Thursday, 20 May 2021

Train 101

 Train 101 has been in the North Coast Line (NCL) for many decades. In the 1926 time table the train ran on Saturday evening from Roma Street to Gympie. In later years the train became a Monday to Friday train. 

In 1957 101 departed Roma Street  at 5:50 pm, steam hauled Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday arriving in Gympie at 10:44 pm. Friday nights it was diesel hauled arriving in Gympie at 10:17pm. 1964 the arrangements were still much the same, departure time as 5:40 PM. Arrival in Gympie was 10:30 PM Mon – Thur and 10:15 on Friday evening diesel hauled.

 In 1968 Friday nights at Roma Street was full of action.

101 Gympie Pass departed at 5:50 PM.

111 Yandina Pass departed at 6:03 PM.

21A Rockhampton Pass departed at 7:30PM

445 Bundaberg Pass departed at 8:10 PM

241 Sunlander departed at 9:30 PM

 During school holidays there was also a relief Townsville Main 241A at 6:45 pm.

 Knowing the marshalling of a trains can give us modellers a prototype train.

The 1964 Working Time Table gives the marshalling of 445. This train ran Monday to Friday and returned as 422.

BLC Bundaberg (Mon – Fri).

BLC Bundaberg (Mon – Fri).

Baggage Car Gayndah – Monto Branch (Sun – Fri).    

Car 14. KCS Gayndah – Monto Branch (Mon., Wed., Fri.)

Car 19 & 20 JCS (10 first, 9 second) berths.

Car 18 AL 36 first seats.

Car 17 BL 56 second seats.

Car 16 BL 56 second seats if required.

Car 15 BL 56 second seats if required.


Baggage Car Maryborough.  

 Leaving Roma Street Friday and Sundays 422 will have an AAS (Sunshine first sleeper) and a FBS (Sunshine second sleeper) instead of the JCS. 422 leaving Bundaberg Friday will be the same. The car numbers appear to be a continuation from the 21A the Rockhampton Mail.   

 Currently on the layout I have 101 from the 1973 NCL Working Time Table.

 The Time Table shows the following marshalling’s for 101. .

Monday to Thursday (Inclusive).


BLC Urangan Road (Road wagons carried small consignments for various stations.- Goods).

BLC Isis Road

BLC Monto. (Eidsvold Tuesdays, Mundubbera Thursdays).

BLC Mulgildie Road (Mondays, Wednesdays)

BLC Eidsvold (Mondays, Wednesdays)

BLC Mundubbera (Mondays, Wednesdays)

BLC Gayndah

Baggage Car Gayndah – Monto (Eidsvold Tuesdays, Mundubbera Thursday. - Parcels).

BL Maryborough  (Second seats)

BL Maryborough (Second seats)

CL Maryborough (First & Second seats)

Mail Van Maryborough

Baggage Car Gympie

Baggage Car Kingaroy

CLV Kingaroy.


BLC’s can be any red diamond wagon, most likely QLX’s wagons were used.

Baggage Cars having just one destination or Branch roadside, 32 foot would of been used.  


101 Friday


BLC Isis Road

BLC Monto

BLC Eidsvold

Baggage Car Gayndah – Monto

BL Monto

BL Maryborough

BL Maryborough

BL Maryborough

CL Maryborough

Mail Van Maryborough

Baggage Car Gympie

Mail Van Kingaroy.

In the above consists we see BLC Road Wagons and Baggage Cars going to the same destinations.

BLC Road Wagons contains Goods items loaded in the Roma Street Goods Yards. This is LCL type freight for various stations in one wagon. It’s consigned in accordance with the Goods & Livestock Rates By Laws.

Baggage Cars are parcels traffic loaded in the Parcel Shed at the Main Passenger Station at Roma Street. This is passenger train traffic and is consigned in accordance with the Coaching By-Laws. Generally items under 112 lbs, mainly items requiring a quicker transit.  At junction stations and far western centres, these parcels were often transferred to Guard’s van on connecting goods/mixed trains for delivery.

