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JULY 2013

Above; Visiting loco C53 with train was one of the visitors  for the Frank Roberts Memorial Running Day!

June 30th AFR hosted a special running day to remember one of the pioneers if not the pioneer in 1/24 NZR modelling not to mention the inspiration to the few who are trying to carry on in this scale! 30 or so members of the CGRS turned up (a very good showing) pictures of the day can be seen here at {Picture Gallery}.

YES!!!! The valve gear on {Ja1268} has started, not alot to report but I can say that next month the valve gear will be completed!! 

You may have noticed that a banner has appeared at the top of the page, this is to publicize the up & comming 150yr of New Zealand Railways. Please visit this page to see a bit of history & the events planned to celebrate this occasion.

Last but not least remember that the Timaru Train Show is this month there is a link on last months update!!!

See you all there!!! 



JUNE 2013

Welcome to Junes update, just like May this month is all {Ja1268} with all the detail being added to the left hand side. All the detail is on the loco so that & the tender is ready for the undercoat but that won't happen until I get some photos of the complete loco in its raw form!! 

Above; Left hand side with all its detail, ladder to the sand-dome, westing house pump & injector!! 

Now next month will be the make or break point of the model with the valve gear on the go!! 

There is an up & comming train show which I will be attending http://timarutrainshow.co.nz/ in July, I am toying with the idea of displaying some of the NZR models as part of the 150th year of New Zealands Railways. So until next month happy Modelling.


MAY 2013

Mays update is all based around {Ja1268} with detail being added to the right/hand side, you realise when doing this how something so small can take up so much time! 

Another alteration was made to the railway with 2 train running on the mainline discontinued, I re-wired the electrics to use the inside loop as a back shunt for the yard. This way one person can make up trains & shunt while the other operator runs his mainline train. Have had a running day & it seems to work out really well!! There are also plans afoot for a loco depot inside which will also be operated on the yard controller. 

Above; One of those small detail items, the main steam valve.

Ashburton Forks Railway Workshops has been doing some odd jobs for 2 other railways, the 1st was to machine the inner flange of a LGB track cleaner for the Lincoln Greenbelt & Broadfields Railway. The 2nd was an air reservoir for a C-18 locomotive for the Lincoln & Southbridge Division of the Denver Rio Grande Western Rail Road. It makes nice a change to do little jobs for others to help them out & that is what the hobby is all about. 

Hopefully June will bring the detailing on the Left/Hand side!!!


APRIL 2013

Welcome to the April update, well its been a busy month but not in 1:24! Have been in the middle of renovations. But the good news is that {Ja1268} has been moved inside for the winter months to be worked on. A bit more detail work has gone on with air reservoirs & back cab detail being made, hopefully more will be done for Mays update.

Above; Ash collector is in the final position under the smoke-box, to the left is an air-reservoir which fills a gap but not alot of the tank is seen! (less tank or big gap??).


MARCH 2013

BEST MONTH EVER!!!! For visitors to the web site, comming in 1st- is New Zealand, 2nd- USA & 3rd- our close neighbour Australia & of course the rest of the world all over, helping get the numbers up to where they are this month!! A big thanks goes out to you all who follow the goings on of the AFR.

Above; Side detail of the fire-box with the safety valves, hand rail & boiler washouts in place! 

March has been the month to give {Ja1268} a bit of a hurry up on the on the work bench with things starting to take shape in certain areas! There is also a technique {From the Workshop} which involves making boiler wash-outs & handrail stanchions. That is about all to report this month it has been all Ja.

 Until the month of April Happy Modelling!!!




1, 2, & 3 Strikes, Your Out!

The site is now with a new host as we were let down yet again by the old host, they say a New Year is a good time to start a fresh!! So fingers crossed for the New Year!!

Well I don't know where that month went, but it has been a busy one here at the AFR with the arrival of a new loco & 2 items of rolling stock for the {Thomas & Friends} Yup you guessed it Emily, S C Ruffy & the new brake van. These models that are being produced for the Thomas range could be altered to a English prototype with out to much trouble. 

I am please to say that work has been progressing on {Ja1268} with a cab roof having been made & riveted in place & detailed!!! Also the {PNR Tanker} has been finished so a productive month in the workshop, I only hope it continues!!! 

  Above; Time has caught up with some of the plants in the garden as they have out growen themselves so this called for drastic action & it is amazing how smallish plants can produce such a masive root systems!! 

I can safely say that there will be more to report on the building of Ja1268 next month, but until then may your modelling be stress free!!!     




Happy New Year to you all!!! I hope you had a great Christmas & Santa was kind to you all, as he was to me!! The railway has had a busy month but not on the modelling side, we have hosted a meeting for the Christchurch Garden Railway Society {Shows & Events}, had a family visit the Railway from the North Island & a European running day {Picture Gallery} so the tracks have been kept clean all month for a change & in between we have had a lovely family Christmas!


