Sunday 19 March 2023

How not to park your grain train

 Modelling, NMRA Meeting, and a derailment

An SSR grain train collided with the rear trailer of a truck at the level crossing near the former Rockview Station west of Junee on March 8th.  More pictures later


Ladysmith Perway shed gets painted

The white styrene was sprayed Tamiya flat aluminium, and lightly rusted with powder.  The concrete was hand painted with Floquil concrete.  The rails, and the metal framing hand painted with Tamiya Red/brown.  I decided to not make the doors moveable, so they are fixed in this position with white-glue - so could be repositioned with the application of some water on the "hinges".  The Sheffield hand pumped trike is a Lloyds whitemetal model kit - something I made in the 1990s.  I have not yet made the water tank, or its stand.  

CW -Cattle Wagons

Casula Hobbies in the late 1980s, produced a kit of the 4 wheel sheep and cattle vans, coded SV,  and CV respectively.  I probably bought over a dozen of each kit, but only ever got around to making about half of the kits.  The rest have been stored for over 30 years.  Whilst these kits build up into a nice model, more recent RTR models from Austrains are superior (if you can find them).  So, the question is do I build the kits, or sell them on ebay?  Probably best I make them - after all, that is why I bought the kits.

A train of CW wagons, headed by an X200, is proceeding to the Trucking yards about a mile west of here.  The date of this picture is in the late 1960s.  (I wrote a complete blog post on this picture a few years ago - fascinating)

I assembled the kit into 2 subassemblies - the chassis, and the superstructure.  I painted both with Tamiya german grey - which now needs to be weathered

After painting, I added a sheet of lead weight to double the wagon's weight  up to 35 grams

Three CW wagons.  I used white glue to fix the superstructure to the chassis, in case I need to add cattle loads in the future

NMRA visit to Bowning

Last Saturday, I made the 2 hr trip to Bowning to attend the Div 2 meeting at Jack's place.   It is always good to meet up with friends, view models, gain ideas, and get inspired

The show-n-tell models on the table.  And Ezi-Kits D334, a Rivarossi oprient express coach, an EZI-Kits Z26 (under construction), my Perway shed, An SDS models MHO, and a Shoreham Shops brass California Zephyr slumber coach.  Not shown was a light framework design for a Fre-Mo module

Jack's talk was to describe how he made some of the models for his layout, and after an lovely afternoon tea, we were able to view in person. 

Jacks shed was air conditioned - a must for the unusual heat of the afternoon

Jack's layout is a folded dogbone, with an operating aisle.  Note, these pictures were taken with most of the room lights turned off - amazing how good phone camera are

Jack has modified a number of commercial kits in the capturing the portotype.  Here is a train at Woolbrook - which Jack informs me started as a victorian station

The Church, and both the road, and rail bridges are modelled after real structures at Woolbrook

Walcha Road station is a Walker model kit, modified with scratchbuilt signalbox.  Jack has lit the interior, and in the dim lighting with the main room lights turned off, is quite effective

Walcha Road Hotel is totally scratchbuilt by Jack - again, lighting and patrons brings the structure to life

Derailment at Rockview

Around 9am, on March 8th, an empty Southern Shorthaul Railroad grain train was heading west, when it collided with the rear trailer of what the press said was a grain haulage truck at the level crossing near the former Rockview station site, between Old Junee, and Marrar.  The press also said that the trailer was empty, but the damage to the train, tells a different story.

Both train drivers, and the truck driver escaped with minor injuries.  The road, Canola way was closed for 2 days, and the railline was also closed.

The SSR train was one I enjoyed watching, as it ran a 2 or 3 days a week shuttle service to Melbourne using vintage engines, and around 40 grain wagons. 

I got word last week, that the train had not yet been recovered, and I travelled the 20km to the site and took some pictures.  (Click on an image to enlarge)

G514 has a smashed cab, but not much other damage that I could tell

CLF1 was the lead engine, and took the brunt of the impact.  Both drivers escaped with minor injuries, which is a testimate to the design of the streamlined front to absorb collision forces.  Unfortunately, it looks like the frame of the loco has been twisted, so I don't like its chances of returning to the rails

CLF4 is on its side, but from this angle, doesn't look in too bad a shape considering

Oil absorbant pads to catch any oil drips from comtaminating the soil

4910 is also on its side, although hard to tell how much damage it sustained

Detail of the hatch raising mechanism on the grain wagon - something normlly hidden by metalwork

Unloading hatch details - an angle not normally seen by railfans

Interior of a grain wagon, showing the bulkheads

The level crossing where the collision occured.  It doesn't have any bells of lights relying on a "stop" sign.  An error if you ask me - the crossing has been the site of many incidents in the last few years since the line was upgraded, with heavier rail, new ballast and increased train speeds.  The other 26 or so grain wagons of the train had been removed, and hauled back to Junee, where I suspect they are back in service

Controls in the Cab of CLF1 - taken through the windowless window

I was very surprised that the wreck scene had no security.  The number of people drivng alng the Canola Way that stopped when I was there had no idea of what happened.  It could have been a temporary tourist attraction.  

What is to become of the locos, and about 14 grain wagons?  It is possible that the locos will be trucked through to the Junee roundhouse for assessment, and maybe rebuilding? Junee roundhouse is well suited for this.    Grain wagons might end up being cut up for scrap on site.  These are my guesses - I suspect a lot depends on insurance.  However, the rail line remains closed, and this is a situation that cannot be left indefinitely

Until next time, keep your trains on the track.



  1. Nice update on the Perway Shed Rob. Shame about the train wreck though. I wonder how many modellers had just taken great delight in receiving a model of Auscision's G514, only to see her off the rails?

    1. You are right - poor timing. But maybe G514's adventures may make it a fan favourite. I note that Auscision still have the SSR livery model for sale - may have to acquire one, even though it is well outside my modelling timeframe.

    2. I think we're all allowed one exception to the rule with whatever we are modelling. It would make I nice story given that you've photographed G514. I've just added BL28 to my layout, and can assure you the sound quality is really good!

  2. reports today (March 22) is that cranes have rerighted CLF4, and a number of grain wagons have been removed. Locos are to be moved by road back to the SSR workshops in Bendigo.

  3. Hi Rob, Like your Perway/trolley shed. They were part of some many station yards on our rail networks a few years back. If, down the track you want hinged doors, Jim Hutchinson has an article on adding them to a shed in AMRM Feb 2011.
    Yes, I agree, not the way to park a train. I would thing quick a costly exercise for both parties. Given the age of the locos and wagons, I guess it will be all written off and you and I will be paying for it in our next car insurance renewal. It would be good to see the final report, so many similar incidents the report finds a way to point the finger at the rail.
    Great modelling.

    1. Thanks Arthur for your compliments and the link to AMRM article. As you say, these sheds are sadly disappearing.
      Using white-glue to hold the shed upper to the concrete base, and the doors does allow for later superdetailing - if I run out of other models to make. I am starting to use a lot of white-glue for fixings - whilst not as elegant as your recent screw to secure the roof of your passenger car, whiteglue works OK. Yes, the insurance on the derailment will be in the millions, not to mention the loss of export income from the grain shippers. I suspect there will be fault found with the crossing, and I heard yesterday, that the crossing has now jumped ahead of others for the bells and light upgrade. I had hoped to get out there again today, to view the activity, but suspect heavy rain this morning will have put the brakes on the cranes