2009 April 3

Friday 3-04-2009

First thing was to stick some newsprint to top of the finished tables to allow me to draw in the curves.
Like I thought, it is going to be difficult to maintain 1200mm curves. The crayon circle is 1200mm, however I need to hide the storage sidings under there too!

Well I am still finding holes in my planning :D
The loop is there to store lower level trains and to lower track from top level down to the lower level on a gradient not more than 1.5%.
The SG track up against the wall on the top level and that puts it on the outside of the loop starting from the bottom. It needs to arrive on the top level and be on the outside there as well. It would be convenient if the wheat silos and the loco facility were separated from the SG too. So I am going to try to cross underneath the BG near the top, cross under the top board and come up between the window pillars (steep pinch) and swerve around the pillar as it heads to left of picture.. oh in this space pictured below.

The sg climbs up inside the BG and continues towards the camera. A station is in the foreground with a loco and storage sidings into the corner.

The SG using 1200 mm radius enters under the top board and climbs up into the gap.
The BG  arrives about the middle of the board and is 900mm or possibly 1000 mm radius

It seems 3 steps forwards and 2 steps backwards. Well I guess it is still progress ;)

 I tried to get an idea how it would look in Trainz. This depicts it as best as I could do but you need to remember that this is a double decked layout and so everything going under the bridges heading in a northernly direction will in fact be on the lower level and be underneath the upper level, not inside it as seen in Trainz.
So you can see the three levels The SG dives under the top level and comes up along the wall.
I did not get the mountain right. Standing on the aisle and looking towards the wall.. You should see the silos and storage roads to the right. A slope will fall away from these roads hiding the store tracks which are visible in the Trainz diag. However the bottom will be open to assist with rerailing vehicles.
The double line will climb the loop and as it gets to the doorway it will appear as a ledge cut into the hill, and the hill will help to hide the store roads from viewing from the aisles.
In my mind I can see it working. Now comes the hard part and put it into practice ;)

Lets see what tomorrow brings :)

Saturday April 4th 2009

Hi all,
I have been having a think about track bed especially the raised track that sits above the bench work. I am going to experiment with Trackrite flexible track underlay, although it is expensive it seems to do a great job.
However cutting a curved 4 inch wide strip out of 2400 x 1200 sheets of ply seems like a difficult, time consuming way of getting the job done. Bunning's sell a masonite strip about an inch wide and a meter long which is used by framers to true up walls so that the plaster can be fitted on cleanly. This stuff is easy to come by and cheap. I know masonite is not great to nail track to, but I am thinking of laminating sufficient strips together, offsetting the ends so that I can make a perfect curve in position fixed to the uprights. I simply route out the top of the upright and lay the track bed into the slot, gluing and clamping as I go. The first strip and the next strip are joined by laying a new layer across the join and cutting shorter pieces to fill in the short ends hold it into the required radius and elevation and keep gluing and laminating till the whole curve is in place. Glue the peco track to the underlay and when dry, lay it on top of the laminated roadbed, curving it as you go. . It sounds right, and I have read about it in US magazines, so I think I will give it a go :lol: So on Monday a visit to Bunning's should give me a price to work on and hopefully this will work.
All I need to do is figure out how to join it to the 3 ply table tops. ;)

April 10th?

Well here it is almost Friday morning, and I have only been out in the train room once since I returned from Melbourne  :cry:  And that was only to drop off the 6 sheets of ply that arrived on Wednesday.
However I am thankful that I had paid for the ply, because after spending everything I had at Collingwood I now have to wait another week to get back in the black once more. However I will not be going to Caulfield this year. Much too expensive these model railway shows  :roll:
Still unable to work out how I am going to arrange the tracks in the reversing loop, but I did purchase a rather useful marking out tool today to help get the radii at least right.
I was fortunate to pick up 3 new T Class at the $120 price as well as the last VR X Class (48) at $250
A new Exhibitor was End of the Line Hobbies, And as well as being a stockist of Peco Code 75 track, he was selling SEM AE, BE and ABW cars fully assembled and painted. The price was very reasonable and I ended up with 4 of them. As well I got two VR oil pots Built by AJin in Korea  and distributed by Train Hobby. These are brass models and extremely nice pick ups. Well worth the several hundred dollars they cost me  ;)

So now I can get rid of some Freight Australia T Class's and at least one FA X Class that are not in my era of VR changing over to V/Line.

