Author Topic: Cambridgeshire Progress Report  (Read 30563 times)

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Offline John Candy

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #120 on: Jul 25 2015 19:26 »
Since last report, I have been concentrating on building platforms for the five stations on the line.
I am using cast resin to produce stonework and brick walls, and since each casting is only a few inches in length, it is taking a considerable time to accumulate the vast quantities required!

So far, I have completed the passenger platform and goods loading dock at the high-level branch terminus, as shown in attached photos.(two days of heavy rain have brought down a lot of dead leaves and twigs, etc.)!

I have cast sufficient  parts to construct Platform 3 at the main terminus, when the rain stops!
Otherwise, I have large quantities of castings but not enough to complete Platforms 1 & 2 (an island 23ft 6ins long), so need to get casting again.
Have to say, I am dreading dealing with the junction station, which has six platforms!

Still waiting for the pneumatic point motor parts to arrive : I have paid the Customs Duty and they are scheduled for delivery on Monday.

Still no news of the three "missing" turnouts which are now needed to complete all the track laying and enable preparation for a preliminary "trials" day to test everything and deal with snags.

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Traininvain

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #121 on: Jul 26 2015 10:11 »
Totally brilliant John

Can you do an article for the G3 Newsletter please.

many tx

Ian

Offline John Candy

The "Control" Problem.....a possible solution?

The complexity of my track layout has made me think about how to organize the three "signal boxes" in a logical fashion that will be easily understood by visitors, without lengthy instruction courses!

Eventually, the line will be fully signalled but at this stage I am concerned only with point control.

The main terminus will have pneumatic control installed to all but the goods yard sidings (where shunting will be carried out with manual levers) but the yard "access" onto the running lines will be under central control.

Attached is a control panel (first draft) which is (hopefully) "simple to follow"!

The switches are numbered L1 to L9 and the possible routes are annotated with orange numbers/letters on black circles.

The plain black circles mark the switch/lever positions, which have a "red" or "blue" setting (indicated by coloured bars running above and below).

There are "Route Tables" for each of the possible routes and the lever settings are given for each route : The colour of the "L" numbers against each route tells the operator the position of each lever necessary to set a particular route.

There will be flashing LEDs on the panel (operated by micro switches linked to tiebars) which will provide reminders about the setting of the loco release road crossover and the state of the access to the (manually controlled) yard.

John.
« Last Edit: Jul 27 2015 06:06 by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline John Candy

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #123 on: Sep 06 2015 19:57 »
Ambient temperature changes : Not just rails expand.

My track is all laid on recycled plastic board and (as I have noted in earlier postings)  it has a rather high co-efficient of expansion (higher than brass rail).
Now, we all aware of the need for rail joint gaps to be adjusted when laying track but there are also other items susceptible to "movement".

Last autumn (sometime in October) I constructed the loading dock at the branch terminus, using cast resin walls. This went through the winter and this summer without any signs of movement.
A month or so ago, I laid the passenger platform at the same location, using precisely the same construction methods.

Today, I noticed that a gap had developed in the platform facing (not serious but highlighted by the white resin showing in the gap where the joint in the cast wall sections has parted) and investigated.
The temperature over the past few days has dropped to as low as 13 C by day (although night temps. are much lower) and the conclusion I came to was that the gap has been caused by contraction of the plastic base board. The platform is around 12ft in length and spans two joints in the plastic board, although (so far) only a gap has appeared in the resin wall at just one location.

When the temperature plummets to freezing, I suspect another gap will appear near the other board joint.
The loading dock built last year is confined to a single section of board and does not span any joints, which, I assume, accounts for lack of any similar problem.

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline blagdon

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #124 on: Sep 27 2015 21:00 »
John

Welcome to the world of outdoor Garden Railways!

Ian the Gauge '3' Pirate

Offline John Candy

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #125 on: Dec 12 2015 19:19 »
Well, it's that time of year again, when I sit staring out of the window at the rain, falling leaves and gale force winds, wondering how much longer it will take to get the railway to an operational condition.

The good news is (that apart from the turntable and its radiating tracks) all the gauge 3 track has been laid.
There is some minor fettling to be carried out to the trackbed in a couple of places to iron out "ripples" but, generally speaking, I am satisfied with the current state.

The old question comes up time and again ; "When is your Grand Opening to be?".

