2 - Internal combustion

(click here for part 3 - Trams, industrial and other motive power)

Petrol and diesel traction on the C&DR is at least 30 years old and started with a railcar built in 1978. Over the years more railcars and even diesel locos appeared, and this trend will probably continue so we may be able to run an all-diesel service at some future date.

The first diesel loco for the C&DR, no. 18 Axel, was named after my eldest son. The model was assembled out of a variety of scrapbox parts including an original Egger radiator, various etched brass parts and Airfix 'pug' cab sides. The chassis is a Farish 08 which was in a dismal state but has been re-vamped using additional magnets to the motor. The model has a bright headlight on the bufferbeam. It is mainly used for shunting and for light goods service, and is a good runner.

A recent addition is NCB 21, a bogie diesel-electric inspired by the diesel locos once used by the BHP steelworks in Newcastle, NSW. It was built using a Dapol Drewry body and an old Roco bogie diesel chassis. The American style of the BHP loco was captured to some extent by adding a platform to one end of the loco, although no door opens to it from the cab. The model was suitably dirtied up and fitted with two bright LED headlights. The number suggests it is a National Coal Board loco, which of course it isn’t. When I use diesel power this loco pulls the coal trains. It is a very smooth and powerful runner.

Railcars 1 and 4 are now permanently coupled. No. 1 was built in 1978, using plastic, balsa wood and card on a Minitrix 0-4-0 diesel chassis. The chassis used to be very noisy, but I recently fitted it with a Mashima motor and now it is very smooth and quiet. A few years ago I added a Leyland Tiger bus built from a vacuum-formed kit as a trailer. Both nos. 1 and 4 are now fitted with internal lights and headlights using LEDs.

Railcar 2 is based on the Keilkraft Thornycroft delivery van, fitted with a bogie under the engine. The power is supplied by the scratchbuilt mail van that is used as a trailer. The drive is an adapted 1960s Egger diesel chassis which runs reasonably well and seems indestructible. This railcar set is colloquially known as the ‘Flying Haggis’ as a Scottish answer to the Galloping Geese from Colorado...

Railcar 3 is another Keilkraft (now Knightwing) conversion loosely based on a Model T Ford bus of the late 1920s. The trailer is scratchbuilt to match its style. It has a very old Mehanotehnica chassis, fitted with a new motor so it runs much better than the original.

A photo of railcars 3 and 2, with the trailer sandwiched in between, as they used to run in former days.

PART 3 - Trams, industrial and other motive power