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

Monday, 23 December 2013

Dooen, finally the new Horsham freight terminal.

The Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen now has four train movements per day. Two, WCL/SCT in and out to Melbourne, and two QUBE in and out to Melbourne; after and agreement was reach recently in Novemeber, with WCL over access to the terminal by QUBE.
Both trains are currently hauled by GL class locomotives, on hire from CFCLA. This is while the SCT, CSR locomotives are out of action, due to asbestos removal.
QUBE Logistics container movements are now from the nearby Viterra terminal to WIFT, and by rail, instead of been road hauled through to Melbourne, after QUBE ceased rail operations from the old Horsham yard about half way through 2013.

Dooen terminal is about ten kilometres from Horsham. The main line is just to the right, in the above photograph, and this is where the terminal spur also connects.

Here is some action from the Stawell rail Cam



Sunday, 15 December 2013

Building a SCT's PQFY

Something must be wrong! I have 99% completed two models recently. This time it is a PQFY in line fuel tanker for SCT. SCT services across Australia all haul a PQFY wagon directly behind the locomotives. This means that SCT does not have to stop on the Nullabor, and pay for fuel from a competitor, at their prices. Originally they used VTQF tank wagons from freight Australia, but when these came under Pacific National, SCT and Liquip International, developed their own inline fuel system, involving twin TILU 30' 35000litre tanks on ex Commonwealth Railways RMX container flats.

I began by scratch building the wagon. I used drawings of the Mechanical Handling version: first batch, built 1968; obtained from Inprotrans, a while ago. (Note: that there are minor difference between the wagons, depending on their manufacturer. The oval hole version was built by Commonwealth Engineering in 1969). The wagon was painted red, with a grey deck, and fitted with Auscision 70t ride control bogies.

The tanks came from DSAutoModelle, via ebay (they also have a online shop). I purchased the cheapest 30' tanks with red frame work they had. These were sand back to remove the unwanted European Owner markings, then painted white. The walkways were cut back to only leave a top inspection plate.

The pump unit was built from pieces of plastic and brass wire, follow a near enough arrangement from photos viewed from other sources, and attached to the tanks with some black coated wire.

Now just await a couple of  SCT EDI GT46C-ACE's; probably due during 2014, and not from source that has been advertised.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Build a Static grass applicator

How to build a static grass applicator for around AUS$40. First, you need to acquire a negative ion generator from Oatley Electronics. cat No: [IONB2] for around AUS$14 in Sydney. When I purchased mine, they had a credit card limit of $20, so you may have to buy two.

Next, the hardware shop for some 42mm UPVC pipe. My Negative Ion generator is just a bit big, so some careful trimming till it was a tight fit. (They maybe a different size now?)
Photo: Oatley Electronics.
While at the hardware shop, you need a 40mm cap to fit the UPVC tube, plus some parts from Clipsal.
235S32BSP40 screwed metric converter.
260/32 locking rings
25mm conduit plug.

plus about 100mm of bronze flyscreen.
screwed metric converter
Locking ring

From Jaycar, you will need:
Switch of choice, for on off control
Alligator clip
9volt battery clip.

Next, you have to find plastic container for the grass fibres. Some supermarkets used to stock a plastic flour shaker (now hard to find, around $5) but Coles have a cooking string container that might work.

Carefully cut a hole in the bottom of the plastic container, just big enough to fit the screwed metric converter. You have place one of the locking rings on the converter, fit through, then add the second locking ring to hold the container in place.
a hole needs to be drilled in the conduit plug, and the pale red silicone coated wire, has to be threaded through. This has to be soldered to the bronze flyscreen. (Do not use the black powdered coated screen as it will not work). Take the containers plastic lid and cut out a hole to fit the flyscreen into. Can glue in if required.

Next, you need the wiring diagram.

