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  • Simon Cox

A scratch-built rail-bus for the Ding Dong Moor Railway

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

I was inspired to scratch build a copy of one of Reinier Hendriksen's rail-buses from his original article of April 1999

I built a new rail-bus in the style of Reinier Hendriksen

I was inspired to build a copy of one of Reinier Hendriksen’s rail-bus­es from his orig­i­nal arti­cle of April 1999 edi­tion of the 009 news, after I read the archived mate­r­i­al from the 500th edi­tion. For my ver­sion, I decid­ed to use a Kato chas­sis as it wouldn’t fill out the back half of the rail­bus, as Reinier’s Trix chas­sis had. The read­i­ly avail­able Kato chas­sis does have an ugly lump under­neath that takes away the spindly look a rail-bus typ­i­cal­ly had. It does add weight though, and only the purists will get agi­tat­ed when they see it.

The main body of the railcar

I cut the bal­cony ends off the chas­sis with a razor saw back to the met­al part of the chas­sis. Then a frame was pre­fab­ri­cat­ed from U pro­file Ever­green styrene and test­ed for a good fit over the chas­sis. There is a very slight lip on the chas­sis that it can rest on. The body was then built on top of this ini­tial frame.

Reinier used the cut-down sides from a Park­side Dun­das DM68 kit to make his orig­i­nal rail-bus. So I used the same kit, cut­ting one pan­el off each end so that a door pan­el, for the dri­ver, was at the front. The lou­vres above the doors and win­dows were cut off leav­ing some bead­ing, and I used U pro­file Ever­green styrene to build a top sec­tion to give the rail-bus greater height.

The front and back sides were made from Ever­green car pan­elling with a strip added to form win­dow fram­ing. Once the U pro­file Ever­green styrene was glued to the top of each pan­el I assem­bled the body on the frame. Inside at the back, I also added two tri­an­gu­lar cor­ner pieces that enable to body and frame to rest on the chas­sis and helped strength­en the body.


The front bulk­head need­ed tri­an­gu­lar shapes cut out to match the two prongs on the Kato Chas­sis. I did con­sid­er cut­ting the styrene so that the body would snap onto these prongs but that would have made it real­ly dif­fi­cult to take the body off after­wards. The alter­na­tive is the cut the prons off the chas­sis but they do help with the fric­tion fit of the body — and they are not that notice­able unless you find them. I could add a tool­box and oil can on the front plate to hide these.


Inside the body I used the seats from the DM68 kit, as they are slight­ly above the Kato motor, to pro­vide three bench seats — one for the dri­ver and the oth­ers are in the pas­sen­ger part of the cab­in with an upright divid­ing them. I used the seat posi­tions that are mould­ed in the coach sides.

Engine and frame

At the front of the frame I cut a piece of 1mm thick styrene sheet to fit around the chas­sis motor block and this was then glued onto the frame.

The radi­a­tor was mea­sured out and strip frame added. I didn’t have any real­ly fine wire gauze to use to rep­re­sent the radi­a­tor grill so left it as a blank sheet. In hind­sight, I might have tried some fine cor­ru­gat­ed styrene but the mind fills in the details. The side and top are fash­ioned from plain styrene and then I added a sim­ple square of Ever­green clap­board­ing to rep­re­sent some lou­vres at the side. A small slith­er of styrene rod was cut and glued on as a radi­a­tor cap to fin­ish this off.

The two small head­lamps on the bulk­head are 1.5mm tube cut, filed, filled and glued in place as a sim­ple rep­re­sen­ta­tion of head­lights. Buffer beams were craft­ed from 1mm thick styrene sheet and attached front and back.

The roof

For the roof, I used the same tech­nique that Reinier did — glue­ing two cut out sheets of 1mm styrene togeth­er and then sand­ing the edges to get the curved look. For the gen­tler front slope of the roof, the top sheet was slight­ly short­er and I did use some filler to get the slope before sand­ing. when dry and set I glued some sin­gle ply tis­sue on to give a can­vas texture.


Foot­boards were added to the frame, some gaps filled and the body and roof sep­a­rate­ly primed.

To com­plete the detail­ing I added Roxy door han­dles, drilled holes for the grab han­dles and fash­ioned 0.13mm wire for them.

Paint and finish

Reinier’s orig­i­nal arti­cle pho­tographs are of the built but unpaint­ed mod­els and I couldn’t find any colour images of this par­tic­u­lar rail­bus but the Dutch 009 Soci­ety web­site has some of the Reinier’s oth­er rail­bus, the Dresnene, on Moors End so I used that as the basis for the colour scheme of Ding Dong Moor Light Rail­way cream and green. A seat­ed Mod­elu fig­ure was pro­cured for the dri­ver, gaz­ing fit­ted and the roof added. As a final touch, I added No. 3 trans­fers on either side so that this can run with my Done­gal No.4 rail­bus as a set.


I entered this Rail­bus set as Unmatched Rail-bus set in the 009 Soci­ety AGM com­pe­ti­tion and appar­ent­ly it won — which was nice.

A scratch-built rail-bus for the Ding Dong Moor Railway Gallery


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