Tuesday, 22 January 2019

BHP Iron Ore Cars HO Scale

Marbelup Models has developed HO scale 3D-printed models of 4 different types of ore cars as used by BHP Iron Ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The 4 versions are:
  • "Comeng" - built 1969-1982
  • "Goninans tapered floor" - built 1997-1998
  • "Goninans flat floor" - built 1999-2000
  • "Golynx" - built 2001-2003 approx.
The Comeng ore cars are very similar to the original Oroville cars imported from the US at the start of the Mt Newman Mining operation in the 1960's.  For more information and photos of the prototype wagons, see the Pilbara Railways web site.

"Comeng" ore car (computer rendering)

"Goninans tapered floor" ore car (computer rendering)
All of the ore cars are supplied as "body only", the only other parts included are Kadee #262 coupler boxes.  The modeller must supply and fit bogies and couplers, as well as detail items such as brake wheel, air hoses, handrails, etc.  The level of detail is optional, to some extent, depending on the modeller's preferences.

The models accept Kadee #148 or #158 whisker couplers.  These are available from Hobby shops in bulk packs of couplers only, in addition to the usual packs of 2-pairs of couplers with boxes.

As an option, the models will also accept Glatzl rotary couplers (at one end) which are available from the US through Sergent Engineering.  Sergent also sell matching dummy couplers which work well with the Glatzl rotary couplers.  Both the Glatzl rotary and dummy couplers will mate with Kadee "scale head" couplers but will not couple or uncouple automatically.  A simple modification is required to the Glatzl rotary couplers prior to installation, as they intended to directly fit onto a specific US coal car which has different dimensions to the BHP ore cars.

Left: "Goninans flat floor" in Polyamide material. Right: "Golynx" car in Prime Grey material. (Click on any photo to see enlarged version.)