I really thought that filling an “E Magazine” every month would be very hard work which is why when I suggested this one to Graeme Hearn as a Club Newsletter, I suggested only promising one within each three months. Hence, this particular issue has slipped back a little due to time constraints but is still on time. Ok, so I talk a lot. I have been told I have the gift of the gab, but in my defence, I have been encouraged by the members and some non members who receive this, to continue and some have even helped with articles or at least ideas to be included. The page on Car Cards and Way Bills last issue was a direct result of a query from a member. A question and answer page has been suggested. Sounds great, so send me your questions and I will do my utmost to have the queries answered by someone qualified or knowledgeable enough to do so. You can place your query directly to me by whatever means you find comfortable, email, phone or ask through the Club Secretary. Our Club recently hosted an evening of film for members and guests. Using the West Wagga Parish Hall allowed for far greater numbers than we could have catered for at our own rooms. A Ted Egan Documentary on preserved trains was shown, followed by Supper and the feature film which was the Ealing Production’s, THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT. A Free copy of the Murrumbidgee Mail to anyone who can guess the ancestry of the star loco of the show which was crashed into the creek by the local bus operator. (answer in the Home Signal, back page)
This document is provided free to share without modification or addition. The document remains the property of the Wagga Wagga Model Railroaders Inc. Where possible, photos and articles used are with the owner’s permission. Reproduction in part without the permission of the owners may contravene copyright laws.

To the Editor Ian McIntyre Preferably in word format and pictures in JPEG format separately. A flash or thumb drive may be used or CD. These will be returned.

Wagga Wagga Model Railroaders PO Box 6340 Wagga Wagga Business Centre Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

(President’s Page)

Graeme is away in Queensland currently and so he has this month off for his comment. I am sure he will not mind me showing you on this page, the photo that will be used on our show posters for this year. The photo is of Max Burke’s fabulous Maroochy Lift Bridge. The model was scratch built by Max from strip wood and is adorned by neatly finished and placed figures. It is installed on Max’s home layout based on various Australian Narrow Gauge Prototypes. Expressions of interest are encouraged from those wishing to attend the 2009 Wagga Wagga Model Rail Exhibition as exhibitors.

PO Box 6340 Wagga Wagga Business Centre NSW 2650

Building Plastic models Work shop date TBA. Max is still working on his layout in readiness for our club visit. Our annual exhibition will be held November 7 and 8 Don’t forget that Epping Model Rail Expo is on the June Long Weekend.
Photo I McIntyre

The Club meets socially, most Monday evenings from around 7.00P.M. at the BEST RESERVE HALL for running on the permanent HO layout under construction. Members are encouraged to participate in the construction. Guests are most welcome.


