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Progress on "The sidings"

Mikkel

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The management is pleased to report some progress on the sidings. The baseboard was built some time ago. It is 10 mm foamboard topped with cork, giving a nice light baseboard which weighs in at 900 grams. So far no warping issues.

 

 

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The height adjusters are DIY – a simple bolt and screw, fitted with rubber pads for silencing cupboard doors. The latter are very handy, as they hold the legs firmly in place on all surfaces, and absorb vibration. There will be 8 of these in total when I’m done.

 

 

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The original track plan was done in Anyrail for Peco code 75, in order to get a feel for things while I pondered how far I wanted to go in terms of track accuracy. I've decided to continue with C&L track components as used on my goods depot, and will give their turnout kits a try.

 

 

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I’ve done mock-ups of the main buildings on the layout. This has been a very useful exercise and has led to various changes.

 

 

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The large building at the back will be a stable block, based on the one at Uxbridge. This had 9 stalls and a storage room. The smaller building on the right is based on Captain Kernow’s photos of the checker’s cabin at Truro. I’ve worked out the approximate dimensions of the latter, based on a count of bricks and studying Google Earth. Many thanks to Boris, Ian, Job, Chubber and Captain Kernow for help with drawings and photos of these and similar buildings.

 

 

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The shed in the “biscuit siding”, which will be based on the old beer shed at Stratford on Avon.

 

 

 

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The waterworks siding. The intention was to have a low-relief backdrop but I don’t really like the whole set-up. It looks too cramped and makes it difficult to reach the fiddle yard. I may leave this siding without scenery and consider it “off-scene”.

 

 

As previously discussed, the idea is to use gravity shunting for the biscuit siding. The video above shows the basic concept with a 1:60 gradient and a single length of Peco track. I had hoped to achieve a slower roll (as this is not hump shunting), but it’s tricky to find the balance between the right speed and the desired length of the roll. The length of the gradient and the curve/turnout are critical factors, as is the wagon weight, wheel gauge, wheel type, bearings, rail type and the way each wagon interacts with another!

 

I have given up trying to work out some grand formula for the gravity shunting. Instead I'll follow a simple trial-and error approach. First step is to get the actual track and C+L turnout in place. Following this, I’ll use a small selection of wagons with similar qualities to set the final gradient. I may install retarders (eg toothbrush bristles) in selected hidden places such as inside the biscuit shed.

 

I’m thinking that, in practice, wagons would probably have been braked before they entered the biscuit shed, and then worked by other means into the shed. But on that one I’ll claim modeller’s license.

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Looking good Mikkel, I like the out of the box approach for retarding the wagons, I hope it works for you. Even so, I'm still very impressed with the way in which the wagons seem to slow down upon entering the shed.

 

Looking forward to further updates.

 

Kind regards

 

Grahame

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Hi Grahame, I'm still laughing at your SWAG video!

 

The slowing down on entering the shed is a bit of good luck with the trackplan: What happens is that the curve takes most of the momentum out of the vans. As the curve is also the first flat bit after the gradient, they slow down quickly.

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At least they dont burst out through the far end of the shed!  Nice concept tho'.

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Great stuff. The sooner we all get away from using wood, the better!

 

Those triangles in the corners, Mikkel, into which the legs are fixed - are they also foamboard?

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Coming along nicely Mikkel, those adjusting feet for the baseboards are very neat. Good to see the gradient testing has worked well, the slowing down around the bend is really effective.

 

Always good to get an update from Farthing!

 

Dave

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If the checker building at Truro still exists and you need more photos or measurements, let me know. ( I live 3 miles away.)

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At least they dont burst out through the far end of the shed!  Nice concept tho'.

 

Hi Ian. Yes I had better make sure there is an extra safety device installed apart from the stops. It would be quite a sight though, to see a wagon crashing through the end of the shed :-)

 

 

Great stuff. The sooner we all get away from using wood, the better!

 

Those triangles in the corners, Mikkel, into which the legs are fixed - are they also foamboard?

 

Thanks Al. The foamboard works well for me but I know it's not to everyone's taste. The lightness isn't only an advantage: Those anti-skid rubber things I use on the height adjusters are quite important, as otherwise the baseboard would move around very easily.

