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hartleymartin

Modelling an NSWGR KA Tramcar using laser-cutting.

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I was going to scratch-build this, but I decided that trying to scribe 1.6mm lines was going to do my head in, so I finally took a dive into some CAD. I have a scan of original construction drawings dated 1891, though the prototype dates from 1885. I am using LibreOffice Draw to create vector graphics, which allows me to specify measurements to 0.1mm. The plan is to get the sides and ends laser-cut from 1mm birch plywood, use kappler scale lumber for various components and to figure out a way of making a removable roof. Whilst it is a "simple arc roof" it may prove a challenge to make it. My biggest challenge will be the bogies. They are 4'9" wheelbase, and as far as I can tell, no similar bogie are available just yet. I've send some photos and drawings to people to inquire about having patterns made for cast brass or white metal ones made. I'll need to search the archives harder to find proper drawings.

 

The KA "Tramcar" was a lightweight carriage generally paired with a Manning Wardle K class used to operate the Camden line from 1884-1901, Carlingford line 1901-1906 and Yass from 1906-1909 (I think). The Manning waddles were phased out and replaced by larger locomotives, but the KA Tramcars were not phased out until around 1917-1919. Details are a bit sketchy from this era. It seated 20 2nd class and 12 1st class passengers and had a combined luggage/guard's compartment. There are brakes at each end, presumably to just the bogie at that end of the carriage. Before the continuous Westinghouse brakes were fitted, the guard must have spent considerable time travelling on the small end-platforms in order to operate the brakes.

 

The first image shows a circa 1890 photograph of the prototype. They were fitted with Westinghouse brakes around 1891-1892, but I have found neither drawings nor photographs which clearly illustrate this. My first sketch-up of the carriage side has been edited onto the image for comparison:

 

thumbnail_KA_Tramcar_CAD_Body_Side.jpg.d9811cdb4ed31488b7c4d8c9dbda1e1b.jpg

 

 

This second image shows a little further work in the drawing of the sides, and of course the image has been flipped to give the other side of carriage. I still have to draw the ends and figure out a lot of details.

 

thumbnail_KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_02.jpg.a46eef538da5080eb70908e9fd6fca8a.jpg

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Work is progressing. I have drawn the carriage ends and two partitions as well as the floor. Still to go are the end-doors, sliding doors, roof forms and the roof itself. I am using notches and tabs to help locate the ends and partitions. These will be covered with thin strip-wood which forms the layering of the sides. At the moment the plan to use scale timber is in place.

 

My thoughts are to put some tabs in the ends and partitions with matching slots in the floor so everything will lock into place. All a bit theoretical for me at the moment since I have never done this sort of thing before.

 

I had to make some colour corrections. The service I will be using specifies blue for etched lines, black for etched areas and red for a full cut-through. I am planning on using 1mm birch plywood

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_03.jpg.ece29a3e163124abb7ae9080ef8b38fd.jpg

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Doors, roof formers and partitions now in. A bit more design work with tab-and-slot and it looks to be coming together quite well. 90% of the way to sending the drawings off for a first test laser-cut.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_04.jpg.590428a2d8d6a169f88a54ea37571634.jpg

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Harley,

 

Not sure what period you are intending to model but NSW passenger cars (volume 2) has a photo of a KA in use on the Carlingford line in the early 1900's It has some changes, including altered planking on the sides and Anderson vents plus a shade roof. It appears to be westinghouse fitted but nothing is visible of the arrangement. The lining is pretty spectacular though!

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

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3 hours ago, Craigw said:

Harley,

 

Not sure what period you are intending to model but NSW passenger cars (volume 2) has a photo of a KA in use on the Carlingford line in the early 1900's It has some changes, including altered planking on the sides and Anderson vents plus a shade roof. It appears to be westinghouse fitted but nothing is visible of the arrangement. The lining is pretty spectacular though!

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

 

Craig,

 

Thanks. I really should get myself back to the State Library of NSW to get some photocopies/scans of those pages. There is one photo from  circa 1892-1900 which seems to show some sort of gas cylinder below, but nothing is clear as to the arrangement of the westinghouse brake system.

 

The 1891 drawing and later photos show provision for vents along the headboards, but the best photo I have (ca 1885-1890) does not show them. I'm starting to wonder if I should have chosen something smaller and simpler as my first project, but I am too far along now to change my mind. I've already had a request to make it available as a kit to another modeller.

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A bunch of images showed up after some requests on facebook groups with an interest in NSWGR and Modelling:

 

1219814096_circa1900s.jpg.3fc74b31b3cad1d75d0dc0c834401e8e.jpg

Date Unknown. Possibly 1900-1909. Likely location either Clyde station for Carlingford Line or at Yass Junction.

 

KA_Yass_March_1911.jpg.d6d7c39a8c98ae4a34492ac3e0a7122f.jpg

Photo marked Yass, March 1911

 

unknown01.jpg.f95c2c5579b04d612c8468ae0453a0fb.jpg

Date Unknown. Double-roof suggests ca. 1900 and after. Possibly Camden.

