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

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Victorian Grain Board silos

The most common feature of Victorian rail yards, throughout the grain growing regions of the state are the tall concrete verticals. There are tow styles; the 'Geelong' type with a corrugated peaked roof, and the 'Williamstown' with flat roof (like the Norske silos at Horsham). These can be modeled quiet simply. To start, one needs two 55mm PVC pipes, and two 110mm pipes, at scale 97 feet (340mm), square cut if possible.
These are joined together by strips of thick plastic card, 12mm wide: these join the sections together (refer to diagram below. I obtained drawings from Vicgrain many years ago).
Concrete vertical under construction. Still to be painted and detailed, plus roof to be fitted.

An enlarged copy of this diagram can be downloaded from http://www2.nmit.vic.edu.au/~david/emrc2/resources/silos/Silo_Geelong_300dpi.gif. Beware, this is a very large file.

The roof was then constructed from plastic card. I used Evergreen Metal siding 4526, as this is close in appearance to corrugated iron.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

C-Rail Intermodal HO scale containers

C-Rail Intermodal is a small UK manufacturer, that produces the most accurate model containers available. Up till recently, they have been only available in OO scale 1/76. Now announced, due to be released in early 2013 are; HO scale 20 and 40 foot reefer containers.

End view of HO scale 20' reefer and the detail of the reefer unit.
The only other reefer containers that have been available are from Athearn, but the 20' box has not been released by themselves, for many years.
During the 24 hour visit to Murray bridge in September, a PN/ Patrick train passed through, with over half the loading being Hamburg-Sud reefer units in 20' and 40' lengths.

First to be released is the Maersk Sealand box, but Arran Aird has indicated that the Hamburg-Sud livery is possible as he has the artwork, that only needs to be re-scaled to HO.

OO scale version of 40' Hamburg-Sud
Two addition containers now have been produced:.20'  Hanjin and  40' MOL.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

SDS Models new container wagon and others

SDS Models have formally announced they will produce a RQBY container flat. That is, a OCY with holes cut in the deck to reduce weight.

These wagons were converted during 1989 to 1992, when most of the remaining 370 NQOY wagons of the series 15000, 34000, and 35000 series were converted for the transport of 20 and 40 foot ISO containers. These modifications were carried out at the Cooks River rail yard. bt the end of 1992, the 15000 series had been recoded to NQBY. Most of the NQBY/RQBY wagons had been originally coded NQSY. The deck patterns on these wagons were different to the standard NQSY pattern. Under NRC these have been recoded to RQBY.

RQBY art work: SDS Models

Edit Note: Many of the 63ft container flats in service have their origins in the OCY/X and FQX flats. 

The FQX class was VR's primary container wagon for many years, almost identical to NSW OCX/NQOX wagon ( a kit is available from AR Kits), and SAR FQX /AQCX version, which had differences, the most notable being only having two chain boxes rather than four.  Steam Era models produce a FQX kit
 Recently, many have had their tare weight decreased, with hole cut in the decks and other weight removed. The other main class are the Commonwealth Railways RMX flats, used by all operators today. So far, only QRNational have weight reduced some of these wagons, by removing deck plating, coded QQEY.
Later built skeletal container flats in NSW and Victoria (QMX) are based on the OCY/X/FQX design, except for the NQKY,  which is converted CDY open wagon, with sides and floor removed.

NQKY Skeletal

RRTY ex RQTY ex AQTY ex FQX (With Polar Pack cut out)

Two version of the RQSY (OCY modified) modeled from old Callipari Kits, obtained from Casula Hobbies. (Powerline use the same unit for their RTR wagon).

RQSY with more extensive deck cut outs

Friday, 2 November 2012

QUBE back in Horsham

Rail freight has returned to the Horsham station yard, with QUBE beginning containerized grain traffic, between the rural city and Melbourne.  The first service out, was on 31 October,  hauled by GL105 with 23 wagons.. This Viterria traffic has been gained from WCL

From the Wimmera Mail Times.

