Monday, 30 July 2012


One of the tasks defined for phase 2 of the Garden railway was to " provide a method for easily loading and unloading trains from the railway. This should allow for trains of up to 12 coaches and two locos, though a train of this length may need to be split."

Some time ago, I purchased some 3/4" L-section aluminium and some 1/2" MDF. From these materials I fashioned two trial cassettes, one about 18" long and the other 4'. The current abrupt "end of the line" was given the necessary facilities to allow this cassette to be used.

The preliminary trial with the short cassett and a lashed-up support showed that alignment with the rails and successful transfer is possible.

Preliminary trials with a short cassette.

The initial trial with the 4' cassette and a "pre-production" support was also successful, showing that the cassette could be loaded on  the workbench with a train up to 4' long, carried without mishap to the railway, the cassette manually aligned and electrically connected, and the train driven away. An incoming train could be stopped on the cassette, which could be turned round and the train despatched back up the line. The cassette could also be left in place with no electrical connection, so that trains running on to it would stop automatically. This is particularly useful when young children (or forgetful adults) are driving.

A full cassette waiting to be uploaded onto the railway.

The cassette in place, ready to upload.

The cassete-to-railway interface, showing the electrical connection bulldog clips.

... and the train is driven onto the railway.

(more photos and text to come)

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