Thursday, 20 July 2017

Ladysmith Station Building (2)

Fitting the front station awnings was the next task for the station building.  The supports were fitted more or less in the locations on Greg Edwards A4 station plan.  Important to make sure that they are aligned so as to not have any gaps underneath the awning.

I tend to use track cleaning rubbers for purposes they were never intended, like weights, and props for photography

Once the awning is installed, facia boards cut and positioned, the chimneys were assembled, and fitted.  I painted the roof  with Floquil "Bright Silver"

And my experiment with having part of the roof removable was successful.  The next challenge was the water tanks, guttering and downpipes.  The kit provides nothing, so I was on my own  My pictures taken in the early 1980s show one water tank, with "shelter", and one end without a tank

 The guttering was interesting.  I had some styrene 1.5mm "U" channel, which I butchered to make an "L" channel.  Painted with "Roof Brown".  After some false starts, I was able to get the guttering to adhere to the facia board using microscale metal foil adhesive, and then reinforce the joint with 2 part 5 minute epoxy.  The guttering  has proved  strong enough with the handling.for the next stages.

I made up a water tank, and platform, using the Greg Edwards plan.  I loosely positioned this to the end of the station, to assist me in the location of the downpipes

The downpipes (or spouting) had some interesting bends, and is quite awkward.  I use solder to act as a template, whilst I fit, cut and bend to shape.

When I was happy with the shape, I transferred it to some brass rod, of approximately the right diameter.  I secured the brass to the building with very fine wire, twisted to create a "pin" and fitted into a hole drilled in the wall.  Repeat for the other end, and then paint

Complete assembly of the stands, and water tanks.  The tanks are made up of a long aluminium corrugated iron made using Brunel's tool.  You will find it curves gently.  Once a roll has been made, it can be tightened without creasing, and the extra thickness adds to the strength.  Cut a lid, and glue.  The angled boards are made from thin card, scribed, and cut.  White glue and stripwood.  Yes, it is very fiddly

It certainly looks the part when attached.  Note the Ladies toilet window - if I had left the window in the original kit location, this pleasing result would have been impossible..  Repeat for the other end, and fit the corrugated iron "lid"

I have started wioth some fine detailing.  The Ladysmith station building sign was made by printing a sign, and attaching it to a styrene backing.  However, there is still much ro be done.  The tanks need some taps, the "Ladies", "Waiting room", and "Staionmaster" signs to me made, the chimney pots, and the Ladies Toilet vent for the roof.  And weathering.  The piers underneath the astation will have to wait until the platform is made

Should I have not bought the kit, and just reverted  to scratchbuilding the lot?  Maybe.  Having to rectify kit errors was a significant time waster, and some compromises with the roof pitch, and station master door I am just going to have to live with.  But, the kit is solid, and as I hope I have shown, can be super detailed.    Anyway, no time to ponder, there are more structures awaiting.

Happy modelling.  Rob

Monday, 10 July 2017

Ladysmith Station Building (1)

Ladysmith station was the 2nd station on the Tumbarumba Branch, after leaving Wagga.  The railways considered the station reasonably important, as it was built to their A4 design.  After trains stopped running in the late 1980s, the station's future was uncertain, but the lease was taken over by the Tumba Railway group, and the station is now looking very nice.   In May, 2017 the station turned 100

 As expected, the 2017 condition is slightly different from the 1970 era that I want to model.  My pictures taken in 1980, as well as the picture in the Train Hobby book "NSW Branchlines Volume 2 show a similar heritage scheme to the one today, although the mustard colour today is darker than the foremetioned pictures.  The 1970 colour might have been closer to the white of the station at Tarcutta?  However, I cannot find a 1970 picture, so I am proceeding with the heritage scheme.

