Monday, February 02, 2009

Much to blog about

PART ONE: Progress on FR carriage 100.

I am preparing to complete the second end, using a compass cutter to create the radius at the top.

The first side has had its second stage detail almost completed.  It's hard to take an image, so here's one which has had its contrast maxxed up in photoshop.  The banana bend is normal apparently, caused by the lamination.  Most of the strip is 15 thou by 20 thou.  It's not perfect, but for a first go I'm quite pleased with it.

PART TWO: Plans for second side of the layout - or what shall I use my 2 new 4ft x 2ft baseboards for?

I've been thinking about this a lot.  One of the new problems with Rhyd Ddu is that, with most FR stock (and any heritage WHHR trains) terminating at Beddgelert, I'm stuck with just being able to run WHR trains.  Luckily some of the timetabled trains do indeed pass at Rhyd Ddu, so that's something.  So, I was looking to make the second side of the layout into an area where the other stock I'm building could be used.  The obvious choice is therefore something south of Beddgelert.

One thought was Pen-y-Mount.  Here I could model all the mainline WHR trains (current WHR stock and the FR third set trains too).  Indeed the WHHR stock can also be used (whether they run past Pen-y-mount or not) and even the Cambrian if I chose to model Cae Pawb as well.  This could be the usual DMU stock, but also class 37s and even steam specials.

However, the flat crossing may be a problem: to quote from Brian Meldon on the 009 society forum:

"the ready made standard/009 crossings that I have seen have dead frogs...This makes it virtually imposable to achieve good running on the 009 track. The gap in the rail is also a problem as the 009 wheels will tend to drop down in to the space required for the standard gauge flanges. You could always build one yourself but even then the gap required for the standard gauge flanges can be a problem.

One way round this is to only use fine scale 00 wheels with tiny flanges and build your entire 00 track and all the 00 locos and rolling stock to this standard. 
On real railways the difference between narrow and standard gauge wheel flanges is quite small and crossings, like that installed at Porthmadog in the photo linked below, have very small flange gaps:

This is not easily achievable in 4mm scale and certainly not using ready made crossings. A 90 degree crossing is not a good thing at all because both wheels will hit the gap at the same time, on the real railways these are normally avoided as is the case at Porthmadog, by being on a slight angle. At the other extreme crossings at acute angles will increase the length of the flange gap and the resultant hole." 

Ummmm...doesn't sound hopeful really.  I'm going to talk to a track guru first, but it seems a bit unlikely.  Also I'd need to build the unusual catch points and some method for running standard gauge trains at 90 degrees to the narrow gauge and then folding back to sit alongside the back of the baseboard on both sides.  It might make the baseboard impossibly wide?  

So, other possibilities...?  I still like the idea of 2 or 3 scenes on this side, with Tyler's curve and Plas halt a major contender for the first section, partly as the curve is correct.  The other contenders are:

- Tafarntrip and Garnedd tunnel (tunnel at end is useful for scenic break, bit boring?)
- Barlwyd Terrace near Tanygrisiau (river and rhodos are lovely here plus gentle curves)
- Aberglaslyn (obviously wonderful, but how to model to make the scale look right - the hills at the back are huge)
- Rhiw Goch (provides a passing place, but might also be a bit boring)
- Dduallt tank curve (a lovely gentle curve with interest (old tank))
- Nanmor bank and Nantmor cuttings (gradient, rock cuttings, road bridge)
- Nanmor river bridge and Hafod y Llyn loop (Hen Hafod).  -  see below.

PART THREE - Hen Hafod

and then yesterday came the announcement that the WHR will open to Beddgelert on 7th April and will be extended to a temporary terminus at Hen Hafod (old Hafod y Llyn and just short of the river bridge) on 21st May. 

The line will not now open to Porthmadog until after the summer peak season.  

So, the question now is what will happen to the third set of FR carriages?  Will they run on the FR as in 2008, or will they be used on the WHR.  If so, will they run a shuttle from Beddgelert, or Rhyd Ddu/Waunfawr or even Dinas/Caernarfon?  If so, then Rhyd Ddu will see the use of the FR stock after all!  

We'll have to wait until that becomes clear...



stephen said...

The Pen-y-Mount / level crossing area could definitely make an attractive model. To avoid problems with the crossing and a wide board, how about leaving the standard gauge as non-operational then you can fudge the clearances in the WHR line's favour.

Have a few rail-replacement buses and say there are engineering works on!

Zabdiel said...

I'm with Steve - I'd love to see a model of Pen-y-Mount. 00-SF could be an option on the standard gauge part - though you'd have to build the track and I doubt you could have tight curves. Rail-replacement buses or missing the SG off seem the best options.

stephen said...

Also, what are you planning to use for glazing on that coach? I've been trying perspex recycled from packaging material recently but it seems to delaminate from the styrene after a few days.

Colin Lea said...

normal glazing, the trick is to use the interior/floor/roofline to hold it in place without any glue!