top of page

Eureka 38 Class S​team Locomotive

DCC Sound Installation with Lighting Modifications

Now available with a NEW Remastered Custom Sound Project

including "Full Throttle - Heavy Load"

About the NSWGR 38 Class

The C38 was a class of coal burning, steam locomotives built for the New South Wales Government Railways, between January 1943 and November 1949. The 30 locomotives in the class were designed to haul express passenger trains and were the last steam locomotives built for passenger train operation. In May 1939 an order for the first five 38 class locomotives was placed with and built by Clyde Engineering, which had the distinctive streamlined boiler.

The remaining 25 locomotives were built between the New South Wales Government Railways' Eveleigh Railway Workshops (13 even number locomotives) and Cardiff Locomotive Workshops (12 odd numbered locomotives). These 25 locomotive were built as unstreamlined versions.

Among the services they initially hauled were the Central West Express, Newcastle Flyer, Melbourne Limited, Riverina Express and South Coast Daylight Express as well as the overnight mail trains. Following the arrival of the 42, 43 and 44 classes of diesel locomotives in the 1950's, these began to take over, but the 38 class continued to haul many services. After the electrification of the Main Western line to Lithgow in 1957 and the Main North line to Gosford in January 1960 the 46 class electrics took over but the 38's still operated the Central West Express between Lithgow and Orange into the 1960's and the Newcastle Flyer between Gosford and Newcastle until December 1970.

In April 1962, locomotives 3830 and 3813 hauled the inaugural standard gauge Spirit of Progress from Albury to Sydney. The first C38's to be withdrawn were 3805 and 3826 in 1961 with the last 3820 withdrawn in December 1970. Although 3801 was already withdrawn by this time, it did return to service and continued working past 1970. Of the 30 locomotives built, 26 were scrapped and 3801, 3812, 3820, 3830 were preserved.

3801 is arguably Australia's most famous steam locomotive, being the only one to have visited all main line states and territories. It entered service on 22nd January 1943 to little fanfare. It became known at the time as the Grey Nurse due to its all grey colour scheme due to the wartime economy. In early 1947 it was given a heavy overhaul and was painted in its standard colour scheme of green with yellow lining. It was overhauled again in 1955, being painted black with red lining as a cost-cutting measure. 3801 was the first in its class to have travelled 1.61 million kilometres in December 1956. In early 1963 it was given a major overhaul during which it was repainted green. It was often used on special services operated by railway heritage organisations, the most famous being a non-stop run from Sydney to Newcastle on 28 June 1964. Just failing to break the two-hour barrier, this remained the fastest journey from Sydney to Newcastle by rail (2 hours 1 minute 51 seconds) until bettered by an XPT in 1988. From October 1965 until January 1975, 3801 was found on several occasions to have boiler problems which led to it being withdrawn, repaired and returned to service. 3801 returned to service on 6th January 1975 and was then used on tours until December 1976, when more boiler issues led to its final withdrawal.

3801 was sent to the Hunter Valley Training Company on the 20th November 1983 for restoration. By November 1986, it was back on the rails operating heritage trains throughout New South Wales, During the Australian Bicentenary celebrations in 1988, it operated an extensive program across Australia visiting every mainland capital accessible by rail including another trip to Perth in April/May 1988. In October 1988 the Flying Scotsman arrived from England and for much of its year long tour across Australia was accompanied by 3801. The locomotive continued to haul day trips and longer excursions until withdrawn from service for a major overhaul at the end of 2007. In September 2015, Transport Heritage NSW announced that 3801 would return to service again.

DCC with Sound and Light Modifications

Eureka Models released the NSWGR 38 Class RTR model in 2009 with a non-sound version and the QSI sound equipped DCC versions.

The model came with a working headlight. The non-sound versions included an 8 Pin socket for fitting a DCC decoder.

For this installation, we recommend the ESU LokSound 5 (Sound) with our remastered Custom Sound Project for the 38 Class or the LokPilot 5 (No Sound) for those not wishing sound. 