Above; The Santa Special!! This was run with the new rolling stock that Santa left, the last 2 items on the train were under the tree so this makes up a nice little passenger for the AFR. (Until or if I build some NZR ones in the future!) 

Now I have done a bit more on the {PNR Tanker} not as much as I would have liked though but it is still progress! I am ashamed to admit that the Ja is still sitting in the same position as last month with a little dust starting to settle on top of the boiler, so I made a New Years Resolution!!! I have a date in mind for the completion it may co-inside with the NZR 150years celebrations!!! If not it should make the 12 months time...




Finally I have started my 2nd Philippine National Railways rolling stock item, it takes the form of a tanker progress can be seen here {PNR Tanker}. Have spent the last month in think mode over Ja1268 as I have to sort out a couple of problems that I have struck, it involves the fixing of the boiler etc to the chassis & getting the mounting points in the right place, sometimes it pays to think things through in stead of rushing in & taking it apart later!!  

Above; Was going back through all the old pictures & found this of Q17 on the ole layout, I think this is one of my favorites!!

   K-Line Irrigation arrives at the AFR this was a spare of the moment project to see if it could be done or not results can be seen {From the Workshop}

Ashburton Forks will be hosting the December meeting of the Christchurch Garden Railway Society so should have some pictures of that for the next update until then keep on modelling!!!! 




What a busy month we have had with the Big Model Train Show in Christchurch & the 2 day running display at the Plains Railway. Both had great attendances with alot of interest being showen in the hobby, once again that cheeky little tank engine was the favorite with the younger generation! Pictures of these 2 events can be seen here at {Picture Gallery} it was ashame that the weather had turn bad on the 2nd day of the Plains Railway display but were pleasantly surprised by the number of people that braved the conditions. 

Above; Ab730, Ja1268 & Dg2330 on display at the Plains Railway for Ja1260's 60th birthday, this small table of locos created alot of interest.

Well enough of the away events what has been happening back at Home??? Things have been progressing well (amazing what presure a Train Show has got to get things done!) {Ja1268} has had alot of attention to the front, working out mounting points for the cylinders to the chassis & the front cowlings have also been fitted! (Now it is really starting to look like a Ja) I have not forgotten about the Philippine tanker, I hope to start this next month as I feel we need another project to feature on the updates as the Ja is taking up quite a bit! I only hope I have the time to do this.




Well its"s here October, the busiest month for the AFR first off 6th & 7th is the 

{Big Model Train Show} in Christchurch then Labour Weekend October 21 & 22 where we are putting on a display at the Plains Railway. We have been busy preparing for these to events so not alot of modelling has gone on but next update Ja1268s boiler will meet & sit on the chassis, this is in progress now & hope to have this done for the Sunday of the Chch show as I can't get there on the Saturday due to other commitments. Below; A new arrival, something I thought I would never get a European loco but how things change!!! It is a LGB Rugen Shortline with factory sound, a great little loco.

A few pictures have been added to the {Picture Gallery} of a European running day that was held as a test day for locos that have had work done on them over the winter months! Well I better get on & get a few more things ready, this has been the most rushed update but should have more updates on projects that are taking place & some pictures of the 2 events next month, until then keep modelling!!!




Welcome to this months update, most of which will consist of {Ja1268} the pressure is on to get it to a standard to display at the {Big Model Train Show} in Christchurch so fingers crossed! (Un-Finished of course) My time has been split in 2 in the last month or so helping to get the Clubs Memorial Layout up & running, I'm happy to say that the working bees have been well attended & that goal is in sight. See you there at the Show!!! 

Above; 1268's Chassis out on the Mainline for a test run!


October 21 & 22, Labour Weekend! Ja1260 is celebrating her 60th Birthday & will be in steam over the 2 days. We have been approached to put on a display, a rough track plan has been drawn up & is looking good! Trains will be running, displayed & a TV will be showing a picture show of Garden Railways.

A new link has been added to the {Links} page, The Fence Line Railway! It is definitely worth a look!

Above; The crossing module that I have been working on for the Club is in place with more scenery needed to be done! One big boo-boo is the road, this done for New Zealand driving on the left but the crossing bells supplied by a fellow club member are American, for driving on the Right. So I am going to extend the double yellow line across to fix! One of the joys of modelling the world of Railways or Railroads??????

Til next month keep those trains running.





What a month! 

Ashburton has had its Bi Annual Trains on the Plains, once again we were there with a display of locomotives & a TV set up playing a slide show of the railway & on going projects! This was well received by the public & exhibitors, a visit is being planned for the next one in 2014 for the exhibitors on the way to dinner at the Plains Railway!! 

Above; As a result of the show the Railway had a visit, come special run on a Thursday afternoon after work for a Grandad & his Grandson, with in no time he mastered the train running & once again I was out of a job.

