Dimboola station. This great photo was taken by my son Craig

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Adelaide show 2019

It is most unusual to report on new developments from Adelaide, but SDS models were in attendance, with models of their retooled NR class and an 81 class sitting quietly at the back of their stand. The NR models were handed painted indigenous livery models from the new tooling. The course rear steps have been replaced with etched brass, the long hood side steps have been relocated to their correct position, and the air tanks are now modeled in the full and not half relief as on the Austrains tooling. Also, the cab has been completely redone to be of more correct appearance. A new control board has been developed to allow extra functions, like flashing ditch lights.

Called black and white, a military world war 2 inspired layout, the only colour was the peace VW van.
Running the Gauntlet, from the Kangaroo and Cockatoo Railway stable.
N scale Morgan, based on the line to Morgan on the Murray River. Built to T Track rules of individual modules.
Don Moyses' Crystal Brook (Warnertown End). Unfortunately the far end had been water damaged from over night condensation, resulting in reduced operation as Don and crew tried to obtain fully running.
The goods shed from Black River, based on a town between Adelaide and Melbourne, servicing the timber industry. Almost has a Tasmanian feel to it.
Murray Bridge.
Black Springs, a switching layout set in spring time.
Westcombe Junction, a fictitious Great Western main line layout.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

New SCT wagons

Railmotor Models (TrainWorld Victoria) have released a new run of their PBGY Multifreighter wagons, plus the PBHY hicube wagons.

The PBGY wagons come either with grey or black roof versions, with or without the broken black stripe: all with new numbers. One item that I had concern for was the rolling characteristics of the bogies. Spinning the axles on opening the box, things did not look too good, but when placed on the track, Railmotor, have seemed to corrected the very poor running of the first release, as the wagon shot off along the track for a good distance, relative free running. Still no detail on the underframe.

The other wagon that has joined the fleet, are, Auscision's PWWY well wagons. These are highly detail as we have come to expect, and the main well body is cast metal, thus giving the model sufficient weight.
Finally have some wagons to carry the 48' boxes. Probably need one more, so will obtain one of the single packs.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Auscision's NR class update

Auscision's NR class models have just seen the light of day, with images posted recently on their Facebook page. Remember, these are only engineering samples, and probably a long way to go. At least the air tanks are fully moulded.

All photos from Auscision.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Postcard from Japan

It all started with a I would like to go to Japan from each, myself and my wife, so we decided, go or maybe it will be never. Certainly more difficult to arrange than traveling to England or Europe, but we were helped by a Japanese friend, who helped with much of the accommodation booking. This did cause a slight problem in Kyoto, where the hotel could not find our booking, as it has been booking under our name translated into Japanese, so there was nothing under our English spelling.
Anyway, our first night was at Arima Hot Springs, a great way to recover after the flight. As this post is about trains, there is a small station at Arima, were the track disappears straight into a tunnel in the hill side.
This rail service goes to Kobe, so it is a bit more difficult to use if arriving in Osaka.
At night.
Namba Osaka
Part of Osaka metro system.

Osaka is all about shopping, or a visit to Osaka castle: unfortunately not a real one, as the originals were burnt down or bombed, bit still stunning. Next stop was Kyoto, by super rapid train.
A word of warning. We did not have a JR pass, as it was not worth it for the few train trips we took. If  booking tickets for individual rides, Japan has local services, super rapid or shinkansen. If, for say travelling from Osaka to Kyoto, the Shinkansen takes 15 minutes, the super rapid 30 minutes, but the Shinkansen will cost three times as much, and the booking clerks will automatically book you on the super express, unless you ask for the slower service.
Part of Kyoto from Kyoto Tower
Sunset over the hills.
Kyoto still has a large traditional housing area.
Minutes away from the railway station is the Nanzen-ji temple, not only free, but is the largest wooden building in the world. Incredible.

Kyoto is also the home of the national railway museum. The Kyoto Railway Museum is about a 30 minute walk from the massive Kyoto railway station. This impressive museum is based around the old JR museum, same location, with the oldest extant reinforced  concrete roundhouse in Japan, and extensive exhibition buildings. The roundhouse has twenty steam locomotives on display, plus there are four steam locos in full service, one of which runs when the museum is open. (the museum is close on Wednesdays and over the New Year holiday 30th December to January 1st. It is open every other day of the year, including our Christmas, as Japan does not have holidays for Christmas).
C61 on the left and 83class on the right.
The fourth in service, been overhauled in a pristine workshop. No number?
C62 running on the day.
The museum is very impressive, dealing with all aspects of Japans railways, including overhead, food, there is a small country station in the main hall, and every Saturday, track crew come in the museum to ,and teach children (and adults) all aspects of track work and rail safety.
Kyoto, took a local to  Arashiyama to see the Bamboo forest. There is also a tourist train here. The forest is cut in half by the local line,and the pedestrian crossing is manned every day to keep tourist safe from passing trains.
A static D51 class at Arashiyama,
Bamboo forest walk.
From Kyoto, we traveled to Himeji by super rapid, which travels along the coast, passing the Akashi Kaikyo suspension bridge, which has the longest central span in the world. Himeji has one of twelve remaining real castles in Japan, and is probably the most beautiful. Can be very busy, but we arrived late afternoon, and had no wait, and climbed to the top.
From Himeji, we were going to travel on the local service to Hiroshima, but the first train change had to take two minutes! We thought this was a bit too short, if anything was to happen with us trying to find our way between train. So is was onto the Shinkansen. After buying our tickets, my wife asked how long it was going to take, and I replied, about an hour. The young man behind the counter said flatly 58minutes, and it took 58 minutes.
N700 series Shinkansen glides into Himeji Station

Hiroshima. One of a few Japanese cities that has a tramway network. Also the first city in the world to have been bombed with an an atomic weapon. visit the Peace Memorial Museum and the Victim's Memorial Museum. You learn the politics for dropping the weapon and how on the 6th of August 1945 at 815am, about 250m from the exhibition dome building, at a height of 580m the bomb detonated. It is believed approximately 80,000 people died straight away and more than 140,000 died by December 1945.
Hiroshima has trams of various vintages.
Leaving Hiroshima, we took the Super Nozomi Express, Shinkansen to Tokyo. About four hours.(These are not included in a JR pass) Using my GPS app, we averaged between 240 and 260km/h. The train was least occupied till Osaka, then it filled headed into Tokyo. Pay the extra for reserved seats, as out of 16 cars, there are only 3 unreserved. The Shinkansen (meaning, new main line) are standard gauge, where as the rest of Japan railways are narrow gauge, and are separate from each other.
Tokyo station, a massive red brick building, completed in 1914, but heavily damaged by fire bombing in 1945, so the domes were replaced with a simpler design until 2014 when they were rebuilt to their former glory. Trains access the station on four different levels.

Added a few more photos from the Kyoto Railway Museum.