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Die Ercallbahn - Fulfilling a childhood dream.


ian
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Now, that looks great fun with the continuous circuit and up and doowwwnnnn the hill. When it was titled “short circuit” I was looking forward to a big flash and bang, ah, well...

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Woody C said:

In addition to hesitation, repetition and deviation it appears that there is a fair amount of resonance also being created. Is this just the camera picking up noise or has Wickes finest quality timber inadvertantly created a rather large sound bin? Never seen the 'Ear defenders should be worn whilst operating model railway' warning on manufactures boxes before but then as I never read instructions until the point that it doesn't work and I have admitted that I cannot put it back together because that is the only way to find out what's wrong, I may well have missed that one. 

 

But trains are supposed to be loud.

 

You have obviously never experienced a model railway that is mostly made of metal in action. The locos are cast metal chassis with cast metal bodies and only the occasional lump of plastic. The tank wagons are tinplate chassis with tinplate tanks - even the walkways and handrails are metal stampings. The covered van's brown bits are plastic - the doors and roof are metal with the chassis being a combination of the two. This results in a train that rattles and thumps as it goes over the rail joins and roars at speed.

 

As for the track:

210415.jpg

 

The rails are hollow - being pressed from sheet metal. The track base is hollow - being pressed from sheet metal. This is all screwed down onto the the plywood with no form of cushioning or insulation.

 

On the plus side - it saves a fortune not having to install DCC sound! :jester:

Edited by ian
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1 hour ago, ian said:

 

But trains are supposed to be loud.

 

You have obviously never experienced a model railway that is mostly made of metal in action. The locos are cast metal chassis with cast metal bodies and only occasioanl lump of plastic. The tank wagons are tinplate chassis with tinplate tanks - even the walkways and handrails are metal stampings. The covered van's brown bits are plastic - the doors and roof are metal with the chassis being a combination of the two. This results in a train that rattles and thumps as it goes over the rail joins and roars at speed.

 

As for the track:

210415.jpg

 

The rails are hollow - being pressed from sheet metal. The track base is hollow - being pressed from sheet metal. This is all screwed down onto the the plywood with no form of cushioning or insulation.

 

On the plus side - it saves a fortune not having to install DCC sound! :jester:

You'll need to type louder - I have your YouTube video going at the moment! 

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210419.jpg

 

An engineering possession.

 

After getting the circuit operational reason departed her throne long enough for me to put a liberal quantity of Track Magic on the rails at the start of the Neustadt loop so that the TEE RAm unit could distribute it around the circuit.

 

Needless to say the resulting program of events was not quite as planned. With grip reduced to non-existent the unit couldn't even haul itself around the loop and other trains didn't achieve a lot either. No disrespect intended to Deluxe's product, it is (more or less) naphtha and is an admirable cleaner (see later), however until it all evaporated it was game over as far as running trains went so I moved on to a bigger job.

 

I needed to lift a few rails to relocate some of the contact tracks that will work the signals. Whilst I was at it there was a point that had developed a habit of sticking so it was slated for replacement. Bear in mind that these points average about 50 years old so a little bit of wear and tear is expected. A few points on the laid section have developed this habit so I have adopted the policy of giving them a good clean up (including a dunk in a bath of the afore-mentioned Naphtha) and fettle. Plain track gets a dunk too to remove the residue of a long life. Whilst I was at it the railbus siding was shortened as the newly acquired railbus does not play nicely with its sibling. All is not lost however, I have somewhere else that it can be employed.

 

So the picture shows the west end of Neustadt at its lowest ebb. Mind you when this lot is finished the east end is in for some disruption too.

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210425-1.jpg

 

The possession continues. The towers and cross-spans have reappeared and Gleis 3 is regaining its catenary. Obviously its removal was a gross waste of money and irate letters are in the process of being penned to the local newspaper.

 

 

210425-2.jpg

 

This is the reason for re-stringing the wires - I have added the ability for main line trains to run into Gleis 3 from the east end allowing them to be passed by a following one. (Mind you, I haven't quite given up hope of getting an ET 420 up the hill from Maifeld either...)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having watched the video I am in awe! Firstly there is the fascination of watching the automated control of the trains especially effective on the mainline - its mesmerising and in some way an antidote to the outside World! Secondly as this is the first model railway video that I have ever seen to contain a health and safety warning on loud noise! I feel almost responsible! There is almost something Simpsonish here - ' 

Kent Brockman : Springfield has come down with a fever: football fever. If you have the fever, there's only one cure. Take 2 tickets, and see the game Sunday morning.

