Monday, April 9, 2012

Victorian Railways Rail Tractor (RT)

Hello everyone.

Apologies for not updating this as often as I should. Difficulties in obtaining a reliable internet connection at home makes it hard to keep regular updates. Less of that and onto something much more FUN!!

I have started building a Victorian Railways Rail Tractor (RT). Lots of great information and pictures can be found on the internet of these wonderful little vehicles.

The RT came in many varieties and I am modelling one similar to that shown below. The photo below was taken 11/4/77 at Rosedale, Victoria by Rob O'Regan. More photos can be found at

My next task was to obtain as much information as I can about the RT I was modelling especially dimensions. Fortunantly two such RT's are in static preservation at easily accessible stations. One was Trentham (15RT) and the other (17RT below) at Healesville. I spent two hours one rainy Friday morning measuring and photographing 17RT to ensure I can build it as accurately as possible.

Ok, time to start. Im starting with the chassis first. The side and end beams are made from 25mm square box steel cut in half. These were cut with an angle grinder with a thin cutting disc. The side beams came out a litle uneven but a sand with a flap disc smoothed this out. Learning from my mistakes I clamped an old (straight) metal ruler to the end beams and used this as a guide. The result was a smooth straight cut. The box tubing did flex a slight amount but a tap with the hammer quickly fixed this. The beer in this photo did not contribute to the uneven cut!!! ;-)

Next I welded the four beams together. It wasnt as simple as that. I spent much of an afternoon at a mates place trying to work out how to weld ensuring the side and end were aligned at 90degrees. In the end we made a jig to ensure the sides and the ends were straight during welding. This took some time but the end result came up great, not to mention was quite fun!!

Next I cut out some 1mm mild sheet steel for the deck, again using the metal ruler to ensure a straight cut. Came out great!!

I am currently ordering some goodies from Rail Craft. These include:

- 4x laser cut W irons

- 4x axle boxes

- 4x bearings to suit axle boxes

- 4x dummy leaf springs

- 4x buffers

These plus the axles and spoked wheels I have at home should see the chassis rolling very soon.

Following this I hope to get the cab laser cut.

Keep an eye out as I hope to get the RT done for an exhibition I am attending with Paul (and his amazing layout Orbost) this July. This means the pressure is on and should make for some good ongoing blog updates.

Take care and Happy Modelling!!!


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