Above photo is my Gosford complete with the Overhead. Click on the photo to see the Main North Album at Flickr

Friday, July 30, 2021

48s finally in Werris Creek.

Finally, 48s arrive at Werris Ck on the Main North.


Instead of looking with a “blind eye” whenever a photo or references about diesels popped up in books, while researching the Main North, I should heed the information I was sprooking in my previous Blog entry, “The Prototype did Everything”, and include diesels to my 1965 layout that’ll enhance train operations, especially around Werris Ck.


The NSWGR introduced 48s in September 1959 and within 6 months, 14 of the first 20 were allocated to Werris Ck with the other 6 going to Casino on the North Coast.

The mainline locos that hauled some Down trains to Werris Ck, were replaced by the more efficient 48s to haul the trains further north and north west on the branch lines to Narrabri, Moree etc. With the return of these Up trains to Werris Ck, the 48s were replaced with the main line locos, to continue south to Port Waratah/Broadmeadow/Sydney.


With the 48s gradually replacing the Standard Goods “Bankers” based at Murrurundi, the importance of the Depot declined rapidly, the Depot closed in September 1965. The demise of steam on the Main North, was well and truly on the way.


In my early days back into the hobby, I bought a Traxx & two Powerline 48s. Endeavoring to get them to run better, their mechanisms were replaced with AR Kits and K&M mechanism and they still ran poorly. Being a predominantly Steam operator, they never got much running.

Preparing for the arrival of 48s to my Main North, I revisited these bad runners. I’d already added pickups, so cleaned the mechanisms etc. I even added Stay Alive to one but….


The arrival of my four Trainorama 48s and two later Powerline 48s and a Hollywood Foundry equipped 48, relegated these bad runners to Rotten Row. All surviving 48s have sound decoders and my home brew Stay Alives. 


To include the 48s into my train operations around Werris Ck, I repositioned a few tracks near the Roundhouse, moved a Goods Shed and added 4 Sidings to the L/H end of the Yard. Included in this re-modelling, I replaced the problematic Turntable with a Fleischmann 90 footer and now I have a working Werris Ck Loco, complete with Diesels.


My very compressed basic Werris Ck Diesel Terminal including a Sand Tower and a few “on ground” Diesel Tanks, being filled by the Tanker behind 4303, next to the Roundhouse.

With this addition of the 48s to my Werris Ck, I need to run the 16 BWH Wheat train (1,000 tons) from the Silo Complex to Port Waratah using double 48s but they need rear end assistance at Willow Tree  to get to Ardglen. I need to add Willow Tree for this "rear end banking" procedure, even if it's just around the corner for this train and other UP trains. I remodelled the area from the doorway, along the wall, details in a future Blog entry.

To separate Werris Ck from Willow Tree, I added a “scene block” with a hill, road bridge and some trees, adjacent to the Diesel Terminal, shown below.

In November 2021, I moved the Signal Box and added some more "hill" and planted more trees behind Werris Ck Roundhouse. One day I'll add ballast but still need to make a Control Panel for this end of Werris Ck. 

Train Operations around Werris Ck including the changeovers to/from 48s.


Goods Trains:

BWH Wheat 1,000 ton train from Werris Ck - 16 BWHs & Van to Port Waratah. Once empty, the BWHs weigh 370 tons so a single 48  returns the train to Werris Ck. In my case it has to be my new Powerline 48, as my Trainorama 48s will not haul this empty train up my Ardglen Bank.

North West Goods Trains, will get 48s at Werris Ck, similar to the North West Mail, see below.

Northern Goods trains to/from Tamworth/Armidale, some will be hauled by 48s etc.   


Passenger Trains:

All my passenger trains except the Northern Tablelands Express (DEB Set), will be hauled by steam engines to/from Werris Ck where the:.

The Glen Innes Mail: Keeps the 35/36 to Armidale.

The Relief NTE and the Werris Ck Day Train: North of Werris Ck with a 48.

The Brisbane Express via Wallangarra: North of  Werris Ck with 48s. 

The North West Mail: North of Werris Ck with 48s, see below for more details.


I’m not ready for “mainline” diesel locos yet but it shouldn't be what I feel like, it should be how the Prototype was. For now it'll be mostly Steam locos.  I'll find some trains for my 40s & 4303. 

These “changeovers” will provide more prototypical fun for the Operator. I should have done this, years ago but better late than never.


I have 3 North Coast trains, the Brisbane Ltd, North Coast Mail & North Coast Perishable Goods, hauled by 44s & 45s, staged under Murrurundi and operate all the way through to Sydney, bypassing the 46 “changeovers” at Gosford as the prototype did in 1965. 

Uncoupling for the "Engine Changes" at Werris Ck.

Uncoupling locos for the North West Mail would be difficult, using a manual method like a Toothpick, Skewer, Pikster etc, due to track at the Rear Platform is 600 - 700 mm from the facia and 1400 mm off the floor for this short arse Operator. 

I had some information on this Blog entry about installing Electromagnets and a Rapido Uncoupler at Werris Ck's Rear Platform for uncoupling the 48s, see my next Blog entry titled "Uncouplers" for all the details.

Click below for a 5 min video of running the Mail, that includes the 4 engines changes at Werris Ck and Gosford, prior to fitting the Rapido Uncoupler that takes about an hour do on the layout.


  1. Marcus

    A great and informative blog post. I was not aware of the Rapido uncouplers so will have to investigate them for the goods sidings behind the Wollar loco depot, hard to reach for those short arse fellows. :-)


  2. Hi Ray and Southern Rails. Thanks for the compliments.
    Ray I'm getting another Rapido, I could let you try it in Wollar, I found they make uncoupling easier. Regards Marcus

  3. Great post. Enjoying your blog and the layout.