June 2020

No operating session on the K&EFR during June.

I have been working on projects for the Adelaide Model Railroaders

Because I combined two kits to make the rolling mill for the AMR I was able to use left overs from the kits and items from my store of “useful parts” to make a small shed from which to ship ammonium sulphate a by-product from coke making.

Ammonium sulphate

Also I made some track cleaning implements for the AMR to use. I use these with Kerosine to clean the track plus a four dobs of Whal hair clipper oil around the track on the K&EFR to good effect.

track cleaning

I made a You-tube video about the use of these implements.

Cheers Ken.


May 2020

Another month without an operating session.

However I have been building a structure for the Adelaide Model Railroaders layout “the Southern Central RR”

Below are progress photos of my build of the Rolling Mill for the steel mill on the SCRR. The rolling mill is a Walthers kit.

Rolling mill 1


Rolling mill 2


Rolling mill 3


Rolling mill 4


Rollingmill 5


Rolling mill 6


Rolling mill 7

The completed Rolling Mill is 32 inches long.

APRIL 2020

There was no operating session held on the Kanunda & Emu Flat railway this month and all operating sessions have been suspended until social distancing rules have been revoked.

However I have completed the Walthers electric furnace that I have built for the Adelaide Model Railroaders. After consulting with then AMR’s industry committee I decided to call the steel mill RHP Steel co after three club members who got this project started. I have called it converter no 2 because it is used to convert iron to steel but it would be unusual for an integrated steel mill to only have an electric furnace. It would have a basic oxygen furnace or perhaps an open hearth as well as the electric furnace which would be used to produce specialty steels. So At RHP Steel no1 converter would be a BOF which we do not have the space for so by naming the electric furnace converter no2 it is implied that there is another converter which would be a basic oxygen furnace.


Above the completed RHP Steel converter no 2.

Other club members have built the Blast furnace and coke ovens. I have just begun work on the rolling mill and that will complete the main structures for RHP Steel co.

Stay safe and keep well

Cheers Ken.

Operating session March 2020




I an still working on the Walthers electric furnace for the club layout’s steel mill. See below.

P1050647 (1)

Also I made a brick signal tower to be used a stopper for one of the Adelaide Model Railroaders layout’s lift-up bridges.

AMR newsletter 2-20

Above: The signal tower at Atkins on the Southern Central RR. I made a video of how I built the signal tower.


The March session got away on time with David as road crew number one and Peter road crew number two, Rod was the Kanunda YM, Sol Hostler and myself controller.

All of the time tabled trains ran fairly well on time despite a few mishaps this session. We could not repeat two perfect sessions in a row.

The first mishap happened to the Adelaide Super-freighter when it was in Kanunda. The transfer goods had an order to proceed to Cooper, stating that the train order would not come in to effect after the departure of the Adelaide Super-freighter, but the transfer goods driver did not read his train order properly, and set off before the Super-freighter, derailing on the cross-over at the western end of Kanunda which had been set for the Super-freighter to proceed through on the main-line. The transfer goods coming out of the yard. It was not too bad a derailment and the Super-freighter was only held up for a few minutes.

Later Peter S drove the Adelaide Jet up into the Kanunda engine shed. Peter has done this before so this move has become known as doing a Peter S. Once again the Jet was only delayed for a few minutes.

For some unknown reason 961 on the down livestock train derailed coming into Wooldowie.

Sol did a great job as Hostler. He said that the secret to the hostler’s job is to to keep on top and think ahead. Gating the Up Roadside goods out on time is always a challenge. Sol set out it’s cars in track 4 well ahead making this job quicker. Sol also pointed out to me a couple of errors in the hostler’s train list.

All of us enjoyed the session which finished on time so we were able to relax and enjoy our cake and tea or coffee.


Above: 846 arrives at Wooldowie with the Emu Flat passenger while 842 shunts wagons with the up Myrtle Springs goods.


Above: Kanunda: 840 with brake van is sitting on the passing siding after returning with the Maranalgo goods.  949 with the down roadside goods is coming to a stop in the passing siding. The roadside goods will set out and pick up wagons at Kanunda. 


