Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Local Passenger Service - the next construction program

Image from publishers website,
Last March at the Forestville Exhibition, I purchased a copy of a book called Northern Exposures. For someone whose modelling interests lie north of Sydney, this is a great source of photographic information covering the last years of steam in the northern parts of the NSW railway network. It provides an extensive range of photos taken in the period 1965-72 focusing on operations on the Short North , the North Coast and the Main North as well as the Newcastle area.

For me, one of the things that stands out in the book is the extensive local passenger services in the area, and the ubiquitous wagon used for this role, the FO carriage. The book highlighted a significant gap in my collection of  rolling stock, and so that has lead to the start of the next construction program, a number of FOs to facilitate a local passenger train.

A work in progress, the FO with roof not yet fixed in position
As I'm more than happy to construct kits,  the fact that I had 'missed the train' as far as the Austrains FOs is not really a problem. I purchased a Camco kit as a learning exercise to see how I went.

So far so good. The kit itself is fairly basic but as it has been around for 30 plus years  (based on the AMRM review in December 1982), that's probably not surprising. I have made a few adaptions to the kit.

As I have done to several other passenger coaches, I added strips of masking tape sealed with PVA to highlight the usual malthoid roofing. I also altered the ventilator arrangement to match the arrangement shown on a rake of FOs at Kiama station in 1964 (p30 Country Railway Stations - NSW). I suspect that there was a degree of variation as carriages went through refurbishments over their life so it was easier to stick to one specific photo.

The underfloor detail was also changed. I replaced the plastic truss rods with brass wire and added a battery box, generator and circuit board. Fortunately, the recent June edition of AMRM included an article on the conversion of a Camco kit into a Far West Children's Health Scheme carriage and in particular, included a good plan of the underfloor. I am hoping that the underfloor was common to both carriages.

I like to include internal detail in passenger carriages, so I also purchased the  seating for the FO and adding a few passengers. I also drilled a few holes in the toilet area and filled them with lead shot (shown in the photo opposite). I haven't yet got to the point of serious test running to check the overall weight of the carriage, but hopefully, it won't require much more.
Painting is in progress. As can be seen from the photos, I have applied  yellow first and have masked the area where the strip will be before applying the deep indian red to the body.

Weathering should be fairly straight forward and after that onto the next one. Hopefully, the introduction of a local passenger service will not be too far away.

Disclaimer: I have not links with the publisher of Northern Exposures or any of the contributors/photographers. I just think it's a bloody great book!