We can also replace the original QSI sound decoder if it has failed, or you wish to upgrade to a premium 38 class sound.

The DCC Solutions 38 Class Sound Project includes recorded sounds from 3801.

We offer a light modification for the Eureka 38 Class

New Headlight Operation

We have modified the headlight operation to resemble the prototypical operation of a real steam locomotive, where the light generator controls the operation rather than the light function. No more turning off the sound and the light stays on waiting for you to turn it off.

Also added are:

* Automatic High Beam Headlight Function when the locomotive begins to drive. Bring the loco to a stop, and it will return to dim.

* Low Beam Front Headlight when reversing or while driving when required is also available.

Here at DCC Solutions, we can install white/red marker lights to the tender to really enhance the model when running light or shunting.

This allows light engine running with the front headlight on and rear red markers. White markers for running in reverse.

The DCC Solutions NSW 38 Class Custom Sound Project is packed with

sounds and features not found on other sound decoders

and will have your model sounding just like a real C38 steam locomotive

So why not get fully featured sound from DCC Solutions

Our Custom Sound Project now includes these new features:

Cold and Hot Start Up Sequences

Select the Cold Start Up and you will activate the cold boiler preheat long start to hear the water being pumped into the boiler, the light of a match to start the fire, the sound of the fire crackling, coal shovelling and the sounds of the pressure building up to reach the correct level before commencing to move off. Now that's something you won't hear from other sound decoders!

Select the Hot Start-Up and you will activate the hot boiler quick start to skip the preheat assuming the correct boiler pressure is almost reached. Shut down your 38 Class and the sound just doesn't stop. Steam releases and other sounds will be heard as the locomotive shuts down.

Full Throttle – Drive Hold

This feature allows you to simulate a hard-working loaded train by pressing the F1 function button. When the button is pressed, the motor will remain at a constant speed, while the sound changes into an intense chuff, so this can simulate a hard-working steam locomotive. This exciting, new feature gives the operator the ability to have the train crawling along the track while producing an intense chuff. Release the Drive Hold function button, and you simply go back to throttle-controlled speed, motion and sound. Available only from DCC Solutions, our Drive Hold will stop your loco when you reduce the speed to zero, even while the function is still active. 

Your ESU factory sound or sound from other providers will not stop your loco at speed step 0 with the drive hold switched on.

Coasting on Demand

This feature allows you to enter coasting mode whenever you want with a press of a button. The loco will enter the coasting mode and remain in coasting until you turn it off, regardless of changes in the speed. Experiment with turning it on and off while the loco is moving at speed to hear the sound changes of a steam locomotive when you want. With this feature, you can have your model sounding like a real steam locomotive.

Working Brake

Press the Brake Function button, and your locomotive will come to a stop at a much shorter distance than if you were to bring it to a stop by reducing the throttle speed. Release the brake and your locomotive will move off again, or choose to have it remain stationary when the brake is released. The brake can also be used while driving to slow the locomotive up.

Brake Squeal on Deceleration

Activate this function and when you reduce the throttle speed, your locomotive will begin braking and slow up quicker as you continue to lower the throttle speed, and you will hear the squeal of the brakes. Accelerating will release the brakes.

Coupling and Release with DCCS Shunting Mode

Activate coupling or release and your locomotive will automatically reduce its speed to allow for a more realistic coupling or release operation. Once the coupling operation is completed, your locomotive will automatically stop while once uncoupled will continue to run at slow speed for a few more seconds before returning to the speed set on your throttle.

Prototypical Headlight Operation

We have also modified the headlight operation to resemble the prototypical operation.

In the past you would have turned off the sound (Pressing F8) and all the sounds including the generator would stop playing, but your headlight would remain on, and you would have to turn it off separately. Well not anymore...

Press the headlight button (F0) to turn on the generator. The headlight won't turn on until enough power has been generated to turn the light on, dimmed. While the generator is on, the headlight stays on. If you press F8 to shut down and turn the loco sound off which will include the generator, then the headlight will also turn off even if you haven't turned the headlight off itself using the headlight button.

