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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 This incline was installed in 1890, modified prior to 1912, and was demolished in 1955, after it was superceded by a 3'6" gauge incline that fed a new washery.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

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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Neat project. Reminds me of the inclines used down here in southern Arizona. It will be interesting to watch this project develop.

Dan B

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

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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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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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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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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Awesome! What a clever idea!

W C Greene
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John, this is a fascinating project. Any updates?

Woodie

oztrainz
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Hi Woodie and all,
after a whole flock of trials, tribulations, rethinks, etc finally the long-awaited update, but this time with some video -
The coal dumping YouTube is now available at http://youtu.be/VpHUphBeQNQ If you add this missing link to my earlier YouTube of coal hauling on the Incline at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn_I3CrbBJk[, then you should get a good idea of how it will all work,
Regards,
John Garaty
Unanderra in oz

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Hi John,

The incline and the coal dumping on the video's is great. :2t: Keep us updated of the progress.

Alwin

oztrainz
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Hi all,

now that I have leaked some photos of the layouut in another thread  here at http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=6338&forum_id=20&page=5 which way would you like to see this  thread develop?

Two basic approaches sprmg to mind:
  1. a chronological review of progress from the word "Go" covering stuff that may have occured several years ago with all the twists, turns and blind alleys? or
  2. just concentrate on the stuff that is of specific interest to forum members? If I use this approach what is some of the specific "stuff" that you might be interested in about this layout?
Page 1 has already set out a lot of the prototype history and why we decided to have a shot at building this layout. Caution: some of the links to the prototype stuff on Page 1 provided by Illawarra Coke no longer work because the cokeworks has closed in April this year and their website has been decommissoned. So in a way, this layout is also a memorial to that imdustry and that specific cokeworks as well as the mine that produced the coal for it. I don't kmow of any other easy way to access the information and photos that were contained on that site   

 

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John,

This is a fascinating project, thanks for sharing. Back in 1987 I spend several weeks near Wollongong in Balgownie, staying with some friends that owned, and still do, the local rc hobby shop. It is always fun to learn more about that area. I am in Connecticut, in the northeast corner of the US, bracing for tomorrows snow storm.

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Hello John, is there any more news on this layout?
Andrew

oztrainz
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Thayer wrote:
John,

This is a fascinating project, thanks for sharing. Back in 1987 I spend several weeks near Wollongong in Balgownie, staying with some friends that owned, and still do, the local rc hobby shop. It is always fun to learn more about that area. I am in Connecticut, in the northeast corner of the US, bracing for tomorrows snow storm.


Hi Thayer,
yes I've left a few dollars behind there at ModelSports, mainly for paints, glues and similar stuff. They have an awful lot of very cool stuff that I'd like to have a play with but I'm already over-committed with Corrimal

oztrainz
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oztrainz wrote:
Hi all,

now that I have leaked some photos of the layout in another thread  here at http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=6338&forum_id=20&page=5 which way would you like to see this  thread develop?

Two basic approaches spring to mind:
  1. a chronological review of progress from the word "Go" covering stuff that may have occurred several years ago with all the twists, turns and blind alleys? or
  2. just concentrate on the stuff that is of specific interest to forum members? If I use this approach what is some of the specific "stuff" that you might be interested in about this layout?
Page 1 has already set out a lot of the prototype history and why we decided to have a shot at building this layout. Caution: some of the links to the prototype stuff on Page 1 provided by Illawarra Coke no longer work because the cokeworks has closed in April this year and their website has been decommissioned. So in a way, this layout is also a memorial to that industry and that specific cokeworks as well as the mine that produced the coal for it. I don't know of any other easy way to access the information and photos that were contained on that site.   


Hi all,
the decision has been made finally - What will follow will be a quick summary of each stage of progress and the design decisions with photos of progress.

so here goes.

First some rough chronology of the project -
October 2005 - decision made to have a go at Corrimal

Then followed about 3 years of digging on the internet in various forums (including this one) to see if anyone had successfully modelled a self-acting incline

The first magnetic-haul was done in August 2009 as shown in the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7hH-qq-r1k The success for this test opened up a way of modelling a self-acting incline with individual skips dotted along the haulage ropes.

The decision to use aluminium framing was made in Spetember 2010 with standard 1200mm by 600mm by 200mm standard module frames being made in early October 2010


Awaiting bumping home -

Stage 1 modules initial layout

The incline module had not been made when that photo was taken, hence the gap in the row of modules

and laid out with the incline module -


Until the next time

oztrainz
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Hi all,
the long awaited "where to next"? part of the saga.

Helmuth von Moltke or some other military analyst was quoted as saying something like 'No Battle Plan survives contact with the enemy" and so it was with this layout once we had the first modules made. The plan went from this arrangement



to this arrangement



When the Incline module was built

The height mis-match was too great to allow the modules to be clipped together easily - So we went with "Plan B"

There is nothing like a bit of "design on the run" - and all this happened back in late 2010...before we even thought about laying track...

Last edited on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 07:39 am by oztrainz

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I have made a model of the famous "Balmain Dummy" that is actually a trackcleaner thats a bit of a fizzer it keeps derailing on sharp curves when the cleaner wheels fall off the head of the rail into the flangeway and I thought I may make an incline to use so it can help my trams up and down a steep pinch.
Yours is a ripper of an idea, magnets, why didnt I think of that??
I was going to fart around with micro wire cables and oh well it just got so out of hand.. BUT NOW thankyou....

http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/balmain-dummy.html

I could be wrong but I believe that to be the worlds only Incline Tramway....

oztrainz
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Tramcar Trev wrote:
I have made a model of the famous "Balmain Dummy" that is actually a trackcleaner thats a bit of a fizzer it keeps derailing on sharp curves when the cleaner wheels fall off the head of the rail into the flangeway and I thought I may make an incline to use so it can help my trams up and down a steep pinch.
Yours is a ripper of an idea, magnets, why didnt I think of that??
I was going to fart around with micro wire cables and oh well it just got so out of hand.. BUT NOW thankyou....

http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2008/01/balmain-dummy.html

I could be wrong but I believe that to be the worlds only Incline Tramway....


Hi Trev,
There are probably a few things you need to get your head around before you go diving in the deep end..Like getting on and off at each end - But yes it could work for you.

And you have a pm,

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

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

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

Ray Dunakin
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Very interesting!

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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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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

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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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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

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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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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Hi all again
Now to the saga of the skips. It has taken six years of on-and-off development to get coal skips that will:
- be dimensionally accurate in 1/43 scale in as many aspects as possible (excepting gauge)
- have reliable and robust inside bearings
- uncouple one at a time
- stay "attached" on a 1 in 4 (25%) grade either ascending unloaded or descending loaded with real coal
- be robust enough to handle being loaded and unloaded with real coal (this can be abrasive stuff)
- be able to be tipped and moved singly
- roll away on a 1 in 7 (14%) grade through reverse curves for a known amount of distance
- recouple into any skip when
- be as light as possible, yet track reliably through simulated colliery trackage that is buried to the rails.
- be detailed "enough" to pass our criteria for "detailed enough"
- be designed in a way that enables us to build a fleet of them as easily as possible (in full swing at Stage 3 over 70 skips will be required in the circuit between the mine and the incline)

There have been 7 major designs to get to a workable model skip design that met all of the above.

But first let's have a quick look at the prototype timber coal skips and "Burra" the locomotive that used to haul them at the Corrimal mine


The Mark 1 skips were fabricated from styrene and used Lima HO hook & loop couplings. These had oversize 10.6 mm diameter wheels and wouldn't roll freely on a 1 in 10 (10%) grade. So what did the Mark 1 coal skips look like?




Here they are on the Top End test rig and in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXicbZs_dWQ

Underneath the Mark 1 skips looked like

This skip was one of the first ones fitted with DG couplings to replace the visually intrusive Lima couplings. Kaydee type couplings were ruled out because of interference from the high-powered magnets on the skip itself and the under-track chains.

The Mark 2 skips tried different underframe arrangement to get better rolling properties. These would roll easily on a 1 in 20 or 5% grade after they were dosed with graphite powder on the axles.

Mark 3 skips required the sourcing of 8 mm diameter 6-spoke wheels to match those on the 1:1 scale prototype skips. The Mark 3 skips used the Mark 2 underframe arrangement.

The Mark 1 skip with 10.6mm diameter wheels is painted brown on the left and the Mark 3 with 6-spoke 8 mm diameter wheels is in white styrene on the right.

The Mark 4 skip with 8 mm diameter wheels an DG Couplings fitted

The Mark 4 skips were the last fully styrene fabricated skip design. From the Mark 4 skip design things get interesting, but that can wait for the next post. Until the next time,

Last edited on Fri Feb 5th, 2016 10:58 pm by oztrainz

Kitbash0n30
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Even in 1:43 scale, 8mm wheels are little wheels, maybe 14 inches in real life?

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Nice work John. I'm guessing that the Mk 4 skips will be printed? Watching with interest.

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Kitbash0n30 wrote:
Even in 1:43 scale, 8mm wheels are little wheels, maybe 14 inches in real life?

Hi Forrest & all,
The prototype skips actually have 12" diameter wheels under them, which in 1/43 scale is 7 mm diameter wheels. To get the 6-spokes, 8 mm was the smallest the wheel maker could do at the time, so 8mm diameter it was... These were a special order a few years ago and are now part of the regular KB Scale range http://www.kbscale.com/wheels.html Thanks to Dave at KB Scale we have good wheels that look good.

We did look at using N-scale wheels to get the diameter early on, but the 6-spokes weren't available. The rail choice was to stay with Peco code 100 rail because "It works" and all our test rigs were done with this rail which is readily available. The HO RP25 profile treads from KB Scale behave themselves very well on this track.

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oztrainz wrote: The HO RP25 profile treads from KB Scale behave themselves very well on this track.Makes sense. And looking at that, the 8mm wheels give just a hair more flange arc inside the rails to help keep the cars where they belong, which may or may not be that much of a factor, but I was just reading something the other day about flange drag on curves being related to wheel diameter and wheelbase.

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Kitbash0n30 wrote:
oztrainz wrote: The HO RP25 profile treads from KB Scale behave themselves very well on this track.Makes sense. And looking at that, the 8mm wheels give just a hair more flange arc inside the rails to help keep the cars where they belong, which may or may not be that much of a factor, but I was just reading something the other day about flange drag on curves being related to wheel diameter and wheelbase.

I agree, a lot more in "flanges" than meets the eye. I reprofiled the flanges on my Bachmann trams to get them to stay on the track, simply by radiusing the edge of the flange made a world of difference. I think it stopped climbing on the rail edge on sharpe curves that was happening with the razor sharpe edge that Mr Bachmann puts on his flanges....

oztrainz
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Hi all again,
OK so where was we? That's right, we were talking coal skips :bg:

oztrainz wrote:
Hi all again
Now to the saga of the skips. It has taken six years of on-and-off development to get coal skips...

The Mark 4 skips were the last fully styrene fabricated skip design. From the Mark 5 skip design things get interesting, but that can wait for the next post. Until the next time,


So here we go - resuming with a photo of a Mark 4 skip from styrene with 8mm diameter wheels, but without couplings


The Mark 5 coal skips. The Mark 5 skips were the only attempt we made at a full 3D print. For comparison a 3D-printed Mark 5 followed by the all-styrene Mark 4 skip.

The Mark 5 skips were done with a fully detailed underframe with correct bolt and bearing details and with a correctly dimensioned coal box with all metalwork details 3D printed onto the interior and exterior of the coal box.

and under

The bearings on this version were like the prototype - they only extended to 1/2 of the axle diameter. We had problems keeping the axles in the bearings.So that needed to be modified.
There were only 3 of these produced. All 3 exhibited the striations up the side. This was disappointing quality wise and it was more obvious once the skips were painted. At over $20 each for a small skip and possibly over 70 of them required, a cheaper option was required.

The cheaper option was to simply print the underframe and use other techniques to produce the coal bin part of the skip. This resulted in Mark 6 underfram and resin cast (by us) coal box bodies. The Mark 6 underfame design was modified to have a retaining ring added to help hold the magnet. The Mark 6 underframe simply extended the depth of the sides on the bearing to help retain the wheels.

A couple of other problems emerged with the Mark 6 that prevented a "dead-accurate" underframe from the Mark 5 being used. Boltheads at each end under the underframe prevented the couplings from sitting flat. So they had to go. And the small size of the bearing sides needed beefing up. Which led to the final underframe design - the Mark 7. For comparison purposes the next 2 photos are the Mark 6 underframe followed by the final Mark 7 design.




The key differences with the Mark 7 are the hollowed out magnet retainer and the removal of the central frame timber (to save on 3D printing costs) and beefed-up bearings with a 0.5mm printed hole for the axle retaining wires. A look under a fully assembled Mark 7 skip underframe

The axle retaining wires only have to support the weight of the the wheels and axles when the skip is lifted off the rails. A few puffs of graphite powder into the open bottom of the bearings ensure that these skips roll very well.

