January 2018


For Tuesday January 9 2018 on the Kanunda and Emu Flat railway.

Thanks to all who came to this operating session.

I did not get round to doing much over Christmas and new year. However Con’s Choice now has had ridge capping on it’s roof and down pipes have been fitted to the gutter on the side away from the railways track. If it were not for writing this report I may have not even done that. The Mail train helps motivate me.

Con’s Choice packing shed at Wooldowie at the start of the session. Two RX reefers of fruit to be picked up one heading to Athol Freezers at Kanunda the other for SA Cold stores at Mile End. The open wagon had a load of boxes and pallets to be unloaded.

We had six operators for this session, the first for 2018. The session went very well. Road crew one was Peter S and John P, road crew two Sol, Kanunda Yard Master Rod, Hostler David and myself as controller. Trains started on time at 0606, session time, when the train 313 down Mt Gambier goods started proceedings followed by the up Overland departing Foster at 0608. Apart from the Emu Flat passenger the next timetabled train due was 201 the Melbourne Jet departing Cooper at 0903 but actually left at 0907 from then on all timetabled trains ran on time. Because the session went smoothly the last train 314 the up Mt Gambier goods was given an order to run twenty fast minutes early.
All cars finished in their correct spots except for one tank car, more of that later. Fortunately the Station Master at Wooldowie noticed that the crew of the up Myrtle Springs goods had placed a reefer outside of Con’s Choice where it could not have been loaded. He then had to get the crew to rearrange the cars at Con’s so that the reefer was was placed where it could be loaded and the open wagon outside where the unloading pallets could continue.
There was nearly a head on at Emu Flat. The Adelaide Jet’s driver was just able to stop time to avoid running into to loco 949, off the down roadside goods, that was running round it’s train at the time. Even though both trains had train orders advising of the meet the crew of the roadside goods did not know exactly when the Jet would arrive at Emu Flat and because it arrives from out of site round a bend they did not see it coming. So a discussion about improved communications eschewed. To this end it was decided that all road crews should clearly announce their intending arrival to the YM at Kanunda, the Hostler at staging and as well other road crews working at stations ahead of them. Also the controller should include times of arrival in train orders. Rules to that effect will be put in the K&EFR general rules.

BL29 and 940 head the Adelaide super freighter over the truss bridge over Bindieye Creek as it heads toward Kanunda.

P1020351830 class Alco 847 is about to couple on to 402 the up Myrtle Springs goods at Wooldowie after correctly setting out the open wagon and reefer at Con’s Choice packing shed.

930 class Alcos 961 and 942 arrive at Wooldowie with the empty grain extra. Four AHGX hoppers will be set out here and the other four will go to Emu Flat. Con’s Choice can just be seen at the far left just behind the grain extra’s brake van.

P1020355858 has taken the ALGX van from the Maranalgo goods shed and placed it temporarily on the passing loop. it will be replaced at the goods shed after the empty cattle wagons have been placed beside the stock pens. At Maranalgo the shunting lead will only accomodate a loco and one wagon so wagons have to be moved one at a time. The trains brake van is sitting in front of the station building and once the two cattle wagons have been set out the train will return to Cooper as an engine and van movement.

A busy scene at Kanunda. 603 has just brought the transfer goods in from Mile End. Shunt engine 503 has taken the 8300 class brake van off the transfer goods and placed it on the start of 403 the down Myrtle Springs goods. There will be more wagons on the transfer goods for 403, who’s engine 847, can just be seen at the bottom of this photo.


Last train of the session. 314 the up Mt Gambier goods arrives at Cooper with C507 and 940 leading. Note the tank car placed next to an engine against the K&EFR general rules. As mentioned earlier this was the only incorrectly placed car of the session. Never the less the Kanunda Yard Master should receive a bung for this blunder.

Thanks again to all for a great session. I think the thing we learned from this session is the value of good communication.
Lets hope that this is the start of many successful operating sessions during 2018. Also I hope that I can progress with more work on the layout. Finish Con’s Choice and the Strath Hobbies OW open wagon kit that I started early last year and perhaps complete one two other projects that I have planned and not to mention surely the long awaited Auscission 830 class should arrive soon.