 

On the triangles, yes they are also foamboard and you have hit on a design issue there. They work fine as long as everything is handled as intended, but I have been wondering what will happen if I accidentally lean on the baseboard! I think I need to either strengthen them considerably or use a proper wood block.

 

That said, I've been using the same method on my traverser for the goods depot for some time without issues, but that may just be a matter of time!

 

 

Coming along nicely Mikkel, those adjusting feet for the baseboards are very neat. Good to see the gradient testing has worked well, the slowing down around the bend is really effective.

 

Always good to get an update from Farthing!

 

Dave

 

Hi Dave, the adjusting feet work OK (but see comment on the design issue above). They have the added benefit that I can fine-tune the gradient for the shunting if necessary. It takes very little adjustment to increase or decrease the roll of the wagons - indeed it's so subtle that it can't be seen with the naked eye. So I have that back-up option if I don't get the gradient exactly right!

 

 

If the checker building at Truro still exists and you need more photos or measurements, let me know. ( I live 3 miles away.)

 

Hi Stu, as far as I know the building is still there, unless it was torn down very recently. The Captain's thread is here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/54452-typical-gwr-brick-built-shunters-cabin/

 

It's on Google Maps here (on the far side of the tracks just to the right of the tree at the end of the long footbridge): https://www.google.dk/maps/place/Truro/@50.2642042,-5.0656608,253m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x486b1648fcf4f7b9:0xfcab0c6f0087ee4f?hl=da

 

Thanks very much for the offer. No need for you to make a special visit, but if you happen to come by some day it would be interesting to see if I got the approx. measurements reasonably right. Although if you tell me *after* I have built it, please be gentle :-)

 

From the Captain's photos I counted it as 18 bricks wide. For the length I had trouble counting bricks, but it seems to be 61-63 bricks. Using the rule of thumb that a brick is approx 3 scale mms long that makes for a scale footprint of 54 x 183-189 mms.

 

I tried to check the length on Google Earth also. There are some containers next to the building which are also in the Captain

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I like the concept,

Looking forward to see the progress on this one.

Will give a lot of shunting opportunities.

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Hi Job, yes the shunting should be fun. I'm not much inclined towards "gimmicks" on a layout, but this one seems OK as it was actual prototype practice at Gloucester (more or less). And if I get tired of gravity shunting, I can just shunt with a loco as originally planned.

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It's good to see this 'bite' starting from the very beginning.  I shall follow with interest and, who knows, perhaps one day we shall see an entire elephant.

 

Your wagons do seem to be rolling rather fast - I find it hard to imagine the poor shunter keeping up, running alongside.  I do like the idea of 'toothbrush' brakes, though.  Perhaps you could arrange a mechanism to control the 'restrainers' with wire-in-tube from a pedal - seems an appropriate way to control brakes.

 

Mike

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Very nice progress Mikkel - big fan of mock ups myself as it allows a degree of change prior to committing.

 

It's going to be another lovely project no doubt and I look toward to follow its progress.

 

What I really like is how you lined up the baseboards with the floor grid for your photos :D

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bcnPete -

"What I really like is how you lined up the baseboards with the floor grid for your photos :D

"

 

I don't think we'd expect anything less from Mikkel !

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It's good to see this 'bite' starting from the very beginning.  I shall follow with interest and, who knows, perhaps one day we shall see an entire elephant.

 

Your wagons do seem to be rolling rather fast - I find it hard to imagine the poor shunter keeping up, running alongside.  I do like the idea of 'toothbrush' brakes, though.  Perhaps you could arrange a mechanism to control the 'restrainers' with wire-in-tube from a pedal - seems an appropriate way to control brakes.

 

Mike

 

Hi Mike, it's nice to be working on the third layout now, it gives a bit more meaning to the idea of a "series". That said, Farthing is really just a loose frame for the layouts, and the goal posts have been known to move :-)   But at least it has the advantage of narrowing the theme down a bit, otherwise I'd have a basement full of half-started layouts and stock from every railway in the world :-)

 

The shunters a Farthing were known for their lightning speed! No seriously, you are quite right, I will endeavour to reduce the speed of the vans. I'm not sure I can achieve what I ideally want though, because of the various factors mentioned above. It would be a great physics project for school: "Make a model railway wagon roll X distance at Y speed".