I thought I would buy a laser cut kit of the NSW A4 station kit from Model Train buildings
I had hoped that a kit would be a simple way forward, as well as giving me a clue on enlarging and modifying their Tenterfield Statiun kit, to fit the Wagga station

The kit was ordered, and arrived promptly.  The package included a number of laser cut sheets, instructions, and 4 Grandt Line windows, plus glazing.  The instructions were fairly rudimentary, so access to Greg Edwards Data sheet is pretty useful.  Oh, and I also had taken a lot of detail pictures of Ladysmith

The instructions recommend painting prior to assembly.  I used the following paints
Floquil Depot Buff for the walls,  Floquil, Rail Brown for the floor, , and Floquil Roof Brown for the trim.  I know that Floquil is no longer available, but it is important to NOT use a water based paint, unless one has sealed the wood.  Floquil being a lacquer was brushed straight on

The fit of the parts is excellent.  I used white glue.  The above picture was taken AFTER I discovered discrepencies with the Kit, vs the Data sheet.  My photos of Ladysmith showed it closer to the A4 design.

Whilst I decided to live with the roof pitch, and door location to the stationmasters office, the windows to the Ladies Powder room, and Lavatory were very wrong - wrong size, wrong shape, and wrong position, so needed rectification.  Fixing these took a lot longer than I had hoped  There were some other problems too, but no others involved surgery

Before the roof goes on, it was necessary to fit the seats in the waiting room.  The kits seats are nowhere as neat as the real ones (above), but for an interior detail, it is OK.

The main roof consists of 4 beams, and 6 corrugated iron wooden sheets.  The rear sheets have been fitted and glued.  I plan to leave the other sloping sheets and two beams removable, for later super detailing of the interior.

It may be silly to fit awnings on the rear of the station, as my layout will have the station visible only from the platform face, but the awnings are a necessary detail, which I needed to have.

The kit supplies NOTHING, which is a shame, as the awning brackets would have been an ideal task for the laser cutter.

There are 4 windows.  Assembly sequence is from right to left
- drill holes for the brackets, and fit stripwood (I used Northeastern 3" square stripwood) in `the holes to approximate the awning design
- Cut and fit support wood between the earlier stripwood
- Fit window, after painting, and glazing (the glazing supplied in the kit is laser cut, exactly right - a very nice touch, which beggars the question why the awnings are omitted?)
- Fit corrugated iron.  I made mine using Brunel Hobbies HO corrugated iron maker jig, and some disposable aluminium tray material, that came from Coles underneath some yummy treats.  The tool works extremely well, and is recommended

Well that is it for now.  I have a distraction with track laying on Pete's Hobby Railway, (a real 610mm gauge) so part 2 of Ladysmith may be a few more days away.

Cheers. Rob

 Built to the NSWGR A4

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Up the Branch to Ladysmith

If is often stated that adding a branchline to your model railway is an ideal way of increasing the operational interest.

 The Tumbarumba branch was constructed in 2 stages - Wagga to Humula - opened in 1917, and Humula to Tumbarumba opened in 1921.  The line traverses mixed farming near Wagga Wagga, but continues into more heavily wooded and hilly terrain the further south east it runs.  Many stations were established, although some fell into disuse well before the line "closed" in 1974, officially due to flooding that washed away the Tarcutta Creek bridge, but mostly due to the NSW government desire to save money, and use any convenient excuse.  Interestingly, the line is not officiially closed, as this requires an act of parliament   Even today, much of the railway is still in place.  The line to Ladysmith lasted a bit longer, due to the wheat silo there, although with repairs on the bridges needed, the last trains ran in 1988.  The RAAF base at Forest Hill then decided to lift the track running near the runway, and the chance of services ever being restored is a pipedream.  A preservation group, Tumba Rail has taken over the lease of Ladysmith station, and used to have Trike Rides for the public, until the rules changed.

