Saturday, 19 November 2011

Railway Apprentices

It's three weeks now since the garden railway had a proper run (rather than just being used as a stage for photographs), and as the weather was good I decided to fire it up and see if any corrective maintenance was needed before the winter proper. Little Lucy (nearly four) from down the road was disappointed last time she visited as the railway wasn't running, so she was invited along to assist, as were Holly & Ella (nearly two) from across the road, who also like trains. After Thomas the Tank Engine had run past a few times with Annie & Clarabel, and Lucy had had her first driving lesson, I brought out some real trains for the grown-ups to play with.

"Evening Star" pounds up the 1 in 50 reverse curves with an easy 7 coaches.

Note that in the first two pictures, the engines are leaning towards the inside of the curve. This is not due to a sloping camera; the track is banked on the curves (I think the correct term is "supelevated") by up to 1mm. During tracklaying, a narrow strip of 1mm thick neoprene rubber is placed under the sleepers at the outside rail, with a transition through 0.5mm to none at all at the end of each curve and where the curve reverses. Those of you with a firm grasp of elementary geometry will already have calculated that the trains lean by up to 3.5 degrees (nominally) from the vertical.

The 1mm maximum was not arrived at scientifically; It is within the range said to be used in the real world of 12" to the foot scale, for which a 6" maximum difference is often stated. And it looks about right at low to medium speeds.

4F 44417 coasts down the hill with a local train, as "Evening Star" thunders up.

A short local train coasts past the quarry, slowing for the station.

I think that "Evening Star" must take priority for a gentle weathering, to lessen the appearance of having just left the sales showroom.

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