You will need two holes in the 42mm handle tube. Wire up battery clip and switch, then insert the ion generator into the tube. There should be two wires coming from the tube, to solder together, and add some length, then the alligator clip.
The converter's plain end, may need packing for a tight fit when inserted into the tube.
Add nine volt battery for around 12KV (Remember: high voltage, and your parts must be plastic, except for the mesh).
Time to test. Add glue to the area and a nail (earth), attach alligator clip to nail, fill container with fibres, turn on, and shake over the area for grass. If all is working fine, the fibres should all be standing upright.
I have used down to 2mm fibres, but, generally I turn on the unit before turning upside down, so the fibres are charged before they fall out.
So there you have it. If you cannot made one for less than $40, then go out and buy the Noch version for around $300, and it will not be as good, as from many photos I have seen, it has trouble charging the fibers to get them to stand upright. There is another unit available from War World Scenics  in England: around $200.

Photo of my second spare unit.
If reading this from the UK, I saw this shifter in Barnitts on my travels recently, Even has its own metal screen.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Sadleirs' vans

Sadlier Logistic's run a service between Melbourne and Perth, attached to Pacifc National trains. Usually these are ex NSW NLKY vans, recoded to RLSY vans. To confuse matters, they also now use some of older ex NSW KLV vans, also recoded to RLSY. Most of the vans are from the newer NLKY version, and the number on a service varies, see photos below.

I decided that I would add some of these vans to my Pacific National service. Auscision Models, produce both types of van. The earlier KLV van in Sadliers Livery was a single van in a four pack (NLV-9  Sold out) and the NLKY's were produced only in a two tone green, and not the all over Lime green that most now run in. As seen in the bottom photo, they also use un-repainted units.
I wanted a single KLV. Luckily, Ian Storrie, of Ian Lindsay Models, produced a fine kit for the KLV, so I ordered one of those. (Not everything has to be ready to run).

The kit went together extremely well, as you would expect for a Ian Lindsay Model. I painted the unit firstly with a white undercoat from Tamiya Color, then finally with Tamiya TS-22 light green, which gave almost the correct colour. The Sadleirs logo came of there website, reduced to about the right size and printed out on photo paper. (Still have to pick out the door handles, steps and grab rail in white). The bogies are from Auscision, but as the kit was produced to take AR Kit bogies, the height has to be adjusted.

PS. If you have noticed, most of my model photos are taken around my river crossing, and that is static grass in front and behind. I will soon tell how to make a static grass applicator for around $40.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

SDS Models Update

SDS Models have announced that their RQBY containers wagons have arrived. More wagons for intermodal services, in both National Rail and Pacific National liveries.

Photo: SDS Models. The two outer wagons are RQBY, the inner, an OCY.

Also announced, (a not so secret model), as I wrote about in my Caulfield SDS update. Engineering sample models of the JCW type 80' container wagons. Finally something to put those 40' TNT containers on, especially as Auscision have just received a re-run of their TNT 40' containers. While these are the NSW version, they are very similar to the VR VQDW and AN AQDW versions. When fully loaded you would not be able to tell the difference in the deck, and a change of bogies, to ride control.




VQDW drawing.
This is an update to my update. Further discussion on the web forums have revealed that SDS are producing two more types of container wagons. Under the future release banner there is the following, showing the new to come RACE containers.

It's the wagon on the right, that is of interest, as it has VR XCS bogies, a FQX/VQCX. SDS did all the work for Aust- N-Scale's FQX N scale RTR wagon.

9-3-2014, this wagon was confirmed at the Sandown Model Rail exhibition.The Victorian FQX sample was on display, along with the South Australian version. May we see the variations in the future.

Unit48.com containers part 2

A week has passed and out again to catch the 6MP7 passing through Mount Barker Junction; usually around 10.15 in the morning. How another week can be different. On arrival, all the signals were blank, before turning red: meaning something was stop in the loop. Then the sound of throbbing GM's coming up the hill with a return grain, coming to  a halt into the loop. Three GM's and two class 22's. (Some of these were on an empty I saw on last Tuesday, that had five GM's: three in orange and two green units, and a class 22).

The grain had been pulled into the loop to allow 6MP7 Pacific National Trailerail service to pass (running late). Up front were two 93 class (9313 and 9312) and trailing NR13.

