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Inspired by Berlin Friedrichstrasse

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#1 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:49

Station.jpg

Wikipedia Commons - Andreas Steinhoff

 

Those who have been following the Liphook & District MRC blog here, will be aware of the ongoing construction of our latest layout; an H0 offering inspired by Berlin Friedrichstrasse. I say inspired by, as it will not be a slavish copy of the station and its surrounding area, more of an impression. Its setting will be the 1950s and 60s, and it will include S-Bahn tracks as well as a tram line.

 

More details on the layout construction thus far can be found on the blog, but to get us up-to-date, this is what we have been up to...

 

The layout is a circular design, covering an area of 8' x 16'. The construction, which started in May 2013, began with the fiddle yard boards... 

 

Fiddle Yard.jpg

 

The fiddle yards are quite narrow - only 1'6" in width - but are designed to be modular to fit with with any future club developments. The boards are covered by a thin layer of foam to help reduce noise.

 

IMG_0814.jpg

 

The tracks are accessed by PECO three-way points.

 

IMG_2224.jpg

 

Following the track laying on the fiddle yard boards, the main layout boards were fitted.

 

IMG_2777.jpg

 

The scenic section is on a viaduct, so raised sections had to be added...

 

IMG_2842.jpg

 

...with the outer track circuit added shortly afterwards.

 

IMG_2613.jpg

 

Some very basic scenic work was added at this stage. There will be a river crossing the board, which has been added to the boards, as well as the superstructure of the road bridge, that will run behind the railway bridge.

 

So this brings us pretty much up-to-date with the progress of Friedrichstrasse. We have been at it for just over a year now, with the target of having trains running by the end of this year.

 


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#2 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 14:36

Due to the design of Friedrichstrasse, some of the first track to be laid is for the tram lines. The trams will run the entire length of the layout, in a dumbbell formation. The decision was taken to build this by hand, the rails soldered onto copperclad sleepers, which will be set into the roadway.

 

Track.jpg

Firstly a number of track lengths were produced by Tony G. The sleepers are spaced far apart to give extra flexibility - more are added as the track is laid.

 

Main Street.jpg

The rough track plan for the tram had been marked out on the boards, and last night the first of the track was put in place. As can be seen, there is also an inner rail, which will help when setting the track into the road. It is easy to set when the track is straight, but more of a challenge on the curves. Wit this in mind, the curves are initially laid with the outer tracks. The inner tracks will be added, but fixed to additional copperclad sleepers to prevent disrupting the soldering already in place. These additional sleepers will then also be soldered to the outer tracks for extra stability.

 

Loop 1.jpg

Here the tram crosses the baseboard join at an angle. Only the outer rails are in place for the moment; hopefully the inners will appear over the next week or two.

 

Loop 2.jpg

This is the loop in position, with the main viaduct/Embankment section in place. The scribble in the middle is likely to be some cafe of sorts.

 

Track laying.jpg

There was a flurry of activity going on here. At the far end, the niceties of electrics and control were being discussed. The middle group are concentrating on the track laying; that very cute little tram is warily eyeing up the soldering iron being brandished by our chief plate-layer. I'm glad to report no trams were harmed in the making of this layout. The paper and rulers in the foreground represent the first of the buildings being considered.

 

Apartment Plan.jpg

The tram line turns in what will be a fairly busy square. The scribbles on the plan in the foreground are the initial plans for some Communist Workers Paradise - or in other words concrete apartment blocks. The design will be based on the Plattenbau design, but will actually be a unique structure designed for that specific location; as can be seen, it is located on a corner, squeezed in between the railway and the road. This will be one of the projects I will be contributing to the model. I suspect the lower level will be shops, but have not yet decided, and the entire structure will be about 5 floors in height.

 

The buildings in general will be a mixture of old and new. Kit built and scratch built - the club own a silhouette cutter, which will make the latter an easier task.

 

Next week will hopefully see more progress on the tram track, perhaps with some test running taking place!


