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Corrimal Colliery Incline
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 Posted: Mon Nov 30th, 2015 04:13 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi all again,
Remember Back on page 1, I raised the idea of "Proof of Concept" Modelling - that is to 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).

We also made a foamcore mock-up of the proposed bottom-end track layout on for a standard 1200 mm by 600 mm (4'x2') module base with structures. We figured modelling the middle bit between the top and bottom was the easy bit, being just 2 parallel track on a grade, with all grade changes to flat being made on the adjacent modules. Well it almost almost worked...

So the Top-end and Bottom-End (Tipple) mock-ups were in existence before we started cutting metal for the module frames.

So here's what happened when we tried to mate up the mock-ups with our frames:
The Tipple mock-up with the grade change on the tipple module




and the Top End mock-up



So using some aluminium channel as a straight edge...


but the Bottom End and Tipple doesn't look like this...
http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/191248597?q=Corrimal+Colliery&l-availability=y&l-australian=y&c=picture&versionId=208665779

The deck is far too short. Herr von Moltke has a lot to answer for....

Last edited on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 07:41 am by oztrainz



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 Posted: Tue Dec 1st, 2015 04:31 am
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oztrainz
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Hi all,
The saga continues -
So we lengthened the Tipple Module to 1400 mm (55" near enough) and made a new foamcore mock-up of the tipple house with a longer deck

Much better and closer to the desired prototype http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/191248597?q=Corrimal+Colliery&l-availability=y&l-australian=y&c=picture&versionId=208665779 But this put the vertical curve from the track onto the incline onto the Incline Module and shortened the length of run on the incline...

So a new incline module was built - also at 1400 mm long. Sun Tsu strikes again...

With the incline climbing away at the left and the O standard-gauge tracks on the flat for the Screens at the right. That brings us to the saga of the standard-guage tracks and their layout....For the next post



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 Posted: Sat Dec 12th, 2015 03:33 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi all again,
As promised - It's time to talk about the standard gauge tracks at the bottom of the "hill"

The equipment and layout of Corrimal screens and standard were documented in a book published in 1912 by a mining engineer who visited all Australian Colliery sites. Comparing information in the book with newspapers and other published references it looks like the date of the visit was about 1904 which pre-dated the steam tramway that fed the Incline from 1906 onwards. The Screens were and standard gauge tracks were built in 1880 to improve output from the mine. So what did the track layout look like?

The best information we have is that it looked something like this

with the track to Corrimal cokeworks and the NSWGR exchange sidings going off to the right. But what about to the left? That's a double-slip in there... Why is it there?

This recent photo is taken from almost the base of the Incline near where the screens were:

The rapidly rising terrain meant that the storage sidings to hold the empty wagons had to be compressed as much as possible because a gully to fit these empty wagon storage sidings had to be dug into the side of the Illawarra escarpment. This rising terrain did have one benefit. Gravity could be used to run empty wagons down to under the screens for loading and away from the screens after loading, so no locomotive was required to be kept at the screens for shunting. The two standard gauge tank locomotives owned by the mine could be used in hauling loaded coal to the exchange sidings and shuttling empty wagons back to the screens.

But how did using the double-slip help compress things? Going back to the trackplan

and working form the top down we have -
    Arrival road - for empty wagons
    Lump Coal road - for large sized coal
    Middlings road - for nut-sized coal sold for domestic household use
    Dust or Dirt road - for small coal and dust that could not be sold, but that was suitable for coking, and Corrimal had its own captive cokeworks :2t:

Prior to World War 2, most money could be made by the colliery in selling large size coal to industry. Coal mining and blasting techniques had been developed over time to give the largest amount of the largest-sized coal that could be loaded by hand. Customers wouldn't pay for coaldust. So the coal had to be sized at the mine before it could be sold and transported to the customers. But big sized coal fills empty wagons quicker than small sized coal. Given the limited real estate available for the empty storage sidings the double-slip provided the most flexible way of feeding empty coal wagons to the Lump Coal Road (which is from where the colliery made the most money :bg: )

Looking at the 3 empty wagon storage roads:
From the top road, empty wagons could be gravitated through the crossover straight through the double-slip to under the lump coal chute
From the middle road, empty wagons could be gravitated to straight through the double-slip to under the lump coal chute
From the bottom road, empty wagons could be gravitated through the crossover, then diverted at the double-slip to under the lump coal chute.

Also the double-slip provided a way of feeding all 3 empty wagon storage roads from the Arrival Road at top of the diagram. All in all, it was a very smart piece of railway design.

Remember that German military analyst? He's still lurking out there. He will return in the next post when we try and make "what was' fit into "what gets modelled"

Last edited on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 07:44 am by oztrainz



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 Posted: Tue Dec 15th, 2015 12:12 am
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Ray Dunakin
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Very interesting!



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 Posted: Tue Dec 15th, 2015 05:46 pm
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Tramcar Trev
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Post WWII there was still a strong demand for "sized coal". Even the dust had a use, P&O converted several of their ship to use the dust and it was blown in like an oil fired arrangement and the ash was precipitated out by use of electrostatics but it had to be kept damp as coal dust can spontaneously combust and aparently did so on quite a few occasions. Sydney Power Stations, Bunnerong and Balmain where I worked for 5 years also used very fine coal about 10mm that was fed onto the chain grate stokers. The NSWGR used several different sized coals, it was ok to use whatever was around if you were stoking by hand with a shovel but the Garrets had mechanical stokers and needed sized coal or they would just jam up... Interstingly the Baldwin Steam tram motors burnt Coke as supplied to a lot of Sydney from the Mortlake AGL Gasworks, as a kid we had a coke fire in the lounge room of our Como home for winter... My steam launch used to burn whatever I could get, even BBQ fuel at times....
Illawarra Coal was best for coking and hence steel production, Hunter coal was best for steaming coal and Western coal was just so full of shales it was pretty much a specialised product, railway crews used to hate having to fire a "stoney" on the return trip across the mountains to Sydney....
Yes I'm a staunch fan of Coal and I say stuff the environment lets burn more of it!!!



