February 2021 operating session



After a short briefing the session we got under way with John as the main road crew, Rod Kanunda Yard Master and part time road crew and myself hostler ( staging operator) and part time road crew.

This format seems to work quite well and makes for interesting operating sessions which are not stressful. All went well. Just a couple of minor loco problems. All the paper work was correct this time so that helped. We did get through most of the schedule which is designed for four operators and a controller. Rod ran the down Myrtle Springs goods, a first for these reduced numbers sessions. The Up Mt Gambier goods was a combined run. I ran it out of staging, Foster, to Kanunda where Rod took over doing the required shunting then driving the up Mt Gambier goods to Cooper staging.

Even though I had the up Roadside goods made up it was not run and the tank train was not run as well.

All in all a good effort even if we do say so ourselves. We three certainly enjoyed the session.

503 about to spot diesel fuel tank wagon at Kanunda. Up Myrtle Spring goods is in the yard after being run by Rod.

John, foreground, at work in Emu Flat while Rod operates at Kanunda

Ken shunting the transfer goods in the staging yard.

949 the loco from the roadside goods shunting at Emu Flat.

Shunting at Emu Flat

842 has arrived with the down Myrtle Springs goods in the staging track for Myrtle Springs.

961 & 942 two red 930 class locos shunting AHGX wheat hoppers at Emu Flat.

Shoving hoppers up to the wheat silos.

950 and 937 are powering the down Overland past 949 which is shunting the down roadside goods at Emu Flat.

I have a video of this session on my You-tube channel. if you wish to watch it please go to

Thanks and cheers


January 2021 Operating session




Thanks to Paul and Sol for coming along. I am still having reduced numbers sessions at least for the start of 2021. How long for I can not say but hopefully I may be able to gradually increase step by step.


Since the last session, November 2020, I have completed the silos which now stand at Houseman on the Southern Central RR, the Adelaide Model Railroaders’ layout.

As far as the Maranalgo goods shed goes. It has had some hand rails added. These came from an old OO scale pedestrian bridge that was given to me. Also it has been painted. There is still more work to be done on it.


The session got under way in good time with Sol as Hostler and running some of the “run through” timetabled trains. Paul was the road crew that ran most of the stopping trains. I was Kanunda yard master and also ran branch line goods trains.

In this reduced numbers mode of operations more load than usual is placed on the yard operators because they have trains to run as well as their respective yard work. Of course it is not expected that we will actually complete the full schedule. Another consideration is keeping socially distanced. This means that yard operators have to be really on the ball. There was three occasions where trains travelling through the crossover at the western end of Kanunda derailed because I “dropped the ball” and did not return that crossover to normal. Fortunately these derailments were minor and trains were running again quite quickly.

Another occurrence was 858 on both the down and up grain extra took off uncontrollably on the section of track between the upper Bindieye Creek bridge and the level crossing. On Wednesday I checked my decoder record book and saw that I had entered 0 into bit 3 of CV29 to disable DC running. I wondered wether that was the correct thing to do on a Digitrax SDNX136 decoder so I looked up Digitrax’s instructions on their website which has a table for the various functions that CV29 performs. This table does not require going into the individual bits of CV29. So I put 858 on the programming track and found that I could not read CV29. All the other CVs worked fine but not CV29. All I got from CV29 was “error 2” ,can not read. So then I reset back to factory settings, 8 into CV8, and reset all the CVs that I have altered. This time I was able to reset CV29 from default (6) to 2 which according to Digitrax’s table should disable DC running. So we should not have run aways from 858 any more.

We were getting near to the end of our two hour session when the Mile End Kanunda transfer arrived at Kanunda being driven by the hostler (Sol). I was surprised to see that its consist was three wagons for Cooper (Mile End). The transfer had just left Cooper. And two wagons from Foster for Kanunda. 

The three wagons for Cooper that arrived in Kanunda from Cooper on the Transfer goods.

These two open wagons from Foster arrived in the Transfer goods from Cooper. This had the Kanunda YM (me) scratching his head.

It turned out what had happened was that when re-staging from the previous session I had put the up roadside goods cards in the transfer goods’ box and the up roadside goods’ cards in the transfer goods’ box. Causing  the Transfer goods to depart Cooper with the wrong consist and the up roadside goods to depart Foster with the wrong consist as well. My mistake.

How did we fix it? It was getting late so we left it. All we had time left  was for the up roadside goods to shunt Wooldowie.

Above: The up roadside goods had just finished shunting Wooldowie when time was up.

Above: At the end of the session 503 was making up the down Myrtle Springs goods in Kanunda yard.

Above: Also shunting at Kanunda at the sessions end was 847

Above: Also noted after the session was over two wagons in Foster staging that the down roadside goods had picked up at Kanunda and was supposed to set out at Wooldaowie and Emu Flat.

