Monday, 26 September 2011

Progress on the Rurr Valley

Progress on the Rurr Valley continues.

Not only have I been clearing the layout and making it trafficable again, I have also revived a locomotive construction project that has sat on the workbench, untouched, since late 2005. Here is a photo of showing progress to date on RVR (new) No.2.
It is a 'near enough' model based on the three Baldwin-built 0-6-0T locomotives used by the Mt Lyell Railway for shunting and local work. A photo of the prototype loco appears below.
Mt Lyell No.5 poses at the works some time in the early years of the 20th century.

This is my second attempt at a 'near enough' model based on these locos. The earlier was the first No.2, based on a Bachmann 'Lyn' 2-4-2T.

I was quite happy with the appearance of the loco, but its chassis and motor design was not up to the rigors of running smoothly on the RVR's 'hill', it would 'hunt' alarmingly coming down the hill, due to the 'slop' in the drivetrain. I purchased the LGB 0-6-2T shown below with the idea of combining the cab and boiler of (old) No.2 with the 0-6-0 chassis of the LGB loco, which would give me closer version of the 'inspiration' loco, which would also be a much better runner with a high quality LGB chassis.
Most of the basic construction is now complete and now I just have to finish off the detailling, paint it and install the radio and sound gear recovered from the old loco and I will have another 'useful' engine for the line.

I have also completed 'stage 1' of clearing the line. Trains can now run between Possum Point and Devlins, at the top of the old zig zag. (Stage 2 will have to wait till I rebuild the flood damaged bridges.)

This photo, a quick 'snap' taken with my mobile phone back on 19 August 2011, before I started the clearing described in the previous posts, shows the results of a year's neglect (and the five years of abandonment previous to last year's revival attempt).
Compare this photo with the last image, the 'tunnel' can be just made out at bottom right and the site of Devlins is middle left.

The shot below was taken at the completion of work on the evening of 22 September and show the site of Possum Point station.

The next image shows the entire 'zig zag' area of the line cleared and trafficable on the evening of Friday 24 September. I snapped it with my mobile just at dusk and it shows No.1 shunting at Devlins, about to head down the hill to Possum Point in the background with a works train. I'll replace the rotted away culverts and reballast the entire section before I move on to 'stage 2', which is behind the photographer.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Another day workin' on the railway...

Got in an hour or so of track clearance on the garden railway this evening. The line is now open from Devlins all the way down the hill to Bottom Points. The track is in remarkably good condition, considering the neglect the railway has suffered over the last six years. Not so the timber culvert about one third of the way up the middle road, it has disappeared completely! The wood has rotted away and will need to be replaced, but it is cosmetic only, the track is strong enough to span the gap so I can still run trains. (It does serve to allow water to drain under the railway, so it is cosmetic only in the sense that it doesn't support the track!)

When it had got too dark to work I spent a couple of minutes running No.1 and a few wagons up and down the hill. No.1 is running beautifully after her 'overhaul' last week. The old battery pack had deteriorated to the extent that I was lucky to get one trip up the hill out of her, but the new one is very strong, she is still running on the charge she got last weekend!

It was too dark to photograph, so I have used a photo I took at Bottom Points last year to illustrate what the location looks like now.
No.1 and a works train at Bottom Points on 4 July 2010 during last year's attempt to get the RVR operational again.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Rurr Valley revival - take 2.

Last year I got about half the garden railway operational again after five years of neglect and three floods that damaged the two large bridges, cutting the main line to Underpool. Unfortunately, I did not do any further work between last October and a couple of days ago, for various reasons. However, the dispatch of the October issue of AMRM to the printer at the end of August (and the end of the soccer season!) gave me a little time for modelling. The first thing I did was to get No.1 running again, in order to review a MyLocoSound large scale sound chip (you can read the review in the December issue of AMRM). No.1 needed a new battery pack and speaker, and once I had done that and fitted and tested the new sound card, I decided it was about time I had some railway to run it on!

I started at the top station last week and cleared a short section, but didn't get another chance to get down in the garden till yesterday.
No.1 and the ballast wagon are standing on the section I cleared last week. The other side of the level crossing shows the results of a year's neglect. That is what the rest of the railway looks like!

Half an hour later and the line was clear through the station. There is a lot of 'scouring' of the ballast, so when I get the entire line clear there will be a lot of reballasting!

 No.1 stands at the Devlins platform.

An hour's work saw the track cleared down to through the cutting to the site where 'Top Points' were back in the days of the zig-zag, which is about a third of the way down the hill to Possum Point. Hopefully, trains will be running between Devlins and Possum point before long, but I will have to build two new bridges before trains can run to Underpool again.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Clever Things You Find on the Internet...

Was reading the Australian_N_Scale Yahoo group when 'Mark' made a post regarding downloadable containers. Now Lambing Flat has no need of containers, and never will have, but I'm a curious sort of fellow, so I went and had a look. What I found was a German language site aimed at ship modellers, but with a page of downloadable containers in various scales (including HO and N scale) to print out on a card, cut out and assemble. Having a couple of pieces of card handy, I printed a couple out and assembled them, which took about five minutes.

They would look pretty effective as 'background' at a container depot and would be a lot cheaper than buying scores of injection moulded containers. They could even be used on wagons, if one was so inclined.

These, (and many others) can be downloaded at: (then go to the 'Download/English' page.

Amazing what is available on the net these days...