Thursday 19 January 2023

C30T on the Tumbarumba Branch

 

NSW C30T on the Tumbarumba Branch.


One of the disappointing aspects of trying to model the Tumbarumba branch around 1970, was that very few locomotive classes were used.  After about 1961, virtually all the traffic was handled by 48 class alcos, with CPH railmotors for the passenger trains.  Steam working on the branch virtually stopped, with only the occasional steam special hauled with C30T, and the rare standard goods on special workings.

Lachlan Valley maroon livery 3026 with a shuttle train heading to Ladysmith, passes Rocky Hill in 1985.  My photo converted from slide 

Prior to 1961, C30Ts handled most of the goods trains, with help from D50 standard goods..  One had to go back to the 1920, and 30s to find Z19s and Z25s

 

This blog post though will concentrate on the C30T, mainly through photographs, and include a modelling angle at the end.

Pictures from the Tumbarumba and Wagga Wagga Rail Heritage booklets

Tumba rail have been producing a series of A5 sized booklets, showcasing the line, and publishing a number of photographs accumulated over the years.  These are a great resource for my modelling, and I have received permission to include some of the pictures with acknowledgement in my blog.  (Apologies in advance for the poor quality of the scans).

 

3080 at Tarcutta in 1954 -  I K Winney photo

3060 passes Shell Siding in 1960 with a long goods - Barry Lynch photo

3060 just east of Copland street crossing - April 1960 - Barry Lynch photo

3001 at Tarcutta in August 1953 - Jim Powe photo

 

3060 on Wagga turntable - around 1960

Steam excursion.

The ARHS, and Rail Heritage groups run a number of runs to Tumbarumba in the 1960s and  early 1970s.  Some of these pictures have been uploaded to the internet to be shared.  I also have interviewed Pete Neve – who has supplied me with some of his pictures from the 1965 double header trip

1965 tour - at Humula

1965 Tour 3142, and 3020 taking water - at Borambola - Graham Pegg picture




1965 Tour train arrives at Tumbarumba - Graham Pegg

3020 on the Tumbarumba Turntable - Graham Pegg photo

Remarshalled for the return trip. Tumbarumba Potato Shed in the background. Graham Pegg photo 1965



3020 and 3142 returning to Wagga - Graham Pegg photo 1965


 

1965 tour train crosses Mannus Creek - Pete Neve photo

3020 (and 3142 hidden) crosses the bridge just north of Humula - Pete Neve photo 1965

Lachlan Valley steam shuttles to Ladysmith

After the line was cut near Tarcutta by flooding in October 1974, the only steam loco that ventured onto the line was Lachlan Vallery’s C30T 3026.    I was fortunate in being able to travel along the line to Ladysmith, hauled by 3026. 

 

Green 3026 taking water in 1983 - my photo

3026 approaches Lake Road level crossing - my photo

One trip, Tender first to Ladysmith - My photo 1983

After run-around, the train is ready to depart - My 1983 photo converted from slide


Modelling a C30T.

In the early 1980s, Bergs Brass Models had the C30T made in HO.  It was a must have.  I purchased mine from Peter Pan, in Canberra for $285.  I painted my model in colours close to Lachlan Valley, and numbered it 3026.  It was, and still is a solid model, with some shortcomings in detail, an extended firebox into the cab, and openframe motor.   But, this was the only model for some time, until Trax brought out their excellent C30T, with bogie tender around 1988.  Quite a rare model if you can find one

Bergs 3026 - repainted to LVR colours.

Bergs 3008 - bought on ebay around 2017 cheaply as it didn't run.  Problem was the cummutator pickups on the open-frame motor had worn out

3028 - bought privately a few years ago.  Paint job is excellent

Another Ebay purchase, only last year.  The original Bergs 6 wheel tender had been replaced by someone with a brass bogie tender - possibly from a Bergs 32 class.  A far more suitable arrangement, as all the photos, apart from 3026, that I can find, had bogie tenders

Trax C30T.  What a difference in the details!  Samhonga quality model from the late 1980s.



Later, Footplate Models/DJH produced a C30T kit, with Portescap gearbox/ motor, and 6 wheel tender.  I bought a kit at the time, and it sits in storage, awaiting assembly

For those wanting plastic RTR, Wombat Models produced a great looking and running model in about 2017, initially with a 6 wheel tender, but the second batch also included a bogie tender.

Wombat models C30T with 6 wheel tender crosses my model of the Kyeamba Creek bridge.


An opportuntity?

I was checking out the Trains, Planes and Automobile site in 2019, and noticed they had an assembled DJH C30T for auction.  Just one photo – looked OK. 