Only two Unit48.com dry boxes, and a few curtain sided containers. More unusual, was the five pack well wagon set in the middle of the consist.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Unit48.com containers

Unit48.com is an Australian  subsidiary of the Dutch based Unit45.com container company. In association with  Freightquip Australia, they now provide both curtainsided and drybox 48' units for the Australian market. Unit45 is Europe's leading innovator in the creation and manufacturer of container solutions.
In Europe, where the 45' unit is more common, as it provides better specifications in the loading of pallet cargo, while here in Australia the 48' is more common.
I first saw a photo of one on Wagonfreak's blog back in June. A chance today, to get out and see 7MP7 Trailerail, and there they were. About 10% of the train.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Horsham yard closes.

On November 1st, 2013, the freight yard at Horsham railway station, was closed to all freight traffic for ever. Victrack will decommission the yard when QUBE relocate to a road terminal at Dooen. There has been no rail freight out of the terminal for many months, and the Overland only stops twice weekly in each direction.
Community consultation now begins on what to do with the site; though, the council has indicated that the site is probably heavily contaminated, and the cost of clean up will restrict  any possible redevelopment of the site.
Most of the track in the yard will probably be removed, and as for the future of the goods shed, will it go the same way as the freight gate, whose foundations, are the yellow concrete pads in the above photo?

QUBE packing up to leave.


All that remains, is poor 7334, still sitting at the end of the yard, as shown when IEV100 visited the yard in December 2013.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Containers. How are they made?


The attached Youtube video was produced by Big steel Box, and shows how a container is made.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

FQX/VQCX plus others

The FQX, built by Victorian Railways, was introduced into service from 1969. A total of 435 wagons were built, coded 501 onwards. Both South Australian railways and NSW built wagons, utilising the same design. SDS Models a/ready produce the OCY, and Steam Era models produces a kit for the FQX, which when made straight out of the packet, produces the VR FQX/VQCX. A little work will turn this model into the SAR FQX/AQCX. The SAR built 120 units, and were allocated the numbers 1 to 500.
Two units, VQCX 607 and 657 were repainted in V/Line freight orange and grey, before the sale to freight Australia.

When National Rail was established, they wanted a light weight high speed container flat, resulting in them taking many of the SAR and VR versions, which were recoded to RQCX/Y. There are still many of these wagons operating, usually in road grime colour (the odd one been repainted). These retained their running numbers.
To produce a SAR FQX/AQCX, you have to remove the chain compartment furthest from the brake equipment: this were the brake wheel now goes. If wanting to undertake a full conversion, refer to AMRM Nov/Dec 1979.
AQCX modified from FQX

Further, some were modified, by having holes cut in their decks to reduce weight further, and were fitted with 70ton ride control bogies. These are coded RQTY.
From Wagonfreak:

RQTY modified from FQX.
 Further still, some were fitted with a polar pack power unit, for powering reefer containers, these are coded RRTY. Most are still in service, without the polar pack, but the gap in the side of the wagon remains.
The best quality of the Steam Era kit, is that the plastic used is soft enough, so you can cut holes in the deck with little effort. If wanting to run the wagon fully loaded, then you can get away with not doing any deck work, but the sides need to be replaced with 0.04x.010 Evergreen strip. (One could file off the lashing rings from the SEM parts). 70 ton ride control bogies are available as a spare part from Auscision Models. If mounted straight to the body, the wagon will ride too high, some have to file down about 0.5mm.
Image: Auscision Models 70 ton ride control bogie.

These wagons are also in service with SCT, coded PQCY and painted bright red, (with end frames, for carring bulky loads, such as dressed timber) and QRNational/Auzuron, coded QQGY and QQTY, painted light grey. Both these types of wagons are un-modified VR FQX wagons.

Remember, the Steam Era kit does not have a correct underside. The additional parts to the girder frames can be added with some 0.01 thick strip. I used 0.08 wide. See below photo.
VQCX Underside.
Using the Steam Era kit, you can added to any Intermodal train. Now for a serious RTR model.  (Not the failed Powerline model).