Incident:- At 6:30 pm on the 8th of June 1970, Locomotive 1530 working Train 101 run into the van BUV 804 on Train 239 (Caboolture Suburban Service) at Narangba. Van BUV 804 was telescoped into BU 785 killing two passengers. Train 101 passed a signal at Red.    

 On my train I have used the following vehicles.

Train is being hauled by Black Diamond Models Class Leader 1450 class DEL.QLX wagons – Wuiske Models. These have been repainted and decaled and weathered to reflect as built.  

Monto Road Baggage Car - Scratched built back in 1988.

Sunshine Cars are a mix of Three Foot Six Models and Wuiske Models Kits.

MV Mail Van – Caintode Flats Kits.

Gympie and Kingaroy Baggage Cars - Scratch built.

Kingaroy CLV - Caintode Flats Kit. 

The train is featured in a YouTube video in various sectors of the journey.


Another smallish prototype train in reach of the QR modeller.

 Trust you enjoy a North Coast Line passenger train this time around.  

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Steam Breakdown Crane

Back in December I reported on breakdown vans and wagons that were added to the layout. What I had built was what you would expect to find at a district locations like Roma, Warwick, Maryborough and similar stations around the state, locations where you would find a District Superintendent (DS) in charge. Divisional breakdown trains included a crane, these were located at Brisbane (SED), Toowoomba (SWD), Rockhampton (CD) and Townsville (ND). 

If a larger derailment occurred some distance from these locations, to reinstate services, rollingstock was just pulled to the side of the track, track repaired and trains started running again. Once things had settled down, a special recovery train with the divisional crane would make run and clean up the site and convey damage wagons back to the workshops. From time to time the cranes were used at district locations to assist with repairs and to pick up odd wagons left behind from smaller derailments. I also recall them being used to replace bridge girders.   

During Covid - 19 lockdown I was able to reduce the number of kits in the cupboard and completed a string of models, this left me short of detailing parts. Obtaining these parts is just about impossible in our local hobby shops. On most visits to hobby shops I would return home with just a couple of items on my shopping list. I found doing an on-line order with the manufacture has good results. Very few years I do an order for some of these parts with Tichy Train Group in the US. I have found them good to deal with, you place the order, they come back with postage cost and the complete order arrives within a few weeks without the need to leave home. I plan out what I need for future projects and carry a few spares items I use regularly, it helps to cut down the postage cost per pack. 

My last order came with a catalogue enclosed, it was much larger than my order. On the first page was their 120 ton Industrial Brownhoist steam wrecking crane. 

QR had a 15 ton steam crane, I recall seeing it working around the back of the Ipswich Workshops in the late 1960’s pulling condemned wagons apart. There was always going to be a difference between the two given the size differences. Digging out a photo I had taken of the crane working at Ipswich I found the jib and the mechanism were somewhat similar. 

Sizing up the Tichy Brownhoist crane using the bogies, as a known size. The overall size of the jib and mechanism looked as a possible kit bashed project. Passing the catalogue around it didn’t take long before a mate indicated he was going to order for some parts. The crane was added to his order, a few weeks later the kit arrived containing some 200 parts for $ 50.00. If the kit was unsuitable for a QR crane, I could use it for the standard gauge network part of the layout. Often, many US companies offer discounts around special times of the year, Thanksgiving etc. It’s worth subscribing to their newsletters to know when they are offered.             

The photo didn’t show much detail for the wagon frame that carried the crane. After some research I was able to find a Keith McDonald side elevation drawing showing the bogie arrangements, a six and four wheeled bogie and some basic measurements. The drawing didn’t have an end elevation diagram. With the information I was able to collect, I only had details for one side only.

Cutting the jib back to the second hook, it was close to the mark. The crane drive mechanism,

as expected was a little high and longer than the plan. I was able to reduce the height by fitting  a scratch built cab and bring it within the rollingstock gauge. The length I reduced where I could without chopping into the mechanism and accepted that it was a little longer than the plan. I feel capturing the main features makes it look the part.     