{Ja1268} has also been getting some long awaited attention with the back pony truck been completed, a head light has been started which is being very tricky indeed! One of the Christchurch Garden Railway Societys modules has ventured south to the AFR for Railway Crossing fitting. Below; As you can see not a straight section of track in sight!!! A great spot for a level crossing, most of the project is complete, will do the scenic work at the Club working bees.

Until the next up-date, lets keep Modelling out there!!




JULY 2012


The month of June has been a mixed bag with lots of little catch-up jobs being done, special running day & SNOW!! Not forgetting my oldest Daughters 6th Birthday.

Above; June 6th saw 3 inches of snow fall here on the AFR, on the roster that day was the 2000 class for plow duty!

The railway has had a good month for new arrivals with 2 locos being added to the roster, 'White Pass' has now got a foot hold on the AFR with the LGB Alco & a LGB 0-4-0 diesel switcher! This prompted a special "White Pass Alco" running day, with 3 different liveries being run, pics can be seen here {Picture Gallery}.

{From the Workshop} Features some maintaince on Bridge No2s walkway, Ja1268s trailing truck is slowly progressing with the main frame being constructed with detail being added this month. I have also been working on one of the Clubs modules constructing a level crossing over 2 tracks, a station platform has also been mentioned but time will tell! The Railway has also had to purchase for the new Aristo-Craft Train Engineer a BASE STATION TRAIN ENG. PWC TO LINEAR unit to add in line so the LGB sound units & locos can run correctly, after these were wired in everything ran faultlessly. 



JUNE 2012

What a difference in the weather this month, winter is here! So much so, that the Railway has opened a 2nd Workshop, up in the house in the spare room as it is to cold down the Shed. Plus I seem to be getting a bit more done as well as looking after the kids! 

This month I have succeeded in doing some modelling on {Ja1268}, also a couple new arrivals for the   {Thomas & Friends} page. Plans are also in the pipe-line for a new Philippine wagon to go with the Caboose, it is the tanker as Below; I hope to use an Aristo-Craft tank car for this model, but if any one can help me out on some basic measurements so I can get a bit of an idea of the length etc please contact me!

operator@ashrail.com Thanks in advance.

Last of all for this month an update on how the site is going, May 2012 has had its biggest amount of visitors since we have been going so a big THANK YOU must go out to all of you the people who take an interest in the Ashburton Forks Railway, on that note see you all again next Month.     

MAY 2012

Well, best laid plans & all!!! Another month gone by with the Ja still sitting in the same place & believe it or not the weather is to blame! Below; Due to the great weather for this time of the year the last big building project for the Railway is now finished, a BBQ/Viewing-Deck out the back of the shed with a bridge linking to the gazebo-decking!! 

The railway hosted the Hood family, the eldest boy is hooked on the hobby which is great to see, it is also good to see that the hobby is still hooking the younger generation!! He started in Ho scale now he is out in his Mothers garden, lets say "Land-scaping it!" 

Above; The Hoods 0-4-0 Aristo-craft switcher hauling 2 of AFRs box cars! This is a great little loco & looked right at home on the railway.

AFR also had a Photo Day!!! This came about through a thought "how would a non-railway person photograph the railway?", my work mate Dave Barker (who takes great family portraits!!!!) was roped in for the challenge, some of the results can be seen here  {Picture Gallery} . See you all next month!!



APRIL 2012

Above; The AFR's NZR steam fleet to date, 1st time the 4 locos have been captured in the same photo!

Welcome to Aprils update!! {Q17} now has her own page so completing all the builds on the existing locos. {Ja1268} has received some attention as well with cowcatcher, main side rods & funnel being built all not before time!! I'll tell you something for nothing Diesels are a lot easier to build! My aim for next month is the front pilot truck, if time allows??? Until then Happy Modelling!!!



MARCH 2012

It has been a slow month modelling wise but alot of thinking has been done to solve a couple of issues the Ja has presented!! Anyway, Dg2330 visited the Rocky Creek Railway in Christchurch {Picture Gallery}, we also made a trip South to Gore to repatriate a rack of NZR wagons I made 8 or 9 years ago so that has increased my NZR wagon fleet to a nice size.


Above; Dg2330 arriving at Aickens on its visit to the Rocky Creek Railway!

Ja1268 has been worked on with a funnel been made, cow-catcher/front head stock & work has started on the main side rods, more on this next month as I am not sure if the rods are going to be a success!!

Above; F72 takes charge of the repatriated rake of NZR wagons, 7 La's & a Xa. They need a wee bit of a touch up with a few minor repairs done then they can enter service!

I hope next month is more productive then this one, modelling wise!!! Until next month Happy Modelling!!!




Been a busy month for the Railway with BBQs & running days. We saw the New Year in with trains running into 2012 with friends & family all enjoying the night! We also had 2 families from Timaru visit with all the kids taking turns at running trains & of course Thomas was the main attraction! The following day I had time to myself with F72 having a run, as below & more pictures of the running day in {Picture Gallery}We were also lucky enough to be included in the layout tours for the New Zealand Garden Railway Convention 2012 hosted by the Christchurch Garden Railway Society {Shows & Events}.