I have been asked many times about “Typical Trains” and recently I have found myself asking more and more, “What is a typical train?”. Initially I thought about the piece of string answer because there really are so many “typical trains” and so many answers to the question. Typical trains are typical to what? Time?, Location?, Traffic?, Operator?. Well yes, all of the above! So to assemble a Typical Train we need to know where we are going to run it. If you are like me, you have probably had many different “favourite trains” over the years. My ideal was once a 14XX and Auto-Coach painted Brown and Cream, lettered “GWR” in gold. I currently have a thing for late steam and lots of 4 wheelers, mostly a dirty grey and of NSW origin. Both were typical trains, but on opposite sides of the world and for completely different traffic and owners. A typical MAIL train of the early seventies in southern New South Wales, the down Temora Mail, was a motley collection of hand me down passenger and parcel vehicles which had travelled overnight from Central as part of the South West Mail and was taken from the rear of the train at Cootamundra. The section of train actually travelled back wards from Sydney and was simply cut away at Coota and a train engine attached at the rear of the train, (front of the Temora Mail) and it headed out past Coota West and on to Temora. I have actual details of consists in my collection of useless information, but basically this train comprised, from the loco, a brake van, dry goods van, parcel van and several pass cars including a composite sleeper. The brake van, dry van, parcel van and a pass car were used out of Temora towards Forbes. 1 or 2 cars went onto Griffith. Let’s assemble this train. A typical loco for this train in the seventies would have been possibly a 48 or if available a 44 or one of the box type locos, 80/442/422. The following is HO scale specific. Behind the loco we need a brake van a dry van and parcel van. An MHG has been available RTR from Powerline for some time and we now have several vans which would also be suitable from Trainorama. I modified and super detailed an MHG then placed it on the correct ARKITS bogies. A common dry goods van of the period was the GLV. ARKITS have a kit for the GLV/GLX which is what I used. ONTRACK Models now have a range of vans available RTR and any with roller bearings would suffice (this is a pass train). Joe Calipari of Casula Hobbies has a parcel van kit which suits our purpose. Although it is the wrong vehicle, it looks similar to what we need and is more than a suitable stand in. I built the kit, painted it Indian Red and pressed it into service. There are a number of passenger cars now available. We have Clerestory cars from Austrains, the FS and BS cars from Powerline, and the LIMA 12 wheel cars available RTR. WE have RUB cars from Casula, HUB cars from BERGS and the “N” Cars from Bergs all as kits. For our purpose, an assortment from the RTR cars would suit to complete our “typical train”. The “N” cars can be converted to a range of different vehicles as can the LIMA 12 wheelers. Aftermarket sides are available to convert the Lima cars. I used 3 Lima 12 wheelers, 2 heavily kit bashed and one with after market sides. This gave me a very typical mail train which saw service on “Stockinbingal”. Building this set now, I would probably include one clerestory car at least and probably an FS as well. At the time, I wanted a “typical train” to run on “Stockinbingal” at exhibitions and it felt good to refer to a collection of carriages as my “Temora Mail” rather than “that generic Mail Train”. My red DJH 32 class managed to get on the head of this set regularly even though a diesel was more correct. What can I say? I like steam! Researching was fun and stimulating, building it was satisfaction. So, what is your favourite train? More importantly, what is a typical train for your layout?

Musings from “The Rooms”.
There have been a lot of discussions lately regarding the “plans” for the layout in the hall. A theme and the overall area was loosely set some time ago when the Club decided to sell Stockinbingal. The proposal was to build a large permanent layout in the hall as well as some smaller layouts able to be transported and operated by as few as 2 people to maintain an exhibition presence for the club. There have been many proposals for suitable small layouts, the latest being the Westby proposal. Back to the hall. It was debated at length and discussion lead to agreement to build the large layout to NSW prototype. It was also decided to provide as much variety in the room as possible, to this end we would have two separate main lines, one based on single line sections of the Main South and a dual main based on the Western line. Both of these Mainlines would join at an area representing The Eastern Seaboard. A junction on the Main South would feed a branch line with intermediate junction along the line of the Tumut and Batlow lines. All lines would be free lanced within those constraints. So I guess, there is no plan, just a series of themes. Within this set of themes, we can design and install the various elements, as we progress. As with many projects of this type, some things will change as I am sure the various interests of the group will change. For example, I am gaining a new fondness for narrow gauge. No, not Colorado but Aussie Narrow Gauge. Hopefully it is a passing phase, it would be far to big a job to sell all my HO and start over. Our unnamed “City” was stage one in our track laying. For some time we ran trains in and out of the city via a temporary pair of return loops. They are gone and the South Main station is now seeing traffic, again via a little temporary track, but trains are running. Room has been provided for the spiral up to the branch line and the branch is represented by the red area on the diagram below. The next step is to build bench work for the Coal Main. The diagram below is definitely not to scale but you can see the overall size and shape. Where the Main South is a heavy single line Diesel (or steam) road, the Coal line can (and I believe should) have overhead catenary to allow electric locos and commuter trains to ply it’s rails. We already see a number of electric commuters available and there are plans for more. Electric locos can also appear on Fast Passenger trains and Coal trains as per prototype. An idea floated on a recent Monday evening was to use an elevated driving position noted in yellow on the diagram, where trains would be driven over our network, under orders from the various Station Masters. This system is used by AMRA Vic at their Glen Iris clubroom and is an easy way to involve a large number of members or visitors in the running of the layout. By setting a few switches, a single member could still run a train or two and just sit back and just watch.


