In the cold of Winter…

Posted: June 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

Everyone knows the stories of cold Russian gulags, and Siberian winters. Well, Lithgow winters are a bit of a pain too, I must admit. Although we get less snow. Seen from this side of the ocean, Russia seems like a wonderland, of winter, of unusual cultures… and bloody BIG trains.

I’m kicking into second gear at the moment, trying to work out what will be the next purchase. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my 2M62, its great! I especially love the lights in the “dummy” unit – run it “B” end forward, and the headlights come on. Run it “A” unit forwards, and two red lights come on. Super!

I’ve gotten my first Modela wagon, per the last post earlier today, and I am impressed with the build quality, the detailing, and overall feel of the wagon. I am unsure if its actually a resin or plastic model – I suppose it doesn’t matter until I drop it. It also didn’t come with couplers, but with NEM standard coupler sockets, fitting two Marklin Relex couplers was a snap.

The colours of the wagon, also, are good. Now I’m not an authority on Russian prototype, I’ll leave that to the Russians, but this equipment I’m getting from Russia seems well made, and if they aren’t as per prototype, I’m unable to detect that from various pictures I have on my computer and issues of Lokotrans I’ve bought.

The idea here is to have two “mixed” freights, from recent pictures, these still seem to run in Russia, a block container freight, and a passenger train. Of course, this is standard gauge only, narrow gauge is a different kettle of fish. I’m thinking about modifying some German prototype wagons for the Russian narrow gauge, at least initially.

Track laying is also going well, as most of you would’ve seen from the photo, I’m using “unconventional” underlay – vinyl flooring underlay. Additionally, I’m using Peco rail tacks to affix the track to the baseboard. Eventually, I’ll paint the underlay between the tracks, and see about some kind of detailing – that isn’t high on the list of priorities at the moment, getting the second loop laid is.

I have my brickworks coming in the mail, additional today was the bricks on pallets for the brickworks when it arrives. These’ll be scatted liberally around the brickworks, and also on wagons and on the backs of trucks. I’ll need a forklift, won’t I? I might also need more bricks haha. Always something else, I guess, I need more couplers too.

What I have found, however, is two of my Marklin wagons have DC wheelsets – reducing the number of axles I need from 32 to 24. Assume cost per axle is $4, total $96. Thats a damn shade better than $128, and that will be the upper limit of the cost, I was told “three dollars and something cents.”

Chris has also contacted me (Hi Chris! www.redstarrailways.com) and I’m going to see about a couple of TEM2s. One will be per Russian Railways livery, the other will be something else: a Sibur company locomotive, in light green/ dark green/ light grey/ white. I can’t get the decals done, but thats ok, simply having the loco in the livery will be wonderful.

Just ignore that chimney coming out of the side of the loco – it does get cold in Russia, and I can imagine the driver would like a hot cuppa!

As for my next purchase, I’m going to leave that one over for the time being – I have my eyes on a couple of things, but we’ll see how things pan out. There is always the world economy to consider, if Greece/ Spain show signs of strengthening, the Australian dollar could dip against the Euro, forcing my hand on a couple of things. We are, at this point in time, quite good against the Euro, and great against the Pound. However, against the Greenback, we’re a little lacklustre.

Yes, who would’ve thought buying so many damn things overseas would see me liking to watch the currency market…?

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