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Izzy

Priory Road - North East Essex in BR days

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I have looked at whether EZ line would be feasible for me, but I am not sure. The idea behind using the steel wire is too be able to fit it without adding any strain to the posts, indeed to help strengthen the whole structure. I’ll try and explain a bit more when I next post. 
 

Izzy

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Making the OHLE

 

The N brass cantilevers are two layer etched nickel-silver arms fitted to brass H section posts. These are the bridge type.

 

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These were all made up using my 15watt antex iron with a 1mm tip, holding the paired up arms with a couple of pairs of sprung tweezers to keep them all aligned. I actually found I had to solder one bit at a time and then make adjustments to keep them properly aligned.

 

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Using the iron with a small tip meant that when it came to soldering them to the posts there was plenty of time to hold the tip in place and make small movements to get the correct position as it took a while for the amount of heat needed to build up.

 

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The insulators are small fold-up etches fixed in place after putting the arms on the posts. Meant to be made into a V shape and then squeezed onto the arm I decided to use some scrap etch soldered up into a double layer the same thickness as the arms to shape them. Folding/squeezing them up around it with snipe nosed pliers. These were then hung on the arms, soldered into place, and the bottom edges then squeezed up again using the pliers.

 

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My original idea was to just drill a hole and plug the posts into the baseboard. With the bridge cantilevers this was possible because the arms were located at the top of the post, and at the height I had decided on there was plenty of post left beneath the concrete plinth (some plasticard glued in place) to go right down into the board a considerable distance. Indeed the locations I had picked for these turned out to be just where an underneath baseboard support existed and the holes went right down the middle of it giving the posts a good firm seating. They felt nice and secure, and being very close to the bridge it seemed unlikely they would get caught/knocked and pulled about.

 

However, the main cantilevers with their larger arms extending further down the posts meant there wasn’t much left to push into the board. So I decided to put lengths of 8ba studding on the bottom and bolt the posts into place for secure fixing. These were soldered onto the ends of the posts with the 15watt iron using a much bigger wedge tip.

 

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And bolted in place. This means that not only are they nice and secure but can/could be removed at any time if needed, make adjustment or repair damage etc.

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One other simple cantilever made was a home brew job, two arms on one post, needed for where the two separate lines join just before the signalbox. In these kind of scenarios how the contact wires are held depends on how long/short the divergence is, the angle of the turnout. As this was quite sharp, an A5 wye if I remember correctly, I could use the two arms on the one post as exists at the passing loop in Kirby Cross on the Walton-on-Naze branch. If it had been more shallower two separate cantilevers close together would have been needed. Although it doesn’t really show one arm is set slightly higher than the other since the diverging wire sits over the other.

 

898986702_RMwebOHLE12.jpg.ee4d16268f5aa154061f1ce24bbf7da9.jpg

 

The support wire for the arms I added using 9thou guitar wire. This is the ad-hoc arrangement I used to hold the bits while they were soldered into place.

 

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I think this may show the different positions of the arms, which is slight and all that is required. It might need adjusting further when the wires are actually put in place.

 

As this cantilever required only one post with the two arms this gave a spare post which was used for the Termination post at the end of the platform. Some are made with variable tensioning but in this case with end of platform use it seems fixed tension is used. This makes for a much simpler construction, so is just a couple of bits of spare etch made up like the cantilever arm ends with insulators over them. And spaced at the contact and support wire distances.

 

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All that left were the fixtures for the platform. Two lattice type support arms. These involved a little more work which I’ll show next post.

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The single platform OHLE supports at both Walton-on-Naze and St Boltophs are basically lattice type half portals. Elsewhere most stations are two platform and use a complete portal over both the tracks and these use the smaller H girder section as used with the cantilevers both for the posts and the cross beam.

 

Looking at the N brass range it seemed it would be possible to make these single track platform stuctures from the light lattice portal kits with a 4 track one being cut in half to make the two required, a two track one not being able to be sited towards the back of the platform. The design of these is that they are etched as fold-up box section parts, both the posts and the lattice crossmember.  Formers are available to assist in making them up this way, but as I intended to cut them up it was suggested that slicing them into separate pieces and soldering them up to form the sections might prove better.

