US Style Track in S

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by JimG, 22 February 2016.

  1. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    Things have moved on a bit in the last couple of weeks. I had a chat with Richard (Dikitriki) about needing to build about twelve feet of low relief buildings and at the time of our discussion I had only achieved about one foot of this. :) So after sorting out the windows for the first building, I opted to build more in the style of this building so that the work on the windows wouldn't go to waste. :)

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    The first building is on the right and the new work fills up the rest of the board - three feet's worth. :) What I'm also trying to achieve is plenty of relief on the buildings to get away from the low relief slab against the backscene scenario. A gantry crane will poke out of the top of the large opening just to the right of the railroad car. This crane would have been to load/unload from the railroad siding or from a barge. There will be a narrow tie-up jetty roughly parallel to the siding for barges of for the railroad float car. I'm thinking I might have to make the crane de-mountable since it could be liable to damage during carriage to and from exhibitions.

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    Just a couple of low angle shots to show a bit more of the detail.

    US-S-SwitchingLayout-X177.jpg
    ...and a shot showing more details of the protrusion at the end. I might colour the brickwork differently on this part to show a later built extension. I'm going to site a tank for some liquid in this space, hence the containment wall and the doorway part way up the wall. There will be a flight of steps down from the door, and a lot of excuses for plenty of pipework, valves and pumps. :)

    I've learned a lot while building this on how to make sure everything stays stuck together. The MDF delaminates quite easily, especially on the brick etched side , so I found that depending solely on a joint between MDF parts didn't last all that well. So I've now devised a system of re-enforcing all the corners so that things stay stuck together in the rough and tumble of building them.

    The next job on this board will be to arrange the transfer bridge for the car float. I want to find out the gradient I can incorporate in the bridge so that all my locos and stock can negotiate it with no problems. This will also establish the height of the deck on the car float.

    Jim.
     
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  2. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I thought it best to get the track finished on the left hand end board which just got its buildings - see above. The main feature of the track on this board is the float bridge to connect with the car float which is the layout's glorified cassette hidden sidings - in plain sight. :)

    I dug around for a prototype to base my model on and finally plumped for this one, from West 26th Street in New York.

    [​IMG]

    The Howe truss was a favourite for early railroads since it was of basically simple construction with timber in compression and iron (later steel) in tension. The iron work comprised of rods with tapped ends and simple plate shapes. The timber could be supplied from local lumber yards. No very long lengths of timber were required since there was provision for jointing timber to achieve the length of bridge required.

    There were also some good close up pictures giving a lot of detail of the construction.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I decided to start on the main beams which are made up of four parts bolted together. They are spaced apart to let the vertical rods pass through to plates on their undersides so I have used small pieces of 0.8mm ply as spacers.

    US-S-SwitchingLayout-X178.jpg

    ..and then clamped together with glue.

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    For all the very obvious nuts and washers on the construction I've used the smaller nuts I used on the jetty as the larger nuts on this project and I scaled down the drawings to provide a smaller size of nut and washer to do for the smaller sizes on the bridge.

    US-S-SwitchingLayout-X180.jpg

    I cut them with tabs between them to keep them all together. With no tabs the milling cutter tends to distribute them to all corners of the workshop. :) So far I've produced about 600 of the smaller nuts and washers and about 200 of the larger ones to go with 100 left over from the jetty build. I'll probably need to produce a few more of the larger ones but I think I've probably got enough of the smaller ones. :) They are eminently "pingable" hence the high numbers. :)

    The next job was to pilot drill the beams to take the nuts and washers. This was done on the mill since there are loads of holes and there was no contest between me or the machine. :)

    US-S-SwitchingLayout-X181.jpg
    On this beam, the piles of sawdust are round the 0.5mm holes for the larger nuts and washers and the o.3mm slot drill is making the holes for the smaller nuts and washers.

    I've now started fitting the nuts and washers to the beams.

    US-S-SwitchingLayout-X182.jpg
    The beam to the top of the picture is one of the bottom beams on the bridge and it has had all its larger nuts and washers fitted along with two jointing plates. I'm waiting on some 0.3mm drills to come to use for clearing the bores of the smaller nuts and washers before I start on them. The beam closer to camera shows the method of fitting, with short lengths of plastic rod inserted in the holes in the wood and then locked with a small amount of Butanone. Then the nuts and washers are fitted on the rods. The syringe with the Butanone is invaluable for this work since it avoids fiddling with brushes and bottles.

    I'll push on with the larger nuts and washers until the 0.3mm drills arrive - maybe tomorrow. :)

    The web site that the details of the bridge come from is an excellent resource for float bridges in the New York harbours.

    West 26th Street Freight Station - Baltimore & Ohio Railroad

    Jim.
     
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  3. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I needed a break from placing small nuts and I also had to churn out more of the larger nuts, so while the milling machine was churning away, I started on the base of the bridge.

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    6mm square timbers were stuck to a printout using double sided tape. The wider four timbers at one end are to support the winching gear to draw the car float onto the bridge. I also placed one of the lower longitudinal beams in place complete with all its nuts and washers at the top.
    [Edit] I've just noticed it's an upper beam and not a lower one. :)

    I then started laying the track, spiking the running rails onto each timber. The timbers are pre-drilled with a 0.5mm drill to take the spikes, which are 0.6mm wide. So there's just enough grip to keep everything in place but make spiking reasonably easy. I don't think the P:87 spikes would go directly into the timber.

    US-S-SwitchingLayout-X184.jpg
    All the running rails and guard rails are laid and I started laying the longitudinal planking.

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    Before I forgot, I soldered in some wiring leads just in case things got difficult when the building was further advanced.

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    ...and the work so far with the planking in the four and six foot way. The standard of construction on the prototypes was fairly agricultural and I'm trying to represent that here. I remember discussing modelling structures with a member of the S scale society many years ago and he recommended slightly over-stating details so that these were visible at normal viewing distances of the models. So I'm doing this with the planking - like making gaps between them rather than butting them hard up against each other.

    The other major detail of my bridge is the missing central truss. From what I can see from photographic evidence, a two track float bridge would have had a central truss. But I just don't have the room to accommodate a central truss. In fact the two roads are at the absolute minimum distance apart to fit into my layout. It might have been better to have a single track bridge but I couldn't find a prototype for a car float with a single track access.

    The bridge will also be horizontal. I had hoped to have it at a slight angle as a feature but tests with track and stock put me off the idea. The problem wasn't the trucks on the locos and rolling stock, which managed to negotiate something like a five degree angle, but the Kadee couplings which were quite sensitive to a vertical angular change. All the couplings are body mounted and unintended decoupling was bad enough between rolling stock. But the locomotives, with a longer distance from coupler to bogie pivot were really sensitive to any change. By the time I found an angular change which would work, it was so small that I was just as well making the bridge horizontal. :) I might have got it to work if I had the room to incorporate a vertical transition curve but that would only work at the landward end of the bridge - there would still be an angular change at the joint between bridge and car float. Three link couplings can have advantages sometimes. :)

    Now back to work on the trusses now that I've churned out some more large nuts. :)

    Jim.
     
    Last edited: 23 June 2018 at 01:22
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