Modelling Queensland Railways in H0n42 and NSWR in HO.
Monday, 29 January 2018
MG Sheep Van.
Drawing 2649, (P159 dated
5/1/14) shows MG sheep vans/wagons were 20’ long by 8’ wide. They were the
lowest of all the sheep wagon on the network coming in at 9’ 7⅝” high. This is
much lower than most wooden box wagons, some AG covered goods wagons were 10’
5½” high. The wagon had an average tare of 7 T 10 cwt and carried approximately
110 sheep. The wagon were similar to most other sheep wagons, covered two
decks, side and end gates. The two decks are less than three feet apart. Drop
down gangs on the end allowed for strings of wagons to be loaded from a single
end or side loading ramp without the need of a engine to move the wagons as
Old style ramp, most were modified in the mid 80's for the new steel wagons.
The wagon was fitted with
Grover’s Bogies with 2’ 2” wheels, with 8” x 4” journals. Many QR wagons around
the 20’ in length had Grover’s Bogies. In short they had a single axle swivel bogie
at each end which was diagonal connected with rods. This allows the two
wheelsets to turn into curves together reduce rail and wheel wear.
Chivers "AG" kit with working Grover's bogies.
rollingstock in service for the 30th of June 1960 showed 127 wagons
in service. The class remained in
service until the mid 80’s. The wagons were painted Red Oxide until mid-1969,
after that date they were painted QR Freight Grey. During the early to mid-70’s,
wagons of both colours could be observed working on the network.
The wagons were mainly
used for single orders to convey sheep, pigs and calves to sales and small
goods processing plants/abattoirs. It was common to see three or four 4 wheeled
sheep wagons sitting in most stations yards on the Darling Downs. They were
regular visitors to KR Darling Downs at Willowburn in Toowoomba and in Brisbane
they would turn up at Cannon Hill and Doboy.
The General Appendix to
the Book of Rules has a lot to say about the conveying of live stock.
Clause 477 indicates staff
generally must exercise special care in the transport of live stock and do
everything possible to avoid bruising. Care must be taken to avoid undue shunting.
The overcrowding of calves or pigs in MG and L vans must be given attention.
Large calves must not be forced into wagons in which they are unable to stand. Calves
and pigs must not be loaded in the same tier of a livestock wagon unless they
are effectively separated by a hurdle. When the hurdles are not provided by the
consignor, the calves and pigs must be loaded in separate compartments and
livestock must be tightly coupled together. Wagons containing livestock must as
far as possible be marshalled towards the front of the train and not in the
rear of empty and lightly loaded wagons. Wagon containing pigs attached to
trains conveying passengers must be placed as far as possible from the
passenger vehicles. Drivers were not over happy with pig wagons being on the
engine, generally these were to be marshalled towards the centre of the train.
Small consignments of
livestock must not be accepted for places beyond the direct train service (I.e.
stations west of Brisbane must not receive small consignment to station north
thereof or vice Versa), without clearly intimating to the sender the delay
which must take place. Consignment of livestock must also have the attention of
the guard who must show on his Time and Occurrence Sheet any instance of
livestock travelling badly together with cause, if this be know. All livestock
wagons must be in a clean condition and all cattle wagons ashed before being
loaded. Smoke-box ash, when available, must be used in preference to fire-box
A permit to travel,
issued by an Inspector of stock, must be presented for each consignment of
stock (except pigs), including stock in crate and consignments of a single sheep
or goat conveyed in dog boxes, before such are accepted for conveyance by rail.
The permit must be held by the person travelling in charge of the stock, but if
there is no attendant it must be attached to the waybill, invoice or
consignment note, and handed over to the consignee at destination.
Sheep Train at Wood Hill
Sheep vans gates were
sealed in a similar fashion to box wagon doors. Lad Porters were given the job
of seal all eight doors on each sheep wagon. Unlike box wagons, the old seal
could be left in place. This task often took place during the shunt move to
place the wagons on the train, it was an awesome ride with one foot on the end
of each wagon with the wagons bunching up and then running out. The main role
of the seal was to keep the door pin in place. However, if the seal was missing
on arrival at the destination, there was a good chance the door had been open
in transit and gave cause to check the wagon contents. Each seal press stamped
a number on the seal. The General Appendix showed the allocated number for each
location, should one go missing the replacement press would be shown in the
Weekly Notice. Larger stations had more
than one press, i.e. Toowoomba station # 409, Toowoomba Goods Shed # 165 and #
257, Toowoomba (Downs Co-op Dairy Coy) # 3. The Ambulance Officer had # 1 and #
A0 for sealing First-Aid boxes.
Press 9F (Location not shown in General Appendix. ??
Lad Porter "Westgate" sealing the wagon.
Scale of Rates for
livestock. “MG” vans shall be charged at “L” van rates plus 50 per cent. Half
an “L” of sheep or pigs shall be charged two-thirds the rate for a full “L”
van, provided only one tier of the van is used. But the charge shall not be
less than the minimum charge for a full “L” van for 32.19 kilometres. Rockhampton
to Cannon Hill is 664.92 kilometres, In 1973 that cost $ 68.40 for a “L” van of
sheep and $ 67.45 for pigs. I will let you
can do the sums for one tier (½) a “MG” wagon of sheep. You can see why I
didn’t work to many livestock stations.