 

After looking at the etches I chose to cut the lattice in half as the complete etch, and decided to try my hand at folding one bit up as a complete unit just to see how it worked. For this I used my home made folding clamp. This is just two lengths of steel flat drilled and tapped near the ends to take 6ba bolts and with one set of edges faced off with a end mill to produced clean sharp 90 degree edges to help with producing a good fold.

 

1422022792_RMwebOHLE15.jpg.d9c97abe30aecd99b80b87bcb41b3de3.jpg

 

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All worked okay in producing the U shape with two folds but I got stuck trying to make the third fold to get the square box finish as one side seemed longer than the others. So I flattened the etch and then sliced it up using a scalpel. Multiple cuts were needed to get through the half etched tabs as they run the whole length of the etch to keep it square.

 

1539410241_RMwebOHLE19.jpg.90b7e92d2a0bd8c5959b8ff3dc5b3d74.jpg

 

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These all then needed filing off. The shots show them after this was (mainly) done. Once done they were made up as L shaped pairs and then tack soldered together to get the box shape before finally running solder along all the joints. One side on both the legs and lattice did indeed prove larger/longer than the others and so care was taken to keep them square before filing off the excess. This all seemed quite laborious compared to making the cantilevers so I was glad I didn’t require lots of portals.

 

As with the cantilevers I added 8ba bolts on the bottom to help retain them in place. Luckily the platforms being made in my normal method of printed paper covered mountboard meant cutting the square apertures to sink them in was fairly easy to do with a drill and then scalpel.

 

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An etched base plinth was soldered into place on the posts to seat them hard down on the platform surface. This was done after these photos were taken. I also added the insulators to the contact wire hangers, which you may notice I had forgotten up until the shots were taken. This is one benefit of many with present day digital photography, the ability to double-check work as it proceeds. Some posts were sunk into concrete rising above platform level, others were not and just had the steel plate base, so I chose the latter. I presume the posts go down into the ground beneath for some distance whichever is used.

 

At this time all these parts have now been packed away awaiting painting. As I have said previously it’s not warm enough for spraying with a Halfords rattle can outside and I don’t think hand painting would give the best finish with regard to the lattice work so that’s it until the warmer weather returns in the spring.

 

Luckily I have plenty else to keep me going, too much actually, and the desire to concentrate on Priory Road and another small project using mostly the same rolling stock means some of the 2FS stock I’ve acquired/built/converted over the last decade is hopefully going to be sold off. It will at least give some room for the 2/3/4 car blue grey 309 EMU which is on the starting blocks alongside a pair of Peco ‘Whisky’ grain hoppers nearing finishing……….

 

Izzy

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you considered chemically blacking the brass OHLE posts before painting? Makes it much easier to paint and less easily paint chipped. 
 

Tim

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Blackening doesn't just make it easier to paint the brass and subsequently reduce the tendency to chip, but it also means that any damage to the paint which does occur tends to just look like weathering - and the blackening can easily be re-added to the painted post if it does become necessary, just "paint" it on with a fine brush.

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On 25/11/2019 at 11:33, CF MRC said:

Have you considered chemically blacking the brass OHLE posts before painting? Makes it much easier to paint and less easily paint chipped. 
 

Tim

 

On 25/11/2019 at 13:35, bécasse said:

Blackening doesn't just make it easier to paint the brass and subsequently reduce the tendency to chip, but it also means that any damage to the paint which does occur tends to just look like weathering - and the blackening can easily be re-added to the painted post if it does become necessary, just "paint" it on with a fine brush.

 

Oh what a good idea, that you both. I have some Birchwood Casey blue which I use on DG's by default and some other brass and N/S things but never thought about it for these. It doesn't like solder but apart from that it's very useful. I usually brush it on, let it go black, and sometimes leave it a day or so before washing the bits. I'll give it a go.

 

Izzy

 

Edited by Izzy
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And this is the results of the blackening. Quite reasonable.

 

7620497_RMwebOHLE25.jpg.d05083312dd51b2deb8e95d962ac0bbe.jpg

 

All packed away now until spring, as is the layout in it's storage cupboard, while work is concentrated on other matters.

 

Izzy

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On 24/11/2019 at 19:46, Izzy said:

Luckily I have plenty else to keep me going, too much actually, and the desire to concentrate on Priory Road and another small project using mostly the same rolling stock means some of the 2FS stock I’ve acquired/built/converted over the last decade is hopefully going to be sold off. It will at least give some room for the 2/3/4 car blue grey 309 EMU which is on the starting blocks alongside a pair of Peco ‘Whisky’ grain hoppers nearing finishing……….

