Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Dual Gauge Takes Shape

Having advised the guys attending next weekend's Running Session that there will have been some progress since their last visit, I thought I better make some progress.

On Saturday I went to the LHS (Ray's) and ran into Lefty and Son.  Both were opening their wallets, or more correctly exercising their plastic.  I picked up 11 lengths of Code 83 Rail.  On the way home, I went via Bunnings and purchased 4 lengths of 66mm x 18mm x 2.4m pine for the incline from Acacia Ridge towards Clapham Yard.  When I got home I butt jointed 2 lengths of this pine and added a splice plate underneath.  I then used one of my already existing 90mm x 18mm lengths of pine and cut it into 6 length of about 8 inches each.  These pieces had a slight 10-15 degree angle off square for the end cut.  So when I butt joined these and added an underneath splice plate, I got something like a 45 degree curve out of three of them.  I assembled two lots of three pieces.  I then added a long length of straightbetween each of thenow approximately 45 degree curved pieces.  I am now ready to add the section along the end wall of the shed, when I buy some more wall brackets and work out how wide I will make the Yard in this location.  This will be Clapham Yard.  Besides, I need to make another about 6 or 8 lengths of dual gauge track.  I also need the expensive parts - the dual gauge points for the yard.  If you think I'm going to scratch build these you have another thing coming!  However if PK wants to try and build some for me - he is most welcome.

After the temporary laying of the wooden baseboard (it isn't fixed down yet) in the shed, attention then turned to the dual gauge track that I needed to manufacture.  I pulled out 10 lengths of GT flex track that I had lying around, as I had previously purchased this second hand.  The stuff was basically unused!  So I cut out a sleeper between each pair of nail holes in the track.
A few sleepers cut out

I then cut up lengths of double sided PC board sleepers into short lengths.  I then used some wood packing under the track where I had cut out the sleepers and placed the PC board onto of the wood.

The packing under the PC board ready for soldering

I then soldered the PC board to the outer rail.  Moving along the rail four solder joins at a time.

Outer rail soldered to the PC board, with the inner narrow gauge rail temporarily installed.  My inexpensive 12mm gauges and a 12mm bogie above the track.

I then added the third rail for dual gauge.  I made up some crude track gauges from a pine offcut and used a 12mm bogie to check the gauge.  I then soldered the third rail to the PC board.

The rail ready for soldering

I now have an extra 8m of track laid along the wall nearest Acacia Ridge Yard and across the corner to the side wall.  I test ran a 44 Class locos and two wagons up and down the incline and it ran fine.  I don't have any 12mm locos so I could not test the track via anything powered.  However, I installed three 12mm wagons (my whole fleet) and let then run down the 2% incline under their own steam. 
The far end of Acacia Ridge Yard.  Provision for the dual gauge has always been made outside of track 1.

At the opposite end of Acacia Ridge Yard, the track on the next level takes a right hand curve along a straight to cut off the corner of the shed.

The incline of the dual gauge is seen here.  It is a fixed 2%.  It needs additional bracing between the existing braces to prevent droop.

At this point the dual gauge is taking another bend and to the right of this area will be Clapham Yard.  This will be the first and only crossing loop north of Acacia Ridge.  I'm not sure what else will be at Clapham Yard at this stage.

I have a couple of days off this week, so I will tidy up the shed before the visitors come.  It is also Tuesday Nighters this week at Geoff's, so a good fix of Model Railways this week.

P.S.  I think I've laid more track this weekend, than Lefty and Son have in 12 months.  Hint Hint Guys!

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