Project 3 - Freelance Work Wagon HOn30

By Bob Dow

Many of the narrow gauge railways of Queensland have additional rolling stock items apart from the sugar related stock. These range from simple work wagons, weed cutters, ballast wagons, tankers of various sorts and other odd items (portable toilets on wheels are not unknown). In this project the construction of a freelance work wagon - typical of some of the improvised wagons of the mills is described. The wagon is a combined ballast and worker transport wagon (see photo  and   plan ). It is a basic flat wagon with seats, a roof (to keep off sun and rain) and a box for transporting ballast, bits of wood or other odds and ends. High speed was not a characteristic of these lines.

Construction as follows:

Flat wagon

Superstructure - Roofing

Ballast box

At this stage it is best to paint the wagon. A suggested colour scheme would be buffer beams yellow, flat wagon grey, roof superstructure and ballast box red. Fit bogies - most N gauge bogies are suitable eg. Atlas, Kadee. Fit couplers - MicroTrains 1025 N gauge couplers are most suitable. Add a suitable seat and people and glue into position. Glue roof into position.

It is not unknown for local people to hitch a ride on the cane train to town. In photograph "Granny" can be seen waiting patiently for the loco to finish picking up some more bins and heading off to the mill.

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