Picture from the TPA catalogue.  Not even with the tender the correct way around. Hopeless,  Lighting is also poor.  TPA charge sellers around 18% seller commission, and I would expect for that, they would a) test the model, and b) have better lighting for their catalogue images



As I live no-where near TPA’s auction rooms in Katoomba, I could not check in person, so I placed a modest online proxy bid, and waited.  To my surprise, I won the loco for around $300 including commission and post.  Just over a week later, the loco arrived at my place, and I now understood why others did not bid.  Not only was one tender axle missing (TPA lost it), the others were loose.  Many of the tender castings were broken or missing.  The loco body sat high on chassis at the cab end. 

Missing axle on the tender when it arrived al my place.  The poor body to chassis fit is not obvious in this picture

Underside of tender.  The pickup for the wheel is visible, as is the poor standard of soldering

More poor soldering on the drawbar attachment end

The red wire is the link from the drawbar to the Portescap motor. It was routed in such a way that the body would squash this wire when attached to the chassis. 

I had intended to replace the 6 wheel tender with a DJH D50 tender – (I had previously purchased a part assembled D50 cheap), so I wasn’t too phased with a damaged tender.  

The part built  D50 kit.  I had thought I would use the tender of this kit to replace the C30T tender.


As I was fixing the chassis problem, caused by a poorly routed motor wire, I was interrupted on the workbench.  Loosing focus, my shirt sleeve caught the body, propelling it off the workbench,  Thus the body ended up damaged on the wooden floor.   Unimpressed, and  after taking some damage pictures, the whole lot was placed in a clear Klip-it container, almost forgotten until I completed Wagga station

The damage caused by the fall to the floor


Repair

Tender.  In the intervening 3 years, I had sourced a replacement axle.  When I was shorting out one of the insulating bushes on this axle, (drill a hole, and insert a wire that touches both the axle, and the wheel casting), I then saw the phosphor bronze pickup wipers in the tender.  So, the original builder had chosen an inferior method for pickup that only collected power on 2 of the 3 axles.  A good look at the tender shows a shoddy assembly job, but this also explained why the axles were loose.  The solder joins holding the axles were cracked.  Simple resoldering repaired.  However, .in the process of reinserting the axle, the axle box fell off.  Cause easily identified, no tinning on the brass, and the subsequent use of low-melt solder did not provide a firm connection of the whitemetal axle box casting. 

Body.  It was then I found some bubbling paint on the cab to footplate join.  This paint easily flaked off when prodded.  Cause most probably inadequate cleaning of the body prior to painting.  The cab was bent back into roughly square, and resoldered. The funnel, and headlight were glued as I could no longer access the inside of the boiler for a lowmelt soldering fix.   However, for strength, I inserted a brass pin into the base of the funnel, and drilled out a corresponding hole into the boiler. 

Chassis.  I reattached the motor wire in such a way that it was no longer affected the reassembly.  To my relief, the loco mechanism was quite smooth. 

Testing on DC.  After reassembly, the loco runs smoothly.



After repair.  The missing tender balance bar is seen with a ghost image on the brass. Most of the axle boxes had also had the springs missing



Future work.  My original idea to mate this loco with a DJH D50 tender, but unlikely now, as I now have both Wombat, and Bergs C30T with bogie tenders.  And I am now aware that D50s, with original tenders were also used on the branchline, with pictures showing 5040 with a stock special in 1960, and 5163 shunting a returning Tumbarumba train in Wagga  

With all the damage, and shoddy work, I just can’t justify spending significantly more effort on this loco.  I may just touch up the paint by hand, and weather.  Not sure that fitting DCC will be on the agenda  either.  Maybe sell it to raise  funds?

 

Conclusion

Buying a model on the basis of one photograph is risky.  And more so, when the seller does not provide any guarantees on its running quality.  Yes, I spent too much.  Another lesson to be learnt.  But, it was good to at least turn a bunch of parts into a working loco, and it is one more task ticked off my huge list.  And I am back into building locos.  Now, maybe the D50 can be completed. It has sat around for over 5 years

 

Until next time.

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Wagga Wagga station. I've done with the details

 

Wagga Wagga Station Platform – finishing off.

Welcome to 2023.  To celebrate the occasion, I am calling the Wagga Wagga station model “finished”.

Wagga Wagga station in 1994 - picture by John Morrison



As I hinted on my earlier Blog post, there is a sweet spot where enough detailing  is sufficient, and further detailing is a trade-off between time taken, and improvement to the overall scene.  My aim on constructing the station building was to challenge, and improve my own skills, maybe earn a merit status in the NMRA structure category, but mainly as a center piece for the future layout.

I am getting ahead of myself.  In the last month, some further details were made, and installed.

Downpipes

I have simplified the number installed.