All comments and criticisms welcome.

Cheers Ken.


archives 4
A light engine movement on the standard gauge at Islington June 1985. A BL, GM, 964, and 603.

archives 7 (1)
A 600 class Alco and a 8300 class brake van at Dry Creek North June 1985.


December 2017


For Tuesday 12-12-17
on the Kanunda and Emu Flat railway

Thanks to those who came to Tuesday’s operating session.


I finally bit the bullet and worked on the curved crossover that down trains go through to enter Kanunda. Despite all the cleaning about an hour into an operating session locos have regularly stalled in this crossover while taking the passing siding. To remedy this I put a power dropper on to the rail and to prevent shorts occurring first I tried filing a groove in the diverging frog rails but made a bit of a hash of that so even though I had stopped any shorts on test running some wagons continually derailed. So then I ground down both rails and araldited a piece of black plastic over them effectively doubling the insulated section of the frog in the inulfrog turn out. Fortunately I always use insulated rail joiners whether using live frog or insulated frog turnouts.



Cons Choice fruit packing shed now has gutters (Styrene angle) and down pipes (piano wire).

I was unable to hold a session during November due to having a bad cold. This session started about twenty minutes late with six of us present. Road crew one was David and Sol, road crew two John P, Kanunda YM Rod, hostler Peter S and myself controller.
The session ran smoothly, no stalling locos coming into Kanunda. David noticed a couple of errors in the paperwork the first being that I had the wrong loco shown on the Adelaide Jet’s timetable the second being that the incorrect number is shown on the Tank train’s card box. The Emu Flat passenger was two minutes late departing Cooper because the driver was unable to remember how to enter the locomotives code into the LH30 hand piece.
Although the up Mt Gambier goods crew were ready on time to depart Foster on time Train Control had to issue a train order for them to run fifteen minutes late to keep them clear of the late running Up roadside goods.
In another incident some time earlier train control held 309 the down roadside goods at Wooldowie while three other trains passed through. First being the Adelaide Jet then 321 heading to Emu Flat to pick up loaded cattle cars and return to Wooldowie as 322 the livestock train. It was suggested that there is room for a short loop of track at the front at Emu Flat thus allowing two trains work there at the same time. However that will spoil the look of the track layout at Emu Flat which is loosely based on Tarlee. When I think about it two trains could shunt Emu Flat if 321 the down livestock train arrives first and it’s loco runs around ready for departure then 309 the down roadside goods arrives. The loco from the Roadside goods can then pick up the cattle cars and attach them to the livestock train before doing it’s own work. Such a scenario would save having the roadside goods’ crew sitting in the siding at Wooldowie for an inordinately long time.
Generally all trains ran to time and all cars and cards finished in their correct spots.

Alcos 705 and 938 are taking the down empty stonie through Kanunda. While English Electric 503 shunts the yard.

P1020265Small Alco 858 is picking up wheat hoppers at Kanunda. The wheat will eventually arrive at Pt Adelaide.

961 on train 322 the livestock train is positioning it’s brake van at Emu Flat prior to picking up a rake of cattle cars from the stock pens.

P1020267961 is ready to pull it’s train out onto the mainline ready to depart as train 322 heading off to Wooldowie. The empty open wagon has been placed in front of the brake van so that the aroma of the cattle does not waft back too strongly over the guard in the brake van.

949 on the down roadside goods has a train order telling him to wait for three trains to pass before proceeding to Emu Flat.

P1020269In this photo the crew of the down roadside goods has finally arrived at Emu Flat and are shunting there. At the back the Kanunda yard master has caught up and is taking a short break. On the right the hostler is making room in his yard for the roadside goods when it arrives at Foster. this end of staging.

The Myrtle Springs goods has arrived. Rule 11 in the K&EFR general rules says “Tank cars and explosives vans shall not be coupled next to engines or brake vans”.

