Rolling Stock for the Far End Tramway

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IrishPeter
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Rolling Stock for the Far End Tramway

Post by IrishPeter » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:04 pm

The Far End Tramway is what I call the line in the yard when I am trying to avoid the identity issues thrown up by my range of narrow gauge interests.  Anyway, as we are into the spring weather - i.e. it is windy enough to blow one inside out - I have some rolling stock projects on the go.

Hitherto I have been a bit short on open wagons, so finding a set of plain bearings of the variety used on logging and slate railways led to this...
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Nothing unusual about it.  The usual basswood construction, some doll's house hinges from Hobby Lobby, and cardboard strapping from a cardboard tomato tray.  Bumper and chain couplings, and away it trundled very satisfactorily, it has to be said.

The other vehicle is an experiment.  I have had a go a long four wheelers before, but the overhangs, or the wheelbase has proved a problem.  Anyway, I decided to see if putting it into the bumper and chain link would make any difference.

So what is this going to be?  The rounded ends should be a clue.

Image

Anyway, tested it yesterday with a wagon, and the LBD (little black diesel) and after dealing with a couple of dropped rail joints it ran about 1000 feet without derailment as both the vehicle next to the loco, and as the rear vehicle - which is good enough for me.

Oh - and why o-why do I always get the junky corners of the kitchen in my indoor photos?  My wife and I both prefer hobbies to housework.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Last edited by IrishPeter on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by Andrew » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:07 pm

Oooh, I really like the open, just right! Your "Far End Tramway" is my "West Kent Light Railway" - and I know what you mean about housework too!

Andrew.

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Post by IrishPeter » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:27 pm

Here is the rest of the bumper and chain bunch...

Image

Behind the LBD is a two plank ballast wagon based loosely on a Skull and Skibbereen prototype, which is a scale 18' on a scale 9' wheelbase, and actually stays on the track most of time.  The red wagon is for loco coal, and is based on a Festiniog wagon of c.1870, but with wooden rather than iron strapping.  The end door is AWOL at the moment - probably in the bottom of the "bit box."  The other grey wagon is a nondescript four plank coal wagon.

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The top station has had a make over.  The widely spaced loop is for narrow gauge passenger services, with a short goods train in Platform 3.  The space on the left will eventually accommodate a standard gauge platform, which is why the second NG track is platform 3.  The area on the right is for the railway loco shed, carriage shed and workshop, though perhaps the engine shed and workshop would be better sited at the quarry.  There are limited SG/NG goods exchange facilities behind and to the left of the camera man.

Image

The last shot is the LBD and the bumper and chain gang running past the site of quarry siding.  I am planning on putting one or two roads in the back to serve a crusher, as the Quarry now does road stone rather than sets.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:21 pm

One problem with the Far End Tramway is that it is beginning to have a story of its own...

Anyway, I had a bit of a rethink yesterday when I looked again at the floor height of the latest vehicle, and decided that 37.5mm was a bit higher than I was looking for.
Image

Changed the journals for the logging type, and then cut holes in the deck so that the whole thing can sit about 7mm lower. These will be under the seats when the thing is finished.

I also managed to rough out one side of the body last night.  The body length is 214mm (about scale 14'3") which should leave about 60mm/scale 4' for each platform.

Image

Bill in the Hat, who usually drives the LBD, seems to be oblivious that someone has nicked his paper... or his loco!  I seem to think he is a spare LGB tractor driver that ended up in the bit box a while back courtesy of 'Her Indoors'.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:17 am

Now I remember what frosts me about carriage building!  It only took me 5 out of 7 window holes and a blister on the middle finger to remember.  :roll:  The real downer is that there are another 21 to go, plus whatever I put in the ends!  Note for tomorrow - sticky plaster on middle finger before starting!

I took the underframe out for another run this evening, and it again behaved extremely well.  I figured another 1000' of running could not hurt in terms of proving trials.  One thing I have noticed about the LBD and the low slung 'tramway' stock is that they do not mind operating over reversed trailing points, which makes my life easier at the midway loop.  I think I will wait until I have weighted levers, or weaker springs before I try trailing through with the kettles, though.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Last edited by IrishPeter on Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by LNR » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:01 am

Hi Peter,
Getting all the window openings the same size gets me in knots. You square up the corner of one then find it's lower, so they all have to come down. I prefer milling or routing in a jig now.
Grant.

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Post by IrishPeter » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:37 pm

I tend to score all the bottoms and tops in one go with a steel ruler and a sharp knife being very careful not to move the ruler.  This seems to keep the alignment problems to a minimum provided I did the original drawing out accurately!  Most of my models end up with a lot of pencilled hieroglyphics entombed for posterity between the two skins in the form of what a piece is, where it should go, and how it should be framed.