{Ja1268}'s boiler now has a steam & a sand dome plus boiler bands! So things are starting to progress there as well. The rock face in the shed has been fine tuned with bushes being added & they are even appearing in the ballast {Inside Layout Construction}.

Above; Visiting LGB Train from Chch, this is the first time a model of an electric loco has run on the railway & no I am not going to put in over-head wires!!!




Well I hope everyone had a great Christmas & Santa was good to you all!!! 

The {Yj Hopper} is finally finished & has entered service so that brings the Yj construction technique to a close. (will have to think of another project now].  Ballast has been graded, layed & glued in place on the inside main line & loops. Paint has also been splashed around to tidy things up a bit as well all can be seen here {Inside Layout Construction}. Ja 1268's boiler now has a steam dome, this was added after alot of thinking & measuring as I only had one shot at this to get it right! Pictures next month. Below; AFRs freelance saddle tank is on work detail clearing all the old ballast thats been laying beside the outside loop for years!!!!

Well  I hope everyone has had a great New Years & may 2012 bring plenty of Running days & may all our modelling time be plentiful!! Jokes aside may everyone have a safe, healthy & prosperous 2012, happy modelling.  



This month has been quite productive for the Railway with a 1:1 Scale structure being built! The {Yj Hopper} has also recieved some more attention, now the big news is that I am attempting some scenery inside the shed at long last. The last time I tackled scenery was on a much smaller scale, N scale!!!! These efforts can be seen here {Inside Layout Construction}. Ja Update! Progress has stopped at the moment due to more pressing projects but it will be on the work bench again first thing in the New Year.


 Above; The 1:1 scale structure, the rest & drinks deck! This is the first stage of a 3 stage project, the 2nd stage is a deck with railings out the back of the shed just across the track at the same height as the above one which will be the BBQ deck! The final stage being a foot bridge to link them, this should be finished in the New Year as we have to wait & harvest our Veges!!




Busy month this month with a Train Show, a Display & a Group visit!! (So not alot around the Railway getting done) These can be seen in {Shows & Events}. The highlight of the month for me was a meeting up with another Dubs A (And the owner/builder of course) & if that wasn't enough we had a run with triple headed Dubs!!! Two A's & a C class on the Rocky Creek Railway in Christchurch, 

Wow great stuff indeed, all the pics here!{Picture Gallery}.

Above; A62 dwarfed by a USA Trains F7a in the Black Widow livery at the Christchurch Train show. 

To end this month we have 2 new arrivals & they can be seen here being collected by James the red engine {Thomas & Friends}. Also a new addition has been added to the {Links}, The Plains Railway. So until next month happy modelling & I hope I will get some done as well !-)




Above; A Spring train! This is the result of my daughters playing trains when I was installing the new main line control system!

A steady month on the Railway with a lot being done but not a lot to show for it!! AFR has been getting ready for the Christchurch Train Show 8th & 9th of October, a passing loop has been wired up for the Thomas display with isolating sections being added. Then on Labour Weekend AFR has been approached to put on a display on at the Plains Railway's 40th Anniversary weekend so have been busy building up barriers & sorting out what to take! So all in all we are in for a busy month of train running.


Now then Railway News!!!! Above; We have had a special running day with 2 garratts heading trains, G43 AFRs Garratt & the returning visitor the LGB Aster garratt. 

Above; Even the smallest loco on the railway A62 had to get in on the action, not sure which one is doing all the work, I'll let you decide! The AFR Freelance {Yj Hopper} has recieved some attention but not as much as I would have liked, they won't be attending the Show this year as time has beaten me yet again! A simple way to house electrical boards can be seen {From the Workshop}. Next month will feature the displays that we attend, Happy modelling!




Welcome to this months write up, well its been a crazy month weather wise from warmish days to 5" of snow! Pictured Below; F72 on line clearing duties with the snow plow 15-08-2011.

 This month AFR headed south to attend the Timaru train Show, so I thought a new page should be created all shows or displays will be covered in the {Shows & Events} page. {Ja1268}'s tender has been test run, it was towed for its first outing on the AFR. We have yet another new arrival, the Bright Red Loco can be seen here at {Thomas & Friends} hard at work. Last but not least AFR has hosted another club day but I forgot to take some pictures!!! 

Lucky for me a couple have been e'mailed to me & can be view on the {Picture Gallery} page.

Hopefully next month I will have something to update on the AFR Freelance Hoppers as I need to get these done for the Christchurch Train Show in October! Until next month keep modelling.