Also, added for lighting are:

Automatic High Beam Headlight Function when the locomotive begins to drive. Bring the loco to a stop, and it will return to a dim state.

Low Beam Front Headlight when reversing is also available.

Selectable high to low beam while driving.

Remastered 3801 Whistle

A new remastered NSWGR 3801 recorded whistle including a reversing whistle

And includes all these great features to make your 38 Class locomotive drive and sound impressive

  • NSWGR 38 recorded steam sounds

  • Cold Boiler Start Up Sequence including boiler water fill, fire up sequence, boiler pressure reached before moving off

  • Optional Quick Hot Start Up Sequence - Straight to waiting for boiler pressure to be reach before moving off

  • Full Throttle Heavy Load-Lock the loco speed and control the chuff sound independently to simulate a hard-working locomotive

  • Coasting On Demand

  • Working Brake

  • Brake squeal on deceleration and turns off on acceleration

  • NSWGR 3801 Whistle including a reversing whistle

  • NSWGR 38 Class Compressor

  • Playable Stop Sounds including boiler/steam sounds, safety values, blower and more

  • Random Drive Sounds including track squeal, compressor, injectors, coal shovelling, and more

  • Individual Coupling and Release Options depending on the locomotive's direction with DCCS shunting mode

  • Water filling tender sounds

  • Generator controlled Headlight. The headlight is controlled by the generator sound

  • Automatic High Beam Headlight Function when the locomotive begins to drive and returning to a dim state at stop

  • Optional low beam headlight when reversing or while driving

  • Guard's Whistle

  • Wheel Squeal and Rail Clanking

  • Can play up to 10 different sounds simultaneously

  • Motor settings and sound volumes tuned to specifically suit the Eureka 38 Class Locomotive Model

  • Individual sounds slots and master sound volumes can be adjusted by the user to suit personal requirements

  • Full 28 function button remapping to suit your personal requirements

  • DCC Solutions High Performance Speaker delivering great sound

  • While this sound project has been set up for the Eureka Models 38 Class, it can also be used for Bergs, DJH and Samhongsa


Standard DCC Installation: ESU LokPilot 5 Non-sound decoder

Premium Sound Installation: ESU LokSound 5 programmed with the DCC Solutions Custom NSW 38 Class Sound Project

Premium Sound Installation and Light Modification: ESU LokSound 5 programmed with the DCC Solutions Custom NSW 38 Class Sound Project and red/white LED marker lights installed in the tender.

DCC Solutions SOUND and FUNCTION Labels

Premium Sound Installation and Light Modification using the ESU LokSound 5

F0    Headlight - FWD-Bright_REV-Off_STOP-Dim

F1    Drive Hold - Heavy Load

F2    Playable Whistle

F3    Low Beam Headlight while driving

F4    Cylinder Steam Release

F5    Coasting On Demand

F6    Brake

F7    Brake Squeal on Deceleration

F8    Boiler Start Up Sound On/Off/Mute

F9    Directional Rear Marker Lights

F10  Rear Red Markers

F11  Rear White Markers

F12  Reserved (Light Mods)

F13  Headlight - FWD-Bright_REV-Dim_STOP-Dim

F14  Reserved (Light Mods)

F15  Blower

F16  Compressor

F17  Coupling /Uncoupling + DCCS Shunting Mode

F18  Wheel Squeal

F19  Guard's Whistle

F20  Sanding

F21  Volume Fader - Reduces Sound 50%

F22  Headlight On/Off (No Generator for Silent Running)

F23  Tender Water Fill

F24   Injectors

F25  Safety Valves

F26  Coal Shovelling

F27  Shunting Mode

F28  Rail Clank

Note: The above functions are for the LokSound 5 Decoder programmed with DCC Solutions Premium Custom Sound Installation with Light Modification.

The functions and sounds will be different from any standard generic ESU Sound Files or other Sound Decoders. To learn how to use these functions, see the Info & Help page.

All functions can be reprogrammed to suit your own personal requirements.

bottom of page