Above: 949 and the roadside goods have pulled up and are checking their way bills. At the far right 840 can be seen escaping through the yard heading to the kanunda MPD.


Above: 840 and brake-van escaping while 503 shunts the Kanunda goods shed.


Above: YM shuffles way-bills while the roadside goods driver moves his train forward.


Above: 949 moves forward to set out three wagons in the Kanunda yard.


Above: The down Overland has arrived and overshot the platform while 949 picks up two wagons.


Above: 949 must quickly move the two wagons back on to the roadside goods before the Overland departs. We can see the Overland’s driver intently looking at the fast clock.


 Above: Now 949’s driver can take his time shunting at Emu Flat after the frantic action at Kanunda.


.Above: 961 has detached a cattle wagon for Kanunda. 503 is waiting to take hold of the CS cattle wagon which it will place at the cattle pens. As usual there is plenty of wagons in Kanunda yard.


Above: At last 961 propels it’s last three cattle wagons to the cattle pens at Emu Flat.

So we had another enjoyable and eventful session on the K&EFR. Even though similar trains are run each session no two sessions are the same.

Cheers Ken.

Operating session – Feb 2020





Above: Peter K has been experimenting with making trees for the Adelaide Model Railroaders layout from dried flowers from his garden. To make these pines trees Peter applied green flock to the dried flower stems with cheap hair spray. He gave the first fifteen to me to try for appearance and durability. Nine of then trees are in this photo. I will show the other six in other photos.


Above: I have made a little bit more progress on the Walthers Electric Furnace kit that I am building for the Adelaide Model Railroaders.


February four was the first session for 2020 after a two month gap. We had six operators, Sol road crew 1, Peter S and John road crew 2, Rod as per usual Kanunda Yard master, David Hostler and myself controller.

We got away to a some what late start after the computer used for the 4 to 1 fast clock shut down incorrectly. I accidentally knocked out the plug while starting the clock. Fortunately this hiccup did not flow on for the rest of the session. Once started, the session ran really well. All locos ran very smoothly. We only had one derailment after someone forgot to reset the crossover to normal at Emu Flat after passing through it. That event caused the Melbourne Jet which left Cooper right on time to arrive in Foster a few minutes late. The only variation to the advertised time tables. All cars and car cards finished in their correct spots. 

Last session we decided that whoever took the Hostler job should always do two consecutive sessions. The idea being that by the second session he should have a better handle on the job and hopefully remember the job better he next time that he is required to be hostler. That idea seemed to work even though it was two months since the last session. David was able to remember some of the more difficult moves that the hostler is required to make so he did have a better handle on the job. This helped to make the session the success that it was. 

This session we rescheduled the down Myrtle Springs goods to depart from Kanunda before the up Roadside goods departed from Foster instead of vice versa. The reason being to allow the hostler more time to prepare the up Roadside goods for departure.

It appeared that this change only moved the problems over to the Kanunda yard master. What happened this time was that when the controller issued a train order to the down Myrtle Springs goods’ crew headed

Train no 403  engine 842

at Kanunda


Proceed to Myrtle springs

Shunt at Wooldowie

The down Myrtle Springs goods’ crew , Sol, said “what am I to shunt at Wooldowie I know that there are no pick ups at Wooldowie and I have nothing to set out there.”

I knew that the down Transfer goods recently  had brought a wagon into Kanunda that had to be forwarded on to Wooldowie. The down Myrtle Springs goods passes through Wooldowie on it’s way to Myrtle Springs. It appears that the Kanunda YM had insufficient time to get Wooldowie loading on to the earlier departing down Myrtle Springs goods. I feel that it should not be the controllers job to make sure that the consist of trains is correct. Result being that we will revert to the original order for those two trains. The up roadside good crew will have to remain patient for their train to be prepared by the hostler. These two trains are among the last four trains of the session and there is plenty of gap before the last train, the time tabled Up Mt Gambier goods. Sometimes if all has gone well as happened Tuesday there is a half hour fast time wait before its departure of 1334 from Foster. 