A new cab was made from styrene using the above photo as a guide. The boiler in the kit was incorporated into the cab. 

The wagon frame to carry the crane was scratch built from styrene. The frame was made similar to most other wagons I have built for the layout. Slaters checker plate sheet being used for the floor. Coupling draft boxes were built into the underframe floor to take Kadee # 158 couplings. The bogies appeared to be plate side frame arrangement, nothing commercial was available. The bogies were scratch built using 40 thou sheet styrene for strength. The side frame plates were drilled (2 mm) to take Steam Era derin bearings using a steel ruler to ensure all wheels would be level.  Small amount of side play was allowed in the centre axle when fitting the bearings. A jig was made to assemble the wheels into the side frames. Detail including the axle boxes and springs were added to complete the bogie.

The leading end of the six (6) wheeled bogie was made the pivot to reduce the swing of the crane jib. On the layout the jib needs to stay within the profile of the match wagon. 

The next issue was the match/cover wagon for the crane jib when in traffic on a train. By accident looking through a few photos I found a photo of the crane with the match wagon attached, only part of the match wagon was shown. The wagon was not in a good condition, the class/number was not visible, and some modifications had been added. It could of been one of a few different classes. Looking in other files I found a photo of the match wagon showing the class and number. It was a modified 26’ “P” wagon. Having no spare bogies in the cupboard and not being available at the time, a “P” wagon was taken from the layout fleet to make the match wagon.     

Edging was added around the sides and end, a jib support frame and tool box were made and some equipment was added to the floor, jacks, chains, cable and packing timbers to complete the wagon. 

The crane is mounted to the wagon frame with locating pins. The jib was fixed to sit up clear of the support frame on the match wagon to reduce the chance of derailments. Likewise, the hook was fixed to clear the floor. 

The prototype is stored in the ARHS Rosewood Museum. I was hoping to make a visit to the site and maybe take a few photos and learn more about the crane, wet weather, lockdowns, restrictions and more wet weather has placed the visit on hold for the time being. To find out more information about the crane I went to Mr Google. I found a site “Surviving Railway Cranes in Australia” which showed some interest information. 

Number 431, built by Ransomes & Rapier (B7114) of Ipswich in the UK in1914. The site showed the 16 Ton Krupp-Ardelt were built in 1967.  This information highlights the steam crane was the only ”all lines” crane on the network until the arrival of the Krupp cranes. The 40 ton Cowan, Sheldon & Co cranes were built in 1961.   

I like the look of the Krupp Cranes, there is still a couple of them around. One at the Rosewood Museum and the other is with Southern Downs Railway at Warwick. The rollingstock blue book has a small plan of the crane. I would still like to have one on the layout one day.  

At the start I referred to recovery trains working through the division at times, I put on my thinking cap and made one up for the layout. 

Not being a huge train, a 1500/1170 DEL was rostered for the job. The crane and match wagon was placed on the lead for the crew keep an eye on it during travel. 

Behind the crane I added a open wagon covered with a tarp. This wagon carried material to keep the crane operational for the trip, lighting up wood, coal (may be wood was used to keep steam ??), lubricating oils and other items needed for the crane. The next group of wagons were platform and open wagons to convey the damage rollingstock recovered from the side of the track. An “F” has been recovered and placed on an “S” wagon.   

The next group of vehicles is accommodation for the workers, one camp wagon for the crane crew, the other camp wagon is for the breakdown gang. The Sunshine sleeper is for the Manager Special Loads, some damage wagons to be picked up will be outside the loading gauge and a “Authority to Travel” will be required to allow the wagons to travel. I did think about adding a water wagon, (1) additional water for the crane during the day and, (2) for drinking water for the workers in the camp wagons. The train would most likely spend nights at a depot station where tanks could be topped up each day before departing. Additional water for the crane could also be carried in a ship’s tank in the tarped wagon.    