Passenger services were generally handled by CPH railmotors on a daily basis.  Goods trains though were general freight, parcels, superphosphate, timber, wheat, livestock, dairy, and fruit in season.  I cannot find any evidence of oil wagons on the branch east of Wagga, which is a shame.  I suspect that oil was transported in barrels in open wagons - and I am searching to find supporting pictures

3026 eases around the curve at the eastern end of Wagga station in the early 1980s with a tour train, and about to cross Lake Albert Road.  The siding in the foreground is the Tooheys siding - and has shiny rails

Looking east past the Boral Bitumen siding   The other siding heading off to the right services a small fuel depot (out of view).  I will cover all of these sidings in a future post

Wagga landmark signal, and Copeland Street crossing/

Tour train running on embankment in front of Rocky hill, just beyond the landmark .  Rocky Hill will be used as part of the backscene that will hide the Helix on my model

Bakers Lane level crossing between Wagga and Forest Hill  Fairly typical road crossing.  Note the cattle guards on the fences.

Forest Hill had a station building, platform, and toilets.  All were out of use in 1970, although they were not demolished until after 1975.  The Forest Hill  silos lasted into the 1980s - when they were dismantled.  Interestingly, whilst the station area is now fenced off, the point frame is still there.  I will not be modelling Forest Hill, as from an operational viewpoint, Ladysmith covers this

Kyeamba Creek bridge, close to Ladysmith, taken from the light plane before Google maps.  I recently visited the bridge on foot, and trees, wasps, and vegetation make it hard to photograph.  More on the bridge in a future post

Ladysmith silos - S008 design, with shed.

Ladysmith station track diagram - my photo was used by the Tumba Rail guys for a replacement, as the diagram had been removed after the line fell into disuse, but before Tumba Rail took over the lease.  The track diagram is fairly typical of many of the stations on the Tumbarumba branch

Tour train and Ladysmith station in the early 1980s.  The station is a typical NSW A4 design.

Goods Shed.  I just love the signs, AND the way the superphospate is stacked.

Ladysmith weighbridge building.  In a sorry state.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour.  Apologies for the quality of the pictures - my el cheapo slide scanner is fast, but not very good.  I do have a better scanner, but it has to be attached to my desktop that runs XP, and each slide takes around 5 minutes to scan and process.  Time that would be better spent on modelling.

Thank you to all who have responded to me about my Blog.  It has been very encouraging   Happy modelling.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Murrumbidgee River Bridge Model (part 1)

One of the highlights of my layout will be the bridge over the Murrumbidgee River.

The above picture shows 2 spans of the 4 span bridge.  Each span is 159 feet in length (approx 48 metres).  I would have liked to scan this picture, and other detail shots, but I got a bit lazy

The bridge was built in 1878 as part of the extension of the main southern railway from North Wagga (Bomen) to Albury.  The design was relatively common in NSW, as this was one of 18 bridges built to the John Whitton design.  The Whitton bridge over the Murray River at Albury is still in use - which is testimate to the design able to carry todays trains.

The original design featured lattice truss arches to tie the 2 lattice beams together.  However, the Wagga bridge was strengthened, and substantial support girders were added, and the arches removed

In 2001, under the Uneek range, a kit of the Whitton truss was offered.  These were very expensive kits ($330) per span, with the piers an extra $25 per pair.  I was very fortunately to buy 2 kits, as I have been reliably informed only 15 kits were ever made..  The instructions though were very poor - recommending glue for instance, and for the most part I devised my own construction sequence

First step was to solder the special brass shapes to the upper and bottom chord

After drilling out the holes for the interconnecting pin (0.55mm - not the 0.3mm that the kit instructions states), one can then solder one of the chords to the sides

Taking inspiration from the old pencil case design, I slid in the second lattice side, and soldered the other chord to the side.  The lattice sides do not line up, and 1 mm has to be removed (this is also stated on the instructions - which might be a way of saying there was a drafting error on the etches)

Solder one of the ends to the girder.  Note that there is an unetched section on the chord - this is a detail, for a strengthening plate on the real bridge - and the kit has another rivet piece to cover this.  I have chosen to not add them at this stage.

