Sunday, April 10, 2011

We havvada gooda news and de badder news.

First off the good news.....
The 38 class locomotive must sit close to the top of peoples list of locos. I remember when the first brass 38 was brought out by the Model Dock Yard in Melbourne all those years ago. I don't think I was even earning a wage at the time to even contemplate buying one.
In the later years I succombed to the Lima effort? for a 38 class. They were on the noisy side and just didn't look as good as they should. So when it went for a run on the layout I figured once it got about four or five metres away from the panel I was driving from I could no longer see it and even better couldn't hear it. Unfortunately having a circular route layout it eventually returned and I saw and heard it again. Another good reason not to have very solid baseboards is that when the loco didn't move you could bang the layout side and off it would go. (Along not off).
Things got a lot better when eventually DJH added the 38 class to their range of models. Again I was reluctant to purchase a model as I already had a DJH 30T (which got assembled by someone else), a 36 class (which I sold when the Austrains model came out) a 32 class (which I sold when the Trainorama 32 came out) and a 50 class which I now regret selling as no replacements have come out.
Then next to arrive was the Eureka 38 class. I'm not sure why I didn't get one of these. Could have been the plastic boilers or did 38's really run down the coast as far as Bega??. What I liked though about the 38 was that sound was an option and if I had bought one this would have been the version.
I also missed out on the later brass 38's namely those built by Mansfield. These were certainly a vast improvement on the Dockyard models in every regard. Again I don't think a painted option was available, you just got the goldfinger model and had to go find someone to paint it up for you. I wasn't going to practice my first effort at spraypainting and lining on a 38 class.
Then it so happened that one of our group had decided to change scales from HO to O and had a partly completed DJH 38 class. Having no further need for it, I purchased it with having a kit builder finish it off for me in mind.
I contacted a few contacts (thanks Brad) and he suggested I contact an assembler on the Central coast. He was OK to do it and the model was dropped off in January. Not only could he finish assembly but was OK to paint and line.
Following on from 3801, 3813 and 3830 the fourth most popular 38 surely must be 3827. I'm not sure why this loco was better than all the others but legend says so. The previous owner John had this number picked out, so as I knew I wasn't supposed to use the numbers 3801 to 3805(inclusive) (That wouldn't have stopped Bob Cooke) I went with the flow and picked 3827 as well. Does this make you sad in a way for all the other numbers that don't get picked? Who out there has picked 3829 or 3816?
Anyhow, I got a call last Sunday that the loco was ready and so it was delivered as a selection of photos below will show.

So when I finally got it on the track and kicked in the throttle away she went. I felt that I was actually excited to finally have a decent 38 class added to the South Coast roster. I reckon only having one 38 class on the roster books is a great idea. All the love can now be concentrated into the one engine. Those of you readers out there with one of every number of every class of loco that comes out. How can you share the love between them all. Reminds me of people with say 15 kids. What was you name again young man?

Its not only me that appreciates the new addition but I believe the loco crews at Bega are now trying to swap rosters for a drive on her.

I am also at a dilemma at the moment as apparently the kit doesn't come with a suitable headlight insert. (dumb as eh) So at the moment it is only rostered onto daylight runs. Anyone out there got any suggestions for a suitable headlight?
Another thing I need to add is a tender full of coal. Not a problem as I have a supply of real coal at hand. The load trials have yet to be completed and I'm sure of plenty of volunteer Bega crew who will do the job. Just putting this metal boilered loco on the track deems it to be a better hauler than the Eureka model. Time and tests will tell.

And the bad news..........
Well it has been quite a few weeks since the fotopic site has gone off the air, possibly for good. I used this site (along with many hundreds of others I suspect) for many photos on South Coast Rail. How time flies when I last noticed that I first used this site from August 2006 to post photos on.
This site was also the birthplace of the "other side of the tracks" where a more risque style of cartoon was able to be presented. (including cruelty to animals -giraffes and tunnel mouths).
I think there were a few hundred varied layout shots taken. So now move onto the badder news..........
And the badder news............
So when the fotopic site had gone down, I thought I still had the shots on the hard drive or so I thought until I got home from work one day.
My IT man (son) had told me there was a burning smell coming from the computer. Not knowing much about the insides of a computer, the only thing I know about burning chips is in the kitchen when the oil is too hot and they come out crunchy. No the bad news was that the hard drive was gone to God.
So you are all saying out there "SO you have a backup right?" Yes I was going to get one next week (but never did). So I have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I have lost a lot of files I was working on.
As luck would have it though, through the constant swapping and updating of computers I found a lot of photos I have been taking of South Coast Rail back to 2002 but there seems to be a gap in some of the recent year or so.
The folder with the "Other Side of the Tracks" was nearly complete. I was hoping to bring out a CD of them in the future when I got to 100 of them. Nearly up to 50 at the moment.
So I hope this hasn't happened to you out there. The hard drive has been replaced with two one teradactyl bite drives that means an exact duplicate copy is saved to each hard drive. So hopefully I have learnt the hard way and hope this dosen't happen again.
I might start up a hard drive backup company for railway people.
How about I call it "The Three Toots - Back Up Company"?


  1. Bob

    Perhaps some of you readers have downloaded some of your photos, how about asking?

    Ray P

  2. Hi Ray,
    I have found photos on another computer from early 2000 up to October 2009 and nothing from there. I still have quite a lot on the camera card.
    Just have to take some more sometime.

  3. G'day Bob,
    The headlight - MV lenses make a perfect fit. Lloyds used to sell them, might have to look OS now. See my blog ( ) for a pic of it. You'll also notice I picked a non celebrity number in 3822.

    Speaking of 3822, the owner, a certain workmate of mine, you know the one who suffers from the "one of each number of each class" syndrome you mentioned, down loads pretty much every model pic of NSW outline on the internet. He assures me your site could be rebuilt from his collection !

  4. Hi Gary,
    thanks for the tip on the headlight.
    Have spoken to that work collegue of yours and he reckons he can help with a few shots

  5. G'day Bob. In 2008 I downloaded your pictures from fotopic. I have zipped them up and uplaoaded the file if you want them.


  6. Albert,
    And a great big thank you. I have just copied them over.
    Maybe you knew fotopic was going to crash!!

  7. Like the photos ,nice bridge and station area

  8. Crackin' job on that 38 Bob--you should be a proud owner! What did it burn on the trials without coal in tender?

    You've learned the lesson about backing up the hard way. I lost family photos of my first-born son from age 3 to 6 months due to a crash. Since then, I'm religious about it. The iMac I purchased last fall has a great auto-backup program called "Time Machine;" along with that, I back up all my photo and other files automatically to two other drives, one of which is traded out with a third drive each week I keep off-property (in a locker at work). I hope my Department of Redundancy Department is working overtime to keep me up to date!