Above: Three of Peter K’s pine trees in the back ground. Trainorama 830 class, number 858, arriving at Maranalgo to pick up loaded cattle wagons. The green open wagon is an idler wagon to be placed between the brake van and the smelly cattle wagons for the return journey to the abattoir at Gepps Cross.


Above: The other three pine trees are on the hill behind Footner cottage at Kanunda. 858 has picked more cattle wagons at Kanunda and is now headed to Cooper (staging) from where it will proceed to Dry Creek yard and finally the cattle wagons will arrive at Gepps Cross abattoir.


Above: 938 a Lima dummy and powered Austrians 705 power through Wooldowie with the loaded stonie.


Above: Maranalgo, and Powerline 840 on the Maranalgo goods is about pick up an open wagon of mallee roots from Sol’s Firewood. The empty WAGR open will be left to be filled with mallee roots.


Above: The late running Melbourne Jet after derailing on the incorrectly set crossover at Emu Flat.


Above: The two locos on the Melbourne Jet seen crossing Five Mile Creek are green BL29 a Powerline model fitted with a Fiddle Yard mechanism and Orange and Grey G511 a dummy Powerline loco. Behind the train is Penstone limestone quarry and in the distance Rod can be seen yard mastering at Kanunda.


Above: The down roadside goods has arrived at Wooldowie.


Above: Austrians X54 and Lima dummy 950 on the Adelaide Jet cause the down roadside goods to pause it’s shunting at Emu Flat while it proceeds through on the main line.


Above: Auscision 830 class 842 sits in the yard at Kanunda waiting for the down Myrtle Springs goods to be made up by the Kanunda yard master.


Above: Engine and van (EV) Lima dummy 930 class 942 and Trainorama 961 pass through Wooldowie on the mainline on the way to Emu Flat where they will begin the run as the up grain extra to Gillman Yard (Cooper staging).


Above: 961 and 942 on the up grain extra run around the AHGX wheat hoppers that they have picked up at Emu Flat to pick up another four AHGXs at the Wooldowie silos.The AHGX hoppers are cheap Powerline hoppers that I have kit bashed.


Above: Trainorama 930 class Alco, 949 running B end forward passes King Forrest and the Cooper Motive power centre as it arrives back into Cooper staging with the up roadside goods.

The session ended a little before 2200 hours. Then operators enjoyed tea or coffee and some cake. All in agreement that it was an enjoyable session.

Cheers Ken.


Dec 2019 operating session video pt 3


The K&EFR is a fictional fourteen kilometre stretch of the mainline between Adelaide and the border with Victoria. This line then carries on to Melbourne.

This video picks up the session about half way through. 

Mustard pot 830 class 847 on the transfer goods has just taken six wagons from Kanunda yard back to the west end staging representing Adelaide and environs. After the Hostler ( staging operator ) has exchanged loading the transfer goods will return to Kanunda with another six wagons.

Then the down roadside goods arrives at Kanunda, from Cooper (staging) and sets out loading for Kanunda and the Myrtle Springs branch. At Kanunda the down roadside goods also picks up for stations further down, Wooldowie, Emu Flat and Foster. Then it travels on to Foster setting out and picking up at Wooldowie and Emu Flat. At Foster (east end staging ) the Hostler will exchange the roadside goods loading before it returns to Cooper (west end staging) as the Up roadside goods.

Following the roadside goods is the grain extra from Cooper which sets out wheat hoppers at Kanunda, Wooldowie and Emu Flat. Then returns to Cooper as an up engine and van. 

The up Tank train travels through from Foster to Cooper.

The down Myrtle Springs goods is made up at Kanunda and sets out loading at Wooldowie on it’s way to Myrtle Springs via Jimba Jimba Junction.

The up Mt Gambier goods the last train)  stops at Kanunda to pick up loading for Adelaide (Cooper)

Not shown in this video is the Adelaide Jet a through train which departs Foster at 1044 hours.

I hope that this explanation helps to understand the video.

For a track plan and more information please look at about the Kanunda & Emu Flat railway above.

December 2019 operating session part 2



The session started at 0600 by the 4:1 fast clock. Part 2 of this video series picks up the action at 0720.