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Horsham Yard to close

The Horsham Mill street freight yard is to close for ever in November. Both Vic Track and ARTC have said that no further terminal leases will be give, allowing for the terminal to close. The then could be purchased by the Horsham Regional Council. The North Horsham residence are happy, as
according to the Wimmera Times.
"Horsham North Residents Committee has been lobbying the state and federal governments to decommission the site for 10 months.
Secretary Rae Nelson said the committee had wanted written confirmation from both VicTrack and the Australian Rail Track Corporation that the site would not be used as a freight terminal after October 31.
"This is what we have been working towards and now we have it," she said.
"To have a commercial enterprise removed from a residential area will be a big relief.
"The residents in close vicinity to the terminal will be free from the noise and dust and have a bit of normalcy again."
To put some geography on the situation; housing only makes up half of Mill street behind the terminal. On the rest of the land are Fuel depots, of which BP and Mobil are still very much in operation.
The Council  has a  aim  to remove the rail corridor altogether from Horsham. On one hand, it is requesting a return to rail passenger operations to the city, and on the other, a total removal of rail in the future. The proposed ARTC Horsham bypass, connects Dimboola with Murtoa.

The Wimmera Mail Times 18/9/2013

RELOCATION of the Melbourne-Adelaide rail corridor in Horsham could cost up to $99 million. 
A Horsham Rail Bypass Planning Report by consultants Aurecon has revealed the project would cost about $79 million if roads bridged the bypass route. 
It would cost about $99 million if the road crossings passed under the bypass, which could save up to five minutes in travel time.
The study included a new passenger railway station and estimated clean-up work on the contaminated rail corridor would cost up to $19 million. 
The report also found a potential $20-million saving for the Western Highway bypass if the rail bypass was completed before or at the same time as the road bypass. 
But Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown said moving the railway could take up to 30 years. 
He said the report did not recommend any bypass routes.
“Before we could make a judgment we would really need to see where the Western Highway bypass lands and then we should give thought on whether further work should be done on the rail bypass,” he said. 
“The selection of the routes in the report was purely for costing purposes and there has been no work done on where we might actually put the route.”
Council decided to focus on improving passenger rail and the existing rail corridor, rather than working on its relocation at a meeting on Monday night. 
The move coincided with the release of the Horsham North Urban Design Framework, which found the rail corridor separated the neighbourhood from the rest of Horsham.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Oxford Diecast OO reach stacker

My Oxford Diecast OO 1/76 scale reach stacker has arrived Cat No: 76KRS001. Released just 11 days ago, it has made fast passage from the UK. Fully posable, the unit looks very impressive. The only down side is the hydraulic lines are painted on, and at full reach, the containers do not hang straight. It took a bit a careful arrangement to get the container to attach to the handling arm, but it does work.
The above photos shows attached to a C=Rail 40' standard container. Below, the comparison with my HO scale reach stacker.

Next, in Malcolm livery.

And arrived

There has been one other model produced. Atlas Editions reproduced the Konecranes reachstacker in Stobart blue. These models were released as part of a 'part works' series on Eddie Stobart models, and were made by Oxford Diecast.


This model has been reported to be going to be re-released by the mid to end of 2014, Cat No: 76KRS003, under the Oxford Diecast banner.

Here is a real one, operating in  a SMV sales video.


Friday, 6 September 2013

Building an AQKY container twin set

The AQKY container twin articulated wagons, were converted from 63' AFKX flat wagons by Australian National Railways in 1989. These were originally SFKX flat wagons, built by South Australian Railways Islington workshops. 18 units were built for standard gauge running, passing to Australian Railroad group on privatisation, and now run with QRNational/Aurzon, coded QQPY. (see photo link).




