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Corrimal Colliery Incline
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 Posted: Thu Apr 11th, 2013 09:32 am
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oztrainz
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Hi all,
seeing I'm a recent arrival, I'll put up a topic on my current project - a model of a self-acting incline that operated at Corrimal Colliery near Wollongong NSW in Australia. Wollongong is about 60 miles South of Sydney.

As far as I know (after several years of looking), no-one has successfully modelled an operational self-acting incline. This type of an incline has 2 tracks and is worked with a continuous rope that does not change direction. Its distinguishing visual characteristic is of individual skips dotted along the incline rope with one track with loaded cars heading one direction and on the other track empty cars dotted along the rope heading back the other way.

On the prototype, individual loaded 3/4 ton capacity 2' gauge coal skips were attached by clips to the haulage rope with on one track and lowered down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, each skip was unclipped from the rope, emptied and the coal was transfered to a screens building over standard gauge tracks.

After emptying, the coal skips were lowered on a creeper chain and kickback siding to a lower level where they were attached to the haulage rope on the other track for their return run uphill. At the top of the hill, the skips were unclipped from the haulage rope, rolled over the other track, and collected in a siding, where they were coupled up before being hauled back to the mine by small steam locomotives.

The incline rope also drove the creeper chain, elevating conveyor to the screens building,the screens themslves and still had to get rid of 40HP of energy through water-cooled brakedrums in the brakehouse at the top of the incline. This incline was installed in 1890, modified prior to 1912, and was demolished in 1955, after it was superceded by a 3'6" gauge incline that fed a new washery. The incline fell through 300' over a length of about 800' with a ruling grade of 1 in 4 or 25%

First up a link to a website with some photos of the narrow gauge railway that ran from the mine to the incline top and the standard gauge railway that hauled coal away from the bottom of the incline
http://www.illawarracoke.com.au/1912-65_Corrimal_Colliery_Railway/1912-65_Corrimal_Colliery_Railway_index.htm

From 1906 to its closure in the mid-1960's, 4 steam locomotives operated the mile long 2' gauge railway between the mine and the incline top. Two of the 4 steam locomotives have been preserved and both are currently operational at local railway museums.

Now to the model
At just over a mile long and fall of 300', in dead scale at 1/43 full size, this layout would not fit in 2 basketball courts and would be over 10' high. By applying an awfull lot of selective compression we have come up with this as a plan:


The plan is to build the layout in 3 stages, with the hardest, most technically demanding part being done first - The actual incline. We are currently at Stage 1


How we got started on "Corrimal" and how we've gone about actually being able to haul "stuff" on on a 25% grade can wait til next time
Regards,
John Garaty
Unanderra in oz

Last edited on Wed Jan 29th, 2014 07:30 am by oztrainz



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 Posted: Thu Apr 11th, 2013 12:37 pm
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kneighbarger
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Very interesting project and prototype. :2t:
Some very interesting photos in the provided link.
I look forward to seeing some photos of your progress.

Ken

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 Posted: Thu Apr 11th, 2013 02:50 pm
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Dan B
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Neat project. Reminds me of the inclines used down here in southern Arizona. It will be interesting to watch this project develop.

Dan B

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 Posted: Thu Apr 11th, 2013 10:59 pm
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oztrainz
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So how did all this get started??
Way back in October 2005, after a local model railway exhibition, a friend of mine, myself, Guy Gadsden and our wives adjourned to Macca's (the place of the golden arches) for a post-exhibition "feed" before heading our seperate ways. Guy being a fan of a particular Welsh railway, mentioned he wanted to build a layout with an incline. we tossed around several ideas about a slate incline. I then asked the innocent question - :!: What about a model of an Australian incline instead? - We did have incline railways out here - Didn't we? ???

Corrimal was a choice that resonated with both of us. In a previous career Guy had worked on a unique 40T bogie diesel underground locomotive, buit by the local firm of E M Baldwin of Castle Hill NSW. My father was one of the senior Australian Iron & Steel Collieries engineers who had written the specifications for that loco. The 2' gauge operations at Corrimal were one of the better documented inclines in Australia and I had also seen the 2' gauge underground network in operation, prior to its closure in the mid 1960's. I also get to fire "Burra", one of the preserved 2' gauge locomotives, at my local railway museum.
http://www.ilrms.com.au/burra.htm

Several dead drink cups later, after much scribbling on serviettes (napkins), measuring up Maccas with a tape measure (it should be this big...), much hilarity amongst the 4 of us, and lots of odd looks from both management and patrons, the "Corrimal Colliery Incline" was born. (Yes we still have the serviette with the original mud map on it filed for posterity)

Now on to the research - L: Surely someone somewhere had built one of this type of self-acting incline? ??? So far we have not been able to find anyone anywhere who has built this type of a cable-hauled incline with individual wagons dotted along the haulage ropes. (Now watch someone come out of the woodwork and claim they built one 15 years ago...) All other types of model inclines that we have found so far are variations on a theme where one or more wagons are attached to the end of the haulage rope or are placed on a platform that is raised or lowered the length of the incline.

The sticking point for us was that we did not have 1/43rd scale people to clip the wagons onto the haulage rope at one of the incline and to unclip them at the other end.
So in July 2009 I had the "Eureka" moment.... :Crazy: :!: Suppose I find some other way of moving the skips so that I don't have to attach them physically to the haulage rope?