TV Service Announcer : Warning. Tickets should NOT be taken internally.

Homer : See? Because of me, now they have a warning.' 

 

image.png.e1a877bb963486bb2e249f2f9f7fd135.png

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13 hours ago, Woody C said:

Secondly as this is the first model railway video that I have ever seen to contain a health and safety warning on loud noise! I feel almost responsible!

 

Your own claim on a little bit of immortailty. :jester:

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210508-1.jpg

 

Work at the east end of Neustadt has now been completed. The points have been wired in, the catenary strung and energised, contact rails relocated/installed, one uncoupler and two signals relocated and the platforms shortened.

 

 

210119-3.jpg

Library photo (!)


Whilst looking at the west end to reinstate the overhead a thought struck me about the Shell depot (indicated on the photo by the tank wagon and large hole).

 

As originally drawn the siding for the depot was to go along the wall - extending from where the goods shed currently is - something like this:

 

obresdorf.jpg

 

The relocated siding meant that the site for the depot, being triangular, was never really suitable for the collection of buildings that was supposed to fit there so, what if I put the depot back where it was supposed to be?

 

210508-2.jpg

 

Everything slots neatly into place and, as a bonus, if I move the goods shed to the vacated siding I can use its old track to hold wagons being interchanged between the branch and main line so that they don't need to sit on the goods arrival/run-round loop.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

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'What could possibly go wrong?'

Great progress Ian but this does sound as though you are expectant of some form of problem or are you? You have an ability to leave readers hanging in suspense! You weren't involved in scripting Line of Duty were you?

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2 hours ago, Woody C said:

Great progress Ian but this does sound as though you are expectant of some form of problem or are you?

 

I am cogniscant of the operation of Murphy's law, my ability to see a far better solution once work is underway (or more usually, just as it is completed) and my habit of changing my mind about the parameters of my little world.

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3 hours ago, ian said:

 

I am cogniscant of the operation of Murphy's law, my ability to see a far better solution once work is underway (or more usually, just as it is completed) and my habit of changing my mind about the parameters of my little world.

Sounds normal to me. 

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210513-1.jpg

 

The new oil depot siding has gone in at Neustadt. The access well is now a little snug but as it is only for maintenance purposes rather than operating that isn't really a problem.

 

The covered wagon is on what is now the goods shed siding with the takers in the new depot.

 


210513-2.jpg

 

Moving the camera around you can see that the overhead is now fully restored over the west end of the station. The two colour light signals have their covers off so that some contact cleaner can be applied to the internal gubbins.

 


210513-3.jpg

 

The main line now has its own controllers wired in, albeit not located in their final resting place. Until now the main line trains have been controlled by the Neustadt local controller which has meant that a high enough setting to get up the hill was applied all the way around the circuit. Now the circuit is divided up so that each area has its own setting. Trains now descend cautiously and traverse the flat at a more restrained speed. This has had the benefit of reducing the noise levels when in full operation somewhat. It also means that main line trains can continue to run whilst shunting takes place at Neustadt.

 

One thing has, as a result, had to be added to the 'to do' list. The main line needs a DCC  style big red button to stop the trains in their tracks when there is an impending calamity.

 


210513-4.jpg

 

Finally, catenary is now starting to inch its way around the temporary loop which will allow a full selection of locos to traverse the main line.

 

Onwards!

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Posted (edited)

With the completion of the overhead on the temporary loop the main line is now available for the electric locos to come out and play.

 

 

With the main line fully operational I can move on to some scenery in the Neustadt area.

 

Unless these two characters have something else planned...

 

210518.jpg

 

 

Edited by ian
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Have watched the video twice and may take my ear defenders off when I watch it a third and fourth time! I can watch this time and time again, its just fascinating, informative and fantastic fun!  For those of us following your progress in this thread Ian, I'm sure this video suddenly brings it all together and we all wish we had your layout in our own homes to enjoy! Must bring some good memories from Christmas 1968 and did you ever think over 50 years on you would still have the loco and the layout of your dreams?

 

'Unless these two characters have something else planned' . I can't help thinking this may be a lure to see if I bite!  Well whether or not I will. Are they intent on getting hold of beer in crate or some other form or are they looking at some form of line realignment to allow for some fine scale development?

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8 hours ago, ian said:

With the completion of the overhead on the temporary loop the main line is now available for the electric locos to come out and play.

 

 

With the main line fully operational I can move on to some scenery in the Neustadt area.

 

Unless these two characters have something else planned...

 

210518.jpg

 

 


I’m with @Woody C - loved it.  Bit concerned it’s the third time this week I’ve been enthralled by European Overhead Electrics though...