949 is running round it’s train while shunting at Wooldowie.

So ends another year of operations on the K&EFR. Thanks to all who helped operate the railway in 2017. I have enjoyed your company thoroughly and hope that you have enjoyed the experience.
One thing that stands out for the year is the success of the two NMRA sessions for visiting operators during the NMRA convention held in Adelaide during September. It was most enjoyable hosting visiting operators both local and interstate and thanks to Rod for helping out during those sessions. Another achievement for 2017 was gaining the “Master Builder – Scenery” NMRA Achievement Programme” certificate for work done on the K&EFR.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


October 2017



Thank you to those who came to Tuesday night’s operating session.


An awning has been added to Con’s Choice’s fruit packing shed at Wooldowie.

Three operators turned up for the session. Peter S and Paul were the road crews, Sol Kanunda yard master while I took on the job of hostler (at Cooper – Foster).
The session ran very well. All time tabled trains ran to time. The only one slightly off was the Adelaide super freighter which left Foster three minutes late, less than five minutes is near enough for me. All cars and car cards ended in their correct spots. The four of us enjoyed a relaxed and fun operating session.


0606 and 313 down Mt Gambier goods departs from Cooper behind BL29 and G511. On shed at the MPC are S301 for the Melbourne Jet, 704 for the Adelaide Jet, X54 for the up Mt Gambier goods and 937 and 950 for the down Overland. Behind 313 the brake van on the steam tour can be seen.

858 has arrived at Maranalgo with AHGX hoppers which it will shortly run around and push under the loading chute at the silos. 858 will then depart Maranalgo with it’s brake van for the journey back to Cooper.


Kanunda yard at the start of the session. There is a VLEX van and a tank car to be picked up at Kings Petroleum a container flat under the crane also to be picked up. Of the vans and open wagons at the goods shed some stay and some get picked up. There are two OB open wagons in the RIP (repair in place) track one of which has been repaired and ready to go. Two 8300 class brake vans next to the engine shed. On shed are 840 which will go out later on the Maranalgo goods and 603 which will power the Kanunda to Mile End transfer goods. 503 the Kanunda shunt engine is taking on fuel at the overhead tank ready for a busy shift.

Alco 961 has arrived at Wooldowie with a train of empty cattle cars two of which will be set out here. Reg Brown a local farmer has some herefords to unload to be sent off to the abattoir at Gepps Cross.

All comments and criticisms welcome.

Cheers Ken.

September 2017



On Friday September 15 the Kanunda and Emu Flat Railway hosted two operating sessions for attendees of the Australasian region NMRA convention being held here in Adelaide.
Thanks to the visitors who came to the operating sessions and also thank you to Rod and John P who helped out. Before the session I e-mailed the general rules of the K&EFR and the link to a instructional You – Tube video (attached below). All of the visiting operators read the rules and looked at the video. One even printed out the track schematic and track plan for use during the session. This turned out to be useful in that the pre session briefing could be kept a short as possible. Mainly I had to describe how to use the Lenz system and two digit coding, that is, first and last numbers of locomotives.
Trains were run extremely smoothly and the sessions were very much trouble free. The morning session, exceptionally, so fitting in exactly the ninety minutes that I had allotted. However I found that two hours between sessions was not quite enough time to have lunch and re-stage the layout even with Rod’s help. So the afternoon session started a little late and had to be cut off some what short. Also our dogs decided to bark and carry on a bit when my wife went to the shops for half an hour during the afternoon. While this could not be helped it put me off a bit. I hope that others were not put off too much and I apologise to them for the dogs.
In the end all enjoyed them selves and seemed glad that they came. I think that all did well on the day, and certainly, we had two successful operating sessions. It was very enjoyable to meet and talk to modellers from interstate.




The crew Ainsley, Terry, John, John, Rod, and Ken (obscured)


The stone train is shunted at Emu Flat. The rake of empty hoppers is being propelled toward Penstone Quarry.

Ainslie and Terry are shunting the Stonie at Emu Flat.