The drawing below, which is not to scale by any means, attempts to show how and where the various items will be in relation to one another and approximately how much room will be needed in relation to the total area available. The branch line is not shown at all and of course some items will change or grow or disappear and some new ones will appear. The line is designed for operation to timetable. It always was to be capable of timetable operation. We may find that extra loops (sidings) may become necessary, especially at the city location, to enable a full complement of the types of trains needed to represent the various types which will be called for by the time table. Just the fact that all trains will at some time visit the city means that it will become a bottle neck. We can fit extra roads for holding 1 or 2 trains in that corner. These need not be added until necessary, but do need to be planned for.

I am working on several more features to add to the operation complexity. One of these is to incorporate an empties in/loads out ruse. This would entail an empty coal train “disappearing” at the coal loader on the western line where it would be going to be loaded and reappearing from a power station where it would have been unloaded, running back onto the main to travel empty back to the loader. A loaded train would make the opposite trip leaving the loader full, running down the Coal Main to the power station to unload. Whilst the two trains will be seen on the track loaded when supposedly loaded and empty whilst supposedly empty, the balance of their trip will be hidden from view, either behind view breaks on indeed inside tunnels to complete the ruse or illusion. This type of ruse was used to great success on the N scale Clinchfield built by the Model Railroader crew as a project railroad in their magazine. A version has also been built and displayed in Australia.

You can see the proposal in red in the second diagram. The lines simply indicate where everything would need to fit in as well as the approximate location of the power station. Yes this would mean 3 crossovers for down trains to get to the correct road for return to the loader, but that would be just another thing for the Station Master at City to manage. Some members seem to be very concerned at the space which will be left in the hall for meetings and so forth once the coal main is established. There will actually be more than 3 times the space available for chairs and the like than when we stored the layout “Stockinbingal” in the hall. These drawings, even though not to scale, should give a clearer picture of the overall shape and size of the proposed railway in the hall. 5

Meet the Members
This month we are not meeting a member but will meet a guest writer instead. So, in his own words:My name is Dale Richards, I am a member of Mckenzie in H.O.Lland, and I have a passion for all things NSWGR and signalling. My Background: I spent the first 13 years of my working life just out of school as an employee with the then SRA of NSW, I started as a JSA (Junior Station Assistant) sweeping the platforms and all things lowly at Yass Junction. My job involved going to places such as Albury doing truck interchange and Newbridge for my first posting as a SWSA (Safe Working Station Assistant). At 21 I was appointed as a Grade 2 Signaller at Moss Vale Box, one of the youngest grade 2’s in the state. I worked my way up to the position of Area Controller, District Relief Signaller, Goulburn. The signalling levels went SWSA (Safeworking Station Assistant) Signaller Grade 1 Signaller Grade 2 Signaller Grade 3 Area Controller Special Area Controller - Sydney, Junee CTC, Broadmeadow CTC, Strathfield. Train Control I worked most of the signal boxes on the main south from Wallendbeen to Picton (missed out on the few that had closed already, i.e Galong, Binalong, Gunning), but I did get to open and close these boxes during track maintenance. I also worked the boxes on the Canberra Line and the Moss Vale to Dombarton line (mostly Summit Tank). What I’d like to do is educate people who are interested in the ways of NSW signalling so as they can add a bit more realism to their layouts What I hope to do over a series of articles (with Macca’s approval ov’course) is teach you about signals and how to recognise and read them. Starting with the distant and landmark signal and building up to the colour lights. Over the next few issues, Dale is going to present us with information allowing us to understand something about safe working. Just looking through the notes so far I have gained much. Not everyone wants to sit and scratch build working signals, but signals are something which will make a model railway look complete and can add much realism to an operating session. Unlike road traffic lights, which are an optional extra for our purposes, we do need to represent the safe working to have our empire looking correct. When next you see Dale and Tony at a show, drop past and have a chat with them.