Welcome to winter!!! After our trip to the Philippines we have been getting use to the Kiwi winter again so progress has been a little slow (and cold!). 4 weeks away & only seeing one train I was keen to get back into it, Pictured Below; A small Davonport 0-4-0 loco with a 4 wheeled tender sitting just outside Star-City, Manila. I think this loco will never feel steam flowing through her again as the boiler is to far gone, such a shame to see locos in this condition but you need dollars to restore them & plenty of it. Maybe one day a nice model will apear on the AFR, when all my other projects are done! 

Chassis work has been continuing on {Ja1268} with motor & gear-box in place, main axle bearings being machined & wheel-weights having a bit of work done on them.

Have also spent some time bringing old pages up to date with fonts being changed & a few pics throwen in here & there, still a few more to go but getting there.

 {F72} has now got its own construction page!

Some of AFR's rolling stock will be heading down to the Timaru Train Show for a weekend of running so pictures of that will be next Month.



JULY 2011

Just back from Holiday so is a bit of a rush this month to get something out. So here we go, work on {Ja1268}'s chassis has started but still ironing out a few problems, the tender is finally finished with all its details been added, the smoke-box has all the attention this month! 

Some new arrivals feature in {Thomas & Friends} they can be seen on there return to AFR. So now after our break away it is time to do some serious modelling!! ( I Hope ) Until next time, keep those trains running!



JUNE 2011

Not much to report this month as it has been a busy one family wise, any way we did fit in a running day!! A wee bit of progress has been made on Ja1268 with the wiring pipe work being added on the tender, I keep finding things to be added when I find different picture angles & close-ups so not sure when to stop!! It will more likely happen when the under-coat goes on.


AFR was taken over for the day by American Muscle from Christchurch, Don Ellis & Ray Parmenter arrived down for a run. Don bought with him his 2 battery conversions a LGB 0-4-0 diesel shunter & a Aristo-Craft Dash 9, the latter just been finished. Rays Muscle power were a couple of USA Trains GPs, a 30 & 38 both track powered, the rolling stock was supplied by the hosting railway.

Above Left; Don & Ray at the controls, Rays GPs are seen approaching the bottom horse-shoe, Above Right; Dons dash 9 was a couple minutes behind at the head of a nice size train! More pictures can bee seen in the  {Picture Gallery} of this days running! 

JJulys up-date could be a couple of days late!  




MAY 2011

May is upon us & winter is just starting to show us what is instore this year! The garden is starting to get its winter look 'DEAD' with a few hearty plants displaying a bit of colour. Work on {Ja1268}'s tender has resulted in it being 98% finished with just a few minor things to be added when it is painted. 

We have had a couple of new arrivals to the railway in the form of Bachmanns Coach Kits, the plan is to get some passenger rolling stock up & going as quick as possible. These will be lengthened to a NZR standard length but will remain  American looking, so should fit into the Freelance Category quite nicely!

Above; Looking back! Dg2330 on the old AFR, sighting down the train you can see the result of Frost Heave.

Last of all a new loco page has been added {Dg2330}



APRIL 2011

Welcome to the April update, not alot to report this month with work still progressing on {Ja1268}'s tender with the bogies being completed. As I have had a bit of time to spare I have update some pages on the site, I have gone back through old pictures to find pre-digital scans of items being constructed, This months page updates include {A62}, {Ab730}, Enjoy!!




MARCH 2011

This month Mother Nature delt another major blow with a big earth-quake in Christchurch (22-02-2011), this time it has resulted with much more damage & sadly, loss of many lives. It was centred 5km from Christchurch & 10km deep, our thoughts go out to all those affected!

Work has been progressing on {Ja1268} have realised now that this loco is going to take alot of time as I seem to be putting in quite a bit of detail or it might be me slowing up as I'm getting older!!

Have had a running day or 2 since last month with my 2 daughters doing all the driving & poor ole me being demoted to ganger. It is good that the family takes an interest, have also been updating some of the pages so they are all set out the same. Well it was a short write up this month will catch up with you all in April.

Above; 2006 heads a train of empty hoppers down the grade over No2 bridge on our last running day.




Welcome to this months update, I do not know where January has gone it went so quick! 

This month the biggest project by the workshops for quite sometime has begun!! Yes {Ja1268} is now on the work-bench, the Annie conversion is completed, {Thomas & Friends} Below Left; Percy had the job to pick it up from the workshops which he was very proud to do! I am adding to the {Yj Hopper} page mainly to show more of the construction of these as they progress. Below Right; A Yj showing its basic shape.

So just a round up of whats on in the workshop, Ja1268 will be on going for quite sometime, there are 3 Yj hoppers on the go, on & off. (Mostly off at the moment!!) & there could be a Clarabel conversion very soon.

So until next month Happy Modelling & I hope Febuary goes a wee bit slower!!