A roster shot of some Mark 7 skips in the build process

See, I told you we needed a "few" coal skips. This will be about 1/2 of the final roster. This photo was in November 2013. Wagons behind the green locomotive are on wheels.

and to close out - a photo of a couple of Mark 7 skips loaded with coal, this time, right way up. :bg:


That ought to do for coal skip designing and building. Next up - track laying on the incline.

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Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is a serious case of product design evolution.
Dang, and I thought the 15 pulpwood cars for the HO and the 16 ore tippers by HLW for the G, which I want to have by year's end, are a lot of cars.
Just counted 73 skips in that photo.

Last edited on Sat Feb 6th, 2016 12:20 am by Kitbash0n30

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:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose: ... etc. x73 of !

Cheers.

Si.

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Do you know what caused the striations up the side in the earlier printed versions?
Mate you seriously need to get your own 3D printer and recoup your costs buy selling those skips on ebay...
They remind me very much of the ones we unearthed in Balmain that presumably were part of the Colluiery there...

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What I can add about those striations from the space and sci-fi modeling genre, the miniatures gaming genre, and the Early Rail, and Gn15, railroad modeling genres, is that it is result of the accumulating layers as print material is laid down to build up object height.
And that John was lucky they were oriented horizontal instead of vertical. Often one can only guess which way the printer will orient the printing layers.

Last edited on Sat Feb 6th, 2016 04:42 am by Kitbash0n30

oztrainz
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Hi all again,
a couple of things I forgot - The mark 7 also had locating lugs to positively locate the DG couplings at each end

Comparing a Mark 6 underframe again

with a Mark 7 underframe

You can see the locating tabs - This could be relevant if you want to 3D- print a wagon chassis. The same tactic can be used to positively locate your coupler boxes/supporting structures

Oh & in this photo

the back row and all the white resin skip bodies don't have underframes - so they are still some ways away from being capable of rolling.

But sometimes we had a "wheely bad" skip

This one had a bearing mounting fail on the grade and got "relegated" to "scenery"

That's it over there on the wrong side of the tracks - downhill of the catchpoints - but that's another story for another time..;)

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John, you definitely need more skips-----

You have replaced rivet counting--my favorite pass time---with skip counting.

Thanks! A lot easier on the old eyes!

Herb

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Hi Herb and all,
So Herb wants to count coal skips - Here's why we'll need so many.

When in full swing at a multi-day exhibition we figure we'll need about 77 skips on the layout.
They are planned to shuttle between the incline and the mine in trains of 11 skips. I'll also cover the motive power of what hauls what where.
The breakup -
(1) - One train "underground" at the mine being re-loaded with coal with battery-electric locomotive
(2) - One loaded train at the mine surface ready to head to the Incline Top with no locomotive
(3) - One empty train on the way back from the Incline Top to the mine hauled by a steam locomotive
(4) - one full train delivered to the incline top no locomotive
(5) - one full train being moved to or staged at the incline top by a battery-electric locomotive
(6) - One train on the Incline, with 2 skips on the way down the "hill", one being tipped, 2 skips on the bay back up the "hill" and the rest either full awaiting their turn or as empty skips that coupled back together at the top of the Incline.

So - there is 66 skips for a start. There also are some non-operational sidings that could swallow another 20 to 30 skips easily...These replicate holding siding as the incline Top that were horse-worked on the prototype

For exhibition running, we figure we'll probably need another 10% to 20% of coal skips up our sleeve for contingencies in a multi-day exhibition (about an other train of 11 skips) - "if it misbehaves - it's swapped out". We'll sort out why it misbehaved later.. We're running coal on a 25% or 1 in 4 grade. We can't afford to have a skip hiccup twice on the grade.

Last Easter the layout at Stage 1 went to the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention at Bowral, operating intermittently over 2 days, skips with just over 200 loads were run on the incline, tipped, and returned to the Incline Top. We had 3 breakaways on the grade over both days. That is approaching the type of operational reliability we need on this layout. But we're not there yet.

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Hi all,
following on from the previous post -
Let's look at some of the logistics of this layout in an 8-hour show day. Because of the way the tip cycle is worked and controlled, the fastest we can go is that we'll be tipping at rate of about a skip a minute. In an 8 hour shift - 480 skips have to be:
individually uncoupled,
travel the incline down hill under magnetic haulage,
be tipped (and have the coal loads caught so that we can reload it back at the mine),
be moved to the kick-back siding under magnetic haulage
roll away under gravity and be diverted to the foot of the the "empties" incline
travel back up hill under magnetic haulage,
automatically couple to the empty skips at the top of the incline,
be moved in trains of 11 skips to the mine by a steam locomotive,
swap the steam locomotive for a battery-electric locomotive,
be moved to the "underground" loading area by the battery-electric locomotive,
be reloaded,
be moved to the surface 'fulls' siding at the mine surface by the battery-electric locomotive,
swap the battery-electric loco for a steam locomotive,
transfer the loaded skips to the incline top
swap the steam locomotive for the battery-electric locomotive,
shunt the loaded wagons to the top of the incline, and
the steam locomotive collects 11 empty skips and heads back to the mine.

L: In simple terms every 10 minutes we need a new loaded coal train at the incline top. In an 8 hour shift that is close on 50 trains - and the empty skips have to go back the other way. Remember we are simulating a self-acting incline - No loaded coal skips at the top waiting to go down hill STOPS the incline. Also don't forget from the time a skip is uncoupled at the top of incline and heads down hill under magnetic haulage until the same skip arrives back up at the incline Top on another track after tipping, this whole trip is under "Hands free" operation.

Now what could possibly go wrong? :w::w:

This could be why it has taken us 10 year's plus of development work and study of the prototype to get to where we are today - just beginning to lay track back toward the mine..that's going to be the easy part. After all its only some single track on a mountain side, some loops at the mine surface and an "underground" balloon loop. In the words of a former BBC motoring commentator -"How hard can it be?"

Last edited on Tue May 31st, 2016 02:44 am by oztrainz

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Hi all again,
It's been a while - So where was we? Talking coal skips.
But these skips need something to run on. We left track construction back here


And way back in Post 28 on Page 3 I wrote:
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.
and... And we are at Easter 2012 - almost 6 1/2 years after thinking modelling the Corrimal incline was a "bright idea". :Crazy:


So a decision was made to build from the bottom-end upwards and from the tipple deck outwards. But the build was complicated because not only was the track climbing a hill, but we had to fit in chain paths under the track for hauling the skips magnetically up and down the hill.

O Scale pile driving finally commenced for the tipple deck in July 2012

This called from some "creative engineering" to get the chain channels across module joints at the bottom

and top of the hill


So how did the chain paths end up?
At the top of the hill


and at the bottom of the Hill


And just to prove the incline might work, we had a little play with the track blue-tacked to the chain channels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw35hd23fjw

The next move was to build out from the other end of the tipple deck to the kick-back siding that was to go in at the far end of this photo. And yes there is another chain under this section of track too. It will become cleare why we needed it in my next post on "Tipple Design and Control".


Then we had to plate over the chain paths with styrene and finally lay some track. The styrene gives a slippery surface for the magnet on the chain to skate along under the track. Our first attempts to glue the track to the styrene were not all that successful.


So the whole of the chain path was re-plated and the incline tracks were re-laid with a better method of holding the track down in early 2013.


Next up - the saga of tipple design and control

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WOW! Glad to see this up & going again. I can't wait till' you post a video of this operating. Be about a week or so??? This is great, don't forget us out here in the hinterlands.

Woodie

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Outstanding ''engineering'' John!

And not a loco or a caboose in sight! 

Well done!

Herb

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Yes, good to see an update John. Nice work!

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Hi all again,
One of the problems of working with coalmines and coal skips and larger coal hoppers is that there is a significant visual difference between full and empty wagons. This is even even more pronounced for Corrimal, with a dedicated track with full coal skips heading down hill and a dedicated track with empty coal skips going back uphill.

Early on when there was some doubt that we could actually get something that could deliver coal down a 1 in 4 grade, tip it out and send the empties back up the grade, one of the big stumbling blocks was designing an effective "tipper-outer". We even looked at avoiding tipping at all by using something like the ducks at a shooting gallery with the skips permanently attached to a chain under the rails, being trundled along the incline and then magically disappearing at either end of the run, with full skips going one way and the empty skips going the other and with the wheels of the skips running on rails to assist the illusion.

So let's look at the "tipper-outer" and some basic design concepts, why and how our tipper-outer developed the way it did.

Realistically there are only 3 basic designs to get stuff out of a coal skip:
1 - end-dump - the load is tipped when the wagon is flipped longitudinally
2 - side dump - the load is tipped when the wagon is flipped over onto its side
3 - rotary-dump - a more extreme version of the side dump, but with a longitudinal pivot point somewhere within the outline of the vehicle.
For any of these 3 methods the rotation may go through the full 360 degrees or go part way over and come back to the start point.

Also remember that the aim of the game when tipping a wagon is to tip the wagon and have it stay on the rails while being tipped and after it is tipped. You also do not want your wagon to follow its load when it is tipped. :doh:

This means that the wagon has to be "held captive" during the tipping process. Again there are a couple of basic ways of achieving this:
1- clamp the vehicle down to the rails
2- trap the top of the wagon
3- trap the side of the wagon
4 -trap the wheels or bogies of the wagon
Tolerances are tight here - experience taught us the hard way that if you allow 1/2 a flange height of slop than you are likely to have a jam-up in the tipple cage with a derailed car. Given we were aiming for hands-free operation of the whole bottom-end operations of the Incline, no jam-ups at the tipple were allowed. The "tipper-outer" and its operational controls had to be "more than bullet-proof".

So what do we know about the prototype? In a book published in 1912 by a mining engineer there was a fairly comprehensive description of the equipment at Corrimal and how it was being operated. The date of the visit had to be prior to the end of 1904 because of the closure of one of part of the operation due to flooding in late 1904. The tipple was listed as a side tipper.

This tipple was working from 1880, long before electric motors and hydraulics. So how might this tipple have worked? Also recorded in this same book were the weights and dimensions of the Corrimal coal skips. An empty skip weighed in at 2 cwt (or 224 lb = 102 kg) with a capacity of 3/4 ton (1680 lb = 762 kg).

The weight difference is enough to overcome any frictional losses and makes possible a counterbalanced tipple cage that when a full skip is in place the tipple wants to tip. Once the coal falls out, the counterweights now weigh more than the skip, and causes the cage with the now empty skip to return its starting point. A simple locking lever will hold the cage at its starting point. Push out the empty skip and push in the next full skip of coal, Unlock the cage by moving the locking lever and whoosh - clang, you've tipped another skip, and so on...

But an empty model skip weighs in at 7 grams (about 1/4 oz) and a model skips loaded with coal tips the scale at a massive 18 grams (just over 1/2 oz) Using a counterbalance tipple is not a viable option because the weight difference is not enough to overcome the frictional losses. So we have to fudge the model to do what the prototype did.

We needed a Plan B - But that's for the next post, There's already too many words in this one. :bg:

Last edited on Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 05:54 am by oztrainz

Si.
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Hi John.

What can I say ...

... TOTALY AWESOME !

Your thread inspired me to aim for automatic loading/unloading ...
... in my case, 1 Tri-ang car at a time !!
( gotta start somewhere !! )

Am watching for good ideas, as usual.

Great engineering.
Smart move with the alu. framework.

:moose:

Cheers

Si.

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Hi Si,
Don't forget Hornby have already done an end-dumper
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01UeQNG6414
You are after Hornby R8132 listed as "discontinued"
Good luck, they might be as scarce as hen's teeth?

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Hi John.

Thanks.
I did look at the Hornby end-dumper a while back.
But it just looked like agro to me.
The Tri-ang cars can unload anywhere...
...with their ingenius & simple door-mech.
I don't even need the special track-piece...
...DIY trackside-posts & a hopper under the rails will do fine.

:moose:

Si.

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Very cool!

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I see from the video you have even modelled coal falling off the loaded tubs - very impressive John !. For successful magnetic traction on a 1:4 gradient they must be good magnets.

At a prototype capacity of 1,680 lbs the tare seems very low at only 224 lbs ?

Regards,           Michael

W C Greene
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Howdy John, would it foul up the plan to use a rotary dump? One of those is relatively easy to make and can be made to dump and hold the cars on the rails at the same time. I used to have one and we had a blast working it at the smelter. I also had a working conveyor at one point. Fun stuff...

Just an idea.
Woodie

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Hi Michael and all,
I haven't put this 1:1 scale rebuild

over the scales but 100 kg feels about right from when we had to move it to where it is now displayed in the museum building.

