to carry CQ bin three high.

WHW Wheels wagons. (Wheels between Workshops and Depots)

WHEW Winch wagons for recovery rail.

PW Loco Bogies.

WCC Bulk Cement Wagons (5 x 5 ton bins).

IBJX Plough Wagons

IBXR Ballast Cleaning Machine. (Tank & Generator)

Tank Wagon underframes, various classes. ARHS Sunshine Express March 1993 shows 72 tank wagons were fitted with new underframes, 22 were from WHE wagons.
VR Bitumen wagons VTBY 518 & 523 mounted on WHE wagon frames to become Shell OBET 43941 & 43942.  (90).

WHED Bogie Frames. (Jilalan – Rockhampton)

WSE Water Wagons, later Molasses Wagons. (Some WSE wagons were BLC underframes).

A couple of WHE wagons were used as cover wagons for Kuranda cars when conveyed between Cairns and Townsville.


The wagons are P.G.C Scale Models. The kit is a one piece body,  2 hand brake wheels with wire, 4 ladders for side steps, Bogies (disc wheels), Etch brass tarpaulin supports, brake cylinder, 4 buffers, and decals.

Assembly is straight forward, add detail items to the body, paint, add decals, bogies, couplings and weather.  For the layout these wagons are to be grain wagons operating in the sixties. Some extra brake gear was added. Kadee # 115 coupler boxes fitted with 158 scale whisker couplers were used.  Ridge poles were added to the tarpaulin supports across the door. The wagons were painted with True-color Weathered Black. For my money, black wagons had spoked wheels. H0 Steam Era bogies were modified to take Steam Era 9.5 mm 12 mm wheelsets. Some lead sheet was added to the floor to bring the wagons up to 55 grams. The tarpaulin was made from thin plastic sheet off a large medical wound bandage, which was blue in colour.  The plastic sheet was cut to size as shown above and fixed to the wagon with super glue. The trap was painted green using Humbol #2 with # 22 white added. The amount of white varied between each wagon. Home made decals trap number were added thanks to Ken Edge-Williams. The completed wagon was sprayed with gloss coat, then with dullcote. Weathering was completed using Vallejo.