830 class Alco 840 has been uncoupled from the down Maranalgo goods at Maranalgo and is about to pick up a van at the goods shed and an open wagon loaded with mallee roots at Sol’s Firewood.

P1050546John is concentrating hard as he drives 840

P1050547 Kanunda is the main station on the K&EFR and a Yard Master is employed here who shunts the yard using English Electric 503 a 500 class shunter. The branchline trains to Myrtle Springs and Maranalgo are made up at Kanunda. Here the Yard Master, Rod, watched on by Ainslie, Is uncoupling the cars from the down roadside goods that need to be set out at Kanunda. Ainslie, looking on, is the driver of the roadside goods.

930 class Alco 949 is departing Kanunda and is about to cross Bindieye Creek after completing it’s work at Kanunda.


P1050551 Pat the Grain extra crew has set out the brake van in the loop at Maranalgo. He will run 858 around the brake van then pick up the three loaded AHGX hoppers sitting in front of the silos.

Above right: 858 waits at the red automatic block signal while Alcos 705 and 938 pass by on the mainline its the down empty stonie.

P1050553 Peter, the crew of the stonie is setting out the empty hoppers at Penstone quarry.

930 class 938 and 700 class 705 have set out the string of empty hoppers and are setting the brake van out in the store track before picking up the hoppers loaded with limestone.

I found the experience of hosting a crew of visiting interstate operators on the K&EFR an enjoyable and rewarding one and would do it again if the opportunity arose again.
The link to my instructional video

General Rules

Have fun.

  1. All trains must have either a time table or train order to proceed.
  2. Trains may arrive late or early but must not depart early.
  3. The main line is adjacent to the station building at all stations.
  4. Shunting should take place from the passing siding at all stationsexcept for Maranalgo.
  5. On the track diagrams: red = mainline, yellow = passing siding,white = all other tracks.
  6. After a train has passed through or finished shunting all turnoutswitches with orange dots shall be retuned to the orange dot position (This returns turnouts to normal.)

    7. All trains must obey the automatic block signals.

    8. All trains faced with a red train order signal must stop in theloop at that station and collect a train order from train control. 9. The car cards are colour coded.Goods trains only handle cars with buff coloured cars. The grain extra only handles cars with yellow cards. The livestock train only handles cars with brown cards.

    10. Tank cars and Explosives vans shall not be coupled next to engines or brake vans

    11. Loaded livestock trains shall have an idler car in front of the brake van.

August 2017


For Tuesday August 15 on the Kanunda & Emu Flat Railway.

Thanks to those who attended Tuesday’s operating session.

Work has continued on building the packing shed for Con’s Choice with the floor and inside walls being painted and the roof being glued in place.
I decided to clean the track inside High Mountain Tunnel this month. When I did this I noticed three figures on the old english station that was once at Emu Flat. So I prized them off the station and now we have a lady and her daughter waiting for a train at Wooldowie and a lady in a red dress waiting at Emu Flat.
With the upcoming operating session for NMRA members on the K&EFR during the NMRA – AR convention next month I have finally got round to formulating a set of rules for running trains on the K&EFR. I am attaching them to the end of this report.

Con’s Choice packing shed with two RX reefers being loaded with apples.



A woman in an anorak with her daughter about to board 119 the down Emu Flat passenger train at Wooldowie. Alco 846 is pulling 119.