Inside the skip


and the drawgear


They are pretty basic in their structure. The timbers are all Aussie hardwood, with locally sourced ironbark or gum probably being used. These skips are actually quite small dimensionally.

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Thanks for the photos John - nice restoration job. That tub looks fairly similar to the NG cable hauled systems often used in the South Staffs (England) coalfield between colliery & canal loading basins.

Regards,           Michael

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Hi Michael and all,
There probably is a lot of similarity - because Australia as such didn't exist when these mines were developed, New South Wales was one of "the colonies" and we borrowed/stole a lot of mining expertise from the "Home Country".

In a lot of cases there was UK money behind some of these mines. Corrimal was originally opened as a local concern but was taken over by the Southern Coal Company (financed out of the UK) after their mine at further south at Mount Kembla failed because of geological problems. It needed to first lease then purchase Corrimal to meet its commitments of coal already sold. This same company had purchased two 0-6-0 side tank locomotives from the Yorkshire Engine Company and built a wharf at Port Kembla as well as coke ovens at Unanderra sited between their initial mine and the wharf at the port in the early 1880's. Corrimal was bought back by local mine owners in 1903 which led to the formation of the Corrimal-Balgownie Company.

In general terms the history of coal mining in NSW also is influenced by UK regions as well, with the Hunter Valley collieries being heavily influenced by Welsh miners imported to develop them, even down to the names of the mines. The mines around Corrimal appear to have been more influenced by north England/Scottish miners. Some Cornish miners came into the NSW coal industry after the copper mines in South Australia failed in the early 1900's.

Back to tipple design in the next post, with hopefully some photos,

Last edited on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 03:19 am by oztrainz

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Interesting bit of history, thanks John - explains why your tub looks so familiar.

Regards,        Michael

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Hi all again,
Now for the mysteries of operating model tipple design. Previously-

oztrainz wrote:

...the wagon has to be "held captive" during the tipping process. Again there are a couple of basic ways of achieving this:
1- clamp the vehicle down to the rails
2- trap the top of the wagon
3- trap the side of the wagon
4 -trap the wheels or bogies of the wagon
Tolerances are tight here - experience taught us the hard way that if you allow 1/2 a flange height of slop than you are likely to have a jam-up in the tipple cage with a derailed car. Given we were aiming for hands-free operation of the whole bottom-end operations of the Incline, no jam-ups at the tipple were allowed. The "tipper-outer" and its operational controls had to be "more than bullet-proof".

Snip...

So how might this tipple have worked? Also recorded in this same book were the weights and dimensions of the Corrimal coal skips. An empty skip weighed in at 2 cwt (or 224 lb = 102 kg) with a capacity of 3/4 ton (1680 lb = 762 kg).

The weight difference is enough to overcome any frictional losses and makes possible a counterbalanced tipple cage that when a full skip is in place the tipple wants to tip. Once the coal falls out, the counterweights now weigh more than the skip, and causes the cage with the now empty skip to return its starting point. A simple locking lever will hold the cage at its starting point. Push out the empty skip and push in the next full skip of coal, Unlock the cage by moving the locking lever and whoosh - clang, you've tipped another skip, and so on...

But an empty model skip weighs in at 7 grams (about 1/4 oz) and a model skips loaded with coal tips the scale at a massive 18 grams (just over 1/2 oz) Using a counterbalance tipple is not a viable option because the weight difference is not enough to overcome the frictional losses. So we have to fudge the model to do what the prototype did.

We needed a Plan B - But that's for the next post, There's already too many words in this one. :bg:


So on to Plan B then Plan C then Plan D... It has taken 7 attempts over about 4 years sporadic development to get a reliable "tipper outer" that would work with the skips. The initial work was done with the earlier skip designs. This meant that as the skip designs changed with different manufacturing and assembly techniques so too did the design of the tipple cage.

Our first tipple design was included in the first bottom-end mock-up with the short tipple deck

It was a motor drive and never successfully tipped a skip.

So first let's have a look at the longer tipple deck as built and how it is set up. Early on we realised that we needed a reliable way to get skips into and out of the tipple cage. Given we were already using magnets to move skips on the incline then why not use the same tactics to get skips in and out of the tipple cage? The following photo shows the tipple deck frame under construction in October 2012

Things to look for -
    the red sprocket in the foreground - this is where the tipple chain come up from below the baseboard
    the styrene tipple cage with the brass gear
    the aluminium channel with the black chain disappearing off into the distance
    and the red sprocket in the far distance that directs the chain down to the gearhead motor powering the chain below the baseboard

and from the other side


A closer look at the styrene tipple supports and tipple
cage


The prototype probably tipped toward the screens building. This would have minimised the breakage of coal during tipping. This option and the rotary tipper option suggested by Woodie are ruled out by the channel and chain path under the deck. So we had to lift the skip while leaving the channel and chain behind, and tip away from the screens building.

An earlier styrene design with a skip in place on the tipple

This design failed because we were unable to keep the skip in "trapped" well enough to prevent derailments and spillages during tipping from coming back towards the tracks.

These early designs were powered by the same motor drive as the chains. For these motors, the tip cycle time was too long at about 30 seconds, so the decision was made to go to a servo drive.

So now we had to design and build our own control circuitry as well - I'll save that saga for the next post. Back to servos and the tipple itself.

So the styrene tipple cage was replaced by a brass one in early 2013.

The horizontal fingers above the rails are designed to trap the top of the 8 mm diameter wheel treads. The inner rails trap the inside of each flange and prevent the skip from twisting while it is being tipped. The cage and skips were still being fine tuned when Stage 1 travelled over 1000 km each way to the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention in Melbourne over Easter in 2013. It went as being "under construction" and largely unsceniced, with a mock-up of the screens building as the only structure. At the start of the convention we could haul skips on both tracks,but the tipple cage itself was still having jams. Following a lot of work by my construction partner Guy Gadsden.

At the end of the convention, we could run a skip down the hill, simulate tipping it (the hole to get rid of the coal had yet to be dug) and return it to the top of the incline hands-free. To see the state of construction with all the "bare bones" exposed then have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQOjXNiGnig from 3 minutes in (I'm the one in the lighter green T shirt, waving my hands around to explain the operation during an "at-the-layout" clinic). The video show the tipple cage going through a tip cycle, the main incline chains running under the layout and some of the control circuitry.

In October 2013, the styrene tipple base was replaced with a brass one by Guy, following the cracking of one of the styrene sections supporting one of the bearings at the convention.


To close this posting out - a photo of the servo shoe-horned in under the deck, with the earlier styrene version of the tipple base in the background


Next up - controlling the tipping.

Herb Kephart
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WOW !
Two WOW's actually, one for the convention, the other for the amount of brainwork you two have put into the colliery mechanisms. Never been a ''team player'' myself, but I have to admit that there are times when it's good to have someone to bounce ideas and problems off of--and the amount of that that you and Guy have done is outstanding!

Goodonya, mates, and keep us informed!

Herb

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Looking good John !

Out & about demo ... C O O L !

:moose:

Si.

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Yes, truly great! Once again, I am sorry that there are NO conventions like that around here, otherwise I might like to attend one sometime. Looks like great fun was had by all.

Woodie

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Nice work John. I enjoyed the video, nice to put a face with the name.

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Hi all again,
So by Easter 2013, we had the control circuit sorted and had progressed to the stage where we could get the tipple to tip and get both chains running and hauling skips on the incline.

Let's have a closer look at managing the Bottom-End or Screens module "hands-free".

By careful placement of the uncoupler ramp at the top of the hill, we could attract the first skip of a group of loaded skips, drag it forward with the under-track magnet onto the uncoupler ramp, drag the first skip away down the incline and leave the new leading skip forward far enough so the next magnet arriving on the under-track chain would repeat the process.

By varying the speed of the chain and the number of magnets on the chain we can vary the rate that loaded skips are delivered to the bottom-end for tipping.

It is impossible to design a tip system around a continuously moving chain, so we had to de-couple the moving skips from the tipple operations, but how?

We used a "buffer" of 3 loaded coal skips in front of the tipple and a separate under-track chain to move the skips to and through the tipple. So how did this 'buffer' work?

The first loaded skip off the chain, would come to a stand on the tipple deck. The second and third loaded skips arriving would nudge this leading skip forward as each skip was delivered by the Fulls Incline chain, as shown in this later photo from Easter 2015.

The "unclipper" is awaiting the arrival of the next skip on the upper level.

When the next skip arrives, it bumps the leading skip forward over a reed switch, which starts the next under-track chain. A magnet on the chain drags the skip forward over an uncoupler ramp, and takes it towards the tipple. When the skip reaches the tipple cage, another reed switch under the floor of the cage, stops the chain and triggers the tip cycle. This earlier photo show the reed switch exposed during a tip cycle

Some black flat paint now has the reed switch camouflaged.

The control circuit is complicated by the fact that these magnets cause 2 distinct pulses as they approach and pass the reed switch, with a zero zone when directly on top of the reed switch. So when the skip reaches the cage,
At time = 0, the chain stops and the servo starts to tip the cage and skip
At time = 3 seconds, the servo has reached the "Tip" position and holds there
At time = 5 seconds, the cage begins to return to the "Home" position aligned with the tracks
At time = 8 seconds, the cage with the now empty skip, has returned to the "Home" position and waits
At time = 10 seconds, the chain restarts and hauls the skip clear of the cage along the track towards the kickback siding
As the skip approaches the apex of the points at the kickback siding, a reed switch buried in the ballast triggers the points to change to accept the incoming empty skip

As soon as the blades are cleared another reed switch, triggers the points to the diverge route. This set of points and the dead-end is on a rising 1 in 7 grade.

At about time =25, the skip approaches the end of the kickback siding, the magnet on the under-track chain rolls onto the return sprocket and loses its attraction of the empty coal skip.

By about time = 30 seconds, gravity has taken charge of the empty skip, and it rolls away under gravity to come to a stand (perhaps with some roller-coastering) on the lower level Empties Incline, awaiting the next magnet to arrive on that continuously moving under-track chain to haul the skip away to the incline top.

and here is a skip rolling away under gravity

and yes it was really rolling in that short a distance fast enough to beat the camera - hence the blurrrr...... It would never do to have an empty skip "hang-up" on the downhill run.

To prevent the magnetic double pulse from re-triggering the tip cycle at the cage as the empty skip moves out of the cage, a 20 second countdown delays the the re-arming of the tip cycle circuits. This ensures the empty skip is long gone from anywhere near the reed switch that triggers the tip.

Depending on the speed of the under-track chain through the tipple, at time > 45 seconds, the magnet on the under-track chain reaches another reed switch buried under the baseboard and stops the chain. The control system is now ready to catch the next loaded skip after it is bumped forward by loaded skip arriving off the Fulls incline chain. The aim is to deliver about a skip per minute to the bottom end of the incline for tipping.

In production planning speak - the time taken for the under-track magnet to start, go through the tip cycle, take the skip to the end of the kick-back siding and get itself back to its start position is 'the rate limiting process". All other processes are governed by and are subordinate to the speed of this process. It is useless delivering more skips to the bottom of the Incline if they cannot be successfully tipped and cleared.

Remember here that operationally we are really modelling a transportation "system" as "profitably" as possible. So the aim of the game is to have enough loaded skips arrive at the incline top frequently enough so that the bottom end is working to "close to capacity" and the incline itself does not stop. "Close to capacity" here means that we cannot have 2 skips waiting to be tipped in front of the tipple. One skip can be handled, but 2 will jam up in the tipple cage. So the rate of delivery of skips must be slightly less than the time taken for the tipple chain to get back to its start point. Clear as mud??

Next up - The building the rest of the Stage 1 track plan

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WOW!. you made putting a man on Mars look like child's play!. Congratulations.
Jose.

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Hey Jose,
if it was easy someone else would have done it before us (and we would have been able to pinch how they did it). :P

As it is, we have been ground-breaking since August 2009 when the first bogie was magnetically hauled
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7hH-qq-r1k

We've come a long way since then.;)

and still have a long way to go both to update this section to where we currently are at, and, where we have to get to by next Easter,

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Salada wrote:
Thanks for the photos John - nice restoration job. That tub looks fairly similar to the NG cable hauled systems often used in the South Staffs (England) coalfield between colliery & canal loading basins.

Regards,           Michael


Hi all again
for Michael and anyone interested in small coal skips. I've re discovered the reference to the prototype dimensions for the coal skips.

The coal box is made from 11" by 1" hardwood, length 4'9", width 3'2", height 2'9' (= 33' = 3 x 11" strange that??) Floor planks were 5 by 11" by 1". Wheelbase is listed as 1'10" and wheel diameter of 12" with chilled cast iron wheels. The wheels came from various suppliers ranging from Edinburgh in the UK to Wollongong locally.

The skips were attached to the haulage cable by a Fisher clip that had a collar that when hit with a hammer, tightened 2 halves of a forging against the rope. the other end of the forging looped over the coupler hook on the coal skip. So far I haven't been able to find any available online photos of such a clip.