Having said all of that most of the session went very well. I seem to have made a big thing out of a few mishaps in this report, but taken over all the session was enjoyable. Perhaps there was not quite the usual sense of achievement because a few wagons were out of place. Sometimes wagons were sent to the wrong destinations in the real world. If it were too easy we would not enjoy as much.

What happened over the next couple of days after the session? Of course I reset the decoder in 858. I spent about nine minutes real time bringing the shunting at Kanunda up to date. Then I completed the up roadside goods’ run to Cooper. I ran the down Myrtle Springs goods. I left the wagons for the up Mt Gambier goods in Kanunda yard. I normally put those cars back in the Kanunda yard because the Up Mt Gambier goods is always over length when leaving Kanunda and over length trains can cause problems when the grandsons want to run trains.

I also ran an extra using 858 to send RX 9014 and AOWS 3155 to Wooldowie and Emu Flat respectively. See below:

Thanks Paul and Sol for an enjoyable and interesting operating session.

Cheers Ken.

November 2020 operating session




Since last month I have added, on the second attempt, fascia to the curved roof ends of the new Maranalgo goods shed.

The red card is the fascia. Also the corner of the shed wall had been filled with polyfilla.

Also on my work bench is a grain elevator for the club’s layout.

This long structure which will be made of card and PVC pipe and will be a background structure at the rear of Houseman yard on the Adelaide Model Railroaders layout the Southern Central RR where it will ship out wheat in 40’ box cars.


The crew during this moths session was Road crew Paul, Hostler and through train operator Sol, Kanunda Yard Master and branch line goods operator myself.

At the last session David threw out a challenge to this months operators. Last month we go as far as running the up Mt Gambier goods even though the up roadside goods only made it as far as Wooldowie.

This Tuesday just as we were about to start right on time, 1930 hours who should call Sol on his phone? None other than David. I am wondering if that call was a cunning ploy on David’s part to delay the start of the session so that his record would still stand. Well he did delay us for a few minutes.

When we finally got away all trains ran well and the layout performed well. I am afraid to say that I let the side down somewhat with a bit of rough shunting in Kanunda yard and forgetting to reset Sandiman Switch, twice running now, sorry to say Sandiman could now be permanently Ken’s. Sol dropped seamlessly into the K&EFR operating system but Paul did have a little trouble remembering where everything was after the layoff but still acquitted himself well. Sol has an advantage here because of how many other layouts that he operates on.

Regarding David’s challenge: Sol did run the up Mt Gambier goods but this time Paul completed the up Roadside goods’ run right through to Cooper as well arriving soon after the up Mt Gambier goods.

Once again immersing myself fully in operations I did not have any opportunities to take photos during the session. So I took all these photos Wednesday morning. The first three are of how the session finished then some staged photos.

Staging yard. In track two the up Mt Gambier goods with X54 and 940 in the lead. 949, B end forward, is in track four with the up roadside goods.

The only train not run was the down Myrtle Springs goods seen here made up in Kanunda yard with 842 and five goods wagons.

Shunt engine 503 still had quite a few wagons left to set out at Kanunda at the end of the session.


840 ready to depart Maranalgo with an up goods. It has picked up an open wagon of firewood from Sol’s Firewood and a van from the goods shed.

S301 and G511 hauled the Melbourne Jet this session. Seen here passing through Wooldowie.

The overall scene of Maranalgo and Wooldowie with the Melbourne Jet leaving High  Moutain tunnel and the up Maranalgo goods ready to depart Maranalgo.

930 class 949 picking up the empty explosives van from Penstone Quarry while shunting the up roadside goods at Emu Flat.

Another enjoyable session on the K&EFR

Cheers Ken.

October 2020 operating session


For Tuesday October 13 on the Kanunda & Emu Flat Railway

Another reduced numbers session. We will probably carry on with these for the next three months at least.

Thanks to David and Peter for coming.


The new goods shed at Maranalgo is progressing. The platform is built using beer carton card board. I covered the sides of the platform with stone paper printed from a PDF from Clever Models. The walls are also beer carton card covered with BGB corrugated card.

Above: At Maranalgo a truck waits to collect goods that have been received into the barrel roofed goods shed from the D van sitting in the goods siding.


After a short pre-session briefing the session got away on time with Peter being the road crew. The other two jobs were made up of some mainline running as well as yard work. David was the Hostler and myself Kanunda Yard Master.

I had issues running my first train the up Overland which stalled while passing through Emu Flat for no apparent reason shutting down the whole layout. Some sort of short? I ran the same train twice around the layout Thursday morning with out a problem. So I am no the wiser as to what happened Tuesday night. You can never really replicate the conditions of an operating session solo.

