Sunday, January 28, 2018

12 Wheeler up-date


        The 12 wheeler shipment made up of the MAL sleepers, ACS composite cars and AB dining cars was picked up from Port Botany on the 19th of January and four of the seven pallets which made up the shipment were delivered to the Eureka offices that day. Due to a lack of space three pallets are currently stored at Eureka's cargo clearance facilities until space becomes available at the Eureka offices later this week (around the 1st of February).
        These three pallets include all the spare bogies and under-frames so these will not be available until around the 1st of February. They will only be available through the Eureka Office.  
        By the 1st of February all of the orders for the carriages will have been packed and posted. Any orders not received by that date should be followed up at the Eureka offices.
       Concurrent with the post out, stock is also being delivered to retailers. Demand has been such that some retailers are already on their second and third re-orders.
        The release of the Eureka MAL, ACS and AB cars has sent many of us back to the archives to locate evidence of their rostering at various periods.
        The rostering of the ACS cars because of the nature of the cars (the ACS is fact a complete train in one carriage) is quite interesting and as an example is reproduced here for the year 1964.
ACS Rosters in 1964

11 Sth Cooma Mail            Fri, Sat                            Car 2 to Goulburn,
form 11a Mail to Canberra

9 Sth Through Mail          Tues, Fri                           Car 1 to Young, detach Harden
                                          Thurs                               Car 1 to Young, detach Harden,
                                                                                   Car 2 to Tumut, detach Cootamundra

5 Sth Mail                        Sunday                              Car 1 to Young, detach Harden

49 West Forbes Mail       Sunday                              Car 6 to Grenfell, detach Blayney
                                         Tues, Thurs                       Car 7 to Cowra, detach Blayney
                                         Friday                               Cars 7 and 9 to Cowra, detach Blayney

63 West Mudgee Mail      Sun-Fri                            Car 6 to Binnaway

71 West Pass                    Saturdays Only                Car 8 to Mudgee, detach Wallerawang

13 Nth Glen Innes Mail      Sun, Tues, Thurs, Fri    Car 7 to Barraba, detach Tamworth,
form No.1 Barraba pass with CR

With the delivery of the MAL/ACS/AB cars, work on the next cars in the 12 wheeler series will be stepped up.  A TAM will be certain (variation not determined yet) but the other two cars are not yet selected with a number of candidates putting themselves forward. More news later.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

MAL/ACS/AB 12 wheeler progress.

Assembly of the latest group of 12 wheelers, the MAL sleeper, ACS composite car and AB dining car is now complete and the finished models are expected to leave the factory in the coming week.

More shots from the 12 wheeler assembly line.

Shipping details will be available shortly but it is likely that the 12 wheelers will arrive around the second week of January.

The 12 wheelers will be available in individual packs. Price is $150 per carriage plus $15 postage per order.
Also available is a number of the popular 3 axle bogies and a number of spare chassis complete with bogies and KD couplers.   
Our last run of 3 axle bogies were released with the NCR sets and sold out almost immediately.
Price for the bogies is $25 per pair and the chassis is $40 per complete chassis.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Old Friend Returns:

The MV Cosco Rotterdam is due in ShangHai in the next few days to load cargo bound for Australia. This cargo will include the balance of Eureka's 40 class production run which is predominantly the "with sound" units together with the "non-sound" units not forwarded previously by air.
The Cosco Rotterdam is expected to sail from ShangHai on the 13th of October and is due in Port Botany on  Thursday, the 26th of October. This should see the 40 class delivered to Eureka's offices on Monday the 30th of October.  Distribution will commence immediately starting with those modellers who have confirmed both the details of their orders and their current address.
Distribution of the non-sound units has reached the half way point. Not all engine numbers were received in the first shipment so the complete distribution of non-sound units will have to wait until the sea shipment is received at the end of October.. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

 Liverpool Exhibition here we come.

 A pallet of non-sound 40 class waiting transport to Shanghai airport for on-forwarding to Aus.