Four operators arrived for the session. Rod volunteered to be Kanunda Yard master, Sol was co-opted into being hostler leaving Peter S and John P to be the road crews. I was the controller.
The layout ran well even though there seemed to be a number of shorts due to trains running points. Often when one thing happens others happen e.g.. runaways. Rod reported that some locos stalled on a few points in Kanunda yard. 503 the Kanunda shunt engine ran well not stalling at all. In future I will run a 930 through Kanunda yard before the session and try to tune the points to suit the longer wheel based locos as well. But all in all things were generally OK.
All cars and cards finished in their correct spots.
The sequence of trains was pretty tight on the night not allowing the road crews much time between jobs. Train eight in the sequence, 201 the Melbourne Jet,left Cooper 19 minutes late. Next train was 206 the Adelaide Superfreifgter and it left Foster two minutes late which it made up by the time it reached Cooper. At 1013, 101 the down Overland was due to pass through Cooper but it was seen at Cooper at 1028 running fifteen minutes late. Next train 202 the Adelaide Jet left Foster a mere eight minutes late at 1052. More time was lost by the time the Up Mt Gambier goods ran.
Even though most time tabled trains ran a little late it was a good session and was more the enjoyable because operators did not have a lot of time to spare between trains.


858 heads down grade from Kanunda with the loaded up livestock train. Note the open wagon in front of the brake van so the Guard is not too much in the wake of the aroma coming off the cattle. The track in the foreground is the line to Emu Flat at Jimba Jimba Junction where the branch goes off to Myrtle Springs.

In the background is Myrtle Springs with the Myrtle Springs goods sitting there headed by Alco 847. Note that the red Mobilgas tank car is marshalled correctly away from the engine and brake van.
Also seen here is 604 on the tank train behind the grey open wagon, 950 and 937 on the Down Overland and BL29 and G511 on the Melbourne Jet.

603, b end forward,takes the Kanunda Mile End transfer into Cooper. According to the rules he green tank wagon should not be marshalled in front of the brake van. That brings the question, who should be responsible, the Kanunda yard master who made up the train or the train crew who took the train out?

C501 and 940 pass through Emu Flat with the Up Mt Gambier goods.


So the session ended with a late running Up Mt Gambier goods.
Any comments and criticisms welcome.

Cheers Ken.


Dry Ck Nth

Dry Creek North yard April 1985.

Kanunda & Emu Flat General Rules

Have fun.

  1. All trains must have either a time table or train order to proceed.
  2. Trains may arrive late or early but must not depart early.
  3. The main line is adjacent to the station building at all stations.
  4. Shunting should take place from the passing siding at all stations except for Maranalgo.
  5. On the track diagrams: red = mainline, yellow = passing siding,white = all other tracks.
  6. After a train has passed through or finished shunting all turnoutswitches with orange dots shall be retuned to the orange dot position (This returns turnouts to normal.)
  7. All trains must obey the automatic block signals.

8. All trains faced with a red train order signal must stop in theloop at that station and collect a train order from train control.

9. The car cards are colour coded.Goods trains only handle cars with buff coloured cars. The grain extra only handles cars with yellow cards. The livestock train only handles cars with brown cards.

10. Tank cars and Explosives vans shall not be coupled next to engines or brake vans

11. Loaded livestock trains shall have an idler car in front of the brake van.

July 2017


For Tuesday July 18 on the Kanunda and Emu Flat Railway

Thank you to all of those who attended. Sorry I have had to change operating session nights to Tuesdays because our baby sitting day has changed to Mondays and because my daughter is quite late in picking the grandson up after she has finished work. Mondays are no longer suitable.


I bought a Holden Monaro from OZ models to place by the shearing shed. When I was a woolclasser working in similar sheds I drove a Monaro. It was cream not green in colour but this is near enough to me being there.


I have started to give Con’s Choice at Wooldowie a new fruit packing shed. I have always felt that the temporary shed I had there was too small.