Welcome to 2011, I hope everyone had a great Christmas & New Year. Due to the festive season things have been rather slow progressing in the workshop & on updating the site. Work has begun on a "Annie" conversion, no not the Bachmann Loco but the coach from Thomas the Tank Engine. {Thomas & Friends} Also the 3 new Yj's are on there way slowly as well, but the news everyone has waited to hear is the result in the next Locomotive to be built. It is, by a land-slide, Ja1268!!! Work will be slow on this as I want to finish the projects that I have started but it will get done! 

Above Left; The Annie coach with its face removed. Above Centre & Right; A work train sets out to remove old ballest that has been laying by the outside passing loop for to long & returns full.


Well it has been 1 year of the new ASHRAIL site & 12 updates later, I thought I might have missed the odd month with nothing to report but have always managed to find something! 

The voting is going well with not much difference in the choice of locos, it is going for 1 more month so   e'mail me here {AFR Owner} with your choice of locomotive to be built.

1/ Uc365, 2/ Ja1268, 3/ R29 and 4/ a PNR U15C class

The PNR Caboose is out of the paint Shop & under gone its 1st trip around the railway with pleasing results! {PNR Caboose}. There is an update to {Structures} & {Picture Gallery} I am also try-ing to sort out  the Loco & Rolling stock page to make it more informative on each item, hopefully it will be up & going next month! Would like the chance to wish everybody a Safe & Happy Christmas.

So until Januarys update, Keep Modelling!!

Above; 2006 is in charge of the test run of the PNR Caboose FCD-7.




This month has been quite compared to last month, with work progressing on the PNR Caboose, 

{PNR Caboose} it is now ready for the paint shop. I still haven't decided what colour scheme it will wear! Of course when a project finishes another must start, this is where all of you come in I need some help to decide on my next loco. The choices are NZR 1/ Uc365, 2/ Ja1268, 3/ R29 and 4/ a PNR U15C class, these are some of the locos I have or can build running gear for but need help choosing which one!!! So you can put in your choice by  e'mailing me here {AFR Owner} , I will announce the next loco build in the January update, in the mean time there are 3 more Yj Hoppers in line at the workbench waiting to be started so that should keep me busy for a wee while.

Septembers running day resulted in one fault, a screw on a blade, of a set of USA Trains turn-outs came un-done, see  {From the Workshop} for a solution without to much trouble.


Above; PNR Caboose waiting to be painted!





This month has started off with a 7.1 Earth-quake centred 40km away (as the crow flys), 4.35am 04-09-2010. What a jolt it was, lasting for at least 1 minute & the noise that annouced its arrival was just unforgetable!! The main thing is that there was no loss of life & for that we are all thankful. Our thoughts go out to those around the epi-centre & surrounding areas who received major damage.

The AFR engineers were out at day break checking our home, outbuildings, Train Shed, rail, road bed & bridges. To there surprize there was no damage. It will be a day to remember with after shocks continuing through-out the day.

Back to the months update, work has started on the Spring clean up with rock walls being built, gardens receiving much needed attention after the winter.

Above Left; The new rock wall that has been built with new plantings appearing. Above Right; A view of the end of the PNR Caboose. 

Updates for the month {PNR Caboose} with a couple more pictures of progress, 

{Picture Gallery} a club day hosted by the AFR & shots of Ab730's special run!! {Links} Sites of Interest with a link to some of the NZR 1:24 scale models built by the late Frank Roberts.

Below; Dubs A62 & C53 heading a mixed goods on 'The Christchurch Garden Railway Society'

club day here on the Ashburton Forks Railway.



The days are starting to draw out a wee bit but still the odd cold snap, just to remind us that winter is not over yet! Below Left; Progress on the PNR caboose {PNR Caboose} has been steady when time & the cold weather allows , on the garden front a general tidy up has been started on the odd fine day. 

Above Right; Old loco but new to the {AFR-LOCOMOTIVES}, this was the turning point that sent me down the scratch building path. I hope this shows that everyone could have ago & end up with a 1st attempt to keep & look back on with fond memories! I have been having problems with my contact e'mail, by not  receiving them, so sorry if you are one of the ones that I have failed to reply too.

    {CONTACT US} Section has had some attention so hopefully it is all good again with it up and working again. The contact is under 'To contact the A.F.R Owner'.

In the mean time enjoy having ago at scratch building, Happy modelling.



 AUGUST  2010


Has been a cold month this month with single figure temperatures during the day, frosts at night resulting minus 3 to minus 6! Have spent the time tweaking the web pages, I am now going solo as Andy has taught me the uploading of the pages etc, so all the presure is now on me for the monthly deadline.

Ashburton had its train show on the weekend of the 3rd & 4th July, first local one I had been to & I must say I was very impressed, all the people involve should be very proud of themselves, putting on a top class show. Well done to all. AFR was there with a small display of NZR Locos & Rolling stock, Take time to look at 

Trains On The Plains 2010 well worth a look.