HORSHAM Rural City Council will meet Melbourne-based container logistics company Qube to discuss operations at the Horsham rail freight terminal.
Qube has confirmed it intends to operate from the Horsham terminal.
The meeting comes after Horsham residents voiced their concern at the prospect of rail freight returning to the city when crews started work at the site.
Workers from rail contractors McLeod Rail have been working on the rail track this week in readiness for Qube to move in.
Horsham Rural City Mayor David Grimble said company representatives and council would meet mid next week to find out what the company intended to do.
"They have a commitment to provide a rail service under contract," he said.
"We need to find out why they can't provide that service under contract at the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen.
"We also want to reassure people that we don't want a freight handling facility in the city it is not part of our long-term vision for Horsham.
"We understand the angst from the community. Council is united and we will exercise our political influence.
"This came as a surprise to us as well."
A spokesman for Qube said the arrangement in Horsham was temporary.
He said the company had been trying to gain access to the new terminal at Dooen, which officially opened in September.
"It is not our intention to remain at the Horsham terminal indefinitely but we cannot use Dooen until an agreement is reached with Wimmera Container Line," he said.
Wimmera Container Line operates the Dooen terminal.
The spokesman said Qube made alternative arrangements to access the Horsham terminal so that its customers were protected and to ensure freight remained on rail.
"Qube is continuing its discussions with Wimmera Container Line on a potential access agreement to the Dooen terminal, but is unable to say when that agreement will be reached," he said.
"However the community can be assured that we are working in good faith to enable us to commence operations at Dooen as soon as commercially possible."
Carly Werner

Monday, 8 October 2012

SDS Models OCY/NQOY flats

SDS Models new OCY/NQOY 63' container flats have arrived. While a kit has been available from Casula Hobbies (same as the Powerline container flat), this new wagon is fully detailed. My first pack of three are NQOY classification is in road grime, though I have seen relative clean blue wagons on trains. Though a New South Wales wagon: since the introduction of National Rail in 1992, these wagons now run all over Australia on National Rail, and now Pacific National Inter-modal services.
 Most of the wagons in the 15000, 34000 and 35000, plus a few in the 14900 series, were transferred to the NRC in 1994-95.

Over the years many have have been modified, most noticeably, they have had large holes cut in their decks and the chain boxes removed.

If modelling any NRC/PN train, these wagons are a must, but not too many, as you only see odd ones in a train. Remember most have been modified. (Remember: while it is confusing, as both are operated by Pacific National, most local containers are shipped on Toll services, while International containers are mostly shipped on Patrick services). These wagons DO NOT operate on QRNational or SCT services.

NQOY 14970 at Mile End.
Just like the real thing.

SDS NQOY, fitted with an Auscision Toll livery 40' container. In the pack are included various container anchors. If pre-twist lock, there is an installation guide on the SDS Models website. If modelling NRC and PN, use the little white pins. Auscision and SDS containers fit. Walthers and Athearn containers have pins moulded on the bottom of the container. These do not fit in the holes, so the pins need to be removed, and carefully hand drill small holes to fit the mounting pins

View of the deck.
Motive power, is of course, NR class.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Horsham update - 2

The last train to operate from the Horsham Station yard terminal, ran on 7 September 2012. During the next few day, Wimmera Container Line transferred all their equipment (but for poor 7334) to the new terminal at Dooen.
The first commercial train out of Dooen was on the 11 September 2012. The Horsham Station yard is now empty, and there is talk for redevelopment of the area.
Also, funding has been obtained for a study into a Horsham rail by-pass. The idea floated by ARTC was for a running by-pass. Trains running in one direction, would pass through Horsham, while the other direction would use the by-pass. This was proposed to reduce the number of crosses happening in the restricted Horsham yard, and to speed up transit times. Horsham cannot be abandoned as it is still served by the Overland passenger service.