Having grown up as a kid
in Western Queensland where most stations had sheep/cattle trucking yards, it
was a given for Westgate to have one. Most western locations had separate sheep
and cattle yards, with most sheep yards having an end loading banks. Due to the
limited area available on the layout a combined yard (sheep/cattle) was selected.
Most combined yards had side loading for both cattle and sheep. I really wanted
an end loading bank for the sheep yard. In the late 60’s I recalled a new set
of private yards being built at Sommariva, about 30 miles east of Charleville.
Combined Loading Ramp at Goondiwindi
Side loading Ramp Ulimaroa (Miles - Roma).
End loading Ramp Sommariva (Morven - Charleville)
These yards were unusual
in that they were a combined sheep and cattle yards with a end sheep loading ramp.
I also had a set of photos for the yards taken in the early 70’s. On deciding
to build the yards for the layout I started looking for some measurements, so
next time I visited home I would stop and get a few more photos and run a tape
over various areas. You guessed it, it had been knocked over, even the siding
was gone. A few mates were able to dip up some plans of both sheep and cattle yards.
The next trick was making them fit into the area I had allocated for the yards.
Both sheep and cattle loading ramp was much longer than I expected. With a pencil, some graph paper and a scale
ruler a revised ramps were drawn up that looked right, selective reduction is
the name given to the process. The ramps were reduced by about a half, the size
of the holding yards were also reduced to fit the allocated space.
Now in having sheep and
cattle yards, wagons are required to provide operations on my railway. Over the
years various cattle wagons have been available, the current cattle wagons on
the layout are some of the first produced going back to the 70’s. For time
being they are OK for now. The plan is to replace them one day. Very little has
been available for sheep wagons resulting in various thinking sessions looking
over plans and photos searching for a simple method to make them. Sorry to
report nothing has come up to dated. Maybe a brass etch for the bars could be
the go ???.
Charleville Mid 80's.
Kit.The kit was first made available by Three Foot
Six Models for a limited period in the mid 1990’s. About three years ago the kit was added to the
Caintode Flats Model range. The kit contains brass etches, white metal lost wax
and resin components. The main body etch is made from 2 layers to achieve the
correct profile. To assemble the kit the manufacturer suggests good soldering
skills are essential. I put off purchasing the kit and was waiting for someone
to do their first. One was available at the May Show last year so I took the punt.
Over Christmas I plucked the courage to
have a go.
A good soldering iron is
required, instructions suggest a temperature controlled iron of at least 50
watts with a 3 mm tip. A good supply of drills is required, the following sizes
are needed .3mm, .35mm, .4mm, .5mm, 2mm and 2.5 mm. Getting small drills is not
easy, so I asked Gary where to get them. He suggested McJing Tools at Yagoona in
Sydney.mcjing.com.au They have the small drills in packs of
10 for $ 10.00. Postage was $ 10.00. A phone call with credit card details had
the drills in my hands within 24 hours. All up you drill out about 200 .3mm
holes in the etch parts. I did break a few drills, overall not as many I was
expecting, just take it slow. The instructions for assembling and fitting the
sliding gates suggest you take your patience tablets as his where the fun starts.
The kit starts by assembling
the underframe / lower floor. You have a choice of fixed or compensating bogies,
I made mine compensating, one end is fixed and the other end rocks.
During construction, some
small parts did join the frequent flyers club, thus some changes were made with
substitute parts. The wagon was completed with all side gates working. I didn’t
think to much about this during painting, you guest it, I paid the price and
they don’t open anymore. With the end gates I made one end top gates open with
the gang down for the loading ramp. At times they did run in service with open
gates and walkway down. The gangs on the other end still work after painting. Just
take your time and test fit parts before soldering. I did fit the underframe
etch the wrong way around, closing off the brake cylinder mounting hole. That’s
just me, if there a choice of two ways in doing things, I always manage to do
it the wrong way.
The only sheep I had was
Kerroby Models, I purchased them unpainted in a bulk pack, painted ones are
available. These are white metal, thus have little weigh to them. Sheep was
only add to he outer sides to give a full load look. They were a little high
and needed to be kneecapped a little. The Signals Branch Shapeways shop have 3D
sheep which could be a better choice. All up the wagon comes in at 70 g, which
is about NMRA standard for a H0 model of that size. To date the wagon has been
marshalled on the lead of all trains and has run and pushed back without any
The completed wagon was
first painted with a etch primer. Dulux Metalshield
etch primer (grey) available from Bunnings was used. The paint from a rattle
can was decanted into a plastic cup and applied to the model with an airbrush
for more control. The finish colour was PGC Oxide lacquer. Underframe and
buffer heads were picked out in black by hand.
Over all I'm very happy
with the end result, but I let you be the judge.