The last four wagons being the breakdown wagons with equipment to assist with the recovery. These were the wagons built in December. 

Each day and during the day I see quite a bit of shunting. At the start of the day an empty wagon would be required to be placed next to the crane, once loaded, the wagon would go back in the train and a fresh wagon placed next to the crane at the next station. Wheelsets/bogies off the “S” wagon in the breakdown set may need to placed on other wagons next to the crane for recovery of a wagon that could travel if new wheels/bogies were fitted.   

Overall, something very different for the layout to reflect a unusual train not viewed all that often on the network. It has provided quite a bit of discussion with visitors to the layout. 

To view the train running on the layout, hop over to my YouTube channel.  

Trust you enjoy. 

Arthur H.


Monday, 29 March 2021

Bundaberg Model Train and Hobby Expo


Weekend of the 20th and 21st of March were able to attend an exhibition for the first time in 18 months. Bundaberg, was the location. 

On the way on up Friday we dropped into Harvey Bay and had a look at Merv Bagnall's layout. More details of Merv’s layout can be found in the January/February 2021 Issue of MainLine. Australasian Region MainLine ( 

Saturday and Sunday was the Bundaberg Model Train and Hobby Expo. Both days I gave the club a hand assisting with their Queensland Health approved Covid-19 Plan, this was required to allow the event to be held and something none of us had been involved in before. Being posted out front, visitor attending needed to register, social distancing, and pay the entrance fee. At the same time, keeping the line of visitors moving, making it hard to chat with modellers arriving at the front door. I apologise to those to whom I appear rude or unfriendly.  Once off duty I was able to catch up with some inside, some I know, others I didn’t. Some I missed, sorry, hope were can catch up soon. 

All up a great show that broke all previous records in a nice venue.  A lot of work went into the arrangements to obtain a Qld Health Covid-19 approval to allow the show to proceed. 

Great to see various clubs helping the host club by providing extra assistance to make the weekend possible with the additional health approval requirements.  All the exhibitors also had a role to play in this as well, cleaning the fence in front of their display. The photos are only an overview and is not all of the layout/displays at the show.  

Last year the show was cancelled at short notice due to the lockdown costing the club a truck load of cash that couldn't be refunded. 

And Yes, with 10 Traders  present, I did come home with less cash in the pocket and more MR parts for more projects for Westgate. 

We were able to have a quick look around town, port, beaches and stock up on Bundaberg Ginger Beer and Sarsaparilla. Wet weather was coming in, lots more to see, next time.  

Monday returning home we had a quick look at Maryborough, the day was to wet for photos, and heading home sounded much better. We had already passed a head on smash at Tiaro in heavy rain.

Merv's Layout - Braidwood Division. HO -NSWR 

 Stannumvale - Queensland Railways HOn42

Walloon - Queensland Railways, HOn42

Wallaville - A local Sugar Tramway, HOn2.5

Moxon Road - Queensland Railways S scale.

Other Layout, Various Scales 

On the edge of town we came across to Road to Tramway cane loader.

Hats off to the Bundy crew for a great show, very much appreciated. 



Monday, 15 March 2021

HSA / HWA Wagons

 Between 1965 and 1981, 550 general traffic open goods/freight wagons entered service on the QR Network. The wagons were much the same size as the previous HJS wagons that entered service in the early 1950’s. The wagons entered service manufactured over five separate contracts with modifications being made to four of five contracts. The years that followed also saw various modification and changes in the classification.     

