Australian Model Railway Magazine

Australian Model Railway Magazine June 2018

The Australian Model Railway Magazine covers the modelling of Australian railways in all scales and gauges. The magazine regularly features contributors layouts and modelling projects, covering everything from completely scratchbuilt models, through modifying ready-to-run commercial products and kit bashing to 'hints and tips', as well as product reviews and the latest news from the manufacturers.

Southern Cross Model Railway Association
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6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.

Innovation There are many ways in which we can enjoy our model railways. The simplest is a board with a circle of track, a scenario that many of us started with. But making this environment look realistic is always a problem for, despite our best wishes, the earth is not flat. Not flat at all and the better engineered railways were based upon how they negotiated the hills and the valleys. Long term Model Railroader editor, Linn Westcott, saw how to cater for hills and dales when he came up with the ‘L-girder’ sub-frame system. Linn thought outside the box and created innovation with a now-classic timber baseboard structural system that to this very day provides a foundation for realistic scenery on thousands of layouts, world-wide. Linn also is credited with creating…

13 min.
bethungra spiral

› One of the advantages of modelling a stretch of railway line, rather than a station, is that the era is set primarily by the trains, rather than the infrastructure. This scene could only be the early 1980s, as a relatively clean ‘candy’ 421 class drops downhill on a bulk load of superphosphate as Indian red 42216 and 4536, having traversed the spiral with their Sydney-bound fast freight, cross over the down line to regain the correct side for left hand running on the double track ahead. A time warp in progress, as late 2000s era, Independent Rail ‘Helga’ 1428, rolls downhill with an empty rail set, passing over the tunnel carrying the up line under the down line. After a short cutting, the up line enters another tunnel under the…

1 min.
at a glance

Scale: HO Prototype: The Bethungra Spiral, a prototype location on the NSW Main South line about 280 miles from Sydney Period: 1960s-1990s Layout type: Continuous run exhibition layout, scene at the front, fiddle yard at the back Layout size: 9.6m wide x 2.7m deep Rail height above floor: 1.0m Baseboards: Twelve rectangular baseboards, 1.8m x 0.75m, and four corner baseboards ‘banana’ shaped. Baseboards constructed of AB grade 7mm and 4mm plywood Track: Peco code 75 with Electrofrog turnouts and Tortoise point motors Control: Both DCC and DC available Structures: Bridges and tunnel mouths, kit and scratchbuilt; no other structures Scenery: Formed with polystyrene foam, covered with plaster, ground foam and other scenic materials as appropriate Locomotives: r-t-r, kit-built and scratchbuilt, provided by the club members Rolling Stock: r-t-r, kit-built and scratchbuilt, provided by the club members Builders: Members of the Epping Model Railway…

2 min.
protypical notes

The Bethungra Spiral – Historical Notes The Bethungra Spiral – 20km from Cootamundra – was regarded as a marvel of engineering. It was instigated as a means of ascending a significant mountain range with easier grades than the original single line, which opened in 1878. The main up line (towards Sydney) coils around Bethungra Hill, crossing both itself and the down line. Included in the deviation are two single-track tunnels, a bridge and some of the deepest railway cuttings found in Australia. There was a dramatic increase in traffic on the Main South line in the early 1900s and because of a steep grade over the Bethungra Range between Cootamundra and Junee, bank engines had to be used at the rear of all goods trains, working in both directions. Even the introduction…

1 min.
south australian soc/so (aoqy) ore wagons in nsw

Further to the review of the SDS SAR SOC/SO ore wagons in AMRM Issue 329 (April 2018), Graham Ahearn has delved into his extensive collection of photographs and come up with these images of AOQY wagons running in NSW during the 1980s. For those for whom prototypical accuracy is important, we now have proof of the use of these vehicles in NSW east of Broken Hill. The AN ore wagons, conveying silver/lead/ zinc ore, started their journey at Cobar, marshalled in a train with the NSW wagons that carried copper ore to Port Kembla. At (one assumes) either Dubbo or Orange, the South Australian wagons were detached and forwarded to Broken Hill for onward transit to Port Pirie. If there was enough loading, the vehicles would form a block load [Photo 1],…

4 min.
building an hg brake van in oo scale

The announcement by Casula Hobbies in AMRM Issue 327 (December 2017) that a ready-to-run HO scale model of the NSWGR HG four-wheel brake van would be available this year has been of great interest to me. In my display cupboard are several scratchbuilt OO scale models (4mm to the foot) of NSW rolling stock, together with one locomotive. These were all built 50 years or more ago, before HO scale kits of Australian prototypes were available. Indeed, the oldest of these items, an HG brake van, is about 65 years old. As a teenager in the late 1940s, my interest in model railways was stimulated by reading the English magazine Model Railway News (MRN) with its articles about John Ahern’s Madder Valley Railway, as well as his three books about building model…