Sunday, April 4, 2021



    The recently published Eureka Times 36 outlined some of the difficulties experienced recently in the model railway manufacturing industry in China. 

    With the log jam starting to break up in China, the scheduling department here at the Eureka offices decided it was time to order a fairly large quantity of the no. 158 Kadee couplers which are the standard coupler used on all Eureka Models projects.

     So it was on Monday the 19th of March that an email ordering  the required KDs was forwarded to the Kadee offices in the US. Nothing out of the ordinary here and Kadee usually process the order and forwards the ordered items within 48 hours.  (Eureka has the couplers sent to it in Australia and  then has the couplers delivered, one way or another to the factory in China. In the good old days there were less problems on items from Australia to China than the US to China but this may no longer be the case and of course hand delivery is currently not an option.) 

     This delivery issue may be a problem for the future as on the next evening the usual curteous reply was received from Kadee acknowledging the order and pointing out that they had lost six months production last year due to the virus and that they had not been able to catch up yet. With orders coming in as manufacturers started to get production moving again they were six months behind in deliveries and so we cold expect delivery in August or September.

   Other manufacturers are reporting similar experiences and there is not much that can be done about it. Actually, this may not hold up projects all that much but it just another thing to be taken into account.

    In a similar vein, talk to any retailer and they tell similar stories with regard to major brands from overseas such as Peco, Micro-Engineering etc. so while we may be focused on China it is in fact a world wide problem.




Saturday, April 3, 2021


    With projects starting to move again at the factories in China the question of what to do about decoders in the three or four projects that will require sound over the next twelve months has been exercising the minds of the staff in the sound section here at the Eureka offices recently.

     Normally, this would not be  problem as QSI would be the automatic choice as decoder manufacturer following the successful use of QSI decoders in the first seven sound equipped models released by Eureka Models. However, it appears that QSI no longer supplys DCC decoders to OEMs in the model train industry. Eureka is trying to have this confirmed at the moment but given that QSI is likely to not be available, consideration is being given to alternative manufacturers.

    The projects coming up that will require sound include steam engines, a diesel and rail motors so consideration will have to be given to the physical location of the decoders. It may be possible in the case of the diesel for example to utilise an existing commercially available decoder which fits in the existing diesel body without the need for tooling changes and consequent cost savings.    

    The decoders used in the first seven Eureka projects all used an eight pin connector. If this is to be continued there are two manufacturers who produce commercially available decoders and who have good market acceptance:

These two are: 

                a.    ESU (Loksound5).


                b.    Zimo

A third option involving the use of a 21 pin connector is

                c.    Soundtraxx Econami ECO-PNP  This involves a replacement PCB with inbuilt decoder. This board for example will fit in the footprint available in the 40 class chassis for the current PCB. The Econami ECO-PNP for diesels includes inbuilt sound files for an Alco 244 engine and Nathan horns, so would not require the provision of new sound files which would be required by the other two manufacturers.

    Each of the above have their advantages and disadvantages both from the supply point of view and the fitting/manufacture point of view with associated cost impacts. Another consideration involves the country of manufacturer. China is a heavily protected  economy and getting decoders made outside China into that country can at times be quite challenging (see post on Kadee couplers) so any of the above decoders manufactured has an advantage.

   The sound department of Eureka Models is currently examining each of the contenders and is expected to make a recommendation shortly.










After almost no activity for the past twelve months it is time to get things moving again. (The factories in China are gradually getting back to normal)

The recent publication of the latest edition of The Eureka Times (36th edition) started this process and there are a few items that can go up on this blog over the Easter weekend.

Recently, work commenced on the next pair of cars in Eureka's NSWGR 12 wheeler series.

These will be a version of the standard TAM sleeping car in its early appearance with crown lights and tongue and groove siding and available in the early varnished timber livery and a second class sitting car in two variations, the MCE/MCX cars.

All of these are on the order form available from the Eureka office and being distributed with ET36.  

As usually happens when a new project is being discussed some interesting information comes to light. The MCE/MCX cars usually are associated with overnight trains but the accompanying photos were received from a contributor (thanks Michael) showing the use of an MCE car on a not-so-usual regular service.  

Taken by M. Farrer in 1957 the shot shows the use of an MCE on the shopper train which ran between Menindee and Ivanhoe. Also in the consist is a MHO van and a bogie water gin to supplement the Ivanhoe water supply and in the process make up a very unusual but intriguing train. 

The challenge of fitting such a movement into the timetable on the Barraba branch on Werris Creek is already proving a lot of fun but will no doubt be worked out by the time the cars arrive from the factory at the end of this year.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

TAM and MCS 12 Wheelers Arrive.

The latest offering in Eureka's 12 wheeler series, the TAM sleeper car and MCS sitting car was delivered to the Eureka offices on Friday  the 27th of September.

Distribution commenced immediately and as at today's date 85% of orders have been dispatched. The remaining 15% will be forwarded in the coming week after the Homebush exhibition. 

Anyone who has not recieved their order by Friday the 11th of October please contact the Eureka office.

The carriage numbers that were ultimately delivered varied slightly from those originally announced. As delivered  they are as follows:

In Indian Red

TAM 1828 (Navy Dressing Roof)
TAM 848 (Weathered Grey Roof)
TAM 1925 (Weathered Grey Roof)
MCS 599 (Weathered Grey Roof)
MCS 796 (Weathered Grey Roof)

In Candy

TAM 701 (Weathered Grey Roof)
TAM 710 (Weathered Grey Roof)
MCS 599 (Weathered Grey Roof)
MCS 796 (Weathered Grey Roof)

The above items will be available at the Eureka Models stand at the AMRA Exhibition over the October long weekend. or from the Eureka offices and Eureka Models stockists.


Sunday, September 1, 2019

VR Bogie Wagons arrive:

The first shipment of the VR bogie S flat wagons, the E bogie open wagons and the SAR O bogie open wagons has arrived and is in the process of being distributed.
About one third of orders have been filled to date and all outstanding orders are being confirmed by phone before being filled. Anyone who has not received their order can speed up the process by contacting the Eureka offices.  
All orders should be filled by the 15th of September.


38 Class Update:

On a recent visit to the factory in China, Eureka staff took the opportunity to put the latest 38 class engineering sample through its paces.
With the engineering sample nearing completion attention has now turned to decoration and final assembly.
Delivery is now likely to be at the end of 2019.

Whilst at the factory, Eureka staff were also able to observe the assembly of the TAM and MCS carriages. A sample of each livery was obtained and returned to Australia. Photos are available elsewhere on the Eureka blog and delivery is expected in late September. 
TAM/MCS on their way.

The production run of Eureka Model's latest offering in its twelve wheeler series, the TAM sleeping cars and MCS sitting cars left the factory on the 29th of August and was conveyed to our freight forwarders in Shanghai. They have advised that the cargo will leave Shanghai on the 6th of September bound for Port Botany with an ETA of 19th of September.
This will give our freight people plenty of time to clear the cargo in time for the Homebush exhibition.


Two pallets of TAM/MCS ready to leave the factory.
Better find some space to put them!

An old acquaintance, MV Seoul in Port Melbourne on the 13th of August this year. This vessel delivered the RHs to Port Botany earlier this year in May.



TAM 1828 in Indian Red (Navy Dressing Roof)

Also available:
TAM 849and 1925 in Indian Red with weathered grey roof.
TAM 710 and 701 in Candy.


                                                                                                                 TAM 710 in candy

MCS 599 in Indian Red with weathered grey roof.

Also available:
MCS 796 Indian Red with weathered grey roof.
MCS 599 and 796 in Candy.