Then later while running the Maranalgo goods I forgot to reset Sandiman Switch resulting in David driving the Melbourne Jet down the branchline. Later David did admit that he noticed my mistake. So I was a victim of a little light hearted karma. The layout owner should not make elementary mistakes like that. Once we got those two incidents out of the way the rest of the session ran very well. Later David got to run the up Mt Gambier goods. One more train than we have run during the two previous reduced number sessions. Early in the session I managed to set up my camera on video while shunting the up Myrtle Springs goods at Wooldowie. After that I did not get a chance to take a decent still shot so the photos below were staged after the session.

Link to the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc03Clj02So&t=78s

Above: English Electric 500 class 503 has just picked up the empty loco fuel tank wagon from loco refuelling and now 503 is about to pick up the open wagon at the end of the Kanunda repair track. These two wagons will soon be put in the up roadside goods when it calls at Kanunda to be sent back to Adelaide (MIle End). This did not happen because this is where the session ended.

Above: Victirian S301 and South Australian 940 depart with the up Mt Gambier goods from Kanunda on the run down to Cooper after picking up a cut of wagons at Kanunda. This was the last train to run this session.

Above: Running at the same time as the up Mt Gambier goods was the up roadside goods that just made it to Kanunda but no further. 930 class 949 arrived at Kanunda running B end forward where as up roadside goods it would have set out two wagons and picked up five including the two RX reefers.

This was another enjoyable operating session. Thanks to David and Peter. It was a chance for me to hone my somewhat rusty operating skills.Usually I am the controller so I do not have the opportunity to grab hold of a throttle.

Cheers Ken.

August 2020 operating session



Another operating session with reduced numbers to allow social distancing.


After three months of working on structures for the Southern Central RR, the Adelaide Model Railroaders layout and cutting up a big heap of cardboard strips for scenery on the SCRR last week I finally got round to beginning to do something for the K&EFR. 

I am going to replace the small goods shed at Maranalgo. So far I have made the barrel roof. I glued a piece of cereal box card over a balsa frame. Then I glued BGB corrugated card over that.

GS roof

Above: The barrel roof for a new small SAR style goods shed for Maranalgo.


This session followed the same format as the July session. This time Rod ran the up Overland then the Myrtle Springs goods before he got stuck into the Kanunda Yard master job. Also Rod ran the Maranalgo goods and the Kanunda – Mile End transfer at times that suited his YM duties John started with the down Mt Gambier goods, doing the set outs at Kanunda himself. John then ran the Livestock train to Maranalgo. From there on John ran the Stonie and all the other pick up trains. I took on the hostler job as well as running the down Overland, the Adelaide super freighter, and the two Jets.

The session ran very smoothly. No one forgot to reset Sandiman Switch so it still remains Ken’s switch. I think that Sandiman Switch has gone through the whole gamut of operator names now. 

A couple of interesting occurrences. With this system the down roadside goods arrived at Kanunda early and Rod was not ready with the three wagons to be picked up. He did manage to find the two vans for Emu Flat for the down roadside to deliver. Leaving the reefer for Wooldowie because he knew that the down Myrtle Springs goods also shunts at Wooldowie. So the down Myrtle Springs which usually has plenty of capacity was a little longer than usual.

The other occurrence was that Rod sent the Kanunda – Mile End transfer down grade with 840 a Powerline 830 class. All well and good except that 840 can not pull six wagons and a brake van back up the 2% grade to Kanunda. It only made it with a lot of wheel spin and a little helping hand. That is why 840 always handles the two or three car Maranalgo goods.

Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 10.30.38 AM

Above: Myself, foreground, running S310 and X49 into the engine shed after they had finished their duty on the down Overland. Rod can just be seen in the distance shunting Wooldowie with the up Myrtle Springs goods while John, to the right, looks to be just departing Kanunda with the down Mt Gambier goods. Just over my head a corner of the mirror can be seen. This mirror allows crews to see their trains arriving and departing Cooper staging from the other side of the backdrop. 

Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 10.31.09 AM

Above: 858 is moving a van from the goods shed so it can spot the cattle cars at the castle pens. This is the small goods shed to be replaced with the new barrel roofed goods shed.


Above: 949 travelling B end forward with the up Roadside goods reached Wooldowie just as our two hour session was up. This was the same as the July session. Just this train incomplete and three others to run.


Above: The scene at Kanunda at the end of the session. 842 in the passing siding is ready to depart with the down Myrtle Springs goods. The wagons in track 1 and 2 are waiting to be picked up by either the up Roadside or the up Mt Gambier to be taken on to staging,Cooper. This was further advanced than I got during the July session.


Above: Another view of 842.


Above: All of the Kanunda motive power was put away in the engine shed at the end of the session.


Above: Foster staging at the end. C507 and 940 were ready to depart with the up Mt Gambier goods before the session ended but did not get underway.