 

unknown02_possibly_Camden.jpg.1112a705c14332382356ac41284f1312.jpg

Unknown, probably Camden Tramway 1892-1900

 

unknown03.jpg.e5ab8ac3aece6d8d4001dc102f5f18aa.jpg

Unknown. Possibly 1918 or later in Newcastle District for Caledonian Coal Company.

 

 

Edited by hartleymartin
Annotations added for photos.
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4 hours ago, AdamsRadial said:

Is that a Manning-Wardle on the second to last photo?

 

Indeed it is. A standard K class design. Minor variations such as  wider cabsheet/roof for a bit of extra crew protection.

 

If you look closely at the very first photo, a Manning Wardle is hiding behind the crowd and the footbridge, but the distinctive cab-sheet is visible as well as a bit of the saddle-tank and the chimney.

 

The potted history is thus:

 

NSWGR No. 292-293

 

1884 - Delivered, used on Camden Tramway (former Tramway converted to Railway, but called a "tram" until closure in 1963) Classified as Class 292.

1889 - Reclassified as 127 class with 4 other locos 1x Manning Wardle (possibly old "I" class) and 3x Vulcan locos.

1901 - Renumbered 532-533, sent to Carlingford Line

1906/7 - Sent to Yass Tramway (another converted line like Camden) dates uncertain

1909 - Sold to G&C Hoskins, Lithgow, named "Bunyip" and "Bandicoot" at Lithgow Steelworks

1922 - Disused at Lithgow

1927 - Two locos cannibalised into one engine

1928 - Sent to Wongawilli Colliery, near Dapto, then transferred to Port Kembla Steelworks, renamed "Rat" used as shunter at ore jetty

1934 - Scrapped at Port Kembla

 

Manning Wardle (E.B. Wilson) seems to have been quite a popular supplier of locomotives in the early days of Australian Railways. At least a dozen were bought by the NSWGR of various designs and several contractors and early industrial railways bought them into the 1870s and 1880s.

Edited by hartleymartin

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Revision 7. Found some glaring errors in the floor and roof panels. Floor too wide, roof too narrow. All fixed now.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_07.jpg.e857b60024149ff698dae426e0a00605.jpg

Edited by hartleymartin
Wrong image attached.
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After a bit more discussion with the laser-cutting company, they informed me that I had to get everything either onto a 300x300 or 600x300 plywood sheet, those being the two smallest standard sizes of 1mm Birch Plywood.

 

So I'll be taking the opportunity to draw up some alternate parts which will allow me to build several variations of the KA Tramcar. The most obvious variation is that there were at least three different arrangements of the headboards and vents, and at least two different styles of end-doors.

 

With the extra roof available on the sheet, I've decided to add some interior detailing such as the paneling on the partitions, interior planking, rudimentary seats for passenger figurines, etc. I will also be altering the design of the roof to make it removable.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_08.jpg.226ff0c12d83c3a983d6b4a3589a4161.jpg

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So far I've had expressions of interest to make up 5 of these as kits.

 

In that light I asked some of those who expressed interest in what suggestions they would have for the kit design. One good request was for some sort of framing or system whereby the roof is a separate component to the main body to allow fitting interior detail, passenger figurines, etc. To that end I have drafted (in green) a false ceiling which will hold ribs which will help keep the roof arc in profile and allow it to be simply friction-fit into the top of the carriage.

 

The drawings for the correct bogie are proving elusive, but I was sent a diagram for a 6'0" wheelbase bogie of an extremely similar design, which I think I can cut down to a very close representation of the 4'9" wheelbase bogies on the prototype.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_10.jpg.a96fda200b712a9d71050c67a8a41493.jpg

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The re-design of the roof forced me to re-think several other aspects of construction and now I have been able to include some rudimentary interior details in the form of the timber shades and the internal horizontal planking revealed in a 1980s era photo show the restoration of one KA Tramcar - sadly this carriage was completely destroyed in the 1993 arson attack on the Parramatta Park museum.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_12.jpg.ac5d22d6669761b84e3faa6014d38f64.jpg

 

1049959828_KA5972.jpg.84c31ad73978f8f935c078b1d881560c.jpg

 

 

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I remember that fire - there was sadly a lot lost...  Well done with the CAD design so far

 

fire.jpg.bf8ff11ecf91095e6f8eac20575f3208.jpg

 

 

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Right in the middle of that photo I can see the remains of the truss-rods, the bogies and the few metal components of the KA. Every timber component burnt to ashes.

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Revision 14.

 

Found another laser-cutting place which has a wider variety of materials and sizes, and is for model-making/hobbyist. It seems that they cater mostly to design students who are making models as part of their degree/diploma. They offer a larger standard sheet of 800x400mm, which is price-competitive with the last place which was offering 600x300. By re-jigging the design, I can get all the parts into a sheet under 400x400mm and I should be able to get these kits cut two at a time for only slightly more than the previous company was charging for just one.

 

The rather garish change in colours is due to this new place specifying green instead of black for raster etch/area fill.

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_Rev_14.jpg

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Revision 18. Lots more errors found and corrected.