Assembly of the 40 class at the factory is almost complete. Unfortunately, anything sent by sea now would not arrive in time for the Liverpool Exhibition. To have at least something for the exhibition, the above pallet of non-sound 40 class has been forwarded by air and is due to arrive at Kingsford Smith on Monday the 18th of September. They should be cleared through Customs by the end of that week.
Distribution will start immediately but there will be a good number of units available at Liverpool.
The "with sound" 40 class and the remainder of the non-sound units will be sent by sea and depending on shipping dates should arrive in Port Botany around the 21st of October. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Meanwhile back in the Decoration Department.

      Whilst the assembly of the 40 class attracted most of the attention on our recent visit, across the corridor in the Decoration Department the 12 wheelers (MAL, ACS and AB) are the centre of activity.
      The accompanying photos show two pad printing machines in operation in the Decoration Department printing on Eureka's MAL/ACS/AB carriages.
      Photos 1 and 2 show a one colour machine being used to print the belt lines on a 12 wheeler. In photo 1 the locating inner can be seen. In photo 2 the operator places a carriage body onto the inner, presses the operating pedal and the printer head through a process that I do not fully understand, picks up the ink and locates it precisely as required on the side of the carriage body.      

Photo 1                                                                                          Photo 2

Photo 3
       Photo 3 is interesting for several reasons. This machine is a three colour machine. The carriage body is placed on the locating inner as with the one colour machine. The slide visible at the bottom of the photo then locates the carriage body at the first position where the first colour is applied, then the slide moves to the second position where the second colour is applied and so on to the third position.
       The second point  of interest (to a Westerner) is that the operator is female. There is very little discrimination in China between men or women as far as employment is concerned. This operator and her male counterpart on the single colour machine are skilled workers and would be earning considerably more than workers on the assembly line. Whilst the eureka staff were at the factory a labour dispute was taking place which when resolved saw both pad printing operators receive increased pay.    
       The Eureka 12 wheelers have now completed their time in the Decoration Department and are now waiting their time in the Assembly Department. September is expected to see this happen and so delivery of the 12 wheelers should take place in late October/early November.

       Spare complete chassis's and more spare six wheel bogies will also come with that delivery.

      The pre-delivery price is now finished. The price for the MAL/ACS/AB carriages is $150 per car. 


Sunday, August 13, 2017

      In our last post it was pointed out that the Eureka team was about to head off to the factory in China, partly to escape from the extremes of winter weather then being experienced back home.
      On this point alone the trip succeeded beyond our wildest dreams when we exchanged Sydney's  winter conditions for the most extreme summer heat which Nanjing and its environs were suffering at the time of our arrival.
      In the seven days we spent in Nanjing the day time peak temperature was over 42 degrees C every day. Two days of site-seeing were made extremely difficult by the heat.
      Fortunately as the accompanying photo shows, the factory was well aware of the problems posed by the heat and deployed a sophisticated array of equipment to improve the working environment of the staff in these extreme heat conditions.
     Unfortunately, the impact of the deployment of these advanced cooling devices may not have achieved the desired outcomes as whilst we were there the assembly line staff placed a ban on the daily hour of scheduled over-time because of the difficult working conditions. 

      Fortunately though, largely due to the heroic endeavors of the workers on the assembly line the 40 class is now almost complete with only the fitting of the sound decoders remaining to be carried out. The decoders have arrived in China from the manufacturer in Canada and will be fitted and tested this coming week.
      Half of the total shipment will then be air-freighted to Aus with the remaining half following as normal by sea.      
      The Eureka staff took the opportunity to bring back three models from the production line (see accompanying photos).


Monday, July 17, 2017

Type 1 vs Type 2

More photos from the factory this batch featuring the Type 1 and Type 2 variations in the green livery.


Type 2 -side view
Type 1 - overhead. Notice cooling vents and stack position.

Type 2 - overhead. - Notice stack position, lack of cooling vents