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#3 station cat

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 15:54

Sounds like a very interesting project, look forwards to seeing how it develops - and hopefully seeing it in the flesh at some stage


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#4 Andy Reichert

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 16:28

image013.jpg

 

What? A tram layout with no girder rail? :o

 

Andy



#5 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 14:52

image013.jpg

 

What? A tram layout with no girder rail? :o

 

Andy

 

I know...very remiss of us!

 

Although we are using conventional track - it might even be code 40 (I'll need to check that one) - there will be an inner rail (you can see this clearly in the first picture, with the piles of track), which will be added to the curve probably next week or the week after. Hopefully once the roadway is in place, it will look okay...



#6 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 10:51

More progress to report with the tram line.

 

A couple of weeks ago we had started laying the first of the loops on the tram track. As the track is being hand laid, progress has been slow, but steady. This week construction work has been carried out at the opposite end of the layout, the the other return loop taking shape.

 

Return Loop.jpg

 

The rather ancient 4-wheeled wagon is being used to check the gauge and the smoothness of the soldering. 

 

Activity.jpg

Work progresses on the tram line as a visitor sits in the station area...

 

Bullet.jpg

...in the form of one of the brand new Kato E7 Bullets. Now, if they loose interest in German H0, that board design would be perfect of a nice Japanese inner-city station! In the background is something a little more in keeping.

 

E17.jpg

Perhaps not necessarily the right region, but certainly the right era, is this lovely Roco E17.  

 

Hopefully over the next couple of weeks the tram circuit will be completed, and we can start the test running.

 

Return Loop 1.jpg

This is the second return loop with the overbridge in place

 

Bridge.jpg

The track is slowly starting to creep across the bridge.

 

Main Street.jpg

As well as along the main street. Note this track is fitted with an inner guard rail. Once the return loops are laid and the track thoroughly checked and tested, the guard rail will be added to these also.

 

Narrow Streets.jpg

 

Eventually this area will be very tight, as almost immediately to the left will be the backscene and, where possible, half-relief buildings.


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#7 Allegheny1600

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 13:04

Hi Claude,

Looks a great project, well worth watching!

Ah! If only I lived down your way - I'd be up at your club like a shot!!!

Cheers,

John E.



#8 Andy Reichert

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 13:36

I'm not sure if NEM differs much from the NMRA spec I'm  very familiar with. For the NMRA spec, when laying the double rail for the tram track, we have to remember that the two inner rails will probably need to be set closer together than just setting them away from the running rails by the  crossing (frog) flange way spec. (FW)

 

The crossing flange way width assumes the check rail is being rubbed by the other wheel back. You usually don't want trams to be rubbing the inner rails continuously everywhere. Using a wider flange way on both sides of the track will avoid that.

 

Andy



#9 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 21:19

Hi Claude,

Looks a great project, well worth watching!

Ah! If only I lived down your way - I'd be up at your club like a shot!!!

Cheers,

John E.

 

Thanks...

 

Well, if you are ever in the neighbourhood, you are always welcome to pay a visit!

 

 

I'm not sure if NEM differs much from the NMRA spec I'm  very familiar with. For the NMRA spec, when laying the double rail for the tram track, we have to remember that the two inner rails will probably need to be set closer together than just setting them away from the running rails by the  crossing (frog) flange way spec. (FW)

 

The crossing flange way width assumes the check rail is being rubbed by the other wheel back. You usually don't want trams to be rubbing the inner rails continuously everywhere. Using a wider flange way on both sides of the track will avoid that.

 

 

Thanks for the comments. I'm not one of the track gang, but I will mention this to them. Always useful to see other's suggestions... 


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#10 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 11:00

During August, the carpet bowlers take a break, so the layout was set up in the main hall and the opportunity was taken to use the space we had available to us...

 

2014-08-01 20.35.18.jpg

 

Work continued on the tram lines, wiring of the fiddle yard as well as some initial scenic work.

 

Progress on the tram line has been going well, with the circuit being completed last night. Work is now progressing with the inner guard rail, which will take into account tighter inner curves. Fingers crossed there will be something running soon.

 

2014-08-01 20.35.27.jpg

2014-08-01 21.22.21.jpg

2014-08-01 22.18.49.jpg

 

The eagle-eyed will spot that the river has changed colour. As this will be beneath the bridges, this needed to be done quite early. The walls and steps are in place, and all that is required is some extra detailing a a few coats of varnish... There will also be a boat of some description - probably one of those large, low, river barges, so it can fit underneath the low bridge!