What I have to watch more than anything else, especially with the outer sheets, is that I do not cut beyond the lines, and nick the visible surface of the wood.  Even through I am careful to cut from the corners to the middle, there are still occasions when I get a little too enthusiastic, or the knife slips.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:20 am

Yesterday and today's progress.  

I got both sides cut out, and then framed up the inner 'flat' side prior to staining it.  The framing is a bit rough and ready in this case, as I changed my mind on how to do it halfway through.
Image

The visible side of the inner face of the vehicle was carefully brushed with the usual oak stain

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Then attached the beading to the outside and gave it a coat of grey undercoat, and after that was dry a blast of kona brown being careful to mask the kick panels so they can be painted white or cream in due course.
Image
I also gave the underframe a coat of black, but did not take a picture of that.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Fri May 13, 2016 6:30 am

Work took me to the East Coast for a week, so nothing got done for eight days.  Although I was back on Monday, I have not yet been out running trains, but I did make a start on the first end my tramcar.  Two thin plywood skins with a framework between them to stiffen the side/end, as per the sides I have already made.  This time, having found some doll's house hinges in the bit box, I am going to attempt to fit the beast with hinged doors, as the ends are meaty enough to take the small nails used by the doll's house fraternity (or should that be sonority?)  This may be one of those bright ideas I live to regret.

The roof line is rather challenging as the standard tramcar roof of horse car days had a rather unique design.  The outer part of the roof was sloped, then there was an almost semi-circular section in the centre, part of which became a clerestory.  In the case of early double deckers, this supported the back to back seats upstairs.  I am not sure what my tram's history will be, but I am sure that c.1900, the Far End Tramway would have been tempted to pick up a few old horse cars cheap to run its fledgling passenger service to keep the capital costs to a minimum. The Douglas Bay Tramway converted several of its vehicles back and forth between single and double-deck formats. The present double-deck car - 18 - was a single deck winter saloon back in the 1970s, but was originally double deck, and was converted back in the 1980s after the National Collection refused permission for the DBT to use '14' in revenue service.

The rest of the bumper and chain gang have been painted 'freight grey' with the usual rattle can and now present a slightly more uniform appearance.  The 'LOCO COAL' will get a coat of barn red to differentiate it from the revenue vehicles, and tone it down from its present vermillion coat.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Wed May 18, 2016 4:26 am

I had a bit of trouble deciding the construction sequence for the body of the car. The main headache being the sliding doors, so in the end I decided to erect the sides, and the inner skin of the ends, then add the doors and the outer skin one the bench seats are in position. Anyway, these two photos should show where I have got to:
Image

End on to three-quarterish view... excuse the washing up in the background.

Image

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by LNR » Wed May 18, 2016 8:31 am

Interesting roof line there Peter, I imagine you'll plank the bit between the bulkheads, but the ends!
Grant.
PS a bit early for the Champers, you haven't finished the carriage yet!

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Post by IrishPeter » Wed May 18, 2016 4:23 pm

Actually, as this is supposed to be an ex-horse tram, the roof is going to be a beggar all around. There should be a clerestory over the five windows in the middle, whilst the end bays should follow the whaleback shape of the bulkheads. The roof over the platforms should be gently dished, if I finish it as a single decker, but more of a off-set tongue, to allow for the stairs, if it ends up a double decker. The double decker shape is easier, but then you have the stairs to deal with....

If I bring off that roof, it will be a minor miracle!

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by IrishPeter » Mon May 30, 2016 6:24 am

Well, I have gotten a little bit further on in the last couple of weeks.  The basic roof structure has been put together, and I am working on the ends, including the sliding doors.  After which the outer skin of the ends will be glued on.
Image
And from the other side:

Image

It has proven to be a fairly lightweight vehicle so far at a shade under 13oz.  I think when it is completed it will be around 14 to 16oz in weight, which would give it a scale weight of about 3 tons.

Cheers,
Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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Post by LNR » Mon May 30, 2016 9:43 am

Very interesting roof. The old coach builders really liked their curves and sweeps. Looking good Peter, like the livery too.
Grant.

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Post by IrishPeter » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:15 am

In the case of horse trams and the early steam tram trailers the complicated roof shape had a purpose in that the hump and clerestory supported the outward facing bench seats on the upper deck of a double decker. The design allowed the profile of the early DDs to be kept down to about 11 feet. Of course, they did not have top covers then.

It was only in the steam tram era that reversible bench seats became common upstairs along with a flatter roof profile. I seem to think that one of the Portstewart cars was a double decker of that description.

Peter in AZ
Traffic Pattern? What pattern? Spuds out; grain in, but cattle, sheep and passengers are a lot less predictable.

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