By constructing the steps the flatcar has gained some character, but of course this can only be the beginning. The next topic is to build the stake pockets. I’ve already constructed stake pockets for my porter’s tender and gained some valueable experience. I’ll profit from it while moving on.
After the flatcar has got its turnbuckles, the next step will be… well, steps so the Lead Road Railways’ conductors don’t have to do so many pullups any more.
I’ve already built steps for my porter’s tender, so these are charted territories for a change. In fact I took the tender’s steps’ measurements and copied them as a small batch.
And since I didn’t show much about how I made those steps, this time I’d like to give a detailed report.
By mounting the queenposts the waggon’s substructre is now ready for the turnbuckles. The prototype is used to adjust the trusses’ tension in order to avoid the waggon’s floor to sag. I decided to go for a scratch-build again, since the cast pieces are currently very hard to come by and on top of that they would have been the weakest link in my current construction. However, as a matter of fact it’s very time-consuming to build them manually.
Last week, after many years we finally had snowfall. I couldn’t miss out on that one, so out came the rolling stock and off we go!
The joy got somewhat marred, though, since the falling snow caused all the wheels to build up ice and caused many derailments. However, the snow remained and when the snowfall finally stopped at 11 o’clock the next morning, the whole layout was covered in a white blanket. I just couldn’t miss out on that opportunity! So, off to the workshop.
Below, I’d like to show how one can improvise a working snow plough in less than one hour.
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.
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
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.