It would be interesting to see how close these dimensions go to similar 2' gauge coal skips used in the UK.

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height 2'9' (= 33' = 3 x 11" strange that??)

It is 12" nominal, actual size 11" something (12" less whatever the saw cut is).
Jose.

Last edited on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 02:56 pm by pipopak

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oztrainz wrote: Salada wrote:
Thanks for the photos John - nice restoration job. That tub looks fairly similar to the NG cable hauled systems often used in the South Staffs (England) coalfield between colliery & canal loading basins.

Regards,           Michael

 
  It would be interesting to see how close these dimensions go to similar 2' gauge coal skips used in the UK.


Hello John,

It seems my memory isn't what it was, because I confused some old timber coal tubs from, I think, the Durham area (roughly similar to your restored timber tub) with the steel tubs used in the South Staffs coalfield where I grew up. These tubs were very similar to those you have modelled for your incline, maybe a touch lower in height but generally similar width & length & appearance. Some look as though they may have had link&pin couplers, others have no discernible couplers - as seen from old, slightly poor quality photos that I have in some old coalfield books. The Staffs 'dumb buffers'/frame ends are all flush with the end of the tub, not extended like yours.

I have searched in vain to find any actual dimensions but this stuff has all been swept away & forgotten. By the time I became a regular underground visitor all the underground & surface haulage had changed to endless conveyor (but one night I got to "ride the belt" all the way to grass due to a winder breakdown). Old S Staffs photos show various tramway gauges, from around 24" up to maybe 30"- 36" though the tubs all look similarly proportioned.

Surface tramways were either main & tail, endless cable or on some double track sections a double ended single cable via a return wheel or winding drum. Most photos are too indistinct to see the cable connectors. One photo clearly shows a horizontally split cone being tightened using a 'T' shaped small wrench onto an endless cable. An old timer once showed me a way of throwing a short looped length of chain over & around a haulage cable to attach a tub rake without slipping or, apparently, even stopping the haulage cable. I have no idea how this "knot" was released.  

Regards,              Michael

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Hi Michael and all,
the extended dumb buffers were to protect the hook. These skips used removable 3-link couplings dropped over the end hooks to connect adjacent skips. The links were removed at the top end of the incline before individual loaded skips went down the hill.

There are photos from the early 1950's showing 2 coupled skips heading each way on the incline. So these intermediate 3-link couplings must have been removed at the bottom end before the skips were tipped.

My suspicion is that there would have been a "hole" in tipple deck floor where the Fisher clips and these couplings were dropped through to get them down to the lower level at the start of the Empties Incline haulage rope.

Last edited on Mon Jun 20th, 2016 06:11 am by oztrainz

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Hi all,
seeing we are back talking about coal skips on the incline, I have been able to find 2 photos on the web that I can link to. Hopefully the links will work and you can get some appreciation of what the bottom end of the incline looked like and how it was worked. We covered the standard gauge and the double-slip previously back on Page 3, so this time we are looking at the 2' gauge and the incline

As I mentioned in my previous post they were sending two coupled loaded skips down the hill in the early 1950's and bringing them back up the hill in pairs as well as shown in this photo. This photo is dated 1951 in printed references.
http://illawarra-heritage-trail.com.au/index.php/sites/corrimal-colliery
See the first photo - the rest of the page has a lot of other interesting historical stuff about the life of Corrimal as a colliery. But don't believe every thing you read online. The photo is incorrectly captioned The tipple and screens are in the background - the mine was actually 300' higher up the hill and a mile further south.

However this much earlier photo shows single skips on the incline and is the best photo of the Fisher Clips used to secure the skip to the haulage rope that I have been able to find.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/da/52/e4/da52e49f608d02a2b243c7fc150ff54f.jpg

One of the other things that delayed the start of this project was trying to reconcile the differences in these two photos to our proposed mid-1920's modelling period.

In the earlier photo it is obvious that the full skips are heading down hill on the left and that the empty skips are coming back off the tipple deck at the same level as the full ones.

But we have a written reference from a professional mine engineer who visited the mine dating from prior to 1904, stating that the skips were lowered after tipping to a lower level. So again we have a conflict.

To further add to the confusion, this only known photo from the east of the screens
http://acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/itemPopLarger.cgi?itemID=176258 from the NSW State Library collection shows a building with a different roofline and that appears to load out of the end of the building.

By some astute detective work it appears that the earlier photos may have been taken by William Broadhurst, who was a surveyor's assistant in the late 1800's and later set himself up as a professional photographer from the early 1900's. Many of his images from around NSW were sold as postcards.

So it is possible/very likely that the early photos of the screens and the incline were taken on the same day as this one showing a the mine entrance after the agency for selling coal was taken over by G.S.Yuill
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/28/78/14/287814c81ebe46a41fc879ac22c88465.jpg

The timeline then at the bottom of the first link would then date all of these earlier photos at post-August 1901. This timeline (1906) and newspaper reports (late 1904) differ about when the mine hit the fault and flooding occurred that closed the original Brokers Nose Colliery and caused the implementation of the steam railway from the southern portals to the top of the old mine's incline.

Where it gets tricky is that reading the published information in the book is that both mines were operating and the coal from the southern mine that later became known as Corrimal was being delivered underground to the northern Brokers Nose portal and on to the incline. At the time of this engineer's visit the tipple was already operating with the skips being returned at the lower level. The book was published in 1912.

So why was the tipple arrangement changed? The short answer is to get more coal out.

With the earlier arrangement a skip was pushed into the tipple cage, tippled, and then had to be pushed back out the same way it came in, preventing the next skip from getting to the cage until it was pushed clear.

With the later arrangement, a skip would be pushed into the tipple cage, tipped and the next skip could be pushed into the cage, pushing the previous now empty skip out of the way to where it could be gravitated down to the lower level on a creeper chain, and then be let run free under gravity through the kickback siding and then back towards the start of the Empties Incline. By the time the next skip has been tipped the previous skip is out of the way and on its way to where it can be sent back up the hill.

In the early 1900's this mine is documented at mining over a 1000 ton/day. For 1000 tons at 3/4 tone per skip, that is at least 1300 skips that have to sent down the incline, emptied, returned to the top of the incline and returned to the mine in trains of about 30 cars each. For an 8-hour shift you need to tipping a skip every 20 seconds or so. Even at a 10 hour shift, you still need to be tipping a skip every 30 seconds or so.

And at 30 skips/train it is also better than 40 trains a day each way over the one mile of single track between the mine and the incline top in a shift. This was quite a busy little 2' gauge railway.

Next up, the top end of the incline,

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Interesting old photos John. I've never seen anything like that Fisher clip before. The cable rollers are spaced out a bit further apart than I am used to seeing in the UK.
The rail section looks very lightweight in the NSW State Liby photo.

I've since seen some more old South Staffs colliery tramway photos - to speed unloading at landsale sites or at canal transhipment wharves the trams/tubs were simply (manually ?) pushed over sideways (instant unloading !) but I don't understand how - there don't seem to be any long bars lying around.

Regards,   Michael  
(off on walkabout again tomorrow !) (summer has been awful here so far this year)

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Hi Michael,
The rail weight on the incline has been documented at 26 lb/yard - So yes, at the lighter end of things but with only a 1/2 ton axle load, probably anything much heavier would have been overkill. The locomotives used on this line would have topped out at about 4 to 5 ton axle load at the most. Again 26 lb/yard would have been sufficient, given that 30lb/yard was used later in the sugar industry out here with up to a 6 ton axle load.

The standard-gauge coal cars were good for about 10 tons each loaded, so again about a 5 ton axle load. The standard gauge locomotives used were probably about 10-12 ton axle load only. I can remember reading somewhere that the Corrimal standard-gauge line was laid in bullhead rail of about 90 lb/yard. The axle load for the 1865-vintage long-boilered Stephenson 0-6-0 tender loco used from the 1890's was listed at just over 9 ton axle load, but I haven't been able to find weights for the two Yorkshire 0-6-0 tank locomotives purchased in the early 1880's, but I suspect they would have been under 30 tons all up.

Remember this rail was shipped from the UK so the lighter the rail section, then the more rails you got for a ton of shipping. At the time this track was laid, NSW did not have a iron/steel "industry" apart from the local blacksmith and Australia as such did not exist.

One of the references gives the size of the rollers, and the fact that they were of hardwood and spaced at 20' intervals

There is probably almost a history thesis in the amount of research we did before we started to build this model incline,

Last edited on Tue Jun 21st, 2016 11:31 pm by oztrainz

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Hi all,
Photo reports are on hold indefinitely at present - Weekend before last Google archived my Picassa web albums without notice and removed the capability to create suitable links for posting to here and other forums. Their replacement Google Photos can't do the same job and only provides html type links that are unrecognisable as images on forums and blogs. Nice one Google GRRR!!!

The next series of postings was to cover the construction of the top end. Please don't hold your breath while I try and find a way past this roadblock.

I have one photo up in the Gallery here but can't see any way to make it stick. Here's a link to that photo
http://www.freerails.com/gallery_view.php?user=5304&folderid=146 If I have to run with links, then I suppose I'll have to run with links.

I'm currently using Chrome as my browser but that may change shortly. Currently I can't see the "insert photo from Gallery" icon in the toolbar available for posting messages here. Oh well...

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Hi all,
after the recent Google photo problems and the server crash I have been hanging off posting anything to here in case it "hiccupped".

So what is with the photo of the kids standing beside the incline in the last post? (Thanks Ken)

There was photo (see attached) that shows the mine manager's children beside the incline. I have talked to several local historians and and the consensus is that the photo dates from the mid 1920's, which just happens to fit the date range fro our model. The original photo is held by the NSW State Government Department of Mineral Resources (was NSW Department of Mines) This photo and the attribution is displayed at http://www.illawarracoal.com/pics080.htm

So here goes, maybe this thread will start to come back to life if this post makes it through OK.

Attachment: woll0514.jpg (Downloaded 44 times)

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Hi John.

Nice one !
I say, just bang 'em up as attachments.
Sometimes pages with more than 10 photos take an eternity to load...

:moose:

Si.

oztrainz
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Hi all,
Back in Post 69 I mentioned the Fisher clip that was used to connect the skip to the haulage rope. That last black and white photo of the Mine Manager's kids watching the skips is perhaps the best photo of a Fisher clip in action that I have been able to find available online.

Also in that previous black & white photo, just to the front of the skip on the right hand track is one of the 3 runaway protection catch points. And that is about the best photo that we have been able to find of one them. The 3 catch points were spaced about 30 yards apart at the top of the incline on the downhill loaded track only

These 3 catch points were quite clever pieces of bush engineering. Not only did they derail any skips that had actually separated from the haulage rope, they were set up to derail any loaded skips heading down hill with incorrectly attached Fisher clips. The Fisher clip had to be at "the right" angle to hold over the catch point blades as the skip passed.

They were also rigged so that they could be manually tripped by wire from the top of the incline. This was a useful way of preventing a small at the top of the hill from becoming a major problem if someone spotted a problem after the skip was attached to the haulage rope.

On the other incline track for the empty skips heading back uphill, There were spring operated derails dotted along the incline. These would allow a skip heading uphill to pass unaffected but would catch and derail any empty skip that parted from the haulage rope and ran back downgrade.

In model form, 2 of the 3 prototype catch points have been modelled on the Fulls Incline track. The scenic model skip in the colour photo above is one that the catch point "caught". The spring operated derails are too fiddly to model with our lightweight model skips and have not been modelled.

There was a bit more to the Corrimal Incline than just some rails on the ground with a bit of wire rope

oztrainz
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Hi all again,
Now that we are just starting to talk about the Incline itself, so far the initial focus has been on the the Bottom End. So what about the other end of the Incline - So far it hasn't had much of a mention.

Way back in Post 19 I posted this plan of Stage 1 of the build.


So how did this translate into model form? Have a look at the attached photo. Because of the vertical separation required to get the arrival track (light blue) of the Empties Incline over the top of the departure track (dark red) of the Fulls Incline heading downhill and yellow non-operational track linking both of them, this part of the layout was built on piers. How the landscape fitted in around them will come next.

And what's this about a water tank?? Until the next time

Attachment: P1010788a.jpg (Downloaded 47 times)

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That last photo reminds me of Blythe (North) Staith where the Full & Empty lines crossed over each other.  Huge timber structure - shook like hell when the shunter ran a cut (short string) of Fulls up to the spouts. I think Northumberland Dock (Tyne Commissioner's Dock) also had a Fulls/MT's cross over somewhere but that was 'sanitised' (demolished) before my time.

Regards,               Michael

W C Greene
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John, the layout is truly fantastic! Excellent work...I can't wait to see it with some scenery.

