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

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.


  1. Andrew,
    Thanks for this posting, it has given me a leg up on this project. I acquired the outline drawing from AN many years ago together with the an outline for the AQEY but was unaware of the origins of the AQKY. There are more photos on Norm Bray's flickr site. would you be willing to share your drawing? On my outline it refers to an u/frame arrgt. AO-5-CM-199, is it the drawing you have? I have a couple of incomplete AR OCX kits that will do the job. Anyway, thanks for the post and hopefully you can post the finished model.
    Phil Collins

    1. Thanks Phil. My drawing is A1-1-CM-45. I think a frame arrangement drawing? I will try an scan this weekend,and add to post. I have another set to build yet, probably in AN livery.
      The AQEY is a totally different wagon conversion, from ex CR vans. They still run with Pacific National.

    2. Andrew,
      Thanks again for the plan, it is certainly more detailed than my one. It looks like I have another new project after the Liverpool Exhibition.

  2. Phil,
    Glad to be of help.

  3. Hello Andrew

    Thank you for a very informative blog. I, too, would like to model the AQKY but I can't quite make out some of the dimensions on the drawing you posted. Would you mind confirming or providing the following, please?

    Plan view, across the top: 2870 & 10450.
    Width: 2147???
    Distance from coupler to headstock?
    At what height did you place your deck?

    Thanks if you can help.



  4. Hi Drew,

    Length across each deck is 12466mm (143.5mm), width is 2743. Distance from coupler to bogie centre is 2870mm, then distance to centre bogie is 10450mm. The height of coupler centre above rail is 840mm.

    The height of the deck above the rail on the model, worked out at 13.5mm.


    1. Thanks for your time, Andrew - very much appreciated.