After two months off and despite the change of night and the dreadful weather we had an excellent turn out with six operators and my self. Rod volunteered to be hostler, Sol Kanunda YM, Peter S and John H road crew 1, David and John P road crew 2, and myself train control.
The layout ran well. I think that about the only hiccup was when AR kits 603 stalled on the curved crossover coming into Kanunda. Some operators are still sometimes unsure which direction is up and which direction is down. Up is toward Cooper (and Adelaide think Coopers Ale) and down is toward Foster (and Melbourne think Fosters larger) Also the track diagram on the facia at each town is marked, for instance at Kanunda on the red line going toward the roller door it says “To Cooper Up” and on the red line at the other end of Kanunda it says “To Wooldowie Down”. All stations have similar notations.
All the time tabled trains ran on time and in fact we had to let the last train the Up Mt Gambier goods run early so that crews were not standing round twiddling their thumbs.
There was two incidents worth mentioning. The first one was when the Melbourne Jet started hurtling down the Maranalgo branch via John’s Switch. This time it was John H driving and John P who did not realign the turnout at Sandman Switch when going to Maranalgo with the Live stock train. So tables were turned. The Adelaide Jet came to a sudden halt at the up end of Emu Flat because the same crew forgot to realign the turnout there when departing Emu Flat with the roadside goods. The moral of the story is to realign mainline turnouts to the orange dots after passing through on the passing siding or after shunting.
Set outs: All fine except that the Kanunda YM put A,N.’s tanker of loco fuel in at King Petroleum instead of at the overhead tank at the MPD.
In the end we all had an enjoyable session.

Alcos 705 & 938 departing Kanunda with the empty Stonie. Small Alco 858 can be seen in the passing siding after having seen out two CS cattle wagons. We can see the cattle pens, wheat silos, Athol Freezers and Lauke Mills in this photo.


P1050300858 arriving at Maranalgo with the livestock train.

The Melbourne Jet seen here passing through Wooldowie with Alco 704 and V-Line EMD G511 has just extracted itself from the Maranalgo branch line

949 is going about it’s work shunting the up roadside goods at Emu Flat

P1050305The 8300 class brake van is standing in the passing siding at Emu Flat with a couple of wagons while shunting continues.

P1050306B end forward 949 departs from the passing siding with the up roadside goods at Emu Flat.


830sAn OW wagon 870 and 869 at Dry Creek North yard in April 1985


Some of us also help operate the Ippinitchie Creek & Unicorn timber & mining company: see link

All comments and criticisms welcome.
Cheers Ken.

P.S. For those interested in the Adelaide NMRA convention Sept 16 & 17
there are more details of layout tours and ladies program on the website


June 2017

Because my wife and I were away in our RV during May no operating session was held. June’s session was not held as well because it clashed with the Adelaide model railway exhibition held at Greyhound Park Angle Park Adelaide on June 10 – 12.
I helped out with the Adelaide Model Railroaders over the exhibition weekend. I did manage to take a few photos though.



The Adelaide Model Railroaders operating their HO scale American switching layout called Central Industry Park. The layout uses NCE DCC.


An operators view of the Central Industry Park.


Traffic on the road bridge through the Central Industry Park. The bridge is a “Scale Scenes” card kit downloaded from the internet and built by one of the members of the AMR.


This gravel crushing plant, on the Central Industry Park, scratch built during the 1970s by the late Len Opie received a lot of interest by the viewing public.


One of my favourite layouts was  HO scale Kapunda. Here we see a 930 hauling a grain train past the silos.


Kapunda: 847 passing the goods shed.


830 class loco a small Alco again on Kapunda.


The HO scale “RJ Corman railroad co West Virginia cluster” used NCE DCC. The owner told me that it was based on a plan called the Virginian that was published in Model Railroader. It was an 8X4 with an add on.


Lakeside was the HO scale layout entered by the Noarlunga MRC. It was a very busy layout with lots to look at on it.


For the first time at the AMRE lego exhibited. The group was called “Southern Bricks”. I was impressed by this station done in Lego.


The South Australian Railway Modeller’s Association always impress. This year was no different with their large HO scale layout “Strathburn” Here we see the stonie headed by a 930 while another 930 class Alco is at the platform with a train of Centenary cars.


N scale: One of the ships on Triple T.


Another layout that I particularly liked was the OO scale “Eyarth” exhibited by the British Railway Modellers Australia.








A beautiful little layout was Gavin Thrum’s OO scale “Lampwick Lane” This layout was an L shaped layout going about six feet on each leg of the L.

Also I did take some video.


Please do not forget the NMRA convention

A4 Poster Convention blue background


Above convention website.

Cheers Ken.