Downpipes made from round styrene rod, cut and glued as appropriate.  Some have been painted in silver, others in the cream colour used for the station details

These downpipes were generally affixed to the station using tacky white glue, which allows for subtle repositioning on the station

 

Lamps

At the front of the station fa├žade, there were three old style lamps mounted above the windows.  I was hoping that I would be able to locate lamps of the correct style and size on the internet, but I was unsuccessful.  So, the option was to make them.



Cut out 4 panes of clear styrene, and glue them to a 0.040 scrap of styrene.  The glue tends top run everywhere, so the clear panes now have turned cloudy

Cut out, and shape the 0.040 sytrene.  Add a piece of round rod for the top, and a 0.020 piece of styrene at the base.

Superglue a piece of brass wire to the base, and then paint - leaving the clear (now very cloudy) styrene unpainted

Drill a small hole for the brass wire, and insert the lamp. Glue as needed

My lamps are slightly bigger than scale, however, don’t look too bad from normal viewing distances.  My fabrication method is not the only way to make the lamps.  People with a resin 3D printer, and ability to render the lamp in software, would have produced a better model.  In fact, if such a model became available, I have a simple replacement option.  And for bonus points, if the resin lamp, was cast in clear resin in an RTV mold, with an SMD LED lamp, and wires, the lamp could be lit.

Signs

NSWGR fitted signs to their stations, to aid passengers to what doors belonged to what rooms. 

This 1980 Intercapital Daylight picture by Stephen Kaiser shows the 'LADIES' sign just under the awning, above the loco horns.

Nothing like having a real sign to measure



Whilst ‘PARCEL’ is not something useful for identifying my future train room, the cast metal letters were exactly 3” high.

I created a word document with the appropriate signs, and changed the size.  When printed, I could select the print that matched HO scale


RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

Calibri (body).   Point    This size scales almost correctly for HO station signage

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

Calibri (body).  4 point

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MENS    PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MENS     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MENS     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MENS     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS

RAILWAY  MUSEUM          STATION MASTER       TELEGRAPH OFFICE    WAITING ROOM     LADIES     MEN     PARCELS


I made the hardware from styrene strip, and then simply cut the signs from the paper, and glued them to the styrene,  Followed by paint.  They don't look professional, but quite small, I think I will get away with it. 

Fitting these under the platform awning was tricky using tweezers and good magnification, and lighting.  The glue I used was tacky white glue. 

Car Park

Many years ago, car parking in front of the station was angled parking, with a taxi pickup/dropdown close to the front entrance

My method  to simulate this is to draw angled line markings on the road surface.  The easiest way is as shown.

 

Set square, and white pencil.  I marked a spot on the set square for the line length.  Using the curbside gutter, the process is close to foolproof 

Seats, People, and luggage carts

I needed some seated people for the seats previously painted.  I had a selection of ebay purchased seated passengers, but these were hopeless.  I did have a box of unpainted Preisser seated figures, and much better.  Painting –a process taking a few days, waiting for paint colours to dry.  My main issue is that I have hopeless colour sense for clothing

Standing passengers came from the Westedge 3D preprinted range, purchased at the Goulburn N scale convention.

Luggage carts were etched brass - courtesy of Ross Balderson’s artwork on the Wagga station awning fret to fill up spare space.  Folded, and painted – they are in need of luggage.

Pictures

I was not going to take photos in the sunlight, so I opted for the shade of my garage eves.  Even then, the temperature in the shade was around 35C.  I placed a blue whispy cloud backscene on a table, and positioned the station crudely for pictures for this Blogpost.  The images have been cropped with photoshop, and do lack the brilliance that better lighting could provide.


Westedge 3D figures, and some Road Rager australian cars add to the ambience. This is the view the operators of the future layout will have of the Wagga station.  I am however, considering a CCTV camera so as to view the other side



An Auscision 422, and a set of three Austrains BS/FS carriages is an indication of how much longer the platform needs to be to fit an 8 car RUB set 


On the platform side, seats, standing and seated people add life to the station 

Look closely to see that I installed the station master sign upside down.  The camera picks up any faults, and is an essential tool in your modelling kit.  Fortunately, back on the workbench, the tacky glue allowed the sign to be repositoned correctly




Conclusion.

Constructing the Wagga Wagga station  has been a marathon - 2 and a half years since starting  in September, 2020.  The process has been generally enjoyable, and I now have better skills that can be used for future scratch building projects.  The station model could be further improved, with an interior, more clutter on the roof,  weathering, more signage, litter bins, lighting, fences, palm tree and grass, and of course, extended platform for at least a 6 car train.   If I was starting afresh, knowing now where I struggled, I would invest time in learning how to model using a 3D printer.  Many of the architectural features of the station are duplicated, and could have been easily printed in quantity, with consistency that I struggled with.

 

Anyway, it is time for a new challenge

Until next time, build a model or three.