After busying myself for a while with the bogies and couplers, it’s time to start detailing the flatcar. Though they are not that striking at first glance, the details will significantly add up to the overall picture. And since they are the most visible parts, I’m starting with the trusses or more specifically the queenposts.
Those of you who have been following along for some time will remember, that I started my first own garden railroad during 2017. After I got stuck with it, so to speak, it was at the end of 2019 with a heavy heart that the railroad got deconstructed and I refocused on rolling stock. However, on the one hand I do need some sort of test track and on the other hand I don’t want to banish the dream of some future garden railroad altogehter.
So I’m pleased to announce that during the summer of 2020 the Lead Road Railway came into being.
This time, believe it or not, we’ve had three battery-powered units in service, most of the time each had its own operator, too. Alas, the weather didn’t play along all the time, so a spontaneous layout extension was realized at the roofed porch. My No.1 braved the rain several times and did quite well. The encapsulated electronics really pay for themselves.
Since the operation session draws closer I’m focused on having a working interim result rather than completing all steps perfectly. So the ramp is now being put into working order. First off, the individually constructed bents have to get connected. After that, it’s planking time.
Based on my lessons learned during the last operation session, I’ve already started to mount couplers to the bogies. The result works very well, however I’m not quite happy with the looks: too clumsy, too heavy. So I’m trying a more delicate approach for the second coupler.
In order to prepare for the next operation session, I set myself the goal to arrange for some operations. So this time there will be no new waggon, but a loading ramp and some cargo.
The ramp’s design is inspired by Scott Perry’s Blog, who has published a very nice and extensive series. If you look for a step-by-step guide, you can find it there.
Our Summer Operation Session was a lot of fun, but most of all it was informative. I learned three very important lessons concerning my flatcars:
- Frame-mounted couplers need large radii
- Bogies need clearance for operational reliability
- Bogie-mounted couplers increase reliabilty
After several months of break, I’m back online. Sadly, this break was unvoluntary; on the one hand my PC broke down and the repair took its sweet time, on the other hand there were some issues with my friends and family which kept me from tending my hobbies.
This post relaunches the weekly updates. Even though I couldn’t must much time and strength, the last months have seen some exciting things happening. I will relate one after the other.
Besides other insights, the Summer Operation Session 2020 revealed that my Porter needs a better stowing place for the shunting chain.
On the one hand the chain easily drops from the loco if it isn’t properly secured, on the other hand it’s quite fidgety to fixate the chain at a given lenght. So I more or less spontaneously got the idea to tinker on a chain winch.
The first steps happend on a whin and I was sure that they wouldn’t succeed, that’s why I didn’t take any pictures. But after I realized I was onto something, I made some after the fact.
This operation session was scheduled rather spontaneously and spurred me into building a prototype for a flatcar. Accordingly, I was quite expectant concerning the experience I’d gain with the new waggon.
Since we only had a relatively short time for operations and I was preoccupied with test runs, there are only a few pictures. In return, I learned lots of lessons.