7334 parked at end of a siding Horsham Yard

Friday, 28 September 2012

C44ACi from Auscision

Auscision models announced they are to release an HO scale model of the UGL/GE C44ACi locomotive.
Sample C44ACi. From Auscision Facebook page.(With permission)

QRNational 6001
Up till recently, QR National's 6000 class were the only example of the C44ACi seen on the Main South Line, operating QR National intermodal service between Melbourne and Perth, with lay over in Adelaide. One use to be able to to the Port Adelaide terminal, where they were stabled mid journey. Now the train stops at Dry creek terminal, with the Adelaide off load being transferred to Port terminal by an GWA hauled shuttle.
With the  GWA taking delivery of their own GWU class, these can now seen hauling grain from all the silos all along the line. Usually empty hoppers are off loaded on the trip towards the Victorian border, then collected on the return journey.

Bringing my layout right up to date, will be able to run one with my CLF. Usually, these trains are triple headed, in GWU, CLP/F and GM, plus 700 and ALF combinations, with AHGX and CGAY hoppers.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Murray Bridge

September 2012, and the Australian International Pedal Prix is on at Murray Bridge. While the thousands of kids of all ages set up for the 24 hour race, it was a time to check out Murray Bridge station.
The Murray Bridge yard is situated on the north side of the town, and the river. The actual station is on the left in the above photo, built 1915. The other large building, are the old refreshment rooms, built in the early 1880's.
The yard also contains, a 1883 station masters residence, a 1887 timber railway worker cottage and annex, four 1910 stone cottages, and two 1920's Webb era prefab-concrete cottages. A SAR Institute building, 1910 stone barracks, and more recent barracks built by AN.

1887 Timber cottage.

At the Adelaide end, is a small silo complex, and the switches to access the line down the side of the cliff to Murray Bridge wharf. The line is a bit over grown, but one can still walk along it. also situated here is an 1883Edge Moor Iron Company, USA 53ft turntable.

Wharf line down side of cliffs.

The line, not only accessed the wharf, but also another Noske Bros flour mill complex. This building is still in use, producing animal feeds, buy no longer serviced by rail. (But all the rails are still there, just covered by Bitumen. The rail access is to the left of the building.)

The line passes underneath the highway through a short tunnel and out onto the bridge, opened in 1925 Originally, the line past through as cutting (it is still there) and across, what is now the road bridge. Each of the two truss spans are 185ft in length, with the curved chord riveted span, 240ft in length. From there, across the flood plain flats, are 18, 70ft girder spans, curving to the right. Total length of 1880ft.

And for those who don't know, the above photos shows just a few of the cars just before the start of the 24 hour race.

Royal Adelaide Show 2012

For the past few years in the Grain exhibition hall, there has been a model railway, showing the transport of grain from farm to shipping terminal. Two trains operate in a continuous circuit of track.

Unfortunately, in South Australia, more grain is being transported by truck. Many of the mid north line are now closed. Where grain is transported to terminals such as Roseworthy is now shipped to Adelaide by road.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

AHGX models

South Australian models now have the ability to model modern grain hopper trains. Auscision Models AHGX models arrived mid August. This included several special liveries, including a grey unit, marked ANR. After speaking to Peter at the Caulfield Exhibition, there could be more to come, if those individuals holding the photographic evidence do the show and tell, plus some yellow painted Manildra units, repainted with green sides on their return.
MHGX coded unit.
These are the beginning of an ASR grain unit. Purchased four units at the exhibition, to add to the four pre-ordered. These units have run extensively in Victoria, on broad gauge and standard gauge since privatization with ASR and El Zorro
Three MHGX and a CLF
The beginnings of my ASR grain train. Just need a couple of GM locomotives to add up front, and more hoppers. Will have to recode back to AHGX, and change numbers, as Auscision only produced one pack of these units.
All these model wagons are carried on Victorian XSC bogies, done by Auscision for ease. Would also been on ANR ABXC bogies, but now a mix of Victorian, NSW and AN bogies. I have a photo a one on 40 ton ride control and ABXC at the other end!

Two variations not produced are illustrated on the SA grain hopper post. I have photos of two hoppers with yellow roof and ends, plus photos of hoppers with just yellow roof, but all the brake equipment is yellow, as are the discharge door mechanisms. 