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210521-1.jpg

 

The big red buttons are now in place.

Four strategically placed buttons are illuminated when the main line is powered - pressing any of them cuts the traction power straight away.


210521-4.jpg

 

This is the business end - three Gaugemaster GM500 relays providing six sets of change-over contacts: one for each controller and one for the LEDs in the buttons.


210521-2.jpg

 

There are also two green buttons - for connecting the power.

The buttons are the same pattern as used in arcade machines.
Ready player 1!


210521-3.jpg

 

Apparently these two are big-wigs from Hamburg and Bremen who have come to inspect the changes that were made. Hopefully they will buzz off soon.

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Up most respect Ian! The White House has one red button but you have four! Hopefully the consequences of using yours are somewhat lesser then the one in the White house! 

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Perhaps it is time that we caught up with the on-going crisis at Schwarzfelsen.

 

 

210523-2.jpg

 

Herr Rothe returned to his restaurant, by the back door so that he could make some 'phone calls before speaking to the two Manfreds. Suspicious behaviour? No, not really, let me explain...

 

The co-operative has no premises other than a filing cabinet at the restaurant. Wagons arrive at the station, are unloaded into the lorries over a 23 hour period and delivered direct to the businesses. If a whole wagon's worth of supplies appeared at the restaurant late on Friday afternoon it would make his day even worse. With a bit of tenacity he managed to speak to the goods shed at Neustadt, got them to speak to Bahncontrol and agree that the wagon would sit at Neustadt over the weekend and return to Schwarzfelsen on Monday.

 

Having dodged that bullet he then went to explain how it worked to the Manfreds. As half of the goods had already been delivered it was not surprising that they weren't there. He gave the dynamic duo a list of what was still to be delivered, poured himself a stiff dink from the bar and retired to his office.

 

Armed with a new list the force started counting again (except Blitz, who decided to have a nap in Thomas's car) whilst the Manfreds returned to the police station to start on the paperwork.

 


210523-1.jpg

 

The afternoon pickup has arrived at Neustadt and everyone there is expecting a special wagon. The crew, however, have a van that was picked up at Maifeld Gbf. and are in the process of picking up a van marked to go back to Frankfurt.

 

As there is nothing else to be done, the borrowed lorry returns to Maifeld Gbf. and the goods shed closes down for the weekend.

 


210523-3.jpg

 

As the afternoon drew to a close the Manfreds returned to Schwrazfelsen after a radio call from Stefan saying that the count was complete. The items on the loading dock, in the lorries and in the wagon matched exactly the list that Herr R. had given to the detectives. The two crestfallen sleuths gave orders for the captives in the goods office to be released and slunk off quickly to avoid any recriminations.

 

Last to leave was Thomas who was buttonholed by one of the erstwhile suspects. A crate of beer that he had purchased from the co-operative and placed under the loading platform had disappeared during the day. Thomas had to agree that it was there when he had arrived and called the details in. The call handler wasn't falling for it a second time and said he'd put a request for the Manfreds to investigate in due course.

 


210523-4.jpg

 

After leaving the station the two Manfreds nipped back to the elder one's flat for a quick wash and brush up as they had a double date with the receptionist and nurse from Herr Dr. Muntz's dental surgery at Alfredos.

 

Alfredos is one of the Schonblick businesses which, despite local rivalries, knows a good deal when they see one and get supplies from the Schwarzfelsen co-operative. For some reason today they haven't had their alcohol delivery and beer is in short supply. Fortunately the younger M. remembered that there was some in the boot of the car...

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210606-b.jpg

 

Afer a bit of delay dealing with domestic chores the Neustadt Shell depot is complete.

 


210606-a.jpg

 

This is a view that will never be seen on the layout - the unloading equipment alongside the siding.

 


210606-c.jpg

 

You won't see this view either, as it is alongside the other wall.

 


210606-d.jpg

 

The gate in the foreground is only opened when there is a tanker ready to leave - by keeping it closed it stops anyone driving or parking under the filling pipes.

 


210606-e.jpg

 

Here it is in position.

 


210606-f.jpg

 

And in full christmas tree mode.

 

Now, what shall I tackle next?

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210609-1.jpg

 

Even in the Ercallverse sometimes it is necessary to wield a paint brush.


210609-2.jpg

 

Whilst the paints were out this bus got a few dabs for the lights, the front wheels put at an angle (albeit not at the correct Ackerman divergence) and a few passengers. It could do with a couple more (passengers - not front wheels).


210609-3.jpg

 

The earwigs (sorry, big-wigs) are still poking around.

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