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 Posted: Tue Dec 15th, 2015 07:08 pm
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Salada
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An excellent job so far John, colliery railway cable haulage systems (with wagon attached main & tail cable, not the underground haulage continuous cable & clips or chain lashes) have always been a fascination of mine. There is a lone preserved example in County Durham (UK), the Bowes Railway at the former Springwell Colliery,  but they have perennial problems with the Health&Safety clowns and money (lack of) etc.

I like your trial & experiment approach; I always intended modelling a main & tail standard gauge incline but like you I couldn't find any 43.5:1 cable handlers so I sort of gave up. I guess you may be the 1st !!.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 16th, 2015 09:14 am
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Si.
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Hi John.

Lookin' good !
Great concept for a unique model !

It obviously needs some pretty hard thinking to get the ops. right.
Your try & test approach is sure to pay off in the long run.

All the best.

Cheers.

Si.

:moose:




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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2015 06:24 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi all again,
Please remember that we are pot-holing the history of the layout build at this point in the saga on here. So far we have yet to lay any tracks on the incline itself.

So we had done the research and found what was:


But something had to give - we didn't have the length to the left of the screens to squeeze in the Dirt Road loop under the Screens. And we wanted a "decent width" deck for the Tipple.

But the modules are designed with a standard 600mm (2') wide, so they will fit easily through single doorways. Remember this layout is being designed with future exhibition use in mind. Access to where it might be being exhibited could be problematic with possibly stairs and narrow access halls and single width doorways getting between where the bits arrive on transport and where they are to be set up. So you plan you module sizes to fit anywhere. so what did actually fit on those first 2 modules?


So we thought it would be easier to lay the standard gauge tracks around the Screens area while we worked out how to engineer the Incline. So we printed the track templates out and laid them out on the "stretched" 1400 mm long modules

Note the the double slip appears to be well clear of the module joint. So it's all looking good :2t:

There was a debate between the build team about whether we should hand-lay this O standard gauge trackage that included a double-slip. In the end we chickened out and purchased Peco O standard gauge track for the job. It was ironic that the Peco double-slip was done in bull-head rail - just like the prototype. So we bought all the points and flextrack in bullhead rail as well :bg:

So what did we get to fit?

All nicely laid out an a table with the 1:1 scale plan underneath.

But what about that module joint? :w: Oops!!!

At about $170 Australian, that is the most expensive piece of settrack that Peco make - and we just put a Dremel through the middle of it B:Crazy:

That von Moltke has a lot to answer for...

But it went back together OK :2t:


That'll do for this post :rah: or is that a :y:

Last edited on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 08:00 am by oztrainz



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 Posted: Wed Dec 30th, 2015 07:34 pm
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oztrainz
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Salada wrote:
An excellent job so far John, colliery railway cable haulage systems (with wagon attached main & tail cable, not the underground haulage continuous cable & clips or chain lashes) have always been a fascination of mine. There is a lone preserved example in County Durham (UK), the Bowes Railway at the former Springwell Colliery,  but they have perennial problems with the Health&Safety clowns and money (lack of) etc.

I like your trial & experiment approach; I always intended modelling a main & tail standard gauge incline but like you I couldn't find any 43.5:1 cable handlers so I sort of gave up. I guess you may be the 1st !!.

Regards,      
Michael


Hi Michael,
Corrimal originally had a narrow-gauge main and tail haulage from the mine for about 2 miles to where the junction was with the standard-gauge Government main lines.

This caused problems because they were unable to move enough coal skips quickly enough over the main and tail haulage to keep the empty skips up to the miners underground. In about 1880 the Southern Coal Company was floated on the UK market and the funds provided for the construction of the standard-gauge line to the foot of the steep part of the hill, construction of the tipple and screens and the purchase of 2 new Locomotives from Yorkshire Engineering Company, and the re-jigging of the incline on the steep part of the hill to a continuous rope system.

My understanding was that the main and tail system looks something like this:

This type of haulage can handle undulations in the grade because the tail rope takes over the haulage task when the grade is unfavourable.

The drum not hauling is in free-wheel with the brakes dragging slightly to prevent the cable paying out from that drum from over-running.

Have I got this correct?



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 Posted: Tue Jan 12th, 2016 03:02 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi all again
So here was where we left the model, with the standard gauge tracks down, the double-slip split across the module joint

and none of the narrow gauge track laid. And we are at Easter 2012 - almost 6 1/2 years after thinking modelling the Corrimal incline was a "bright idea". :Crazy:

Work and life got in the way with a protracted stretch working away from home from 2011 into 2012...during which we got stuck into the coal skips design.

The dimensions of the timber Corrimal coal skips had been described in a book and we had some 1:1 scale survivors at my local museum. :2t:

These skips weigh in empty at 2 cwt (anyone remember 1 hundredweight = 112 pounds?) and when loaded moved 3/4 ton of coal each. These really are quite small pieces of rolling stock.

In model form, it took us several goes to get it right. Inside frames aren't used much on model railways when it comes to wagons. These skips in 1:1 scale can at best be described as "basic" with no suspension, a "bolt together" timber chassis and body with no sprung draftgear, but simple hook couplings only that were bolted to the chassis timbers. When we started we had no idea of how we we going to make the coal skips, what we could use to make them, what couplings we could use or how we we going to move them. But we knew we were going to need more than just a few of them.

So next time is building skips...from scratch...



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