Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Winter Work.


29th April 2014.

Most of the work during the winter and spring has concentrated on the raised section through the rose bed and into the Barn. The Barn is our name for the shed on the left of the picture, with a double-pitched roof like a dutch barn. The gap in the viaduct houses a light-weight removable section of viaduct on running days. To the left of it in the picture, the line rises at 1 in 50 from the removable viaduct, while curving first to the left through 45 degrees, then right through 135 degrees through a watertight hatch into the Barn. The sharpest curve is 5ft radius.

A panoramic view of the north viaduct and the elevated section through the rose bed.
A Dänenholzbahn 2-10-2T descends from the Harz mountains, past the lake and approaching the viaduct.

The Dänenholzbahn train approaches the north entrance to the Barn.

The transition from Peco to C&L Finescale flexi-track. The difference is remarkable!
The uphill track (the only one laid at present) from the removable section to the Barn, has been experimentally fitted with DCC Concepts Powerbase steel plates. To maximise their effect, C&L Finescale flexi-track has been used for this section, as its height from sleeper base to rail head is 1.5mm less than Peco. This might not sound much, but can make a significant difference to magnetic attraction, which falls off very rapidly with distance. 
The only test of Powerbase so far was to fit a single magnet on a Bachmann S&D 2-8-0. Before, it could not manage more than six 150g coaches on 1 in 50. With Powerbase it pulled the equivalent of 9 or 10. It was a very rough test though, more controlled tests will come!

I don't normally go for "foreign", but last year visited the wonderful Harz metre-gauge railways in north Germany, and travelled in 4-wheeled end-balcony coaches behind massive 2-10-2T locos. These H0 standard-gauge coaches and loco look remarkably similar, and I couldn't resist them!

The Barn has a 2' wide shelf across the back across which runs the railway on movable sections if track. This allows locos or trains to be marshalled, changed or turned by sliding the track modules around on the shelf. There is another entrance/exit the other side of the Barn. The scheme is as yet untried in regular service, and it remains to be seen how well it works in practice, though I have done experimental trails and the principle seems to work. Under the shelf is storage space for the two removable viaducts and tunnel liner. The rest of the space is storage shelves, DCC electronics, and a chair!

The first three viaduct arches are cut out. It's a very messy and time-consuming job, so as the remainder will be largely obscured by flowers and shrubs, the painted arches seemed a good compromise, and are likely to be stronger too. You will have noted that the vertical and horizontal blocks are identical, each being half a lightweight building block. This minimised the amount of cutting and carving required!

I am now within days of achieving the milestone of running a train round a complete circuit, Barn to Barn, albeit with some single-track sections still to be doubled. They must be fine days though, so it might be a week or two.
An engineers' inspection train awaits clearance to exit the Barn through the north entrance.

Live 00 Scale Vegetation

18th January 2014.

Did some leaf clearing today, and ran a loco over most of the track. There is quite a bit of vegetation growing in the quarry now. It's a pity te moss growing here can't be trained to grow where it's wanted, and it would be as useful as "static grass".

The test loco runs down the 1 in 14 in the quarry. Normally, only small shunting locos are permitted here.