0720 the down livestock train 325 departed from Cooper (west end staging). It originally came from Dry Creek yard Adelaide with four empty CS cable wagons from the Gepps Cross abattoir. 325 sets out two cattle wagons at Kanunda and two at the branch line terminus of Maranalgo. Then it returns as 326 up engine and van (cab hop to some) to Dry Creek via Cooper (staging). The cattle wagons will be loaded next day (next session) and will be sent to the Gepps Cross abattoir via Cooper. 

0747 the down empty Stonie train 301 departed from Cooper. It originally came from ICI chemicals Osborne Adelaide soda ash factory. It travelled to Emu Flat where it dropped off the empties and picked up a train of loaded hoppers for the return journey via Cooper as 302 up Stonie.

0821 the down Maranalgo goods train no 405 which was made up at Kanunda departs Kanunda for Maranalgo. After shunting the goods shed and Sol’s firewood it returns to Kanunda as up Maranalgo goods train no 404 with the loco B end forward, that is, long hood forward.

0903 Melbourne jet departed Cooper. The Melbourne Jet is a fast down through freight travelling from east end staging (Cooper) to west end staging (Foster) with out a stop.

0931 Adelaide super freighter departed Foster. The Adelaide super freighter is an up fast through freight travelling from east end staging to west end staging.

The through trains above travel between Adelaide and Melbourne.

For more information and a track plan please look at “about the Kanunda and Emu Flat railway” above.

Dec 2019 operating session Video



All of the times shown on the video are from the 4:1 “fast” clock used during operating sessions.

To help understand what went on. The session started at 0600 (6am) “fast” time. 

The first train on the layout was 313 the down Mt Gambier goods which is said to have come from Mile End yard in Adelaide. 313 departed Cooper (west end staging) at 0606. 313 is a through train that has only one stop on the layout, Kanunda, where it sets out a cut if cars. From Kanunda it proceeds around the layout until it reaches Foster (east end staging), from where we assume it proceeds on to it’s destination at Mt Gambier in the south east of South Australia 466 Km from Adelaide.

102 the up Overland is the daily interstate passenger train that has departed from Melbourne and enters the layout through Foster at 0608. 102 is a through train that only stops briefly at Kanunda before proceeding to Cooper (east end staging), from where it is considered to be heading to Adelaide after its about 750 km journey from Melbourne.

The Mt Gambier goods and Overland are run to time table along with six other trains. All of the other trains which carry out shunting duties are run as extras using train orders.

The first of the extras is 402 the up Myrtle Springs goods which departs from it’s dedicated staging track and proceeds to its destination Kanunda carrying out shunting duties at Wooldowie on the way.

119 the down Emu Flat passenger (local timetabled passenger) comes from Adelaide and on the K&EFR it departs Cooper at 0655. 119 travels to Emu Flat stopping at all stations arriving at 0713 and after the loco has run around the train at Emu Flat it departs at 0725. Then as 120 up Emu Flat passenger it travels back to Cooper stopping at all stations arriving at 0742. 119 down Emu Flat passenger normally crosses 402 the up Myrtle Springs goods at Wooldowie.

The final train shown is 202 Adelaide Jet a fast through freight that does not stop on the layout. 202 runs to a timetable. It has travelled from Melbourne entering the K&EFR at Foster and is heading to Adelaide through Cooper.

For a track plan of the K&EFR please click on “About the Kanunda and Emu Flat railway” above.

Cheers Ken. 

December 2019




The Kanunda & Emu Flat Railway has been contracted to build some structures for the Southern Central  Rail Road. That is I have volunteered to build some structures for the club’s (Adelaide Model Railroaders) layout.

The first one that I am attempting is the Walthers Electric furnace. I was wondering what I had let myself in for by the time I got to step two. Step one said glue two pieces No 4 together, making part of the rear wall. Then the instructions said glue two pieces No 5 together, so far so good until I discovered the two no 5 pieces were too small to complete the wall. After examining the other wall pieces I discovered that two No 6 pieces would be a perfect fit to complete the wall. After that all that I have done so far has gone according to the instructions.