Woodie

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Hi Herb and all,
Because we were unsure about how reliable the chain paths were going to be we had to come up with a slightly different approach where we could get to the chain channels under the track with the minimum amount of scenic destruction if we needed to.

We also hung off scenic work as long as it took to prove the reliability of chains moving empty and loaded skips on the grade. We also needed to prove the reliability of the skips. Remember it only took us 8 design iterations to get something that both looked the part and that would work reliably as far as both running and tipping that we could afford to build in quantity.

Scenery started at the top of the incline module and worked down the hill so we started with the aluminium chain channels, then a layer of styrene for the under-track magnet glued on the chain to skate along the underside of, then the track itself above that, then a cardboard margin to span across to the white bead foam based landscape forms as shown in the attached photo below.

But this was only the start of the scenic process. More next time

Attachment: P1110551a.jpg (Downloaded 35 times)

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Hi John.

I was having a look at things here today for some inspiration.
The 'animated' loading/unloading thing is very appealing to me.

Nice idea using the electronic-delay module on the rig.
Made me think.
I've got a dozen DIN-rail delays/timers I 'borrowed' from somewhere.
All sorts of possibilities for stepped & delayed moving thingamebobs !

Nice shot of the units all together outside.
Still not 100% sure how it all works.
But am getting there.

:brill:

Inclines seem to be on the up & up here at Freerails (no pun intended) :P

It's for sure gonna be an eye-popper in operation I figure.
Somehow brought things like rollercoasters, marble-runs, & gravity car stuff to mind.

All the best.

Cheers.

:moose:

Si.

oztrainz
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Hi all,
The next instalment, where the scenery comes down the hill.
Working upgrade from the foreground - the attached photo in this post shows:
Panels of Chux wipes secured to the white bead foam by diluted 'No-More Gaps" type flexible acrylic caulking compound. This is applied thick enough to cover the markings on the wipes.
Then an initial coat of brown cheap acrylic poster paint (just above the white area)
And then at the top of the hill, after the base layer of groundcover has been applied. This base layer is ground up offcuts of the sedums used to make some of the trees. (more on this later).

But wait, there's more. - To be continued one photo at a time

Attachment: P1110572a.jpg (Downloaded 28 times)

Last edited on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 02:13 pm by oztrainz

oztrainz
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Hi all again,
A closer look at the transition zone from Chux to base layer groundcover

The second of the 2 catchpoints on the Fulls Incline is just in shot at the top of the photo

Attachment: P1110573a.jpg (Downloaded 28 times)

Last edited on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 02:19 pm by oztrainz

oztrainz
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Hi all again again,
More progress - some ground more groundcover tufts and some small N-scale wire and foam trees as O scale undergrowth clumps and the slope is starting to look 1/2 way decent

Now to add some bigger stuff

Attachment: P1110574a.jpg (Downloaded 28 times)

Last edited on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 02:30 pm by oztrainz

oztrainz
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Hi all again again again,
Time to add some tree-ferns and some bigger scrub in the attached photo. The larger ferns are the ops of plastic palm trees and the smaller tree ferns are small N-scale plastic date palms. the trick is to hit them with an ink wash. This leaves the waxy look of the real fern leaves, but deadens the all over plastic look.

Now given a 40' gum tree is a "baby", but it is just on 12" actual inches high in "dead scale". We used some of the smaller sedum clumps to stand in for regrowth.

I the next post, I'll raid some photos that I've posted elsewhere previously to give you a real feel of the type of Aussie bush we are trying to model around the incline tracks

Till next time,

Attachment: P1110634a.jpg (Downloaded 27 times)

oztrainz
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Me again...
A wider shot of all it starts to come together at a normal viewing distance with zero zoom on the camera,
The 2 white dots are the kids beside the incline

Attachment: P1110620a.jpg (Downloaded 27 times)

oztrainz
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Hi all,
Did I mention that we'd need trees - lots of'em to cover the mountainside?
The attached photo shows Corrimal Colliery Reafforestation Company in full swing.

The trick here is to go for a dusting of different colours to add variation to the initial "standard" foliage colours. It goes pretty quickly. You don't even need to clean the airbrush between colours - it all adds to the variation. You are not after an even coat of paint paint across each tree. Any colour variation helps change some cheap smaller scale trees into larger scale scrubby bush.

Attachment: P1110612a.jpg (Downloaded 63 times)

oztrainz
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Hi all
Warning photo heavy posting but all photos have been resized to 800 by 600 pixels for fast loading at your end.

On to the prototype photos of trees. These photos were all taken within 10 miles of the actual Corrimal Colliery mine site. Some photos were actually on the former mine site.


Note the amount of leaf litter on the ground, and that's a "baby" tree in front of the car at an estimated 60' or so
 

 


Some scrubby young stuff heading up towards the light

Note the big black stump at the right of the photo. This tree was probably a casualty of the big bushfire we had in 1968. We lost over 50 houses in one night.

The area around the Corrimal mine site was not affected by that bushfire, but 40 years later, it is surprising just how dense the tree canopy has become when viewed from the mine site, looking towards the Pacific.


and to close out - a photo along where the 2' gauge tracks used to run between the mine site and the top of the incline This stretch of track was worked by four 2'gauge steam locomotives between 1906 and 1955.


That ought to do for now, until next time,

oztrainz
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Hi all again,
At the bottom of the incline a different approach was required to dodge the piles under the tipple deck


So we went with interleaved cardboard strips stuck with hot glue


This cardboard base layer got the same Chux > then Paint> then base layer ground layer vegetation.


Add some dirt for the flat beside the tipple deck at the bottom of the hill


after some more vegetation

This part of the layout is done scenically for now. :2t:

We'll cover what the buildings at the bottom of the incline do and how they were built later - but we need to get back to the top of the hill and lay some tracks if this incline is to "go anywhere" :bg:

Herb Kephart
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Goodonya John !!

Herb

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The cardboard lattice and chucs superwipes covered in PVA was tought to me by Alan Rocket and is utilised in his layout to obtain the rolling landscape of the Dandenong Ranges.

regnanstramway/Model%20Pages/Pages/Landscaping.html

W C Greene
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Very nice! My ops buddy uses cardboard lattice glued with hot glue. He likes the cardboard which comes from Budweiser beer boxes. He claims that Bud is the only beer that has the cardboard he wants. Could be the beer?

We await more photos, this is very interesting and innovative.
Woodie

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Hi all again,
Rod Hutchinson wrote:
The cardboard lattice and chucs superwipes covered in PVA was tought to me by Alan Rocket and is utilised in his layout to obtain the rolling landscape of the Dandenong Ranges.

regnanstramway/Model%20Pages/Pages/Landscaping.html


Thanks Rod, I never knew that the cardboard and Chux was under Alan Rockett's masterpiece. For those who don't know about Alan's work, check out http://www.modvid.com.au/ (select Worldwide Miniatures, then scroll down, Alan is 2 rows below the Model Expo 2011 banner and the second photo from the left- click on the photo and be prepared to spend some time there).

Having personally seen Alan's work, if I get my Aussie bush to look even 1/8 as good as his, then I'll be a happy camper.

Now back to the top of the "hill"

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Here is a video of Alan Rocket's modelling.

https://youtu.be/9W4_L7-qHvw

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The toughest thing (I think) in model railing, is coming up with convincing trees, in sufficient quantity. There are those who model the arid Southwest of the US, as does Mr Greene, where real trees are pretty rare. Others, like Alan Rocket, model the landscape in Oz, where gum trees--with their long branchless trunks ending with a rather flat, circular canopy of leaves are common--making the modelers job a tiny bit easier, by virtue of a smaller canopy of foliage, per tree. Alan does this with a master's touch.

But to a lot of us, trees are either too difficult to make-- (my putrid efforts have always looked like fuzzy lollypops) -- or too expensive to buy good looking specimens -- in even a small quantity of what's needed. I take my hat off to those here (and elsewhere) who can pull it off.

It would be wonderful for someone to find a way of even coming up with a flexible material thick enough to be formed into a multitude of various sized ''lumps'' to represent a forest canopy, then the edge of the forest would be the only problem. Would have to be ''airy'' like a thinned out version of the old horsehair packing--not anywhere as dense as foam. Spray glue and a sprinkle of commercial ''leaves'' --or real leaves run thru a blender for autumn--- on top. To look convincing, it would have to be capable to be looked into--not just at---the top.

Herb

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Hi all,

A slight change in posting method with a switch to IE11 as a browser form Chrome (just for FreeRails). After turning on "Compatability" for the FreeRails site I can now see the Gallery button and the second row of toolbar icons :2t: so here goes...  And now on to the top of the "hill" - Timeline January February 2013

The first photo shows the tracks on the Top End module and the vertical curves from the grade to the flat



with the Fulls Incline (downhill) track on the left and the Empties Incline (uphill) track on the right. The chain path channels are also visible under the track. 
Single-sided copper PC board is used to secure the track. All tracks on each board are electrically isolated. Although this part of the layout in under magnetic haulage, the electrical isolation is done to ensure that any chance of a short circuit between tracks in this part of the layout cannot affect the rest of the layout. 

We can get away with vertical curves this tight because we are running one coal skip at a time over these curves. This helps to give us a longer run on the grade without having to lengthen overall length of this part of the layout. 

There is trick to getting vertical curves this tight without kinking the rail. The rails we use for our model railways are way overdesigned when t comes to their ability to carry the loads we carry in our model wagons. So..... you can use a Dremel with a thin cutting disc to notch the foot and web of the rail, leaving the head of the rail at about every 3/4" or so. This measurement does not have to be exact. It does however allow the lower part of the rail to be stretched at the bottom of the hill and compressed at the to of the hill without kinking the rail.  :2t:

Moving further "uphill", the next photo shows the method of construction with the track elevated on piers above a solid baseboard, This photo also shows the uphill catchpoint, on the flat before the grade on the Fulls Incline in the foreground. The second catchpoinnt on the grade has already appeared on here.    


Also in this photo, in the background is the red sprocket at the top of the Empties Incline and the uphill end of the chain channel. The support bracket looks over-designed. Initially the plan was to mount the motor here, but this would have buried the motor in the landscape, so the motor was remounted under the baseboard and the bracket was used to support a free-wheeling sprocket. The aim of the game here is to keep tension on the haulage chain while throwing "slack" in the chain under the baseboard level.

The chains can be seen in action under the baseboard at about 3:55 in Dan Pickard's video of the 2013 Australian Narrow gauge convention at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQOjXNiGnig

The yellow clamp on the incline marks the start of where the Empties incline track starts to curve over the Fulls Incline towards the Water Tank module. 

That's probably enough to digest in a single posting, Next time where the tracks go from here. 

Robert Comerford
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Hi John, just noticed this thread.
Excellent work happening here. I particularly like the means of moving the skips. Well thought out !!
regards
Bob Comerford

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Hi Bob and all,
You need to come up with a good "Plan B" when you don't have 1/43 scale workers to clip the skips onto the rope at one end of the run and unclip the skips from the rope at the other end of the run.

Getting 5 metres plus (16') of fine haulage rope moving reliably and speed-matched for the under-track chain for each track or close on 6 metres (18') for a continuous rope was another challenge that needed a workaround. Rope management and speed matching of the rope to the chain was too hard for running on a sectional layout that has to be repeatedly put up and taken down. In 18 months of trying, we only managed it for about 5 minutes on a fixed loop of less than 2 metres long on the flat. String-lining at the bottom of the grade also rules out running the rope under tension and this was the showstopper for an operational haulage rope.

So the "Plan C" here was to move the skips and not the haulage rope as well. From more than 1 metre away you can't see if the haulage rope is moving or not :bg:

Now back to the tracks at the top of the hill,

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Hi all again,

Moving further uphill, the next photo shows the styrene strip for the trackbed of the Empties Incline passing over the start of the Fulls Incline.




Beyond the Y- turnout, the track continues towards the Dead End Module. More on that Y turnout later.

The next photo shows the view from the end of the Dead End Module looking back towards the top of the incline on the Top End before track laying commenced on Dead End module.


The next photo shows the aluminium framing, white baseboard then piers and thin ply foundations on the Water Tank module before track laying commenced.




The next photo shows module jumps on 3 different levels across 2 different modules - the Top End and Water Tank (to the right) modules




The next photo shows Stage 1 trackwork almost complete. The track is yet to be laid on the train turntable in the background. In later stages the train turntable will be replaced by a Mine Run 1 module with scenery as the "head of steel" heads back towards the colliery site




The next photo is of the Water Tank module with all track laid


On the elevated track from the Empties incline, only the rightmost track is operational. All track to the left of that track is non-operational track. On the prototype these were holding sidings or standages for full coal skips from the mine  if the incline was stopped. These sidings were horse worked. The lower level leftmost track is the track for delivering full coal skips from the from the mine to the top of the Fulls Incline. The sprocket at the start of the Fulls Incline can be seen to the left of the Y-point in the left foreground.