The History page is all go this month, I will be putting old Monthly Updates in there every 6 months or so. I have also had a major clean up on the work bench ready to start my next project. I will be building this without laying eyes on the prototype, only pics, a plan & plenty of internet surfing!! (just ask my Wife ;-)

Above; 2 pictures of a Philippine Caboose, like NZR there are so many different colour schemes, so the model may differ from the pictures but a big thanks must go to Brad Peadon for pictures & Farouk Tan for a cad drawing. You can follow the models progress here {PNR Caboose}. 

Above; The result of a hard frost with a minus 6 degree temp!! There is plenty of frost heave with the soil up to 25mm above the roadbed but no movement in the roadbed itself!



JULY 2010


Half way through the year, where has the time gone? This month has been one of bits & pieces, mainly try-ing to sort a few things out on the site to make things flow a bit easier so you may notice a few changes. I have finally got 

From the Workshop up & going, this will be a page of different ideas & techniques being applied to projects. The F chassis will be the 1st to feature here with other little projects to follow.


Above; 2006 being test run on a sunny winters day, just a few tiny touch-ups resulted on this otherwise trouble-free run!

Monthly Updates are as follows,  Rolling Stock I have listed the different forms & Countries, this section now features the Freelance section, click on the {AFR-LOCOMOTIVES} to view the 2000 Class up-date, also 

{NZR-WAGONS & VANS} has been bought up to date.

Hope the changes aren't to bigger problem, I am still try-ing to get use to them!!

Until next month when a new project will be announced, Happy modelling!  




JUNE 2010


Well this month brings us winter weather, wet & cold so nothing getting done outside. The garden has really lost most of its colour & the leaves from the trees are everywhere! Any way updates are  Layout Construction with details of the new inside loop being added, Structures a new bridge, Links a site promoting the 'Trains on the Plains' Ashburtons own train show. 

This month I have been busy with lots of small catch up jobs mainly changing couplings, track work & chassis work!

Above Left; Have converted a MDC ore hopper to NZR Chopper couplings so the AFR Freelance locos can be rostered on the ore trains, the Garrett was converted with the English Ten-Mille brand of Choppers.  Above Middle; A test trial of coupling, the reason for this is that the ore hoppers are always coupled as a train so why waste good factory couplers when a simple tounge coupling will do! (Hopefully it will last the distance, will keep you all posted) Above Right; Well it has finally happened F72 is in the workshop under going a chassis rebuild, a first for us, as all scratch-built locos have been built on a ready to run motor blocks. Work on this is progressing slowly, as everything is a learning curve. One fall back is that it has delayed the 2000 class completion but I assure you all that there will be pictures of the completed unit with the commissioning of this new loco next month!

Below; 3 of the Yj hoppers in there finished livery.

Next month will update F72s chassis progress with some pictures, until then keep modelling!


MAY 2010

 Well this month has see more progress on the 2000 Class in the Freelance section, we are very happy the way 

this loco is turning out, we still have the wiring to do & which is not my strong point! 

The Picture Gallery has also had a few more pics added to keep the interest up, this time looking back a year or two to see how things have changed around the Railway.

This month we also had our first charter, the Railway was visited by a family from Timaru who found us on the net & arrangements were made for a visit. The day was gloomey but that didn't matter because as soon as the 2 kids (2 & 4yrs) saw the trains everything else didn't seem to exsist, it was good to see that an old hobby can still hold the attention of the younger generation. The oldest of the 2 had earned his driving rites & was controling the trains like an old hand so he was given a certificate stating he was an assisitant driver, a great deal of fun was had by the both of them & that is what we are all in the hobby for.

Above Left; Brother & Sister enjoying there visit getting to know there favorite character. Above Middle; Young fella earning his drivers ticket, in charge of the GP-7 heavy freight. Above Right; Thomas enjoying a relaxing run.

Extenstions are starting in the shed with an extra loop going in on the main line as a storage siding for racks of wagons & a put-on track for visiting rolling stock, more on this next month. Also check out the Links page for a site of interest in Preservation in the Philippines. All the best in modelling.



APRIL 2010

Last month saw the completion of ballesting the outside track, which is one big job out of the way! The 2000 class also received some attention which can be seen on the Freelance page. The AFR for the 1st time in its history sold one of its locomotives, it took a bit of doing but common sense won out in the end. We bid a fond farewell to the USA Trains Southern Pacific SD-70Mac which was the biggest loco on the railway, but it was just to big!! It gave great service when rostered on but the good news is it will be a regular visitor to the AFR as it was sold to I.D.K RAIL here in Ashburton.

Above Left; Same shot as Feb update but this time ballesting is finished. Above Middle; Bridge No1 needed some attention on its guide rails. Solution was to drill a hole in the bottom of the rail & screw a self tapper in to secure, works like a charm as you can see in the Structures page update. Above Right; SD-70Mac hauls its last train under AFR's ownership this loco now resides at the I.D.K Rail Depot in Ashburton.