The wagons were a steel construction, the underframe was 32’ (9 750 mm) long, and 7’ 6” (2286 mm) wide. The outside frame of the wagon was 32’ 4¾” (9 875 mm) and 8’ 6¼’ (2 598 mm) wide. For loading, the width of the wagon across the floor was 8’ (2 438 mm) between the doors, and 7’ 6¼” (2 292 mm) between the stanchions. The inside length was 31’ 11¾’ (9 748 mm). The average tare was 10 Ton 2 Cwt (11 t), carrying capacity 25 Ton 18 Cwt (26.5 t) with a Gross weight of 36 Ton (37.7 tonnes). Capacity 672 cubic feet (19 m3). When built in 1965, the unit length was 2, changing to 2.1 when metric measure was introduced in 1973.  Estimated height of centre of gravity of the tare mass is 25.6” above rail when fully loaded.  

All wagons were Express Freight rated for 50 mph/80 Kmph running and carried a red circle. On the job the wagons were referred to red spot H’s.

Contract # 1.  HSA Class # 33119 - 33268, built by Scott’s of Ipswich in 1965. Fitted with QR 20 cast steel bogies.  This contract differed from the following contracts. Painted black, Premium hook drawgear, later known at D2. Stamping on the doors and ends were donut shape that finish just short of the top and bottom sills.    

HSA 33122 painted freight grey.

Contract # 2.  HSAT Class # 34667 - 34799, built by Scott’s of Ipswich in 1971. Fitted with QR 20 A cast steel bogies. This contract the stamping in the door and ends was U channel shaped, the wagons were painted freight grey. Automatic and transition couplings were fitted to the wagon increasing the wagon tare. Drawgear classification was D1. 

Contract # 3.  HWA Class # 35820 - 35969, built by Scott’s of Ipswich in 1972. Fitted with QR 20 A cast steel bogies. The contact had the same outside features as the previous contact except the wagon had a wooden floor. Wooden floors have a few advantages over steel, it was easier to secure loads. Wooden chocks could be nailed to the floor to stop loads from moving in transit. This method was used with the wooden wagons. Steel floor wagons required a frame to be constructed between the load and the end of the wagon. Friction plays are part in securing freight, wooden floors provide greater friction to steel.  Plus, during wet weather, water flowed out between the floor boards, instead of pooling across the floor to flow out under the doors. Tarpaulins often had holes in them and during rain water could blow in onto the load where the two tarpaulins jointed to cover the load. There was less damage to freight with water running out through the floor boards.    

HWA 35936 Wacol. 

Note the logo on the centre door. I think this was mainly on wagons coming from the manufacture. 

HWA wooden floor. At the time the photo was taken, the wagon was being used for conveying concrete sleepers. 

Contract # 4.  HWA Class # 36726 - 36775, built by Scott’s of Ipswich in 1972. Fitted with QR 20 A cast steel bogies. The wagons were identical was the previous contract. 

HWA 36732 Coopers Plains. 

Contract # 5.  HWA Class # 41036 - 41135, built by Vickers Ruwolt (a division of Scott’s) of Ipswich in 1980/81. Fitted with QR 24 A, 20 A , 17 and 17A cast steel bogies. The wagons were identical was the previous contract except the wagon was fitted with internal retractable securing rings for attaching chain.

Securing rings can be seen hanging down below the doors. Wool Load.

The wagons were used on all lines across the network and could be found on most goods/mixed/express freights trains carrying all sorts of loads, many covered with tarpaulins in various outline.

 The wagons were fitted with a “W” type freight brake equipment. 

It didn’t take long for other uses to be found for the class, many HSA wagons were used in Central Queensland Highlands grain traffic. Pipe supports for tarpaulin were added and the wagon were reclassified to HSAG. Custom made tarpaulins were used to protect the load.

 Around 1988 first contract HSA were fitted with auto couplings, then classed HSAT.

 Approximately 45 HSA were modified for magnetite traffic and classified HSM and HSAM in 1990 replacing HJS wagons used in this traffic. 

Early 1990’s the buffer were removed, all wagons were classified HSA.

Like the HJS wagons, workshops manufactured replacement doors when the original ones became damaged. Check photos as there were was a couple different types. Not uncommon to find a wagons with various door types as time went on.  

 Three HWA wagons became part of the weighbridge test in 1991, MHWA classification.