Oh and what's this about a water tank? Oh that's it there beside the steam loco


The aim is to recreate the photo in this link http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/208673178 Click on the photo for a larger version of the photo. 

The next post will hopefully cover operating the Top End both prototype, and model as shown in these photos. That'll do for now, 

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Hi all again,
This post will be heavy on words and light on photos. After a lot of reading and research the method of operating the prototype has been distilled from about 4 key articles and books. Unfortunately a lot of the maps and articles that contain them are copyright and cannot be published here.

So to help understand how things work, here is a simplified track layout of the top end of the incline



The water tank has already made an appearance in the last post. The other significant buildings at the top of the incline were a sand drying shed and the incline brakehouse that appears in the sketch above. The sand drying shed appears as a white blob in near the train turntable in the previous post. The brakehouse will be covered later.

How the skips got to the top of the incline is an interesting story that is impossible to model. The mile long track from the mine to the incline top was on a slightly falling grade. None of the 4 small locomotives that worked the mine run from 1906 to 1955, are known to have been fitted with steam brakes and relied on handbrakes. To stop the loaded wagons from overrunning the locomotive, every 8th axle was spragged by placing a piece timber through the spokes of a wheel on that axle.  The load was then dragged by the loco from the mine to the incline top with every 8th axle locked up and unable to rotate. For those unfamiliar with sprags, check out the photo at https://www.instagram.com/p/pvX-NEqyir/  where the worker in the foreground is setting a sprag and the worker in the background has a sprag in his hand. This photo is from the neighbouring South Bulli mine, immediately to the north of Corrimal.

So what happened when the train of loaded skips arrived at the left of the diagram above?

On arrival, the steam locomotive was uncoupled, the route was set and the loco moved forward to the water tank on the Empties road. The loaded coal skips were held on the sprags. The route was set back to the Fulls arrival road, enough sprags were pulled to get the wagons to roll and the loaded skips were gravitated in clear of the points and the spags were re-inserted to stop these wagons after the wagons were in "clear".

After watering, the loco backed down the Empties arrival road and picked up the empty skips and headed back to the mine. The working of this part of the incline will be covered later in more detail in a separate post.

Now here's where it gets really interesting. the loaded skips would be gravitated down into the dead end as required, stopped before the end of the siding, and then horse-worked down the other track to the top of the incline, where the loaded skip would be clipped onto the incline rope for its downhill journey to the tipple. The references give no indication of how many loaded skips were turned loose at a time.. One? Two? Three? Or more? The more skips you turn loose at a time the harder they are to stop before the end of the dead end..

So how was the speed controlled before the loaded skips hit the turn out to the dead end? Bolted to the sleepers outside of the rails on each side was 6' long length of angle set apart just wider that the axles of the skips. As the loaded skips rolled downhill picked up speed and then into these angle plates, the hunting (side-to-side) movement of the skips rubbed the outside wheel faces against the angles and the friction slowed the skips. There was also a very sharp "S"-bend just before the points into the dead end. This "S"-bend also assisted to wash speed off the incoming loaded skips.

Which brings us to the next question - when to roll more loaded skips downhill to the dead end. Rolling a fresh lot of loaded skips into a dead end track while Neddy is moving the previous lot of skips out of the way is not a good idea.  Pit ponies, especially trained ones are expensive and hard to replace. So how was it done? 

Good Aussie bush engineering provided the answer. Adjacent to the points at the dead end, there was a lever connected by wires to a clapper attached to an empty drum mounted up in the fork of a tree near the lower end of the Fulls arrival road. Ready for more skips? Pull the lever and BONG!!!. The crew at the arrival road uncouple x skips, pull the sprags, and turn them loose. As the skips roll into the dead end, they are spragged at the dead end. Neddy is coupled up to the loaded skips, the spags are pulled and Neddy clip-clops off down the track towards the top of the incline. As soon as Neddy and his loaded skips clears the points, it's time to pull that lever again.

I'll defy anyone to accurately model this as a "hands-free" operation (including working model pit ponies in 1/43 scale) - So we needed another "Plan B".  Coming in the next post.  

             

Last edited on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 11:11 pm by oztrainz

Alwin
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Interesting John.

But why use a pony and not let roll the full cars directly on the incline track? I adapted your drawing a bit to make clear what I mean.


Alwin

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Hi Alwin
the track plan was what is was to make the most use of the existing incline that went in from 1890 from the old Broker's Nose Colliery when the tramway to the new Daylight mine to the south was put in during the early 1900's. The dead end track was part of the original incline. My suspicion was that it was also designed in a way to minimise the amount of "dirt" that had to be shifted to connect the new tramway to the existing tramway in 1905/1906.   

The actual angle of the T at the top end was offset to probably about 140 to 150 degrees to fit the tracks into the landforms on the side of the hill on the prototype. The width of the ledge on the mountain side where all this stuff was perched was very limited, so it was probably easier to swing onto the existing incline and use the pit ponies to move the skips onto the incline to in a more controlled manner than to have the skips arrive "uncontrolled" by gravity. If one more skips got "away", then the catchpoints should derail them before they got to the bottom with even more disastrous results. But the incline would be stopped until the mess could be cleared up. If the incline is stopped too long, then eventually you run out of empty skips underground and the mine is stopped.   :f: 

There was a conscious decision on our part to try to get as close to the original trackplan as we could. However with the change in angle to fit onto the modules the position of the brakehouse had to moved to fit as well. More on the brakehouse when we get to it.   

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Howdy John, I remember an article in an old English model rr magazine that was about some fellow making a "horse drawn carriage" in 1:43 (?) scale. The horse had moving legs and seemed to "trot" along, the animal was pushed by a small motor & mechanism in the "carriage". I didn't see a video of this working but remember that the writer/modeler(again?) said it was "the hit of the show". This might be a bit far-fetched but the idea is that SOMEBODY has done it so.....

Woodie

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Hi Woodie & all,

It wouldn't have been this one would it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8299NTgtADY

See from about 30 seconds in. How to do the horse is at 3:00 in.

Now where this scheme fails is that Neddy has to go back to the dead end "light engine" to get the next lot of loaded skips, but Dobbin on the trams is getting his "giddup" from the trams. This is not an option for a "prototypically worked" model Corrimal top end.

And yes we actually crazy enough to consider operating under "gravity" to feed the top end of the incline. There were a couple of big showstoppers.

The first was the variable rolling abilities of small light-weight skips with inside bearings. The key here in the inside bearings. To get the look of the coal skips with the wheels outside of the frames, the usual needlepoint bearings at the end of the axles are out of the equation. We've covered the design saga of the skips already and these rolling ability trials were very early on. 

To give you some idea, just how bad the rolling properties of inside bearings can be, initially we could just get the skips to start to roll on a 1 in 10 (10%) grade. Later designs and copious amounts of graphite dust into the later open-bottom inside bearings meant that we had the starting grade down to about 1 in 40 or 2.5% but there was a great deal of variation in how well the skips would roll once they started to roll. Some skips would roll like a drunken sailor, but others would take off downgrade like a scaled cat.

We looked at steepening the grades to ensure that the loaded skips would roll, but the variability meant that we couldn't guarantee where the skip would stop. We even looked at using between the track "sprags" (wire that could be raised or lowered by solenoids) to control the movement of the skips. The one place we didn't want the skips to stop was on the point blades at the start of the dead-end siding.

Another of the problems with steepening the grade, is that the rolling resistance decreases once the skip starts to move. As soon as the skip breaks loose of its inertia, it takes off. How fast the skip accelerates is dependent on the resistance at the bearings and again the variability was much too great as mentioned in the last paragraph. But increasing the grade by only a little bit led to a "snail' turning into a uncontrollable "rocket"   

And steepening the grade also added extra height into layout the was already simulating a train on the mountainside. A 5% (1 in in 20) grade from the water tank would have added about another 2" to the height over the distance of the run. This extra height was undesirable as it increased the overall height of an already quite high layout.    

We even looked at using another under-track chain to simulate gravity to the dead-end. it was ruled out because we would have needed another competing chain to haul the skips from the dead-end to the start of the Fulls incline chain. Sequencing and de-coupling between chains was just too hard.

So in the end we came up with another "Plan B"- Retire the pit ponies to pasture and bring on some "new fangled" battery electric locomotives.


This photo shows one of these bits of "mobile electrickery" doing a test shove of some skips to the incline top. The track heading off the right near the leading skips is part of the non-operational trackage on the water tank module. The track in the foreground is the delivery track for full skips from near the water tank.     

That'll do for now, more next time,

Last edited on Sat Sep 24th, 2016 09:55 pm by oztrainz

oztrainz
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Hi all again,

Did I mention the train turntable? That's it way out there in the distance




When it came time to lay track, we had a pivot to dodge - so we dodged it.


Now the only way we can get away with this is because the coal skips are short 4-wheelers and can bed themselves around the curve.

Until tracks get back to the mine, the turntable is also the loading point for the skips, using the high-tech Mark 1 coal loader




When we covered the skip design earlier the design decision was to use DG couplers with the loop fitted to one end only. For the incline to work as planned the loop has to be trailing at the top of the incline. Which means that the loop has to be leading on loaded skips when they arrive from the mine at the Water Tank. The track plan for the incline as a whole is basically a Y so that when the empty skips arrive back at the top of the hill their loops are leading. This means that we can get away locomotives that do not have to be fitted with the loops, as shown in the next photo near the Water Tank




From this photo train turntable operations should be as simple as Burra takes the empty skips onto the turntable, the skips are loaded, the turntable is rotated, and Burra Brings the now loaded train off the turntable, cuts off and parks at the water tank on the mine end of the Empties receiving track from the incline. The battery-electric loco then comes out from the Full arrival track, couples to the loaded coal skips, hauls the loaded skips to the top of the incline, the backs them down to be coupled onto the other waiting loaded skips at the top of the incline.

But the steam loco always arrived from the mine with the cab leading and went "back to the mine" smokebox first. Using this simple method of turning the train the steam locomotive is being reversed at every trip. Yes there is a way to use the train turntable to turn and reload the empty coal skips and still have the loco arrive facing the correct direction at the Water Tank cab leading with the loaded coal skips. I'll let you work it out..  

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Hi John.

Lookin' GREAT !

The wagons look cool with that nice locy ^ !

Been eyeballing your PCB rail/board joins.
Look very secure.
I always worry about these.
Big is best though, I figure.

:moose:

All the best

Si.

oztrainz
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Hi Si,
There are some tricks to it.
1 - You need to have a block big enough that can be screwed down to the baseboard/track supporting block at the module joint. This guarantees that noting will move on either side of the joint.
2 - The blocks are bigger because there are curves down to 15" radius jumping the joints, and the tracks sweep a bigger area than for straight track jumping a joint.
3 - clamp your modules together and screw down your first PC board block on one of the modules. Insert a thin piece of cardboard/stryrene (say 0.010" approx)between the blocks and screw the second block down. Remove this spacer before commencing soldering. This space prevents the blocks on adjacent modules from making contact and creating unwanted short circuits that are difficult to trace. :doh:
4 - make sure the track is level across the PC board blocks. You may have to shim back from the blocks if your sleepers under the rail are not high enough. Be careful how hard you spike down the track adjacent to the blocks.
5- tin the PC board block where you expect the rails to go
6 - tin the outside foot on the rail. This prevents solder wicking back to the inside running surfaces of the rail.
7 - solder down 1 rail across both blocks first. Do not cut the rail.
8 - Using a track gauge as a guide solder the second rail. This now gives you 2 rails soldered to the blocks that are in gauge all the way across both blocks.
9 - CAREFULLY cut the rails at the joint using a Dremel with a thin cutting disc, or use a thin stiff-backed saw with fine teeth. Take your time and do one rail at a time.
10 - isolate both rails by cutting through the copper clad surface between the rails on both blocks.
11 - check that there is NO electrical continuity between either rail on both blocks AND between adjacent blocks. Also check diagonally.
12 - add your preferred jumper leads/plugs. Electrical continuity across the module joint is through the jumper leads and plugs - NOT BY THE RAILS. Check that you have correct continuity when you have the plugs together and no continuity across the joint on either rail if the jumper plugs are disconnected.

There you go - all done

Salada
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Hello John,

Tee are a couple of things I don't understand about the " real" Corrimal (your Post No 104):

As the Fulls rolled downhill into the dead end Fulls Arrival road, presumably Neddy had to pull the rake/cut of fulls slightly UPHILL to the head of the fulls incline ?

Also, how were the fulls held securely between freeing Neddy & attaching the cable clips ?

What stopped Neddy + fulls heading over the incline "hump" & careering down the incline ?

You said the skip arrestor was mounted OUTSIDE the gauge & rubbed against the AXLES ??

