This week CGL Models (www.cglmodels.com.au) 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.
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.