Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello. Long time reader, first time caller.

 

I was lucky enough this year to set up a model railway in my brand new metal shed. At 8ft by 20ft, I reckon I'll have plenty of space! This is my first winter and I've noticed the performance of many of my locos has dropped. My shed only has heating when I'm out there (and it isn't perfect).

 

My question is this? Could the cold or possibly damp be causing any running issues?

 

The track is clean. Only some rolling stock is affected (typically older locos or 0-4-0s) so I don't think it is a track issue.

 

Many thanks in advance for any help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. The shed is insulated (thick underlay, celotex walls and ceiling) but it sounds like a low level heater may be the way forward. I've put a series of damp catchers in there for now but will look into some low power heating for out there.

 

Thanks again!

Edited by Buckhampton Model Railway
Misspelling
Link to post
Share on other sites

My utility room (really a layout room) is a tiny bit smaller, similarly insulated, and I use a thermostatically controlled oil-filled electric heater, set to 1kW maximum output, and 10 degrees. It is barely ever actually on, maintains the 10 degrees very economically, and in so doing prevents tarnishing of rails, over-thickening of lubricants etc.

 

In UK humidity levels, trouble can start around 6 or 7 degrees, at which level humid air hitting cool surfaces can start to cause near-imperceptible condensation, often called "sweating". The trouble with trying to tackle it by dehumidification is that, if you have trickle-vents, as you should, you can end-up attempting to dehumidify the universe, which is expensive, and makes a big puddle. Places like posh vintage car stores create sealed cells using plastic bags, which they then pull most of the air out of, and use dehumidification on what remains, a small fixed volume.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My locos seem to run OK in low temperatures until the rain freezes to the rails and insulates them.  Old Hornby Dublo Ring Fields take time to warm up but not the post 2000 stuff.

What I would suggest is a dehumidifier whic discharges water outside the building, with a heater with a frost stat to keep the shed above the dehumidifier's minimum operating temperature (5 degrees C ?)  We keep an old chapel we use as a Band room dry with a dehumidifier and two computer fans which constantly draw air from under our floorboards to keep air circulating, it's made a huge difference, te music no longer stinks like cat urine.

Metal is far from ideal for storage due to these condensation problems, we discounted it for a Parish Storage unit due to condensation and went from looking at an   old container at £500 to getting quotes for a brand new stable about £7500.   Obviously it's still not built.. .

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a dehumidifier and a fan heater set to frost protection. The relative humidity is maintained at about 50% and the lowest temperature so far this winter is just over 8 C. A dessicant dehumidifier is better as it works well at low temperatures. Mine can pipe the water outside but I empty the internal reservoir every day as I keep a record of the electricity usage. They don't come cheap though, my Ecoair was £140 and Meaco is good as well, they are both Which best buys.

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any evidence that ‘fridge-type dehumidifiers are actually more effective. or cheaper to run, than a heater for the sorts of volumes that we are discussing here?

 

TBH, I’m a bit of a dehumidier sceptic, and would welcome solid evidence to calibrate my views.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

TBH, I’m a bit of a dehumidier sceptic, and would welcome solid evidence to calibrate my views.

I used a dehumidifiers (two) in the flat while working in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Humidity would frequently be over 90% and a dehumidifier could extract 2-litres of water (the tank size) out of the air on a daily basis. They are reasonably quiet, and do not generate too much heat although some is part of the process. One of them was 240 watt, so didn't use too much electric. Reliability-wise, I still have one of them (the other belonged to the flat) after 12-years.

 

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any experience of refrigerant dehumidifiers but apparently they don't work well below an ambient temperature of about 20 degrees. Based on figures for 85 days last winter my dessicant version used an average of 100 watts which was enough to raise the temperature in the railway shed by 1.66 degrees above the outside temperature. It used a total of 209 Kwh which cost £37 or just over 43p per day

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a loft railway , but it’s not insulated up there . However it is very dry . I do notice that some locos take a while to “warm up” to their optimal . I occasionally get Ringfield Squeel as well , which usually resolves itself by running at slow speed and gradually increasing , presumably as motor gets warm .  I lubricate locos usually if they have been in store in their boxes for some time , but that’s it . 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.