I have seen a similar arrestor on a NorthEast Durham cable system but the arrestor rails were inside the track gauge & rubbed against the wheel flange backs (no danger of wagons riding up off the running rails)

Regards, Michael

oztrainz
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Hi Michael,
You have way too much thinking time on your hands :P So dealing with the questions raised in order.

As the Fulls rolled downhill into the dead end Fulls Arrival road, presumably Neddy had to pull the rake/cut of fulls slightly UPHILL to the head of the fulls incline?

Our understanding of how this worked was that the dead-end track was uphill towards the old Brokers Nose mine and was on part of the trackbed formed part of the old 1880's/1890's incline. As the wagons slowed They could be spagged, Neddy could then be attached. One sprag would probably have been left inserted and Neddy would drag 2 or 3 skips at a time slightly downhill towards the top of the incline and the start of the haulage rope. The sprag would prevent the loaded skips overrunning Neddy

Also, how were the fulls held securely between freeing Neddy & attaching the cable clips ?

The skips were held by sprags through the wheel spokes. The skips would have been held just clear of the start of the haulage rope, then manually wheeled forward singly (or doubly as shown in the 1951 photos) to just beyond the start of the haulage rope. This area was on a slight flat before the incline nosed over hill onto the grade. The clip would be attached to the haulage rope by thumping the collar home with a hammer, and the skip would then head off downgrade at the speed of the haulage rope.

What stopped Neddy + fulls heading over the incline "hump" & careering down the incline ?
Neddy's wheeler and Neddy's good horse sense? :bg: Th buffer of some parked skips at the incline top would also help.

If the haulage rope was stopped I have no doubt that pit horses would probably have been walked down the side of the incline tracks to rescue derailed skips/drop of rails or sleepers for repairs/etc.

The top of the Fulls incline was protected by a heavy timber block that could be locked across the Fulls Incline track if crews had to work on the incline grade. The empties incline was protected by a "monkey chock" or "bobbin" that prevented any roll backs from getting away from the incline as the empty skip was uncoupled. The uncoupling zone was on a falling grade towards the trestle that crossed the Fulls incline track.

You said the skip arrestor was mounted OUTSIDE the gauge & rubbed against the AXLES ??

Ummm - I almost got that correct. The angles rubbed on the outside wheelfaces as the skips "hunted". This straightened up the skips and, through friction, washed the speed off the loaded skips before they hit the wobble leading to the dead end. They must have been reasonably effective as brakes. One of the reference books gives their dimensions as 6' long. The skip wheelbase was 2'10".

I'd better go back and fix that post.. Now fixed

Thanks for the thinking - it helps me keep the story straight

:bg:

Last edited on Mon Sep 26th, 2016 11:12 pm by oztrainz

Salada
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Hello John,
Correct - idle hands do mischief make; but I can't do much else right now.

Thanks for your further explanations, now fully understood.

The arrestor/retarder rail ratio of 6' to 2'10" wheelbase is similar to the one I saw.

Also the wooden stop blocks at incline head very similar to old colliery incline systems here. These comprise 2 heavy timber baulks, 1 across the running rails, pivoted at one end outside the gauge. The free end of this block rests against a shorter pivoted block outside the gauge. Swinging a heavy maul against the shorter block knocks it clear of the end of the transverse block which then swings open under the push of the wagon wheel flanges.

Some inclines had another version. A heavy baulk horizontally pivoted between the running rails & counter weighted so that the axles of wagons running in the correct direction would depress this upright timber "finger" & pass over it. The leading axle of any runaway in the wrong direction would jam against the raised, counterweighted "finger". Usually known as a "bull", perhaps because it resembled a single horn ?

Some of the private cable haulage rail systems were said to be so efficient compared to horse or loco lines that the first 'run' of the day paid the whole day's wage bill plus all repair/running expenses. All pioneered by Mr Stephenson.

regards, Michael

oztrainz
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Hi Micahel and all,

Salada wrote:
...

Some inclines had another version. A heavy baulk horizontally pivoted between the running rails & counter weighted so that the axles of wagons running in the correct direction would depress this upright timber "finger" & pass over it. The leading axle of any runaway in the wrong direction would jam against the raised, counterweighted "finger". Usually known as a "bull", perhaps because it resembled a single horn ?

This is a pretty good description of the "monkey chock" or "bobbin" at the top of the Empties incline to prevent run backs after the skip was unclipped from the rope

Some of the private cable haulage rail systems were said to be so efficient compared to horse or loco lines that the first 'run' of the day paid the whole day's wage bill plus all repair/running expenses. All pioneered by Mr Stephenson.

regards, Michael


Ahh but Corrimal was powered by Mr Newton. Are you sure you picked the correct Mr?? Must be those pain meds.

Salada
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I see it's "Bash a Poorly Pommie" time in our former prison colony.

Yes John, POWERED by Isaac but DESIGNED by George.

Is it boring always being right ??

Cheers, Michael

oztrainz
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Hi Michael,
You may be right with a Geordie link somewhere in the history of the incline - whether it is direct to George or not?? For the next mine south of Corrimal, the Mount Keira mine, the village on the flat above the mine adits was colloquially known as "Geordie Town", so the ex-Tyne-siders were out here early digging coal in the Illawarra, from about the 1850's.

One wonders when the self-acting continuous rope inclines started to be used in the UK? The self-acting inclines in the Illawarra started from the 1860's or so. And Corrimal wasn't the only mine locally using continuous rope inclines, both powered and unpowered to move skips both on the surface and underground from the 1860's.

There's probably a history doctorate in tracking down the links between 'the old country" and "the colonies" with respect to who came up with what, where, and when. There would also have been some inspired "bush engineering" that would have been going on independent of "old country" influence.

As far as that "former prison colony" goes, one of my ancestors was a sergeant in the First Fleet's NSW Regiment (aka the Rum Corps),in charge of that first lot of convicts -
"Seize up that malingerer - break out the cat - 2 dozen lashes for insubordination" :P

Next up a diversion into trees for Herb,

oztrainz
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Hi all

For Herb, who recently wrote back in Post #99,  

But to a lot of us, trees are either too difficult to make-- (my putrid efforts have always looked like fuzzy lollypops) -- or too expensive to buy good looking specimens -- in even a small quantity of what's needed. I take my hat off to those here (and elsewhere) who can pull it off.It would be wonderful for someone to find a way of even coming up with a flexible material thick enough to be formed into a multitude of various sized ''lumps'' to represent a forest canopy, then the edge of the forest would be the only problem. Would have to be ''airy'' like a thinned out version of the old horsehair packing--not anywhere as dense as foam. Spray glue and a sprinkle of commercial ''leaves'' --or real leaves run thru a blender for autumn--- on top. To look convincing, it would have to be capable to be looked into--not just at---the top.


So - Getting Lost in the bush...

As well as Allan Rockett previously mentioned, Forum member Dan Pickard is perhaps one of the best exponents of making realistic gum trees in model form. His "Splitter's Gorge" diorama is close on 3' high and even that is under scale for some of the bigger Mountain Ash gums that top out at close to 300' high (that's over 6' high dead scale) . So here's a reminder of what large model gum trees are all about in "Splitters Gorge". There are a couple of hundred trees and ferns in this diorama. 



See http://www.freerails.com/edit_post.php?id=56507 and the following 3 posts for some examples of modelling gum trees. Forum member Rod Hutchinson's "Regnan's Tramway" also features. I've borrowed from Dan's techniques of using dead sedum flowers and modified them slightly for the smaller gums found in the 1920's locally that we need for Corrimal. Dan also provided a big box of dead sedum flowers for me to get started on. Thanks Dan.

A reminder of the prototype look we're after, with the "airy look" that Herb mentioned


 



So how to make a lot of model trees very quickly using dead sedum flowers?
See you next post...  


oztrainz
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Hi all again,

So down to the nitty gritty of making trees and some of the philosophy of tree-making as well...

The main area where I differ form Dan's techniques is that I don't aggregate or clump multiple sedum flower branches to make the bigger trees. I also won't be making the big buttress roots that are characteristic of the bigger gum and most of the non-pine type trees. I figure I can camouflage this lack of detail with lower level scrub around the base of the trees.


So getting started, here's a before and after - the "before" on the right and the "after" on the left




So what do these sedums look like in the ground?


Now at the end of their flowering season, if you leave the flowers attached to the plant, the flower head remains, the leaves fall off and the stem dries out hollow. Cut them off as close to the ground as you can. If you leave the roots undisturbed they'll be back next season, with more of them :2t:  Caution: they grow a bit like a weed and can get away, so if you are worried about this, plant them in pots, not in the ground. 

The best sedum variety for gum trees is the "Autumn Joy" variety. There are other sedum varieties that have a slightly different flowerhead structure. These should work equally well, and as a bonus, give you a slightly different looking "model tree"

The beauty here is that each of the dead flowerheads has a slightly different structure. Just like in nature, no two trees look exactly alike. So this gives a slightly different look to any of the future model trees and we haven't actually done anything to the flowereheads yet. Unknowingly, this has just got you away from the "all the background trees look the same" trap  

Some preparation is required.

1 - after the dead flowerheads are removed from the plant, allow them to fully dry out in a dry sunny area for several weeks.

2 - remove the remains of any leaves still attached. There may be some smaller dead dead leaves just up under the flowerheads. These can be removed by rubbing them with a finger nail.

3 - the flowerheads can be fragile and you may snap the odd branch or 2 off when removing the dead leaves in the previous step. Keep these bits. They can be used for smaller trees or scrunched and put through a bender for groundcover. If you want a more open look, at this stage, if you lightly rub the flowerhead, some of the looser flower remains will fall off. You can also easily snap off parts of the flowerhead to open up the underlying "branch structure". Keep what is removed/falls off for ground cover. Now for the interesting bits.

4 - You can either use a cheap while rattle can or a white acrylic in your airbrush. Paint up from below the flowerheads.


this whole table was well less than 30 minutes work. Some variation in the depth of cover here is not a problem and may help to vary the look of your finished trees. by the time you have done them all with white... 

4 - It's time for green. You can either use a variety of green rattle cans or an airbrush. I used my airbrush with a variety of Tamiya flat acrylic greens.


Again variation in the depth of cover across the tree helps. You are after a misted spay technique rather that a "drown it all solid green" technique. I also shot some green up from under as well.

Sometimes more than one green can be misted on. This helps colour variation across the tree as well as between different trees. I was using the open cup on the airbrush. I just added different greens as I ran low. and kept spraying. This also assisted the colour variation.

Don't worry about the green being on the branches near the "leaves". Most branches are still slightly green out near the leaves, Check out this gum tree at the right of the next photo -


   

5 - Gum trees are a bit different in that they ooze gum and it stains the bark. Skip this step if your trees have a different bark. So with a few dab of an artist oil dark brown on the trunk and a swipe with a bush loaded with thinners/mineral turpentine, you get


Allow to dry - using a white beadfoam stand is not recommended for this step. the turps tends to dissolve it.

Gum trees also tend to shed their bark. I'm skipping modelling this, but Dan and Rod have successfully modelled this on their trees (See my previous post for "Splitter's Gorge" and related links)

6- place gently in a box for storage until you are ready to plant them out on your layout




7 - Take some care getting them out of the box when needed. Remember nothing is lost if anything does break off. It either turns into another smaller tree or ground cover :2t:

 
That'll do for now, Happy tree making,
 

Rod Hutchinson
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Tree making is in a similar league to scratchbuilding structures. It is modelling in the true sense of the word.

However you can make quick gum trees using sedum plants. Grab 3 stalks. Adjust them so the flower heads are staggered. Bind the trunks with florist tape. Over paint with Artist acrylic paste to create 'bark'. Whilst this is drying give the bark texture. Paint to suit.

Last edited on Thu Sep 29th, 2016 11:53 pm by Rod Hutchinson

oztrainz
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Thanks Rod,
I'll try a 3-way splice for one of the bigger trees that I'll need soon :2t:

Herb Kephart
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John--that makes a quite good looking Gum tree.

 In North America, we don't have gums (at least I haven't heard of any) and the canopy of our deciduous trees tends to be more spread out height wise. I have collected some materials to try when I get a bit of time. Too many things to do----

One of the problems with natural materials is that what is easy to acquire in one area, might not grow in another--my intended included--but IF there is something suitable, it saves a lot of work (and often looks better) than a man made armature. I have seen some exquisite maple trees in a museum diorama. When looking at it closely, I realized that the leaves appeared to be photo-etched. No thanks. Beautiful, but I don't have a group of talented model makers at my fingertips-- not any way that I could afford them if I had,

So my search for something that I am capable of doing --without spending an inordinate amount of time, goes on.

Herb

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Hi Herb,
Don't get too focused on just sedums. I've seen yarrow published as very effective US/European type trees.

Can I suggest you head off to your nearest florist? Have a look at some of the "fillers" that they use to make bouquets etc, like "Baby's Breath". This will also give you the more open canopy that it sounds like you are after. See if you can get hold of some of the "discards" for a trial or two.