To build a set of these, you need two Steam Era Models FQX wagon kits. All that really is going to be used are the decks and head stocks. These are cut down to 144m in length, capable of carrying a 40' container each. The side sills are fabricated from strip of 0.15x0.08 glued to 0.04x0.08, flush along one edge.
The top half, in red, was a FQX that I already had, that was slightly warped, and the other three, obtained from Steam Era Models.
The underframe needs slight modification, as the bogies on the SFKX are about 3mm further back than on the FQX. The centre sill frame needs to filled in right next to where the bogie screw hole is, with some scrap plastic, and once dried, drilled out. I used some of Orient Express Reproductions', new Roller bearing bogies (these have full brake detail), which required a spacer to correct the height. (Not needed if using the Steam Era bogies). Originally, according to plan they were fitted with AN 3X2 bogies: two 50 ton and the centre was a 70 ton ex WAGR.

Almost completed the main conversion. Just need grade control parts, air hoses and brake wheel. If building an AN version, there are shunter steps and hand grabs to add. The brake lines cannot be seen, as on my drawing (A1 1-CM-45) they run inside the main spine frame.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Auscision update, and RMX news.

Auscision announced several years ago, they were going to produce the Commonwealth railways RMX container wagon, in both round and square hole versions. with this project having fallen off the radar, I asked. Yes, it is still in development, and possible due next year. If you model intermodal trains in Australia, this one is a definite requirement, as they operated on all Commonwealth Railway, later AN trains, plus National Rail, and are still going strong, on PN, QRNational/Auzron, and SCT services.
RMX origin flat with QRNational.
Also, what has happened to the 22 class in ARG/GWA orange and black. Well it is in the second run, but, we have to wait till all the NSW 422 class models have sold out.

Samples of their BLX/VBBX were also on show.
AN class. These, according to Peter, leave China on Monday (26/8/2013).
PS VR Z vans are also on the way.

SDS intermodal update

Caulfield is the time to find out what is coming up in production. SDS's new RQGY container wagons are due to go into production very shortly, with all the errors having been sorted out. These would be possibly due by christmas. They are also willing to look into under taking the RQSY, as this just means a change in the deck, while all else is already available.
Their new tank cars for both Victoria and South Australia were released at the show, and are very impressive.
ATBL tank cars.
One wagon that has been on display, usually just displaying their 40' TNT containers, is a 80' JCW/NQJW skeletal flat, with the almost same Victorian VQDW and AN's AQDW. Well, having asked, the JCW/NQJW model is in development. Will be available in pristine livery and road grime, meaning can be used as either Victorian or AN units, plus through to National Rail and Pacific National.
80' JCW skeletal flats.

Also, there is the possibility of some tautliner or curtain sided containers. Possibly in both 40' and 48' units.

Caulfield 2013 report

Early start to the day, as Craig and I caught the first flight to Melbourne. After having our usual breakfast, we headed for Caulfield Racecourse, for the Australian Model railway Association (Victorian Branch) annual exhibition.
Arriving soon after opening, the show already had good attendance. There was a good selection of traders (most of the Australian 'manufacturers' were in attendance) and layouts, many of them new, having not seen before at an exhibition.
One of the larger ones was Kilmore East, running Victorian from the 1960's to present date, both board and standard gauge. The station is at one end, the Apex/Hanson quarry loader at the other, with countryside along the long front.

Kilmore East station
Another fine Victorian layout was Mildura Station, during the 1950/60's.

Mildura Station yard
Locomotive facilities at Mildura.
For something different, and a favourite with the crowds, is the lego layout. It just amazes what these guys can do with plastic blocks, which included Victorian narrow gauge.

Lego Na narrow gauge steam.
Not only Australian layouts. Eyarth is a small end to end layout, operating British railway diesels. All had sound and the signal flags all moved.
What did we pick up. Obtained Auscision's 73 class in CRT livery. This poor little loco was acquired by Wimmera Container Line to shunt the Horsham yard when Freight Australia was purchased by PN, and the Horsham Container service became a pickup service. It was soon replaced by a Lok shunt tractor and dumped at the back of the oil siding.
Plus, some On Track Models VLEX vans at reduced price.
CRT's 73 class
 Having finished at the exhibition, we headed for Frankston, (about forty minutes by train). It was Craig's turn, as we headed to the Braaap shop. If interested in mini motocross, this is the place to  visit for small motocross bikes, parts, clothing, even lessons, and the staff are very friendly.