Here's what I came up with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7hH-qq-r1k

L: :w: But can I pull a 1 in 4 grade? ???
:2t: Yes we can!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTwEwRzSsBM
(Warning - turn your sound down NOW!!!)

:Crazy::Crazy::!:Now suppose I get the under-track chain and and the rope to move at the same speed? It would look like the haulage rope is actually doing the hauling....

That's enough thinking for now - more next time...
Regards,
John Garaty
Unanderra in oz

Last edited on Sun Apr 14th, 2013 08:46 pm by oztrainz



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 Posted: Wed Apr 17th, 2013 11:30 am
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W C Greene
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Man-that's cool as you know what! Wonderful idea and I will (someday) re-do my incline or maybe build a new one (better idea) using these magnets. BTW-here in Texas, we call them "Micky-D's"...you know-Macca's...Good show.

Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 05:52 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi Woodie
Been doing some thinking on your last posting (yep that can be dangerous :) ) - I wouldn't recommend this type of incline haulage outside. These magnets are that strong that if you have ANY iron at all in the dust/dirt, they will find it and "suck" it in and clag it onto the magnet. I found this out the hard way when I dropped a magnet on my concrete driveway. It was surprising how much crud it picked up and how difficult it was to get the crud off the magnet.



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John Garaty
Unanderra in oz
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 Posted: Mon Apr 22nd, 2013 09:20 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi all again,
having replied to Woodie, I suppose that I'd better get on with the build saga, seeing Dan has already got out on video what we had in on display Melbourne at the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention (Stage 1 minus scenery).

So strap on a chair for the next installment....

First up you'd better come up with some pretty good reasons on WHY you should actually want to build a model of an incline of a type no-one else has...
These reasons boiled down to:
    Be "Unique" - so far no-one else has done it
    Be exhition suitable - not just for model railway shows, but also for local, mining and history functions as well, so that the life of this layout can be fully utilised
    Be educational - to show the process of mining, handling and transporting coal of days gone in a "reasonably" accurate manner


So having decided on Corrimal and the reasons for making a model of it, how do you actually make a model of it? The final plan in the first post was arrived at after a lot of head scratching and preliminary work. to get to the final plan, we developed a "build philosophy" for this layout
    Proof Of Concept Modelling - make cheap test rigs to prove if the concept/design will work, so that the major processes are verified before any major expenditure is incurred, for example testing the top end of the incline for layout see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXicbZs_dWQ - (Again turn your sound down NOW and hang around to the 3 min mark to see what can go wrong)
    Modular light weight construction - aluminium square tube frames with “soft-rock” scenery for the mountain side at a standard module sizes of 1200mm or 1400mm long by 600mm wide with 200mm depth to frames. MDF tops used to give a solid foundatiom for mounting mechansisms/structures
    1:1 scale drawings – created to see if the desired track plans would actually fit onto the planned modules.
    Staged Construction – When complete, the model will consist of II modules. These modules will have to be built and detailed in stages.
      STAGE 1 – The Incline - 6 modules Bottom end, Incline, Top end, Dead end, Water Tank, Mine Run 1 as the train turntable loader. Building from incline bottom upwards to enable accurate positioning of hardware under the incline tracks.
      STAGE 2 – Brokers Nose – 3 modules, Mine Run 1, Brokers Nose1 & Brokers Nose2. Will feature a pelmetted extension of the run to the mine dominated by “Brokers Nose” on top of the pelmet. Will act as a view block between incline and future extension to the mine. Still uses train turntable for loading skips.
      STAGE 3 – Corrimal Mine – mine buildings on 2 modules with mine portals at extreme left – featuring skip repair area, coal dump, workshop, powerhouse and loco shed Train turntable module to be re-worked as the “underground” loading area & reversing loop, hidden by the mine portal module.
    Selected cameo scenes – where photos exist, details will “go close” to those shown in the photo.
    Rainforest – because of the size of the final layout, detailed trees will be limited to cameo scenes.
    Mountain railway - track height from top of incline to mine has been deliberately set at 1350 mm (53") to 1400 mm (55") above floor to give the impression of a railway running along the side of the Illawarra escarpment. Smaller people will be looking up at the layout as the train shuttles skips between the mine & incline top. The Incline itself will appear as an open-topped tunnel descending through trees.
    Brokers Nose – we intend to have “Brokers Nose” on top of a pelmet at Stage 2 as both a view block and drawcard

So what's all this about a Brokers Nose? Brokers Nose {aka Mount Korrimul} dominates the Illawarra escarpment close to where the original mine site was... The "nose" is formed when the softer underlying shales and coal has been eroded leaving a hard sandstone "beak",


Seeing we've decided to model Corrimal as it was in the mid-1920's, that tower won't be there :bg:

Last edited on Wed Jan 29th, 2014 07:34 am by oztrainz



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John Garaty
Unanderra in oz
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 Posted: Tue Apr 23rd, 2013 09:36 am
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danpickard
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Hi John,
It will make an impressive view block, and also help make an already relatively large layout by exhibition standards seem even bigger. Some good scenery fun to have in that nose of yours.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Sat Apr 27th, 2013 11:55 pm
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Ray Dunakin
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Awesome! What a clever idea!



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 Posted: Wed Aug 7th, 2013 01:32 pm
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W C Greene
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John, this is a fascinating project. Any updates?

Woodie



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