So ended a most enjoyable operating session.

Cheers Ken.

July 2020 operating session



Thanks to Paul and Sol for coming along to this reduced covid 19 social distancing operating session.

We have not had an operating session since March 3 due to the covid 19 lock down. I decided to restart with a smaller crew to allow for social distancing.

I only made one deletion from our usual sequence and that was the Emu Flat passenger. 

Sol took on the role of Hostler which the carried out as we normally would but with the exception that he would run four of the time tabled through trains, Adelaide Superfreighter, Melbourne jet, down Overland and the Adelaide Jet. The idea being that he would stand at the end of the peninsula with the controller and Paul and I would make sure that the turnouts were set correctly. This went well except for when Paul pulled into Kanunda with the down roadside goods just before the arrival of the Melbourne Jet and, I, Kanunda YM at the time, did not reset the cross over at the up end of Kanunda causing the Jet to collide with the brake van on the roadside goods. 

Having Sol as hostler the road crew jobs and Kanunda yard master had to be shared out between Paul and myself. Paul took the first train,between Paul and myself. Paul took the first train, departing Cooper at 0606, the down Mt Gambier goods, departing Cooper at 0606. The down Mt Gambier goods stops at Kanunda to set out a cut of cars. At 0608 I departed Foster with the up Overland which arrived back in staging first allowing me to run the up Myrtle Springs goods. When I arrived at Kanunda I took the YM’s job as previously arranged. The YM’s job was also to run the Maranalgo goods and the Kanunda Mile End transfer goods. I soon found out that it takes concentration to be a road crew because after shunting at Maranalgo I forgot to reset Sandiman switch. Paul was quick to rename Sandiman switch Ken’s switch when the down roadside goods started going down the branch to Maranalgo.

I then returned to shunting Kanunda. Made up and ran the Kanunda Mile End transfer and shunted the various trains that Paul ran through Kanunda that needed shunting. I did not make it out onto the road again. I do believe I could have been somewhat more efficient at shunting. For instance after I had shunted the adjoining industries Laucke Mills and Athol Freezers I left a reefer and a van sitting on the main line with out realising until I got to the crossover at the end of the loop and had to go back to retrieve them, quite some distance. Also when making up the down Myrtle Springs goods I put the brake van into track 5 first meaning that it would have been at the wrong end of the train so that caused me some rearranging.

When Paul ran the Mile End Kanunda transfer goods back to Kanunda I still had not spotted all of the wagons going to the Kanunda industries. Soon after that time was up. Paul had finished shunting Emu Flat with the up roadside goods and was about to depart Wooldowie. So the clock saved me from the embarrassment of having the up roadside goods arriving at a clogged Kanunda yard.

While I was stuck in Kanunda working as the YM Paul ran the grain extra, the stonie, the down roadside goods, the livestock train and the up roadside goods from Foster to Wooldowie.

It was never expected that the three of us could manage the complete sequence in two hours. However I thought we did pretty well. All that was left to run were the last bit of the up roadside goods’ run, the Oil train, the down Myrtle Springs goods and the up Mt Gambier goods.

We all enjoyed the session. I now have more respect for the efficient way Rod manages the Kanunda yard master job. 

P1060003 (1)

949 with the up roadside goods at Wooldowie at the end of the session.


Kanunda at the end of the session. The Mile End Kaunda transfer goods is in the passing siding. In the distance in front of the silos is the brake van at the wrong end of the first two wagons for the down Myrtle Springs goods.


On the Thursday after the operating session I completed the shunting at Kanunda. The transfer goods has been put away. The down Myrtle Springs goods has been made up in correct order in track 5. Shunt engine 503 is waiting for the arrival of the up roadside goods and the Mt Gambier goods to clear the yard. It took me 1 hour 48 minutes fast time (27 mins actual time) to complete the shunting at Kanunda.


Also at the end of the session the Cooper MPC was the home of an all Victorian fleet.


One unusual experience this session was when I was shunting the up Myrtle Springs goods at Wooldowie. Auscision 830 class 842 suddenly started running in the reverse direction that I had it going. Paul had accidentally dialled it up on another controller. After that the number lights on the A end started flashing at a fast rate and would not reverse along with the headlight as they should. I was unable to change this phenomenon during the session. After reading the instructions for 842 on Wednesday I discovered that if two directions were applied at the same time to the Locsound select decoder that was factory fitted to 842 you could get erratic lighting effects. I have not been able to cure the flashing number lights but I have found a good enough work around. It turns out that F7 (function 7) turns out the number and marker lights but not the headlights. So 842 will run without number or marker lights for now. 

I will wait to see what covid 19 restrictions are in place next month before deciding what form, if any, next month’s operating session will take.

Stay safe stay well.

Cheers Ken.

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.