Hopefully, one day, can add in some CFCLA CGAY hoppers to the mix.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ambleside loop

The new 1800m loop at Ambleside is well into construction. The main line has been repositioned, a new bridge has been built at the Adelaide end, and earth works are well advanced.

Ambleside loop Spoehr's Road end

Thursday, 9 August 2012

SA grain hoppers

South Australain Railways ordered the first 52 SHGX in 1969, being built by Mechanical Handling. These were painted yellow and placed on the standard gauge network in the north of the state. They were bogie exchanged to board gauge from early 1970's, and some were painted in SAR grey with the red piping shrike logo on the side. ( This is controversial, as there is also no photographic evidence released to suggest this, but the SAR rolling stock experts say some were painted grey, being seen at Mt Gambier and Wallaroo.)
When Australian National took over the SAR, they ordered another batch, 53-72. These were turned out in red. By the time the last batch was ordered. 73-108, their classification had changed to AHGX. These were painted in AN's new corporate green and yellow.
 Auscision models produce a model of these wagons, in both discharge door styles, and as modified by ASR with roll tops. (As illustrated in the following photos)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Murtoa grain hoppers

Some grain hoppers stored at Murtoa, Victoria.


The two rows included some VHHF grain hoppers. These were built between 1982 and 1984, with  one hundred and fifteen being constructed. They are about 24"/60cm longer and were numbered from 801 to 915. The first three wagons were issued to service in July 1982 as 401, 412 and 414, but by August 1982 the wagons were renumbered to 801, 812 and 814. All wagons issued after this date were numbered from 800.

Shows increased length in body and walkways.
Some VHGF standard grain hoppers, Murtoa

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wimmera Stations + Wolseley

On return, stopped at Dimboola, just in time to see a Pacific National steel train depart. (All trains stop at Dimboola for a change of crew). Down in a siding rested G528 and XR558 coupled to a rack of VHGF grain hoppers.
PN steel train departing Dimboola

G528 + XR558
Dimboola Station
Onto Nhill. A nice wooden station building, surrounded by Grain Corps silo complex. At the Adelaide end of the yard is another Noske Brothers mill and silo: the large bin, the largest in Southern Australia.

Nhill Station
Noske Bros mill complex
Missed Kanvia, then stopped at Lillimur silo siding. Almost at the Victorian/SA border. Checked out the old post office again. Unfortunately the old gas lamp that stood on the road curb is gone: a V/Line bus stop in its place. The door was open, so sneaked a look inside. The post counter and fitting still in place.
Lillimur siding
Post Office
Was not planning to stop at Serviceton, but decided to. Luck would have, had a guided tour of the inside. The refreshment room and kitchen still almost original, except the huge cast iron cooking range was removed when V/Line closed the station. It use to operate 24 hours a day. Upstairs is the quarters for the chef cook. Much  of the building was converted to crew quarters, though the caretaker guys are planning to remove the added partitions and try to return the building back to its former layout.
Unfortunately Serviceton Station is under serious threat from VicTrack, which just wants to demolish this historically important building. Remember, before Federation, this was the border. When a passenger arrived from Adelaide, their fare only took them to Serviceton. Here they disembarked, crossed the border, then purchased a ticket to Melbourne. All freight had to go through customs and duty had to be paid.
All engines changed here, with both railways having large loco depots here (now all gone), and this continued till through running was introduced by Australian National in the 1980's.
The reason for the building been under threat, as it needs underpinning on the none platform side. The west wall is slowly moving away from the building, which is pushing the platform up. No heritage funding from the Victorian Government this far away from Melbourne.

The SA end of the station
Pacific National General freight passing through Serviceton.
Just before leaving Serviceton, a Pacific National general freight past through. This is first time that I have seen RLPY vans for Sadlier. I was suggested to take the back road to Wolseley. Another piece of luck, as G&W were loading grain hoppers: a mix of AHGX and CGAY hoppers. Up front, a clean GWU006, GM33, and a dirty GWU005.