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

Friday, 30 September 2016

SouthernRail RRAY wagons

Southern Rail Models have announced they are producing National Rail's RRAY/RRBY and RRGY five pack articulated container wagons. The RRBY (are  65.8m in length) wagons were built by AN Islington,  in 1996-97, with 50 sets being put into service.
The  RRAY (are 73.1m in length) wagons were built between 1996 and 2000, with 98 being built.
       RRAY end platforms are 40' with mid platforms at 48'
       RRBY end platforms are 40' with mid platforms at 40'
The RRGY, are, Pacific National rebuilds, having 40' end units and lengthened middle platforms.
Another must for the modern image intermodal train modeller, especially for creating Trailerail services. (Now for more containers!)

SouthernRail Models (should be coded RRBY).
SouthernRail Models. (Should be coded RRAY).
RRAY end unit at 40, mid platforms at 48'.
RRGY end unit showing the 40' length.
Additional photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5612305363/ shows RRBY mid platform with a TNT 40' container.
                               https://www.flickr.com/photos/60901191@N08/5612306463/ shows RRBY mid platform with a 40' TNT container.
                               https://www.flickr.com/photos/77687072@N07/8204457753/ show RRAY mid platform at 48'.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Caulfield 2016 Report

It is that time of the year again, for the pilgrimage across to Melbourne for the ARMA exhibition at Caulfield. First, there had been a 33% increase in the admission price, which unfortunately was a reflection on the exhibition, as I would say it was so so this year. Just the lack of layouts: plenty of trade stands though.
Fist off, Auscision. At bit slow this year, not the usual crowds. The only 'new model' was the SSR BBGX/BBGY grain hoppers (ex VHGF) ; other wise plenty of their rerun models and GT46-ACe.
What's coming. The RMX container wagons have finished production and are on their way to Australia, to arrive shortly. The C43/44 GE diesels have almost finished production, due in October (one of the most complex production runs yet, as each version is different, and the quality control was immense to make sure all the right bits ended up on the right models).
New in the pipe line are 48' containers, due next year (no Linfox but there will be another exciting livery??). Passenger cars. Several passenger car set are in progress, this includes Indian Pacific cars, and Overland cars (but we will have to wait, as these are at the end of their list). Auscision will also be releasing their XGAY-WGBY-WGSY-BGSY grain wagons, due next year!!!

Formally announced three days after the exhibition.
Courtesy Auscision.
C43/44 Locomotive production models.
Production run RMX container wagons. Also samples of NODY variations and 48/830 bodies.
Victorian CP brake van test shot.
SDS had engineering samples of their up and coming flat wagons.

SouthernRail Models showing samples of the XGAY-WGBY-WGSY-BGSY grain wagons. These will be be available as a three pack.
Ontracks are waiting to see painted samples of their Victorian Sprinter railcars. Running very late, the factory seems to be procrastinating. Also, there are troubles with the 80 class project, there are  disagreements over the power pickup arrangement, coupler and staff exchange pockets.
Austrains had their new NSW loco 41 class, but were also off loading older stock at  great prices.

A town like Alice in G&WA era this time.
Victorian layout Naradhan
VR narrow gauge.
NSW Waterford

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

SDS next container wagons

As requested at a past Caulfield exhibition, (sometimes polite suggestions come into being) SDS are producing the FQX variations of the VR QMX/VQFX and National Rails RQTY. Also, been released is the first series FQF/FQX, which is slightly different to the second series, having a lashing rail along the side.
VR FQF/FQX series 1.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Strath Hobbies HB hopper

Infrastructure trains rarely seemed to be modeled, (on our layouts, track never is in need of repair in a miniature prospective). I have always wished to have a consist of ARTC AHWX wagons, which all originate from the SAR H/HB hopper.
In the early days of ARTC, these wagons ran in their AN livery, till they were refurbished with hydraulic operated discharge doors and were painted in ARTC yellow. When they were release from the maintenance shop, they were permanently coupled as a continuous rake, till one day a derailment happened outside of Whyalla, and all the wagons ended in the dirt, as they were all couples together. Since the repair they now all have their own couplers, but technically run in pairs as a A and B units.

In converting the Strath Hobbies kit, extra work is required, as their is a good deal more pipe work, and air tanks. Also, it should be noted that almost none are the same, where they have different ladders, tanks, brake wheels, or even bogies (often of mixed type).
My first unit was modeled on  AHWX 48K, which has a Victorian style brake wheel and bogies, with original ladder arrangement. It is painted in VR wagon yellow from Steam Era, and looks about right (a bit washed out in the photos, due to the flash). The logo is a from  a side on photograph scaled down to fit.
PS: the black air hoses are from North American Railcar Corp, and are High Performance Magnalook air hoses (series one), so when I have more units, these will couple together. They have a tiny magnet on the end of the rubber hose. Their series two hoses, now have a round magnet, instead of the square ones.

The bogies included in the kit are of no use if modeling a more modern unit. I also will not be using the load, (would have been better if this was available as extra part, as when I test fitted the load sit really high). Plus, around the discharge door casting, I ground back the casting to remove unwanted material, as I was not using the manual door operating wheels.
Just another eleven units to go, plus a ballast plough and for somebody to produce some decals for the ARTC era..

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Postcard from the USA

For something completely different. My daughter, on her travels in the USA took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon. Along the way, they stopped at the Grand Canyon Railroad at Williams for lunch.
There, ex Spokane, Portland and Seattle, 2-8-2 Mikado O-3 class 539 is "stuffed and mounted" or on display, non operational, with some items of rolling stock.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Strath Hobbies HB/SH/AHWY hopper kit

Sunday, having ridden from Goolwa to Victor Harbour, and while waiting for the pickup transport, called in at Endoftheline Hobbies. While looking around, noticed a sample of an up-coming kit for the SAR SH/AHWY ballast hoppers.
Originally built for the South Australian railways as a ballast hoppers, they were also fitted with a roof during the grain season for grain cartage.

They began life in SAR grey, before Australian National repainted in Green and Gold: now classified as AHWY. (Four units were transferred to Tasmania as QN/HQ class). At the end of AN, these wagons were transferred to ARTC, and refurbished with automatic door operating systems: repainted into yellow: classified as AHWX wagons.