Above shows my progress so far on the electric furnace. Building these structures will take up most of my limited modelling time so for some time only essential maintenance will occur on the K&EFR.



Firstly thanks to all the operators for putting up with me videoing the session. I had three cameras going one being Ray’s (Wild Creek RR) Mobius mini camera shown on a Wild Creek flat in front of the Adelaide Jet as it passes Penstone Quarry while crossing one of the bridges over Five Mile Creek.. I got so much video recorded that it will take ages to get through it all.

We had five operators, Peter and Sol were the road crews, Rod Kanunda Yard Master, David Hostler, and myself Controller.

As usual we had couple of issues with the paper work. I had to retire C501, I think one of my solder joints on its stay-alive capacitor has broken. I replaced C501 with X54 and forgot to exchange loco cards. Then Peter got 119 the down Emu Flat Passenger and could not find the timetables for it. I had dropped them into the Livestock train’s box by mistake so really nothing major.

X49 on 102 the up Overland had a minor derailment on Sandiman Switch but still arrived at Cooper one minute early without apparently having to hurry. I wonder what speed it was doing as it approached Sandiman Switch. This was the only derailment all night.

Every thing seemed to run quite smoothly on the main. The Hostler job (staging Operator) like most yard jobs is fairly complex. I have been rotating that job around each session. But David pointed out that if operators had at least two sessions in a row as hostler they might get a better grasp of the job. So I think that it would be a good idea to give that a try.

While on the subject of the Hostler he is always under pressure near the end of the session when turning the roadside goods around. This session the hostler had the car card box for 310 the up roadside cards while noting it’s a cards. So the next road crew took 405 the down Myrtle Springs goods box out of order. Train control was setting up a camera and failed to notice that the Myrtle Spings goods was departing Kanunda earlier than usual. Train control needs to be more on the job. Any way all went well and the Hostler had more time to make up the up roadside goods. So I think we will change the sequence next session allowing the down Myrtle Springs goods to depart before the up roadside goods departs.

The up roadside goods forgot to set out the explosives van at Penstone Quarry his excuse being that it was mixed up with Cooper loading. Sometimes that has to happen because explosive vans and tank cars must not be coupled next to either the engine or brake van and can not always be in station order. Fortunately Penstone Quarry had a stock pile of explosives. 


Above: BL 29 and 940 cross Five Mile creek with 206 the Adelaide super freighter.


Above: A quiet time at Wooldowie.


Above: 840 arriving at Maranalgo with 405 the down Maranalgo goods.


Above: English Electric 503 shunting at Kanunda.


Above: Happy operators, Rod, Peter, and Sol. 


Above: David the hostler, in his domain, setting the turnouts so that 327 the up grain extra can depart Cooper

Finally I have been making good use of Ray’s mini camera. Below is the link to a tour of the K&EFR from the point of view of a HO scale train driver.

After finishing the session on time we all sat down to enjoy a cuppa and some cake.

Cheers Ken.

October 2019






Nothing to show this month. During recent operating sessions C501 has been unexpectedly dying. I have been blaming, dirty wheels, dirty pick ups, dirty track, overheating but have not been able to solve the problem until this last month when I decided to bight the bullet and take the top off of C501. I then discovered that a wire had broken away from the decoder, one of the wires to the capacitor, this being a sound decoder, an N scale one at that. I had to peel back some of the plastic shrink wrap that covered the decoder then look through a magnifying glass to make sure that I found where the wire came from. I also compared it to X49 which has the same Digitrax decoder. The wires on these decoders are quite stiff so I expect that is why it came off also I had curled it round a tight bend. I tried resoldering the original wire with no success so I found a piece of more flexible decoder wire and was able to reconnect the capacitor with that. I test ran the loco with the top off and it ran fine but after I put the top back on it still stopped. So I removed the top again and found the other capacitor wire had come off. I then replaced that wire with more flexible wire resulting in problem being cured and I can report that C501 ran fine on Tuesday night.


There was six of us at this session. Road crew 1 was Sol and Paul, road crew 2 was David, Kanunda Yard master Rod, Hostler John, and myself Train control.