 

Also my second change in laser-cutter. I've been in contact with someone who has a cutter that will do 1200x600mm sheets and a variety of other materials that will come in handy. So the drawing is re-jigged back to 600x300mm and I can get four carriages out of a sheet of plywood. This larger size also allows me to include a panel to form the double-roof, though I have not yet figured out what I am doing for brackets yet.

 

I also had a number of very helpful suggestions for detailing parts available off-the-shelf from various suppliers and it seems the only component not covered is still the bogie side frames, though I can get a number which have a good passing resemblance if one doesn't look too closely.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_600x300_Rev_18.jpg.f10692f60a1ac1941777c19a2c34c9c4.jpg

Edited by hartleymartin
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On 26/11/2019 at 13:45, hartleymartin said:

A bunch of images showed up after some requests on facebook groups with an interest in NSWGR and Modelling:

 

1219814096_circa1900s.jpg.3fc74b31b3cad1d75d0dc0c834401e8e.jpg

Date Unknown. Possibly 1900-1909. Likely location either Clyde station for Carlingford Line or at Yass Junction.

 

KA_Yass_March_1911.jpg.d6d7c39a8c98ae4a34492ac3e0a7122f.jpg

Photo marked Yass, March 1911

 

unknown01.jpg.f95c2c5579b04d612c8468ae0453a0fb.jpg

Date Unknown. Double-roof suggests ca. 1900 and after. Possibly Camden.

 

unknown02_possibly_Camden.jpg.1112a705c14332382356ac41284f1312.jpg

Unknown, probably Camden Tramway 1892-1900

 

unknown03.jpg.e5ab8ac3aece6d8d4001dc102f5f18aa.jpg

Unknown. Possibly 1918 or later in Newcastle District for Caledonian Coal Company.

 

 

Martin

Is that a D with extended rails hiding by the bridge?

Marc

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3 minutes ago, Furness Wagon said:

Martin

Is that a D with extended rails hiding by the bridge?

Marc

 

Indeed, it is. I am also reliably informed that the official drawing for it still exists.

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Ooooo. A drawing.  the photo in the book shows on unfitted but piped. Looks like a conversation rather than a new build. Should be very simple conversation. 

Marc

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12 hours ago, Furness Wagon said:

Ooooo. A drawing.  the photo in the book shows on unfitted but piped. Looks like a conversation rather than a new build. Should be very simple conversation. 

Marc

 

It is a conversion of an existing 3 plank D wagon. No wagons were built new in this form. Conversion intended for carrying firewood.

 

Regards,

 

Craig w

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Revision 19 of drawing for 1.0mm plywood.

 

This one is off to the laser-cutter for a test-build of the design. The roof section has been put onto a 0.8mm sheet which will be easier to form an arc and is actually quite close to scale thickness for the roof.

 

KA_Tramcar_CAD_Artwork_600x300_Rev_19.jpg.09638863d01dc2118e995997bc083253.jpg

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Test piece arrived today. A few minor blunders with the dimensions of the tabs and slots, but everything else has come up pretty much as I had hoped.

 

KA_Test01_01_Ends.jpg.8c72c925661d2fe7770aec1e80eda18f.jpg

 

This shows how the layers are built up to form the ends. The prototype carriage had louvered timber shutters inside the glass to provide shade - very important in sunny Australia! 

 

KA_Test01_02_Sides.jpg.a0dab0cff3f1067d5a0777d576e5cddc.jpg

 

The sides and alternate headboard panelling came out well, though one of them had mis-aligned etch lines - one of the many tiny corrections/improvements to be made.

 

KA_Test01_03_Chassis.jpg.5f343410710052849ff07b2c82bc6f0e.jpg

 

The floor peice and under frame. The frame members here are cut from 2.5mm basswood. I originally planned to do these in laser ply, but these have turned out much better.

 

KA_Test01_04_Roof.jpg.3511942ce8feccca7f928d9645438f52.jpg

 

The roof has a series of formers and a thin sheet to form the arc. I originally planned to have tabs to locate the roof, but I am considering changing the roof to either thinner ply or perhaps a type of thick card which would more easily form the arc.

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Test-build under way. So far I've only needed one sharp hobby knife, one steel rule, one small file, one bottle of CA Glue and one paperclip. The fun part will be writing up instructions for a kit. Oi Vey! I put an alternate headboard on each side. This one is for display at the March 2020 Aus7 Forum, where in addition to the Expressions of Interest I already have, I would hope to be able to take orders for a kit.

 

1482345452_KATestBuild01.jpg.754e5f717e8a3e6fc83e2e55cfc3cd22.jpg

 

336301167_KATestBuild02.jpg.a4fc3017a2edd14e521347ed8b1cb403.jpg

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Test build continues, and a few more corrections need to be made.

 

Buffer-beams are a few mm too narrow. Not sure how I let that goof get to the laser-cutter. However, the buffers - Slaters MR, which are extremely close to this prototype - are the correct press-fit and the coupling hook - Dapol, pre-assembled dummy screw link - fit correctly. Just have to get the etches for the plates drawn up. Those will just be held in place with glue as they are decorate only.

 

1188894210_KATestBuild03.jpg.11d63cc8b7f196dc11cff0d19702ef0e.jpg

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