 

 

Very nice progress Mikkel - big fan of mock ups myself as it allows a degree of change prior to committing.

 

It's going to be another lovely project no doubt and I look toward to follow its progress.

 

What I really like is how you lined up the baseboards with the floor grid for your photos :D

 

Hi Pete, I have always admired your mock ups, they are works of art in themselves! I think mock ups are particularly good for working with viewblocks and creating a visual balance to the layout.

 

I have a challenge with the backscene though - my idea is to take a photo of my goods depot and have that as a backdrop, but I need something in front of that. It'll probably be a wall or a board fence, I have a prototype and an excuse in mind.

 

 

bcnPete - "What I really like is how you lined up the baseboards with the floor grid for your photos :D

" I don't think we'd expect anything less from Mikkel !

 

Well it did take ages to relay those tiles to align with the baseboards  :D

 

("Baseboards", is that always in plural in English? Please enlighten the clueless foreigner.).

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(a)......It would be a great physics project for school: "Make a model railway wagon roll X distance at Y speed".

 

( b )......"Baseboards", is that always in plural in English? Please enlighten the clueless foreigner.

Your reference to school physics reminded me about the apparatus for demonstrating Newton's 2nd law of motion. It took me a while to remember the name : 'Fletcher's trolley'. (search engines will tell you all about it)  

 

The first step was to tilt the ramp, so that the trolley ran at uniform speed, when given a gentle push to start.  Your problem is that the weights and friction of the wheels of your various wagons probably varies, so your first task is to make them all equal!   Make them all the same weight first and then, perhaps, you could find the slowest and damp the others with toothbrush bristles bearing on the axles.  A life-time's work probably :)

 

( b )  singular is ok but most model railways have several individual boards joined together

 

Mike

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Ah yes, it would have been handy to have good old Newton around for this exercise. Although he would probably have been exasperated at the human element. For Heavens sake man, are you saying that you have not built each wagon in exactly the same way?!  :)

 

I have a kit for a ganger's trolley in a drawer somewhere. Looks like the foreman will have to be named Fletcher.

 

Thanks for help with the "baseboard/s" query. My next step in proper education is to read up on English point terminology.

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 Thanks for help with the "baseboard/s" query. My next step in proper education is to read up on English point terminology.

 

Hi Mikkel,

 

I always applaude anyone for self betterment, but I think your command of the English language is seemingly better than some of the natives !

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Blame it on the Empire :-)

 

Meanwhile, I see C&L have a Mad March sale going on, including a nice discount on their points, er, turnouts. Good timing, I think I'll have a go with an A5 or B6 kit. I gather that the A5s are considered "un-natural" but it may be my only option for this layout design.

 

PS: And Anyrail have just added C&L OO to their track library, very convenient.

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Nice to see some bones on the concept.  Perhaps one way of checking the initial higher speed would be to have the biscuit siding fall away from the headshunt so that it ends up a little lower than the rest of the trackwork. In that way the incline along the whole layout would be less than 1:60 and the wagon speed more consistent along its length. If the track reverted to level as it entered the shed, your toothbrush bristle (shaving brush bristles may be softer?) retarders would prevent any accidents.

 

Different levels of track add another visual dimension, even if they are only a scale foot or two apart.

 

Hi Mikkel, I always applaude anyone for self betterment, but I think your command of the English language is seemingly better than some of the natives !

 

I'd say, '...is definitely better than most of the natives'.  Seriously - I often forget that English isn't your first language.

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That's a really good idea Adrian, thanks a lot. It would also allow me to reduce the gradient at the right hand end of the layout, which is a little too obvious for my liking. I'll make some experiments with that.

 

This project has been stalled for too long, one reason being that I haven't been able to muster any enthusiasm for building the track. I considered doing the whole thing with ready-made track but have now compromised and will build the plain track myself , while Hayfield on here builds the points for me. Meanwhile I'm looking into getting on with the buildings, which is what I really look forward to on this layout.

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