 

2014-08-01 21.22.45.jpg

2014-08-01 22.03.29.jpg

2014-08-01 22.03.37.jpg

2014-08-01 22.18.13.jpg

 

Meanwhile, further down the track, slow progress is continuing with 'Ulbricht Towers'

 

2014-08-01 20.48.26.jpg

2014-08-01 22.05.58.jpg

2014-08-01 22.15.14.jpg

 

This is a basic (very basic!) mock-up to get an idea of the height and overall bulk of this large structure. I don't see this as being a particularly tricky building, just somewhat time-consuming; as it will be made up of any number of 'concrete' modules forming the outer wall. Time for the Scalescenes concrete walling methinks!

 

A rather nice Roco articulated carriage features in that photo. Here are a couple more pictures...they were the subject of much perving throughout the evening!

 

2014-08-01 20.35.54.jpg

2014-08-01 22.06.48.jpg

2014-08-01 22.06.56.jpg

 

Finally, an overall view with the main track beds reinstalled...

 

2014-08-01 22.18.34.jpg

 


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#11 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 13:19

Only a brief update here as not too much visible progress has been going on.

 

That said, wiring is proceeding apace for the fiddle yards, and the droppers are being added to the tram lines. Last night, we spliced some sections together to get some movement. Good news!

 

A club member's recent recent acquisition did the honours (a Roco model I believe), and managed to navigate the track well. It is interesting how different the running characteristics when the thing is running under its own power as opposed to being pushed along manually. Still, the tram certain looks the part, even if it is an older model. It is now off for DCC fitting...

 

2014-08-15 21.20.55.jpg

Here it is dodging the various drills and other tools...

 

2014-08-15 21.21.22.jpg

A very elegant little model...

 

Talking of which, a BR74 tank engine arrived from Darkest Cornwall to take up duties on the Berlin suburban network. Still some detailing parts to add, but a very pretty little loco - ideal for those articulated carriages. 

 

2014-08-15 21.21.46.jpg

 

We have a full-day work day coming up soon...hopefully some more visible progress, with the aim to have stuff running by our Open day in October.


Edited by Claude_Dreyfus, 16 August 2014 - 13:20 .

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#12 ColinK

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 00:35

I'm looking forward to seeing this develop - been to the real place many times.

#13 Steve-e

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 00:44

That river looks really nice how did you do it? is it a sheet of something or another method?

 

 

Thanks

Steve



#14 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:17

The river has simply been painted onto the baseboard as a first step. Once the edging and other details have been completed, it will then have a couple of coats of varnish...


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#15 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 21:41

More activity on Friedrichstrasse; again focussing on the tram line.

 

The target for this session is to get something running on DCC, as well as iron out various running issues on the tram lines. There are a couple of club members who are lucky enough to have some lovely tram models...

 

Cuteness 1.jpg

Tram.jpg

Trams & Lorry.jpg

 

More details on the river were added as well...

 

Riverside.jpg

Chains.jpg

 

Progress continues slowly with 'Ulbricht' Towers, but at least progress has been taking place. It has been in the form of a card mock-up for the last few weeks; however today the first of the 'real' structure came into being, with the first of the frames being constructed...

 

Flats Frame.jpg

 

As with the real structures, this building is a modular construction, so the frame work is intended to support the window modules. Within the gaps in the frame will be some clear plastic which will have two functions, firstly to be the windows, and secondly to added some further rigidity to the 'concrete' window modules. The clear plastic currently has a blueish protective film, which can clearly be seen.

 

Flats.jpg

 

The individual window modules have been cut out using the club's Silhouette Cutter (so much easier!) and will eventually fit onto the frame as above. This will be the back wall, so the left-hand side will adjoin another wing to the structure, whilst the right will be the end wall beside the railway viaduct/embankment. There will be reinforcing pillars and edging which will cover the exposed white edges that can be seen.

 

Window frames will be constructed from fine microstrip...another rather fiddly job on the horizon.


