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.
After preparing the frame and floor boards, construction can continue with the underframe. The main components are the body bolsters, needle beams and trusses. Unfortunately, I don’t have got a complete set of diagrams, so I had to guesstimate concerning the longitudinal and cross trusses. However, it’s not rocket science.
Based on my experiences from the flatcar experiments I’ve decided to construct a prototype for 26′ flatcars. The model is going to be built from red cedar and purchased Piko bogies.
After the first Center-of-Gravity tests my expectations have been thoroughly adjusted. I have to admit, at the beginning of this project I didn’t waste a thought on a possible failure. Meanwhile, the Maiden flight has become some sort of obstacle to me.
During the last weeks I’ve tried to accomodate weather, family and interested friends while taking patience and easing my doubts. That piled up too high: now or never!
A short remark: My wife thankfully took some video footage. However my PC has quit service, so I can’t postprocess. I will hand in the videos as soon as a new PC is at hand. Meanwhile, some still images will have to do.
Before I start the actual construction of my planned flatcars, I’d like to know first which limits the tracks will pose on them. I’ve only ever known classic model waggons, which have their couplers on beams attached to the bogies. This design ensures high operational reliability because the couplers can follow even the tightest curve radii. However, it’s not a pretty sight.
So I’d like to build a few test waggons in order to learn how the couplers perform when attached to the waggon’s body.