Sunday, June 24, 2018

More Trackwork and More Planning

On Friday morning, I went down to the shed and went looking for some old HRH/FRH or their 4 letter code equivalent wagons that I had on my must sell off soon.  I found two old cement hoppers coded NPBF, and two other grain hoppers coded NGBF.  I might have to change the codes on the last two wagons.  I also went looking on the Queensland Government website for aerial images.  I found one image of the Rocklea sidings from about 1983, and wouldn’t you know it, sitting in a siding just a few metres away from what looks like a cement silo were, what looked like from above, two cement/limestone hoppers in that siding.  Bingo.  Exactly where I thought the siding was, and there were wagons there.

On Saturday, I ventured over to the local model train shop today and had a nice talk to Doc Peter outside the shop and then with Ray inside the shop.  Good to see Ray back on deck, following his little medical hiccup.  I picked up an NCE QSnap and an NCE Mini Panel as well as 7 of the NCE 21 pin decoder for the Club Shop.  PK put an order in on Thursday this week when he visited at work.

I then went over to visit George at his shop and found a 3 piece lounge for $5 on his shelves.  Now that was a keeper.  I was going to put it outside a house on the layout.  As round here when I catch the bus to work, I see many lounges just sitting outside some houses ready to be picked up in junk collections.  So why not do the same for the layout?

So when I got home and finally made my way to the shed, the first think I did was spray paint the lounge.  Next up was mounting the QSnap on the layout fascia right next to the existing one just under Fisherman Islands Yard.  It was soon connected to layout power and I then fired it up.  I then had to go looking for a piece of paper that has the addresses of the points for Fisherman Islands on it.  I eventually found that and coded up the first two outputs.  I have two points sitting there on the narrow gauge track ready to wire up to the QSnap outputs, but that is a job for Sunday.

While walking round the shed, I noticed that on a small diorama section of track that I never finished, there was a Left Hand Peco medium radius point.  Hmmmm.  Guess what?  I ripped it off the dioarama and then installed it at South Brisbane Interstate and added the track for the new oil siding.  The track was connected to track power and voila, a 73 class loco was despatched and tested the track work with two old oil tanker wagons that were on the rotten row, ready to be sold off at an upcoming Buy and Sell.  They still will be sold off, but only after I purchase 4 new oil tank or bitumen wagons for working this siding at South Brisbane.
This view is of South Brisbane Interstate.  The Brisbane Limited is in the platform, a loco is in the loco siding, and a couple of 73's are in the siding.  The new oil siding is on the right.

My enthusiasm for installing the Cement/Limestone siding at Rocklea, took a few hits during the week.  The first hit, was when I realised that I needed a dual gauge point (Tillig) to allow me to install the siding in the first place.  The second hit was when the local seller of Tillig track did not have this piece of track and was unsure when he would be getting it in.  It is currently on order though.  The next hit was that I might have to install a set of points in the siding area, so I can pull the empties out, before I leave the fulls.  So this all means more track work.  This extra track needs to be in siding area, as the mainline is on a considerable grade, so I can't leave any wagons on the mainline.

The next job for the day was to glue the layers of foam onto my two modules for the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention.  That went well and next week I will do some shaping of these.

Today I installed the new Mini Panel at Fisherman Islands.  I then wired up the two point motors to the QSnap and then connected the control panel to the Mini Panel.  The mini Panel was tested and most things work well.  The two new points that were wired up, through in reverse.  So I just swapped the wires over.  Two points in the yard at Fisherman Islands are giving me some grief.  A crossover is not throwing in reverse direction.  The work in the normal direction.  One of my dual gauge points is also not throwing at all.  So that means more work in the future trying to get these operational.
The new QSnap is on the right.  The new Mini Panel is above the Fisherman Islands Yard on the right hand side of the picture.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rescued by Another Arthur

Last Sunday’s post when I blamed one Arthur Hayes about filling my small mind about more trackwork, and more complexity to implement around South Brisbane Interstate on my layout.  Well I have been thinking about this non stop ever since.  Luckily my request for information regarding South Brisbane and its oil siding was answered by another Arthur.  This time it was Arthur Robinson (the original from A R Kits fame).  He provided me with a link to a site that the Queensland Government has those allows access to various digitised aerial photos from the past.  Well Arthur attached a photo from 1983 that shows where the siding for the tankers were located.  In this shot there was something that looked like 4 open wagons sitting in the siding.  I also went back through my track plans of South Brisbane and from 1982 there was what was called these sidings the outside sidings.  I logged onto the website that Arthur provided and went trolling through the years prior and following 1983 and obtained many more photos from this locations.  So I think the issue is now solved.  What I’m still looking for is any photos from ground level of the wagons in this siding.