Mid 1990’s some wagon were modified for track maintenance work and to carry concrete sleepers HSAC / HWAC.   

Around the same time, the class was given Business Group Identification.  

HSAB / HWAB (Business Service. T.L.M)

HSAF / HWAF (Freight)

HSAI / HWAI (Freight Infrastructure)

HSAH (Heritage for coal, some of these wagon carried a red diamond and at times were part of country heritage excursions). 

HSAM / HWAM (Coal Infrastructure).

HSAG Primary Industries.

HWAO (Freight Operations tutor train).

HWAC / HSAC (Freight Operations).

HSAN (Citytrain Infrastructure)

HWAW (Workshops)

ITS timber sleepers. (Freight Infrastructure)

Wagon that have not been re-stencilled remain for Express Freight and Q-Link traffic only. 


HWAI (note; replacement door stop unpainted)

HSAT 34753 with a mix of door types, replacement door stops. 

HWAC 36741 

This wagon was taken off a train due to flat springs (In other words the wagon over loaded).

I wonder who did that ??

Warwick. Oct 1996 with Workshop replacement ends.

 By 2010 less than 100 were left in service, most being used on the SEQ spoil trains in a poor condition. Around 2015 these wagons were replaced with containers on PCUY wagons bring the life of the class to an end.  

 Models on the Layout:- Being a 32’ wagon, they are a great size for most layout.

All wagons are mounted on Wuiske Models QR 20 bogies. After reading Joe Fegates book “Make it run like a Dream – Rollingstock” I have developed a standard for my rollingstock that suits my track. These days, all wheelsets are bench tested on the workshop test track. Wheelsets not meeting this standard are refined before going to the layout. Having a good wheel/track interface is important to having a trouble free operating layout. Having trouble free operations makes a layout so much more enjoyable. On the weighbridge, all wagons were weighted to 50 grams. Coupling are Kadee # 158, on the scratch build wagons the coupler box was built into the underframe during construction, another feature I have come up with to improve operations. 

Far North Hobbies Kit. Grain bins are scratch build.

Wuiske Models Kit. Bricks and pallets are scratch build. The securing web straps are plastic shopping bags painted yellow and cut into strips.

 The following wagons fitted with tarps were all scratch build, just a simple styrene box with below floor detail only. Tarps were made from used tea bags. 

The standard QR tarpaulins were made so one size fits all applications, for lower loads the sides could folded up to keep the tarps away from the running equipment on the wagon.   

Modelling the early 1970’s there was a mix of tarpaulins in use. The green canvas were being replaced by yellow PVC type. Late 1960’s there was a few trial orange PVC traps.

Vallejo acrylic # 70.915 Deep Yellow, and # 70.922 Uniform Green was used to paint the tarps. 

Each wagon could be made different by altering the colour of the tarps by added a drop or two white paint to the base colour being used to produces various shades of fading.  

Wagons fitted with tarps in this manner could be conveying general freight, grain and other products.

Where loads were below the sides, portable tarpaulins supports (one each end) was used to make a water shed. Otherwise in wet weather water would pool in the tarps between the sides and at some stage, water would enter the covered area damaging the freight.  

The HSAG used in the Central Queensland grain traffic had pipe tarp support fitted and a custom one piece tarp manufacture to suit the wagons much the same as the WH and WHE wagons. Due to the smaller size tarps, door ribs were added. 

The tarpaulins signage is homemade decals made up using “Word”. Thanks Ken E-W.   

Another plus for modelling the early 1970’s, is that both black and freight grey coloured wagons were running on the network for a few years. 

Now the wagons have decals added, it’s just finding time to lightly weather them next time the air brush is out. Talking of weathering, if you model a later era around 2000, boy, I think you could have lots of fun with a few different shades of rust.

All the covered wagons can be found at work on my Central Queensland Grain Train, check out my YouTube channel 

Trust you find the information helpful and assists in making a prototypical railway.

Happy modelling.                                

Arthur H.