Mechanical Signalling
The Distant Signal
NSW railways used 2 types of distant signals. (For this article I am only concerned with lower quadrant semaphore mechanical signals not colour light or upper quadrant) The distant signal is the first signal a driver will see when approaching an interlocked station. This signal will tell the driver as to the condition of the signals ahead.

Diag 1

Identifying the Distant
The modern distant was identified by the fishtail arm located half way down the post. Prior to Diag 2 this the distant arm was located at the top of the post like regular signal arms. Above it is a lamp that at night shows a green light. When in the normal or caution position it shows the arm at 90 deg. By night it shows a green over red light. (Diagram 1). When cleared the signal would show the arm at 45 deg and at night it displayed a green over green light. (Diagram 2) To give you a better understanding of how the distant works I have provided some examples. Our train is running left to right in these examples and the driver would only be able to “read” one signal at a time. At clear, the distant would indicate that the main line is clear through the station. At caution, the driver would need to be ready to stop or on our example plan below, may be going into the loop to be “put away”. This first example shows the correct indication. This will tell the driver that all the signals on the main line are in the clear position through the station.

This would be a false indication. And the distant would never show this.

This is also a false indication.


The Landmark Signal
The landmark signal is again the first signal a driver will see when approaching an interlocked station. There are only slight differences between a landmark and a distant signal. Firstly, the landmark is a single line ONLY signal and is generally not used on double line. There is one contradiction to this that I am aware of and that is a landmark signal which was placed on the up and down line at Yass, more on this later. Secondly, the distant signal is used on both single and double lines.

Thirdly, a landmark does not inform the driver as to the condition of the signals ahead, instead it is a permanent caution indication that tells the driver to slow to a safe speed to be able to obey the next signal. The landmark signal is primarily used at unattended locations were train crews need to stop for safe-working duties (electric staff change etc), but it can be placed at attended stations as well. The landmark signal replaced the distant signal, and as such was sometimes fitted on the same posts, hence the wide variety of posts that landmarks can be found on.

Identifying the Landmark
The Landmark is identified by a Yellow Triangle located at the top of the post. Early versions of the landmark used to have a lamp fitted to the side that at night would appear as a triangle. Other versions had small glass marbles on them, these would give a reflection when a locomotive headlight hit them making them more visible at night. Later, reflective paint became available and was used.

Figure 4 - Gundagai Landmark Landmark signals are found on a wide variety of posts, examples include lattice, light rail, and timber. The photo at right depicts one at Gundagai. A plain yellow (well it used to be yellow) triangle fitted to the top of a lattice mast with ornate finial found above many signal posts. A ladder is provided suggesting that a lamp would have been placed on the post for night operations or that the signal was previously a mechanical distant signal . The ladder would have allowed signalling staff to service this lamp which may well have started out as an oil type which needed attention each 6 days. Can you imagine climbing that ladder to refill a lamp with the winter winds whistling past your ears threatening to tear you from your perch? Dale Richards 8