Painting of the girders is a problem that I solved AFTER I built the first pair.  After sliding the girder side out, clean the inside, and PAINT.  I happened to use a rattle can of black on hand

Once the paint had dried, slide the sides together, and solder on the other girder end.  Fit the pins, solder and cut off.

Build a second lattice.  Yes, this bridge is fairly repetitive

 Join the 2 lattice beams with the supplied "I" girders.  The first kit had only 23 "I" girders, and whilst the instructions said 23, the plans had a spacing diagram for 25.  My second kit had 25 "I" beams.  Annoying.   Fit the angle irons to the base.

Anyway, when you have struggled with the spacing, you will end up with a 159 foot span.  The kit has the lattice arches to tie the spans sides together and give strength, but this style was not for my time frame.  I used a piece of brass strip to do the same thing for now, and this will be removed later.  The area that I have used for the strip will be covered with the rivet overlay I mentioned previously,

Once you have built one span - REPEAT for the second span.  Just as well, I don't have more than 2 spans, as I would have gone crazy.  Note one of the piers is bolstered up on a plinth - yes, it was shorter than the rest - but buried in the riverbank, it will be OK.

Further progress is awaiting the external girders.  Not sure if I will use ABS (has been ordered), or brass - the latter is preferred, but I have not yet been able to locate a source for the sizes I need.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

A quick view of the Mainline

One of the advantages of modelling a REAL railway, is that most of the structures you need have already been designed, and built 1:1 scale.  Unfortunately, I am starting this layout 47 years after my nominated time period, and many of the structures are gone.  Whilst I have great memories of watching trinas, I didn't obtain a camera until the late 1970s, and a car in 1980.

Wagga Wagga was too far away from  Sydney, so whilst some railway books have extensive coverage of the main south, they rarely managed as far south as Wagga.  Which is a shame.

But, fortunately, despite the expense of slide photography,, I managed to photograph a good percentage of what I am planning to model.  So, sit back and view a very truncated tour of the mainline through Wagga

The Kapooka Road bridge will be the tunnel entrance to my Albury Staging.  This bridge was bypassed in 2016, and only last week, a contract to demolish it was finalised.  A real shame, but it would not have survived double stacking as part of Inland Rail

The trackage serving  Hardys timber, gasworks, and loading ramp has all gone in this view,

Docker street was originally a double track level crossing, with one of the tracks being the headshunt for the Hardys sidings  Gatekeepers cottage with the green roof is still in existance, although much modified

Coming into Wagga, under Best Street Bridge.  The signalbox disappeared in 1983 with CTC, and the railway cottages also were removed.  The original Best Street level crossing gatekeepers cottage (larger red roof)  is still in existence, but heavily vandalized, and probably will be demolished.

A view looking east with an X200 shunter.  Wagga in 1970 had around a dozen sidings, with much activity

Turntable with 3026.  Lachlan Valley tour train.  Wagga had a water tower, and coal stage.  The Turntable was in place to turn steam locos that used the Tumbarumba branch.  I will cover this branchline in a future post

One of the fuel depots - this one on an extended siding that crossed Railway Street on a level crossing

Leaving Wagga, the trains crossed the first of 5 viaducts across the Murrumbidgee river.  I will unfortunately only be able to model a very truncated section of this.  The River was crossed with 4 spans of 159' Whitton Truss - and this will be the subject of a future post.

Bomen is a station at the northern end of the viaduct.  It has extensive stockyards, and meatworks.  Bomen today has a small intermodal yard.  It lost its large rail connected Mobil fuel depot last year, not that the NSW government ran any fuel trains since 2010.  The purple flowers are Pattersons Curse, Salvation Jane, Riverina bluebell, or Grasby Grass - depending on where you are.  This weed was a boon for Honey producers, toxic to horses, and fortunately is now biologically controlled,

Shepards Siding is the end of my line - has a large silo complex.  Before the days of Google maps, I managed to get this shot from a light plane.  The silo is still there, and in operation.  My layout will extend around the silos, and disappear behind the backdrop down to Junee staging.

Thanks for reading