 

Progress on Priory Road looks excellent, and this sounds intriguing! 309s and grain hoppers - Witham perhaps? 

 

I've actually had a load of PECO grain hoppers half finished in a box for a while. Including some I tried to rebuild into the refurbished type with fewer solid ribs, rather than the many L ribs on the PECO version. I'd been meaning to print some new parts for the brake gear that tucks under the ends, and a new air brake type chassis, now that I have a 3D printer. But haven't got around to it!

 

I'd love to see what you've done with yours?

 

J

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Some nice looking work going on there Izzy, love the layout. Being Romford born and bread this is right up my street. I can remember trips to Clacton on 309's and always used to look forward to getting to Colchester and seeing what would be at the depot, happy days! 

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Just to go back to the beginning, I wonder whether the base supports have proved to be sufficient for you so far, or whether you might use more or less in future? I’m about to start cutting and thought I’d check.

 

thanks again 

 

John

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2 hours ago, John57sharp said:

Just to go back to the beginning, I wonder whether the base supports have proved to be sufficient for you so far, or whether you might use more or less in future? I’m about to start cutting and thought I’d check.

 

thanks again 

 

John


Not quite sure what you mean by supports but presume the side and crossmembers which are 40mm deep and 4 layer thick. These are okay for the baseboard width of 10” which is also 4 layer thick, but I think adding more layers would be advisable if the baseboard is wider or the members are deeper. The crossmembers were actually spaced to take account of where the pointwork was and allow for the tie-bar units and rodding working them so aren’t spaced uniformly. 
 

One of the distinct advantages of this type of construction is that extra layers can always be added on to what already exists if needed or more crossmembers just be shoved in.

 

I would suggest that perhaps 6 layers should be used for the top whatever the width though if not putting down a thickish cork top layer ( which I glued well down with pva).

 

Izzy

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3 hours ago, sb67 said:

Some nice looking work going on there Izzy, love the layout. Being Romford born and bread this is right up my street. I can remember trips to Clacton on 309's and always used to look forward to getting to Colchester and seeing what would be at the depot, happy days! 

 
Thanks Steve. Living in Holland on sea up until marriage, and Frinton since then I travelled on the 309’s from when they first arrived in the Maroon so having some has been a very long term aim. With the maroon done some Blue/grey are now intended. 
 

Izzy

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8 hours ago, justin1985 said:

 

Progress on Priory Road looks excellent, and this sounds intriguing! 309s and grain hoppers - Witham perhaps? 

 

I've actually had a load of PECO grain hoppers half finished in a box for a while. Including some I tried to rebuild into the refurbished type with fewer solid ribs, rather than the many L ribs on the PECO version. I'd been meaning to print some new parts for the brake gear that tucks under the ends, and a new air brake type chassis, now that I have a 3D printer. But haven't got around to it!

 

I'd love to see what you've done with yours?

 

J


I’m afraid the projects mentioned are separate. The next 309’s are intended to be a 2-car set in blue/grey to be able to run this later era on Priory Road with other stock mostly made. The advantage of the 2-car sets were that in the early ‘80’s they were made up to 4-car sets with converted standard mk1’s, and then reduced to 3-car when some of these extra coaches were given to the 4-car sets with buffets when these were withdrawn. This was all before refurbishment when they all became 4-car sets. So they can be used as 2/3/4 car sets during this time as in this later period they did do local services between Clacton/Walton & Colchester like this at times instead of the 302/308’s. Doing the blue/grey livery will be another challenge for me.

 

I have some of Chris Higgs nice underframes for a few Dapol grain wagons to do, but picked up a couple of the Peco whisky ones secondhand at the local show recently to make a change. Surprised how good and accurate both the bodies and underframes are. As there are no etched replacement ones I have just ‘thinned ‘ the Peco down, added a few bits of plastic for the bottom of the hopper, some hand wheels and better buffers and after removing side boards and plugging the holes have given them a coat of blue. Railtec do the right decals, but the two sets needed will cost as much as the wagons.....if I can find any pics I’ll post them. 
 

Izzy

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