The session got away quite promptly. Almost immediately Sol and Paul found a problem with the paperwork. Their train 313 the down Mt Gambier goods had S301 in front yet their timetable said BL29. It turned out that the pack for 313 had two time tables in it, the correct one saying that the lead loco was S301 and the time table for the last session saying that the lead loco should be BL29. I thought I had lost that time table during restaging. So it did turn up. Once again the superintendent has managed to confuse the operators.

David’s first train was the up Overland which derailed on Sandiman switch. Perhaps X49 was not on the track right from the start and decided to finally derail at that point. Any way the result was that the up Overland arrived at Cooper four minutes late.

During the session the comment was made a couple of times that Sol and Paul were getting all the “easy trains” and David was doing all the shunting. To me it is interesting to see how each session pans out. I think that most times whoever starts with the down Mt Gambier goods will get most of the through freights. These trains are easy but can be somewhat boring. The crew who takes the up Overland at the start of the session will almost always then get the up Myrtle springs goods followed by the down extra grain or stock to Maranalgo. And who ever gets the Maranalgo extra will usually end up with the Maranalgo goods. Some operators enjoy the puzzle shunting at Maranalgo is others seem to stress out when they get those jobs. From my train control desk near Maranalgo it is interesting to see the different approaches to shunting there. You would not believe how many ways that small area can be shunted. I think it is great for an operator to get to work there because Maranalgo is at the end of a short branch where they will not be disturbed by passing trains. From then the crew who selected the up Overland usually get the roadside goods both down and up.

The crew who takes the down Mt Gambier goods as their first train usually takes the Stonie which will involve shunting at Penstone Quarry Emu Flat. Then they take some through trains before taking the extra grain or stock to Emu Flat with involves picking up or setting out at Kanunda, Wooldowie and Emu Flat.

So I suppose that if you want a lot of shunting take the passenger train (up Overland) first up. 

John seemed to struggle as hostler. He was “volunteered” into that job by train control he not having done it since November last year. It is a job that one needs experience to really do efficiently. Also it did not help that the superintendent decided to change the line up in staging tracks seven and eight placing two trains in each of those tracks. John was already under the pump when David arrive at Foster with an unusually long down Roadside goods. When shunting at Emu Flat David picked up all the ‘pick ups”. His instructions say to only pick up wagons going down (to Foster). This meant that when he handed the train over to John, the hostler, John had to send three cars back to Cooper on the up roadside goods. To help John out the controller took on the job of shunter at Foster but while he did some good work and saved some time he put the brake van in the wrong spot resulting in a couple of extra moves causing much hilarity among the onlooking road crews who were being held up.

This hold up altered the normal flow of the session. Usually the crew bringing the down roadside goods into Foster takes the up roadside goods away from Foster. This time after David brought the down roadside goods in the up roadside goods was taken out by Sol and Paul who still did not get a lot of shunting because David had done all the pick ups at Emu Flat so the up roadside goods had an express trip all the way to Kanunda.

The hold up with the roadside goods also caused the last train of the night, the up Mt Gambier goods, to run 30 fast minutes late.

After an interesting and enjoyable session we broke for tea or coffee and home made biscuits.


Above: 846 with the two carriage Emu Flat passenger train is in track seven of staging and is one of the trains assigned to a different track this session.

The goods wagons in track 6b are from the transfer goods and arrived via Cooper. The wagons in track 5b are from the roadside goods and have arrived via Foster.


Above: For some reason I was unable to get the photos I took during the session off the camera’s SD card. So I posed all these photos after the session. Here 930 class Alco 949 travelling B end forward is arriving at Cooper with the up roadside goods.



Above: BL 29 and 940 pass over the upper Bindieye Creek bridge as they arrive at Kanunda with the up Mt Gambier goods.


Above: C501 and G511 lead the Melbourne Jet across Five Mile creek.


Above: Wednesday, during re-staging the Stonie has been re-staged. The loaded hoppers have been placed under the stone bins just as they were shunted during the operating session. Now 705 and 938 will be ready to depart Cooper with the empty Stonie next session.

Cheers Ken.