The last few days, I have been going through almost a hundred old Railway Digest magazines from 1988 back to 1982 so far.  Well don’t some of those turn up a few more interesting facts.  In particular September 1984 has a two page description of S.R.A. Operating in Queensland.  One says that there was a Total siding at Acacia Ridge.  No doubt they also received fuel tankers.  The magazine in question also states that South Brisbane had a siding for Koppers Bitumen products.  Now putting 2 and 2 together and getting 7, we can see from the SDS website that Ampol used to have some bitumen tankers - NTBF wagons.  So that matches what I had previously been advised about Ampol having a siding at South Brisbane.  Maybe Koppers were taken over by someone, or they took over from someone around 1982/3/4.
This is a cropped photo of South Brisbane Interstate from 1983.  This was obtained from the Qld Government website and is image QAP4209012.JPG.  Storage tanks for fuel can be seen centre top.
This is one view of the track and signal diagram at South Brisbane.

Now what that means is that I may have to increase my wagon fleet for a few wagons to cater for these two locations.  I may also have to try and squeeze in a couple of oil product trains from Grafton heading north, or at least add some wagons onto an existing train.  Doing this will certainly cause some trains to be over length for the loops.  So that might also add some more interest into the operation of these trains and their return workings south.  I was also looking at ways to also incorporate my Auscision car carrying wagons into the timetable, so I might try both options.  A new train to Clapham Yard and Acacia Ridge Yard for the car carrier traffic and an oil train with some potentially other traffic to Acacia Ridge and South Brisbane Yard.  There was also limestone traffic that went to Rocklea (a location which I do not model), which is between both Acacia Ridge Yard and Clapham Yard.  Hmmm!  I wonder if I can run another siding off the section between Acacia Ridge Yard and Clapham Yard so that it sits above Acacia Ridge Yard to hold just one track for these wagons.

Lots of things to contemplate.  I love having these types of problems.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Telarah Stop Off

Our next stop was at Telarah.  I dropped the boys off and then went and parked.  A local railcar arrived and left before I got to the platform.  There was no ballast trains sitting in the sidings just south of Telarah.
The departing railcar set.

The sidings off the loop at Telarah.

Looking south.

Another shot of the sidings.

The signal protecting access to the mainline heading north.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lunch at Patterson

Our next stop was outside the Railmotor Society at Patterson.  After getting a couple of snaps there, we went around to the platform and took some more.  Straight after this the empty Steel train that we saw at Taree earlier this morning came thundering through the station.  We then adjourned to the local pub and from there we could see the station and witnessed a couple of railcars and an XPT go through.  But we didn't get any photos of them.
Some CPHs.

The 620/720 set we rode in a few weeks earlier in the distance.

Another shot of the CPH.

Looking north from the platform.

The railmotors.

A painted good shed.

An old Candy mail van.

Looking south towards Sydney.

The southbound empty steelie.

The beginning...

... the middle ...

... the end.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Martins Creek

After leaving Taree, we made our way to Martins Creek.  On our way there we were pulled over by the cops for a random breath test.  As it was still morning there was no chance I was over the limit.  We witnessed a local Hunter railcar set heading north, and then made our way down the road to outside the quarry and took some photos.
The mainline heading north and the siding heading into Martins Creek Quarry.

The lever frame for admitting a train into the quarry.

A close up of the frame.

Here comes a local passenger.

I'm not a fan of those colours.

The guard is giving the all clear.

The driver powers away.

It is about to cross the level crossing.

The signal has now gone to red.

Having a peek in through the fence.

The loader.

Another view.

Looking down towards the station.

Close up of the loader.

Another shot, from a different angle.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Morning at Taree

On Thursday morning we hit the road and the first stop was Taree.  We jumped out of the car and someone was talking to a local who advised that a train was immanent.  So after about 5 minutes, the level crossing light and bells sounded.  The southbound empty steelie was heading through.  No sooner had it pulled up in the loop, when a northbound local freight was heading towards Grafton, with cement and empty sugar wagons in tow.
Here is the empty steelie.

Lead by NR47

Followed by NR94.

And then NR90.

Some flatracks stacked up.

Some more flatracks.


On various wagon types.

More butterboxes.

Coil steel wagons.

More coil wagons.

And More.

A different coil cradle.

More cradles on a different wagon type.

Three coils on this wagon.

Another coil wagon.

And more.

Now an out of gauge slab carrier wagon.

Flat slab steel wagon.

Another, but this time with a tinge on Australian National.

And again.

Code board from the wagon.

The Down freight arriving.

Looked like it was a Driver Only run.

Some cement hoppers.

More cement hoppers,

Sugar wagons at the end.