Thursday, 4 January 2018

Eureka 40 Class - Introduction into service

As I suspected, Santa very kindly left a Eureka 40 Class diesel under the Christmas tree.

This was a locomotive that I believe should have a place on Philip's Creek as it was a true transition period locomotive. Indeed, the retirement of this particular class preceded the withdrawal of some of its steam powered cousins. Fortunately, there are quite a few photos of various 40 class locomotives in service in my primary reference, John Sargent's book, 'NSWGR Diesel Electrics - The Tuscan Generation'. As John notes in his introduction, the photographer, Ross Tollow, "certainly loved those 'dowdy' old 40 class that nobody bothered about - they would always be there!"

Out of the box, to my uneducated eye, the model seemed fairly consistent with the photos in my reference although the air tanks on the model appeared to be mounted a little lower than the prototype. As usual, detail parts seemed to be press fitted into place but fortunately, none were lying in the bottom of the box when the locomotive was first unpacked.  There were no instructions in the model I purchased. I know Eureka are not the only manufacturer to exclude this item but it's something that I miss as it gives mugs like me the confidence to tackle some basic jobs like removing the body. The consequences of the lack of instructions were soon to be become evident.

The model ran smoothly on a DC test track and even managed to negotiate a 500mm radius curve. Then it was time to fit the DCC decoder. Yes, I know I'm a Luddite who hasn't made the transition to sound but I still needed to remove the body. Based on previous experience and in the absence of manufacturer's guidance, I proceeded to remove the front and back couplers.  With the benefit of hindsight this was actually the correct move, and had I then attempted to insert a thin blade to ease the body off the chassis, all would have been fine. But I didn't!

With the couplers removed, the platform around the locomotive was looser but the body remained firmly in place. I had noted a number of lugs securing the platform to the body and thought these may need to be released to remove the body. As I subsequently found out they didn't! However, the body did gradually come loose until only one final lug remained but sadly, with all of the pushing and pulling, it broke. Also with all of the manipulation, a number of the detail parts came adrift -  fortunately, nothing that could not be repaired.

The photo opposite shows how the body shouldn't be removed and the two following show the broken lug and the loose detail parts.

Actually, after the body had been removed once, it was relatively simple to remove the body subsequently. The consequence of the damaged lug was that care was needed when tightening the long hood coupler. If over-tightened, the platform was pulled away from the body.

Still, as they say 'all's well that end's well'. The decoder was installed, body replaced and detail parts refitted. Again, superglue was my friend. It was then test run again, this time on the layout with a typical bulk wheat load. No problems there and 4006 was then sent to the paint shop for weathering.

I have yet to see a photo of 40 class actually working in anything other than a grimy grotty condition, and by my modelling time period, the late 1960s, this was certainly the case. This model had to be heavily weathered. It was now that Ross' photos came into their own as he had managed to get images of the locomotive from many different angles. Coats of rust, dust, soot and oily grime were applied in that order. Most were sprayed but rust and oil spills were supplemented with washes in specific places. A finish of Dullcote was used to seal the weathering.

So now 4006, one of those 'dowdy old 40 class' will be seen occasionally passing through Philips' Creek on its way to or from more distant locations on the Main North. I'll just have to make sure that it never appears at the same time as 44222.


  1. Phil, I took my 4003 out of the box for examination only, as its an as delivered model, my thoughts on the model considering the length of time it has taken to come is a bit mixed. Like you no instructions, and now no crew, which is pretty poor when all is considered.

    I gave the model a bit of a once over and consider the same as you with the main reservoirs, the other aspects are that for basically an as delivered version, the door louvres are not correct for a shutter equipped model but liveable. However the top of the motor cover near the exhaust stack does not have the deep cut out and grilles on the top for air intakes, to me the pad print is totally useless especially if you weather a 40cl as per in service as you have done.

    Realistically there could have been a separate panel moulded as a clip in for the top, as on the in service loco's with shutters.

    The other aspects to me are the shiny wheels and the very obvious shim brass behind the wheels and bogies.

    I never worked on a 40cl that did not have heavy oil build up along the whole length of the main covers around the Prime mover area, it caked along the bottom and ran out along the footplates as well. Grit including sand and even coal dust would make the whole lot quite thick, oil leaks also seeped down the fuel tank sides, so a real dirty loco was to be had in the main.

    1. Col,

      Thanks for the comments. I agree with you that the absence of a crew probably is below par for current industry standards. The shiny wheels can be fixed but I'm not sure how to address the brass shim behind them for fear of impeding the electrical connectivity.

      However, based on your last paragraph, I'll need to add a bit more oily grim around the footplate and fuel tank area.

      cheers Phil

    2. Phil, something else with the weathering.

      The 40cl had a 21A Bogie arrangement with the middle axle non powered, this made them very prone to slipping, same with the 59cl which was light on the drivers and could go into a slip and then a spin very quick and often without any indication. On wet tracks you had to listen closely to the beat of them.

      The 40cl was the same, and when on a heavy grade with a full load for them, it was common to see them go into a spin and not just a slip. Putting sand down in a spin was a waste of time as you simply had to shut the throttle handle and apply the independent brake to try and bring the spin under control, as the wheels settled you would put sand down and then try to ease the throttle open to get momentum again.

      This made a lot of crushed sand dust that accumulated along the bogie sides more especially on the lead wheels going back on both the leading and rear bogies. The crushed sand would give out a grey dust over the front footplate and in the area above and to the back of the leading wheel on rear bogie.

      That sand dust would mix in well with the oily foot plates.

    3. Thanks Col, a bit extra weathering to add. Will probably try a light isocol alcohol wash mixed with a light grey pastel on those areas.

      cheers Phil