Before any trains can run, I have to install the point controls and build the control panels (signalboxes) of which there will be at least three. Since all "running lines" are to have pointwork controlled from panels and most are pneumatic, this will invovle laying in the region of 800ft of pipe and flexible tubing (plus several hundred feet of multicore electric cables, linked to detector micro-switches for illuminated panel route indicators).
This will be a major task and not one I am looking forward to!
I still need to work out the optimum positioning of the control panels in relation to the sectors under the control of each, as well as the method of construction and methods of "communication" between each (possibly even repeaters of the route-setting displays over all three panels in the longer term, when signalling has been installed).

Meanwhile, platform construction is advancing (as weather permits) and approximately 50 feet of platform has already been constructed. Huge quantities of resin castings for both stone and brickwork platform facings are accumulating and there is at least another 130 feet of platform still to be constructed. The quantities sound intimidating but (using resin castings) the construction is quite rapid with 20 feet per day easily achievable and that includes painting).

So, "When is your Grand Opening to be?"........hopefully, there will be a "usable" (but incomplete) railway by the middle of next summer .... weather permitting!!

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline John Candy

How to Ruin Your Garden in Three Summers or (according to your standpoint) add a delightful scenic landscaped feature!

A slideshow PDF file with a (very much) condensed account of the steps in construction of my (almost complete) railway.

If you first download the file and then open it (rather than just clicking on the link to open) it should "play" as a slideshow.

http://G3Forum.org.uk/gardenrlwyslideshow.pdf

John.
« Last Edit: Oct 04 2016 06:25 by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Peaky 556

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #127 on: Feb 06 2016 08:06 »
You'll have a ride-on truck I presume, for access to tend the rockeries, and/or special flamethrower truck and mobile weed killer dispenser...?
It's beginning to look part of the landscape John, like the very best of engineering as created by our worthy Victorian ancestors.
I look forward to seeing the on-board drivers-eye videos, and to the first GTG.
Regards, Tim  :)

Online LankyTank

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Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #128 on: Feb 06 2016 08:41 »
John

Can't find the "Bloody 'ell, I like that" button.......!!!!

More power to your elbow.

Baz

Offline IanT

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #129 on: Feb 06 2016 11:11 »
A massive undertaking John - in both money and effort - but a very impressive end result.

My much more modest (modular) track building efforts recently have succeeded in getting a fine coat of wood dust all over my (normally just metal working) Workshop. Not too much choice as all that rain and wind you mentioned have prevented any 'outside' woodworking activity (I normally move my saws/routers outside and use them in the back garden).

My other machines are in their 'winter' dress (well oiled, covered in plastic sheet and then wrapped in old towels) but the dust has got everywhere. I guess I'm going to push on and try to get a few more parts done (before the AGM) and then have a big clean up once the weather improves in the Spring and I can move everything outside and really clean up.

However - all that seems to pale besides your efforts.
Well done, I'll look forward to seeing it all 'for real' one day.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline Roy

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Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #130 on: Feb 11 2016 09:15 »
Hello John,

Your construction looks very impressive, as you say, built to last.  Will it be single or double track?  And what will be the total length of your line when finished?

I think you have earned a week's rest in Sussex!

Roy

Offline John Candy

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #131 on: Feb 11 2016 10:02 »
Hello Roy,

Below are the links to the track plan.
Regarding length, I haven't measured!

If you leave the main terminus, run down to the junction, take a circuit of the main line, then leave and climb back to the high level, cross the viaduct and run back to the terminus, I reckon that is at least 500 feet.


http://lakes-pages.com/gauge3.co.uk/G3Forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1099.0;attach=2208;image

http://lakes-pages.com/gauge3.co.uk/G3Forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1099.0;attach=2399;image

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline IanT

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #132 on: Feb 11 2016 15:10 »
I think the only word that immediately comes to mind is "Huge" John.

If you had just shown me that track plan without any other background, I would have just assumed it was in 4 or 7mm. Wow.

Regards,

IanT

PS Talking of 4mm (which I know we were not) - I was in Tesco's again today and although I'd better not mention exactly how it came to my attention, it seems that some 4mm modellers have discovered the wonder of battery-electric operation (!!). Apparently, it's possible to run a model railway without any under-board wiring or track power! Well, at least for the locos - I'm not sure how everything else is worked? Anyway, it seems these 4mm people are finally starting to catch up with us.   :) 
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline cabbage

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #133 on: Feb 11 2016 19:39 »
It is called "Brio"....

regards

ralph

Offline John Candy

Re: Cambridgeshire Progress Report
« Reply #134 on: Feb 12 2016 00:00 »
Quote
It is called "Brio"....

Aah!!
You've "rumbled" me! .... it's really made of those "push-me-round" wooden toys!!

http://www.briotoy.co.uk/c/brio-rail_train-sets

 :)

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.