HISTORY LESSON:) I guess it was partly our desire as a group to show off that pointed us towards the exhibition scene as participants and not mere attendees. We often discussed the various displays we had seen during a trip away and graded different aspects of them against what we could see at home on a Friday night. We discussed different materials, whether timber frames were better than metal, what legs were the best and easiest to use, what scatter materials looked best, whether scratch building was actually necessary. Was a particular kit any good and why not? But we were not the average arm chair modellers and many were actually doing quite a bit of very nice modelling. It was more than evident that this wide group had all the skills necessary to build a credible display. The realisation that we should was easy. Taking the plunge took a little longer. A special meeting was held at Barrie Price’s home and many questions were asked. Would we build Pommie, Yankee or Aussie? The claim was made that in the light of advancements made in NSW modelling, Exhibition Managers would prefer to see NSW layouts being built. Ok, NSW it was. Would we build a mainline or a branch? Seems that most layouts being shown at the time were simple dual track main line tail chasers. Ok, a branch line. The majority of suitable locos available to us at the time were Lima, the 42 and 44 were pretty much it, the 422 just arriving in the shops. So, it will need to be a “heavy” branch line. What about a cross country line? “If you want some operational operations, think about a junction!” Said Russell. A secondary line with a junction would mean a lot of space and a huge layout. To include the junction itself would mean modelling something like Cootamundra or Junee or even The Rock. “What about ‘Stockinbingal’?” asked Russell. So I guess we can blame him. “So, how do you all feel about donating towards this project?” I asked and over $300 was raised on the night. Bev Price got to be the first treasurer, well, she hid the tin for us and planning got up a head of steam. About this time, a railway reviewed in the AMRM built by the Epping Model Railway Club called ‘East Mateland’ caught our eye. Several of us fell in love with this layout. We set this as a target for ourselves, firstly, to see it in the flesh and secondly to build a layout as nice as “East Mateland” or better. It was a very well finished and presented layout and had a fabulous stud of diesel and steam trains. We never did manage to get the two layouts in the same room to judge them side by side, so you will have to be the judge on that one. The NSW Model Railway Group, yes the Armstrongs and Kellys were working on a modular frame design using aluminium. The panels were to be jig built and would allow a strong unitary construction. We chose a total of 10 panels for an overall size of 3m by 10m. ‘Waratoo’ was under construction already and we got to see the first showing of this display when it was used to promote these frames at Liverpool. The layout was not running and only parts of it were anywhere near complete. It was 2m shorter (1 panel front and back) than ‘Stockinbingal’ was planned to be and I remember hearing the warning that Exhibition Managers would not like such a big layout. The next time we saw ‘Warratoo’, it had grown by 2m to be the same size as ‘Stock!’. We are currently seeing layouts much larger. ‘Stockinbingal’, just west of Cootamundra, would be modelled on a set of frames totalling almost 10m long by 3 wide with the station, yard and silo complex all modelled using scratch building methods including hand laid track. It was time for a big breath and another road trip. To be continued……………….

SCRATCH-BUILT COAL STAGE:-) It has been said, that if you can see it you can measure it, if you can measure it you can draw it and if you can draw it you can build it. Proving Photo courtesy Shirley Hogue that is this picture. Part of the loco coal loading facilities late of Broadmeadow and Demondrille, built to plans supplied by James Dalton and Craig Mackey. The HO scale model is the painstaking work of Ainslie and Shirley, two gifted modellers as you can see. Apart from Model Rail, they are also into Radio Control helicopters, Slot cars and parrots.

New Products
Joe Callipari of Casula Hobbies has a great new model suitable for many of our Pioneer branch lines. The PC station buildings were of prefab construction to allow fast erection on site PC3 Station Building with a minimum of skilled labour necessary. Joe’s PC3 is available for $65 as a kit and for a few dollars more, you can buy the model ready for detailing. Just perfect for Westby! (Tell him you saw it here……)

Answer…. 1401, the star locomotive of the movie the “Titfield Thunderbolt” is an ex Great Western Railways 14xx 0-4-2 tank loco. We see her in the movie in post Nationalisation drab black livery, with a single side door coach, much like our own CX or BX coach and a brake van. Typical GWR branch line train? The Great Western Railway, GWR, made great use of tank locos, many looking resplendent in standard GWR green paint and polished brass. Their most picturesque use was as motive power for the Auto Coaches used on many GWR branch lines. These passenger cars were set up so that a driver could operate the train from the rear of the coach alleviating the necessity to “run round” or turn the train on many branch lines. Airfix, later Mainline, provided us with models of both the 14xx and the auto coach 10

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful