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JimFin

Neuburg

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Following a visit to Minatur wunderland a few years ago I embarked on a project inspired by Swiss railways and the diaoramas in Hamburg showing the evolution of a section of Berlin from the end of the war to the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

 

I set out to model a typical Swiss style RhB station but a modest enough size to enable a number of versions to be build showing the changes over the years. The station is fictional but based on some careful research and complete liberties being taken to fit my requirements of the railway being set into the scenery, to try and capture the atmosphere, and be capable of being exhibited.

 

On that basis, Neuburg 1913 was completed last year and attended two exhibitions where it was very positively received by visitors and attracted the attention of Continental Modeller - with a subsequent article being included in the "Modelling Swiss Railways" special edition.

 

Pictures of the layout can be found here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157678299593533/

 

This is how it looks on display - 

 

post-25736-0-30762500-1548592820_thumb.jpg

 

I have decided to share, if anyone is interested, the process of building Neuburg 2013 as some of what I do is very conventional and some a bit different.

 

 

 

 

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Looks very good Jim.

 

I saw your layout in the CM Swiss Special. It is a bit different having no catenary.

 

Keep up the good work with the Swiss modelling!

 

Kind regards,

 

Peter

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Hello Jim :) The build and where it’s going to be out and about are always going to be of interest. 

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Baseboards.

Well - you have to have them..... For this layout 3 boards, 1.2m X 0.8m each and when assembled gives 2.4m X 1.2m (8 X 4 in imperial). Construction is a frame of 75 x 25 and 50 X 25 plus all the bits I had from dismantling and old bed base. Start with just a simple frame for the first board which is at the loco shed end of the layout.

496236778_IMG_20180730_215856272(1).jpg.adc93aa3e6545ce5d761f81a8835b0d6.jpg

 

Then add 4 Ikea height adjustable legs onto corner reinforcements in MDF. Making sure diagonals are equal before fixing. Also added a plinth to the side where the centre board adjoins.

249849497_IMG_20180731_205245807(1)_LI.jpg.f6aebbe9d106862bd91c7d18c5adeb6b.jpg

Repeat the process for the other 2 boards and then add vertical supports to reach the level for track base - to accommodate the viaduct., 320mm. Subsequent boards only have 2 legs each and are supported by the plinth on the previous board.

387028473_IMG_20180805_205821564(1).jpg.34b580c20158d5f61c32450d14c5c383.jpg

Lay base for track - exterior quality ply to avoid risk of warping.

IMG-20181103-WA0002.jpg.9dedaa50358c42580dd3a55c3dbf9266.jpg

Trace contours from 1913 layout and adjust for changed features e.g width of modern road. Cut thin ply for formers between boards and thick ply for ends and faces.

1626191888_IMG_20181104_125818197(1).jpg.e6c3dd098c9970af54368fa0ef86dc48.jpg1809757536_IMG_20181104_125843884_HDR(1).jpg.5917a2e4b85c75d6669464214c4f17ec.jpg

Boards are joined by 8mm wing bolts fitted to "tee nuts". On each board 2 are threaded and 2 machined out which act as an alignment sleeve for the bolt. Its pretty basic but as these are not taking any of the weight of the layout, that is carried by the plinth, these bolts are purely for alignment.

At that point - ready for track laying. From past experience (advantage of this project is a I did it before!) formers are not installed over the fiddle yard until it is laid.

 

Edited by JimFin
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Hi Jim, it will be great to see how you built this, it's very much up my street being interested in the RhB of this era ie steam locos and no catenary. I've been thinking of building a layout something along these lines recently. It would have to fit in the back of my estate car for transport so approx. 3' x 5', although due to a growing collection :rolleyes: I'm guessing it will have to be a bit bigger now so maybe double that! I'll be interested to get any tips on track and scenery etc,

Regards, Chris

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Track Plan.

 

Its a bit of a wind back as the track plan for this layout is driven by 1913 so by way of background - the perfect research resource for planning an RhB layout - 

 

IMG_20190205_191401833.jpg.a020ad2d68f8fa876f6ec8c1fc19561e.jpg

 

The layout is substantially based on Bergun - where the Albula Museum happens to be. Marvellous place to visit with the social and railway engineering history of the area very well presented - along with good cafe an excellent bookshop. Very helpful folk who have responded to my subsequent poorly translated e-mails with additional information.

 

So - this is the actual 1903 track plan -

IMG_20190205_191208754.jpg.c7680b5ffbd5cbeb55373689f0b5b40c.jpg

 

To fit the space available, the right hand end has to curve in the opposite direction and the station siding is replace with a short spur to the loading bay.

 

2124534834_Neuburgtrackplan1913.jpg.517ac30cb32c0e668d967d281db10e18.jpg

 

By 1999 - the station had evolved, losing the turntable and limited use of the engine shed but with a further siding for engineering use. The long siding had become an access line for the Museum.

 

IMG_20190205_191230789.jpg.7ef111837907f7cece0ab104e7bbae83.jpg

 

For my purpose and looking at the detail of the station, I am not including the museum - while very tempting - but have realign the track as the station was rebuilt with lines 1 and 2 together as running lines, platform 1 being at the station building side and a large island platform between 2 and 3. The short spur is lost but amended loco shed are retained.

 

396210342_Neuburg2013trackplan.jpg.72048f0c90ec56618399f8ffee3552c8.jpg

 

With that bit of background, next notes will be tracklaying.

 

 

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Tracklaying and electrics.

 

Continuing the saga -

 

As this layout is DCC the basic wiring needs to be laid in with the tracklaying. My basic approach is to lay the track and wiring simultaneously making sure that it all runs perfectly before moving on - so lots of running of locos as I go and later, running trains with both bogie stock and short wheelbase as it's a lot easier to tune and adjust at this stage rather than later - does that sound like the voice of experience speaking?

 

Track is all Peco HOm and I use rail connectors with soldered drop wires at all appropriate joins and if there is a rail section without a feed, solder drop wires direct to the underside of the rail at a convenient point. The points are all live frog so are insulated on both frog ends. I have not found it necessary to use the electrical feeds to the frogs with switching as the blades have proved to be reliable enough to pass the current without any great issue. An infrequent clean of the rail contact surfaces seems to be enough. I do wonder if this is because of the better conductivity of 16v AC rather than the 12v DC used when the design of live frogs was developed? 

 

image.png.fa5f7b92076ac8570c86a12e6a32fa99.png

 

Once all laid out, fixing starts from the fiddle yard and works out to the visible area. I mark and drill 8mm holes at the centre point of the tie bar for each point as it is fixed into place for the servo actuator. At each rail join, the board is drilled for the dropper wires. 

 

Track is laid in the visible area direct onto the baseboard with fine pins securing it and flexi track cut in situ with s Dremel type drill fitted with a diamond cutting disk, the disk is slightly larger diameter than the drill to allow vertical cuts and can also be used to smooth and adjust length.

Temporary wiring is connected and extensively tested with different locos and stock, long and short wheelbase, to ensure smooth running as minor adjustment and tuning is much easier at this stage.

 

image.png.6294ae4a1a744037006b895d15f762eb.png

 

Its at this point that I ballast the visible area. The way I go about this is to unpin the track completely and ease it up about 1 cm from the baseboard and slide “Tracklay” (https://www.tracklay.co.uk/ ) underlay under the track, sticky side up. Its cut to length as I go and worked round the dropper wires. No underlay at the tie bars. The track is then firmly pushed back down onto the baseboard and pinned where curves are strained and tested with locos again.

 

Provided all is well, a bead of PVA adhesive is applied to each edge of the underlay and onto about 4mm of the baseboard. I use N gauge light grey ballast, is then liberally sprinkled over the prepared area and firmed down by running over with a foam paint roller.  The excess can then be lifted off with a vacuum cleaner but saved for later use. I simply pull a fine woven cloth in a hose join which captures the ballast and can be emptied back into the tub.

 

Ends up looking like this –

 

image.png.fdc9fa7e7583d509cef509bc7b78a4b6.png

 

Again, test and adjust for smooth running making sure no ballast is fouling wheels, points etc. Being satisfied that everything runs smoothly, I clear everything away and flip the layout on its side to complete the wiring, find it much easier on the back that way!

 

image.png.d69d214bdcf4ddee1e8928550c577e61.png

 

I use domestic 2 core flex for the main power and 3 ESU Servo Pilot controllers for the points, each module runs 4 points and is programmable from push buttons on the unit. There is 1 ESU Switch Pilot which operates the 2 Led signals, 1 servo for the loco shed doors and 2 circuits for the LED lighting. On this layout I am using more lights than 1913 so am using a separate 12V supply for them but with the output from the Switch Pilot operating the low power side of a relay. Connections between boards uses 9pin connectors which are wired with tails on the workbench which then go onto connectors screwed to the underside of the baseboard. The fixed socket is attached to the side of the baseboard by a 3d printed bracket, in white.

 

image.png.ff814c0372bef6e9cbe75b6f63842c29.pngimage.png.92a70f76d6065e82221ff29f612b240d.png    

 

Once installed – and checked with a multi meter, everything is tidied up with spiral cable wrap and fastened to clips on the baseboard.

 

image.png.3efe641d5b7f78da4ce26f4fd34dafa9.png

 

At that point, flip it back upright and run trains test points etc to make sure everything behaves as intended.

So – with track laid, ballasted and electrics working, I can move on to the scenic part of the job, unfortunately the first part of that is to paint the track another job I am not too keen on but you have to do it!

 

Hope you find this description interesting, happy to answer questions and have your comments.

 

 

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Seemed like a reasonable way to spend an otherwise grey and damp Thursday morning -

 

IMG_20190307_114738594.jpg.043c08755c749ea3e9fa8e5dcf2b4401.jpgIMG_20190307_114718368.jpg.50224cc6a1f684b99ba1ce85c59d7ae7.jpg

 

The disposable mini brushes are great for this job.

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Not been able to do a lot on this over the last few weeks, some family commitments and needed to spend some time on the 1913 layout, routine maintainence with some improvements - new lighting rig, swivel shelf for the laptop control and after some experiment, added ambient sound using a bluetooth speaker under the station building. Will see how that is received. The lighting and shelf now need to be stripped down and properly finished.  

 

IMG_20190401_214702992.jpg.dc48b0f6de063f451a111b6b85ea28c6.jpg           IMG_20190407_155024165.jpg.e96323727b500058fbd09b58e6465429.jpg


 

 

 

 

Edited by JimFin
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On the 2013 layout, only managed to position the plywood base for roads which had to include the road overbridge. It is based on a prototype where the original stone arch bridge has had a (crude and ugly) concrete width extension.  I am not that pleased with the model - but its a fair reflection of the prototype!

IMG-20190203-WA0008.jpg.b43c79a13b36c64cce483d31f7360fc3.jpgIMG-20190203-WA0009.jpg.fe0fc8ffed142de49cd8ed5612aa2d0b.jpg

 

Could not resist adding the first photo spanning the 100 years! Theme is firmly - same but different.

 

IMG_20190407_154136178.jpg.bc16ff38e551d92cba34c76d9477f798.jpg  IMG_20190407_154104620.jpg.ef6eb8a8d4b5c695d0c397419c8ebd1c.jpg

 

Apart from that - island platform has progressed well - plywood base fronted with 3d printed "concrete" panels and pretty well all the rest printed. Lighting is using LED adhesive strips with opaque sections to represent fluorescent fittings. Still a work in progress, not sure I am happy with the platform texture - will add some weathering and see if that improves it or it might be +++redo+++

 

IMG_20190317_204908717.jpg.a93cf0ffb3a9fd0c80bc3008afc127e8.jpg  IMG_20190407_154358055.jpg.6169dc7ca0b6d2ab7c0fa6f416c19444.jpg

 

 

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Been busy with other things recently and 2013 had to take a back seat but able to make some progress now. Buildings that sit in front of the backscene are largely complete and I am happy with the evolving look.

 

112039816_comparebackdropbuildings.jpg.862e576081df1957af4e493a190623b1.jpg

 

Not sure about station island platform however, it kind of overpowers the foreground, need to rethink that aspect.

 

 

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Continuing to be not happy with the platform, made me realise, I was not happy with the station building either!  It was not an RhB prototype and I knew what I wanted 2013 to look like so - 1913 had to be re-worked.

 

I am please with the result (3D printed) as have been able to produce both version simultaneously. This is how 1913 now looks.

 

 

IMG_20190721_165431620.jpg

IMG_20190721_165453443.jpg

Edited by JimFin
typo
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Very nice Jim. Been meaning to ask, you use DCC for your RhB steam locos. I know the Bemo G3/4 has a clip out bit to swap for a chip, is the G 2/2+2/2 as straight forward? Also do you have sound in them too? I'm a bit of a novice with DCC. 

 

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4 hours ago, A4CML said:

Very nice Jim. Been meaning to ask, you use DCC for your RhB steam locos. I know the Bemo G3/4 has a clip out bit to swap for a chip, is the G 2/2+2/2 as straight forward? Also do you have sound in them too? I'm a bit of a novice with DCC. 

 

Thanks - the Mallets, Rhatia and Heidi are all basically the same configuration with the cut out section for the chip below the cab floor, its a straight swap for a solder in integrated 6 pin micro chip ( like this - https://www.petersspares.com/zimo-mx617n-mini-dcc-6-pin-direct-decoder-new-enhanced-specification-13x9x25mm-15a-peak-6-func.ir ) as the chip fits the space you have just cleared. Needs some neat careful soldering. They are not sound, the only sound loco I have is is the snow blower but I have ordered the new Bemo Maloja with factory sound. Just hoping the exchange rate does not sink too much further before it arrives!

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Thanks for the info Jim, that clarifies things to this old DC brain! I have one chipped loco, I just need to make my mind up whether to go full DCC as I may have to hard-wire some locos. I'd love to hear what the mallet sounds like despite the eye-watering price! 

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You know when you think it is all going so well................

 

So - I was about to start the terrain forming and decided to have a sustained running session before I cover the track etc with cling film and it was going great, one broken wire to a servo which had been stressed on an edge need to be fixed which was fine - but then - a realisation running a proper selection of stock rather than just locos that modern trains are far longer than the average 1913 and in reality only one of the fiddle yard siding was long enough :( . 

 

Given that the geometry of the points means the fiddle yard already took up the entire length of the layout but under the scenery left me with some head scratching. The best solution which I can make fit, after a fashion, is a 1.2m long traverser which has to be a separate unit and will bridge a join in the baseboards as they are only 800mm wide.

 

So - task list - remove fiddle yard track and wiring, take out fiddle yard baseboard on centre module and half off it on left hand module, manufacture and fit new demountable traverser as a new module that can be lifted out and turned through 90 degrees to slip under the scenery on the centre module for transport.

 

Best go and get cracking on then. Terrain will have to wait for a bit.

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Can’t you fit in the curved points to stretch the sidings? A traverser is good for space but if you may want to have two trains arriving or departing together which is fairly common on the modern system. You may need tracks offset at either end to serve two different traverser tracks or a point splitting to twin roads at one end so you can have the offset or a continuous loop ;) 

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The curved points help but their geometry would still only give me two siding of 110 usable length (loco, baggage plus 4 coaches).  Been through the TT track libraries but cannot see a 3 way point from anyone. Not confident enough in my own ability to scratch build my first complex point for an exhibition layout! I am going to leave a point at one end as you suggest and may run it into the traverser depending how things go or have a headshunt which would be long enough for a railcar.

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According to their catalogue, Tillig do a code 83  TT 3-way point, item no 83230 . I've no experience of this (I use Peco track) , but it's mentioned in a thread in the German railways section of RM Web

In case this helps

Mike

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Mike - many thanks - I had not realised it was a 3 way from the icon in the Any Rail track library.  Had a good look at the spec but unfortunately it would not work in this instance as the Bemo HOm would not negotiate the 22 R it offers. In the hidden section I run 35 R as a minimum having found that is the realistic tightest they are happy with. 

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Jim, Bemo should negotiate 330mm radius and the Tillig 3 way point is 353mm radius. The only issue with the modern stock I found was the brake pipes on the modern Haik vans as they are too close if coupled back to back, a bit of judicious bending to the side clears that problem though ;) 

Edited by PaulRhB
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Paul,

 

330 works but the G4/5 don't like it and I have issues with the driver trailers running first at that radius, seem more stable at 350. But you are right, the point is 353 - not sure how I read it that it was 220. Played on Any Rail and it just wont work as I end up with a reverse curve through the point and still only have 3 sidings and they are now all less than 110.

 

Traverser I think will give me 5 or 6 roads of 110 each.

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Yep traverser certainly works for capacity :) It was more just in case it’s useful in future for the 3 way. 

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