Above Left; GP-30 hauls empty ore train over freshly ballested track. Above Middle; The driver of the SD-70 must have thought he was seeing things when Thomas was waiting on the loop! Above Right; More was to come when Percy clattered through anouncing there arrivals at the AFR.

One of the last jobs for the SD-70 was to haul a track measuring train, this was done measuring from the front headstock of the loco to the back head stock of the caboose & see how many times the trains length fitted around the track. The result is!!! A mainline run of 109.3metres! Until May, all the best in your modelling projects!



March 2010

Not much to report this month as we have been busy out in the garden with plants & removing fences so we can view the railway from our lounge, which looks great I might add! The Freelance page has been up dated with new happenings on the 2000 Class. And yes ballesting is still being done on weekends with steady progress. Until next month Happy Modelling!


February 2010

Well January has gone & summer still hasn't showed up! So there is not much happening outside but ballesting is still being done when weather allows. To date the main-line is complete from the East end of the shed to the begining of the passing loop & is looking not to bad. Below left; The loop is being prepared for re-ballesting with the old being removed & the base being cleaned, this is how it is sitting at present time as we have had rain every weekend.


Above right; Well, the designers have been using the wet weather to there advantage & have come up with this! They have designed a short, modern looking & pratical loco, the  New 2000 Class!!!! Work will start on this project very soon & will be posted in the Freelance section.

This month the Locomotives page has been up-dated with all new photos so enjoy.

Ash-rail has made a major decision over the last couple of weeks in the form of modelling another 1:24 Railway. We are currently researching locomotives & rolling stock of the PNR (Philippine National Railway) so this should be a great project as there are only a few in the world who are modelling this system & it would be nice to preserve some of there items if only in model form. Here is a link to an interesting site to give you a bit of a taste of things to come.      http://philippinerailwayhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/ 

Until next month all the best in modelling..

January 2010

Well 2010 is here, I hope everyone had a great Festive season & got plenty done on there railways. Progress on the AFR is steady-ish but no matter how slow, it is still progress.


The main job on the go at the moment is ballesting, this is not the first time we have tried this but hopefully we will be more successful this time. We are using a dry mixture of crusher dust, mortar, cement & blk oxide, above left is the first step where a product called CE-MIX is brushed on. This is an industrial bonding agent for giving better adheasive strength when bonding to existing concrete. Above right the mixture is sprinkled on & brushed to clear flange ways, below left. The final step is to wet it using a garden sprayer, below right.  


I hope this method will give the lasting results I am looking for, I have read alot of articles on this but with fingers crossed & a couple of winters under our our belts, time will tell. 

Ash Rail has a new adition to its loco fleet, it is an Aristocraft FB unit (below) for some time now we have been thinking that a free-lance diesel is needed for the increasing freight traffic. Now the designers have the job to come up with a double ended unit to serve the railways needs, we will keep you posted!


Last of all there are some updates on the web site in the  Structures  &  Picture Gallery  sections, until next month Happy Modeling!


December 2009


    The weather has been great the past couple of weekends so have been outside doing some unfinished jobs in the     garden. Above left; At last the capping has been added to the top of the raised garden which makes a great seat while operating trains. Above right; Just in front of the back fence has also had some attention with planters being added with shrubs being planted to hide the fence in the future. 

There has been a Picture Gallery page added so the odd running day, special occasion or visiting rolling stock can be recorded for every one to view. 

Another short video clip has been added to Youtube. Ab730 is the star this time hauling a short goods train under No2 bridge.    


November 2009

Well all I can say is it has been a long time since an up date & thought it was time to make more of an effort now that family life has settled down a bit. So here we go, we are going to try a monthly update & post it in the first week of every month as things are still not progressing at a great rate of knots but should be enough done on the railway for a few lines and a picture or 2! Well as you can see the web site is under going a few changes with a new address & look on the site, this is a big step for me as I have had to learn a lot to get this far in web page construction. A big thanks must go to Andy for puting up with my constant questions when things don't go the way I think they should & helping out with the site. 

Ok, we are going to combine a couple of months in our 1st upate so here we go, things have been happening both inside & out during winter with major rock wall construction taking place. We decided to use what was cheaply available, as a result we used Ruapuna bolders. They are big grey boulders which have been doug up out of farm paddocks over the years and stacked in piles, so they are only to happy to get rid of them. These have been dry stacked to retain the upper level garden, the other method being used is a bit more time consuming with mortaring rocks in place mainly used around the bridges & tunnels on the railway. See pics below.       


We also have a new name running on the AFR with Ash-rail being the major hauler taking the railway into 2010!


Above Left & Middle; Workshop has been busy through the winter with 3 more Yj's being added to the roster. Above Right; The Signal section has been busy as well with the inside yard being completely wired up with all turnouts electrically operated & isolated sections for loco storage. 

The web site will be worked on when spare time permits so be prepare for a few more changes this month, so in the mean time Happy Modeling!!


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