Wednesday April 22 

Warm and sunny, and I got out and bit the bullet!

Originally I decided to buy short pieces of ply that I could fit in the wagon just to save $30 Delivery of full sheets.
It did not work, and I removed all the short sheets and constructed 4 large pieces to fill in where the tracks will go. The outside will be cut away with the jig saw to form the 1.5% track climbing around to the upper level. The way I had it built would have given me about 16 pieces to jig together to form the climbing track bed

The upper section has been lifted because first it was blocking too much view of the bottom layer and Secondly, I was having difficulty crossing the SG line underneath the station on the top level. So I have raised the BG station track 40 mm which reduces the short grade to slightly less than 2%.
I will have to remove the top level in front of the pillar (spirit level is near it) and use a single track long  bridge to span the gap and still allow double stack space underneath the BG yard. I will put a short lowered floor between the upper level bench boards to support the scenery and cut the top level view away from the bottom level view.
I was thinking that two plate girder bridges can carry the BG storage road and the grain silo roads across the same gap. In my head it looks "do-able!"
Now I better search the catalogues to find the bridges :)
Hmmm  tomorrow I can cut out the brick piers to allow the ply to settle up against the walls and then I can redraw the storage tracks and the transition track to the top level. I have an appointment with the Urologist to see how my kidney is coping with things and make sure the cancer has not returned. Then hopefully get this track in place so I can run trains from the top level to the bottom level. Well its a start  except for this damn 2 steps forward and one step back :)

Cheers and we can see how we go and maybe get some more done!

25 April 2009 Lest We Forget!

Anzac Day One day I hide away, and so a good time to do something more with the layout!
Still you would think with all this thinking, I would make far fewer mistakes :(
So a few questions...
How much clearance do I need from the top of the roadbed to the top of my highest vehicle?
Answer is found by laying a section of code 100 rail into some "trackrite undelay" and using the NMRA

track gauge see how much space I need. First picture suggests the gauge is pretty accurate for double

stacks ( You never know my Yankee mates might want to run a train some day :)
So it looks like 9.00 cm should be more than enough.

Sure like working with ply. Much easier to cut with a jig saw than chip board. So having cut it out

and temporarily lifted it into a close approximation of its eventual position, I now have to work out

how high each pier needs to be to maintain a steady 1.5% gradient.
Now I don't have an inclinometer and frankly have no idea how to build one. So how do I work out the

height of each pier?
 I guess I could roughly measure the distance the track will travel, and construct a scale graph with

distance along the horizontal, and height on the vertical. I have butchers paper, so I could do it in

real 1:1 scale Then simply work out how far the riser is from the 0 point, then measure off the height

on my graph. Unless someone can suggest an easier way, I guess that will have to do ;)

Replaced the storage / silo upper level module in its raised position. Note the 40mm cross pieces which will lift the yard above the station level, thus allowing the SG to cross underneath 40 mm higher and thus retain its 1.5% gradient.
Also removed a small portion of bench work to enable the SG to cross underneath with no increase  of 1.5% gradient.

The bottom bench top still supports 3 BG large storage roads (equal to largest passing sidings elsewhere)

Cannot go much further till I fix the roadbed in place and maintain the gradient to the top level.
I guess the next job should be to fit the cutting in along the wall, and see where 1.5% ends up. Fix

in place then work back along the spiral. The ply on the left needs to be lifted 40 mm on cross pieces

and lower down after the station.

So lets see where we are next time we meet,

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