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#16 Andy Reichert

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 16:08

Re the tram line:

 

With that long spacing between sleepers, I would hope that the filler that is going to be used for the street surface won't be of the kind that expands as it sets. 

 

Andy


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#17 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 17:37

Indeed. I don't think the 'filler' between the tracks has been sorted out as yet. In the past Das clay was used for filling in track - that time standard PECO stuff, but we had mixed results and won't be using that again. I'm not sure if more sleepers will be added once the alignments have been sorted out. To be honest it is something I didn't think about, so will mention it to my colleagues...

#18 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 22:17

Today saw another work day - a good 5 hours of solid work on the layout. Attention has turned to the main trackwork, although some further tinkerings took place on the tram lines, when meant the platforms needed to be at least temporarily fixed. The station is starting to take shape!

 

Station 1.jpg

The overall roof was temporarily fixed 

 

Overall Roof.jpg

 

Local.jpg

 

The overall roof is from a couple of modified Kibri Bonn kits.


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#19 David C

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 13:36

Fascinating! I will be watching progress with great interest and hope to see the layout in the flesh when it is exhibited. I lived in Freidrichstrasse in about 1953-4 (I was pre school age at the time), so don't remember the station at that time. I do remember it on the 2 subsequent visits I made (in 1973 and - I think - 1981) because I was nearly arrested by the East German border guards on both occasions! Two quite long stories ....... too long for here!

 

David C


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#20 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 19:45

Oh, I don't know, long stories are good...

 

Not so great is our progress... sadly one of our members decided to purchase an engine which transpired to be too wide for our carefully measured platform clearances!  :mad: 

 

Net result; lots of track-lifting, amid muttered threats of inserting any new acquisition fouling our amended track alignment where the sun does not shine...and German H0 locos are quite large with lots of knobbly bits...

 

...sore.

 

Anyway, tomorrow is our club open day. Hopefully we will have the trams up and running.


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#21 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 18:07

Hope the open day went well, any photographic record of the trams today?

#22 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 18:54

Yes, we managed to get the tram line running... Hurrah! We had a constructive day today, with the tram lines wired up; albeit to a temporary controller.

 

Tram Lines.jpg

The tram lines

 

Tram.jpg

This is a standard Kato 4-wheeled tram, which has been rubbed down with an abrasive brush. A very slow and painstaking process, which can easily foul-up an expensive model if it goes wrong. If done correctly (which this most certainly has) the most amazing effect can be achieved. The only other external modification is the addition of transfers.

 

Station.jpg

The roof really adds to the effect, pity about the need to remove the track in the central roads. In the far background are a pair of Wiking Berlin Stadtbuses; obtained for the princely sum of £3.00 each at a recent show.

 

Still to come - videos! Once uploaded onto the Tube of You...


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#23 Claude_Dreyfus

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 19:43

Let's add a short video as well...

 

 


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#24 Andy Reichert

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 19:56

I'm looking forward to seeing the river bridge finished.


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#25 Bernard Lamb

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 20:05

Oh, I don't know, long stories are good...

 

Not so great is our progress... sadly one of our members decided to purchase an engine which transpired to be too wide for our carefully measured platform clearances!  :mad:

 

 

Just found this thread.

I like it.

I had a similar experience when I bought a BR52.

The hole in the back scene was too narrow for the cylinders to pass through.

Much bad language and hacking away at the opening ensued.

Regarding the real station.

A bit of a long story.

One day around 1974 I arrived at the station heading west.

There were dozens of American tourists in the hall and there was obviously a plan afoot to keep them there for a few hours.

I handed my passport in at the pigeon hole and prepared for a long wait.

Almost immediately a figure appeared with a uniform and Russian style hat smothered in gold braid.

He saluted me, picked up my bag and escorted me to the barrier.

The Americans looked on in astonishment.

I had not checked my visa but later on reading the fine print worked out that it stated that the bearer could travel to any city in East Germany without further hindrance.

A normal visa is valid for one place only unless you re register with the local police.

Because my future wife's family lived in a restricted area I had been issued with this special document.

The local officials in Berlin did not know who I was or why I had this document but were not going to take a chance of getting into trouble by holding me up.

Bernard


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