Also look at some of the dried flowers while you are there. Don't worry about the colour. What you are looking for is something that will give you the "look' you are after.

The paint technique will work on any plant stuff that doesn't drop everything when its dead. You may have to hit your "proposed tree" with a spray adhesive as a base coat to hold what is already attached to the branches before you do any more work on it.

The trick with the paint is to go for variation in the depth of the colour sprayed on as well as some variation in the colours being sprayed. This gives you trees that look "related but different".

Also a visit or two to some of your local garden centre might turn up something. If you are after a broader canopy, perhaps one of the spreading ground-cover shrubs might be suitable for grafting on to a taller plant that provides the armature?

Remember your scale, for HO the 6" to 12" long sedum heads area approaching 40-80' actual feet of tree height. Unless you are building redwoods, really 150' scale height or about 2' actual should see you max out for height and not all of that would be canopy.

This is where balsa trunks come into their own and the sedum branches or similar can be stuck to the side to provide the wider canopy around a central balsa core to provide the trunk. Balsa or some other soft easily carved timber for the core and adjust the height and taper to suit your needs. Use air dry clay/putty etc to form up the buttress roots at the lower end of the trunk where the roots start to spread before the head into the ground

In O scale 12" is only 40' and a 40' high gum tree rates as high scrub, not a tree.

Good Luck with your search for something suitable for your part of the world.

Salada
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John,

For you & anyone else interested in rope hauled colliery incline videos, see :

YouTube Bowes Line (1975), this shows about the last of the system run by 'professionals'

YouTube Bowes Railway Rope Haulage 29 8 99, shows the line run (slowly) by interested amateurs. Not edited in exactly the right order, watch the crew handbraking the set to a halt.

I'm not expert at giving youtube addresses, the above should work (maybe).

Regards, Michael

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Herb ,you will see lots of Australian trees in the background of many early Hollywood westerns.
They were planted in parts of California.

 cheers
 BobC

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Salada wrote: John,

For you & anyone else interested in rope hauled colliery incline videos, see :

YouTube Bowes Line (1975), this shows about the last of the system run by 'professionals'

YouTube Bowes Railway Rope Haulage 29 8 99, shows the line run (slowly) by interested amateurs. Not edited in exactly the right order, watch the crew handbraking the set to a halt.

I'm not expert at giving youtube addresses, the above should work (maybe).

Regards, Michael



Hi Michael and all,

I've found the Youtubes of the Bowes line

1975

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDaXXtG-XiI

1999

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibMQ_BkXEv8

In my best Crocodile Dundee voice -

Naah that's not an Incline.... This IS an INCLINE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_efpsVq5Wc

and for those who've never seen what is involved in contract hand mining, may I also offer from the Land of the Long White Cloud
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=looU8oBg3KI


This is the same mining system and similar coal transport equipment being modelled in the 1920's for Corrimal. The narrow-gauge steam tram in this clip is interesting as well from 5:00 minutes in and the Dennistone Incline is featured again at 4:30 in.

That ought to keep you all out of mischief for a 1/2 hour or so ;)

Now that we have track down at the top of the incline, I suppose its time for scenery building at the top of the hill?

Last edited on Thu Oct 6th, 2016 07:45 pm by oztrainz

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OK--A question (you know that I would have one, didn't you) ?

On the Dennison incline, since everything had to get to the top, using it, how did they get long things, such as all the wooden rafters to the top? seems that there would be a problem at the bottom transition, unless it  was more gentle than it looked

Oy cobber, lifted the bloody cart right off the rails till it peeled the sticks off the cart, it did.

Or something like that.


'erb

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Thanks John for fixing the correct U Tube links - I fought on the losing side in the Digital Revolution.

Dennison is an interesting incline - an unusual mix of 2 rail, 3 rail & interlaced gauntlet. Consideraby steeper than most English inclines.

I was surprised to shot holes still being hand drilled in the 1950s, maybe the anthracite was too brittle for compair drills - it looks very good quality coal.

Regards, Michael

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Hi Herb,
I'm not an expert on Denniston and NZR operations, but from the video Denniston was that long that it had to be worked in 2 stages. As far as vertical curves go, Most of if not all the NZR rolling stock used on the incline was 4-wheeled and probably belonged to the O P & Q classes =http://nzrailwaysrollingstocklists.weebly.com/q---4-wheel-coal-hopper.html

Longer timber items and pit props were probably sent uphill in L class wagons http://nzrailwaysrollingstocklists.weebly.com/l-family---highside-4-wheel.html. Also check out extra safety chains either side of the central "chopper" coupling on the LB class.http://nzrailwaysrollingstocklists.weebly.com/lb---wooden-6-ton-of-1907.html

Now because the wagons are short (probably less than 20' (say 6 metres or or so) and they are moving singly over the incline, you can get away with sharper vertical curves than for longer bogie rolling stock.

This is why we can do this

on Corrimal, with even smaller wagons

For far more on the Denniston Incline can I recommend http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/conservation/historic/by-region/west-coast/denniston-archaeological-survey-high-res.pdf 90 pages or so should keep both you and Micheal out of mischief for a while :bg:

Last edited on Sun Oct 9th, 2016 12:00 am by oztrainz

oztrainz
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Hi all again,

time to head back to the top of the incline for some scenery - but how do you work out what goes where?? And where in a 3 dimensional space should it be?

This layout is planned for exhibition work.  So you have to plan what the public sees - what you want them to see, what you don't mind them seeing, and, what you don't want them to see (we have to keep the "black magic" black and let the "magic" of how we do "stuff" speak for itself)  Now please remember that we started thinking about this layout way back in late 2005. In past 10 years cameras have got smaller, with better lenses and longer zooms, and can get into places that would have been inconceivable way back in 2005. 

On some of the UK-based forums over the past few years there has been some pretty heated discussions about layout viewing heights for publicly exhibited layouts. Hopefully the same won't happen here as I open up this can of worms. This post is about why the heights are what they are for the Corrimal layout.

The concept behind this layout since Day 1 has been of a narrow-gauge railroad coal transport system. The key words here are "transport system". It transports coal from the mine, along the side of a mountain to the top of the incline, lowers the coal down the incline, tips the coal, elevates the coal to the screens for sizing and transfer to standard-gauge wagons and the returns the empty skips back up the incline and back to the mine for refilling. That's all there is to it. Simple huh?

Once you get past the mechanics of how you do all this stuff you are still left with the problem of height difference - between the mine level on the side of the mountain and the  screens level at the bottom of the incline 300' (approx. 100 metres) lower. In scale this height difference is over 7' (2.5 metres).  

The incline itself ran for about 900' (about 300 metres) or when scaled out in actual terms, 20' or about 7 metres long. Also remember for a 1 in 4 grade on the incline, for every 1 unit in height the incline footprint grows by 4 units in length. So some major selective compression is required for the height run as well as the distance run by the model railroad system if the "system" is to be modelled as a publicly exhibitable layout. 

Setting the screens at floor level is not a realistic option for an exhibition layout, so this level has to come up to an "acceptable" viewing height. But that then jacks the other end of the incline up as well... if this happens, then we'll be operating the top end of the incline while standing on step ladders. This is not an acceptable or realistic operating option. So the both the height and length of the incline has to decrease. And the height at the top end of the incline basically then sets the height for the mine and the scenery in between the two.

So all of the above now leads to the concept of the Lowest Public Viewing Height (LPVH)


Back with the LPVH, what it is, and photos of how it applies to Corrimal shortly. 

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Hi all again,

So what is this about the LPVH? How does it work and why should it be considered?  

Now Corrimal is planned for exhibition work with a planned 600 mm clearance zone as shown in this plan.



So what does this mean as far as designing for what the public sees?

Some givens:

1 -All public won't be my size when standing, so the layout will be being viewed from multiple heights.

2- Once children get to a certain size, they are too big and heavy to be carried and will be standing. The bottom end module and part of the incline will be below their eye level and there should be enough "action" there to keep their "attention"

3 - For the bigger children/severely vertically challenged adults, my design choice for the LPVH (Lowest  Public Viewing Height) was made with me sitting in a chair at 600 mm from the layout with an eye height of about 1000 mm to 1050 mm above ground level(AGL).   

So how does the LPVH work? Here's the starting point, as viewed from my standing eye height, before any scenery was applied




The tracks at the top end are about 1400 mm above ground level (AGL) The top end of the incline and the run back to the mine is intended to give the impression of a railway clinging to the side of a mountain. This part of the layout is designed to be viewed from here and on the other side of the incline as shown by the plan above.
 


OK now consider someone at the top left corner of that access area between Brokers Nose and the Incline Top who is looking at what they might see at a "normal" adult eye-height, as shown in the previous photo. A closer look at this area before scenery looking towards the top end of the inclines



But at LPVH, the scenery has to be carved back from the edge


so that the lower track can be seen and the loaded skips heading down the lower level Fulls Incline can be seen

Remember that part in the previous message about what we don't want the public to see?? We don't really want to show the pick up point at the top of the Fulls incline, just the loaded coal skips heading downhill. Remember that bit about keeping the magic "black"? So we put a "hill" in the way.


   

When the scenery carving is done, we have the greaser and a skip at the drop-off point on the higher level Empties incline a loaded skip headed downhill on the Fulls incline 


 

At normal viewing distance, with the zoom backed off, we have


Yes that's our greaser and his skip at the top of the Empties incline - Waaay up there. From the LPVH, the full skips will appear in the gap, then disappear behind the trees on the incline, then reappear as they head onto the bottom end or Tipple module




That'll do for this side of the layout. Next up - the saga of the trestle bridge at the top of the Empties Incline.

Robert Comerford
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Nice work there John.

Discussing layout height is a bit like religion.
I well remember one older male punter at Brisbane one year. I was helping Rohan exhibit Bolivia for the first time there.
He gave me a dressing down about the layout being too high for the little kiddies to see. He wanted me to cut all the legs down immediately and when I suggested the owner might not like it and besides the owner had already lowered it for those suffering from ducks disease like me he was still not satisfied and continued to assail me. After trying to point out that exhibitions tried to cater to all and this was not designed for 'kiddies' but for serious modellers to appreciate and that the hall was full of layouts for mum,dad and the kids such as the Thomas layout on one side of us he finally left to annoy the next layout owner.
I later learnt he was ear bashing that layout owner about how we were such inconsiderate people and how he thought his layout ( being at least a foot lower than Bolivia) was so much better.
You can imagine the distress it caused him to be told that the owner considered the layout to low and was going raise it to the same level as Bolivia for the next outing.
That evening we heard back from the AMRA officials that he had given a couple of the officials at the exit door a blast about not demanding all layouts be down at kiddie height.

:>;) :>;)

cheers
Bob

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Hi all,
before we could go too far with scenery on the top end there was a significant track modification to be done.

Which brings us to the saga of the trestle bridge.....
From the the limited printed references available, the the Empties Incline was described as crossing over the Fulls Incline on a trestle bridge. There was a further wrinkle in that the track passing under the trestle split off a track to standage sidings further along the mountain side. There are no accurate plans for this and no photos of this area are known to exist. On the model we had already slewed the angles of the incline to make things fit, so even if there were accurate plans or photos available they wouldn't have been much use As built for this part of the model incline we had:


Team member Professor Klyzlr has some "significant experience" (a significant understatement) in researching and building models of timber trestles, so he presented us with this pre-weathered one at the Easter Convention in 2013 in stained balsa that was measured to fit.

Looks a little short?? No, not really, because the foundation level of the piers is at the same height as the raised lower track. So how to make it fit?

Most bridges are built from the ground up - this one had to be installed from the track down without affecting the track in thin air while it was going in.. For additional degrees of difficulty the trestle has a falling grade away from the Empties Incline and the lower-level tracks are not level.


First remove the supporting ply


I measured it twice and still managed to cut it too short - :doh:

So now I have a trestle bridge floating in mid-air.

At least the skips will go past without hitting the piers

The "rock wall and support" has yet to appear at the left end of the bridge

The track is now superglued to the balsa sleepers on the trestle deck. I have some magic woodworking glue that expands as it goes off...

That big foam blob to the left is a mock-up of where the brakehouse will be - more on the brakehouse and rope runs later. It is already starting to get a bit tight in here..and most of the scenery has yet to go in. The far left pier in the photo has a problem.... nothing under it. I suppose 5 out of 6 ain't bad.

Looking the other way

Things look like they are starting to sort themselves out with the view-block now under Chux in preparation for basecoat painting and a brakehouse mock-up now makes an appearance on the other side of the trestle.

From above -

with pieces of cereal pack glued in to provide a foundation for future dirt and ballast (aka spilt coal and stone) and to cover the gaps between ply track supports on the lower levels.

I needed to do something about this end of the trestle foundations. *-:) How about a big block of foam and some retaining walls?

As viewed looking towards the Water Tank Module. I'll show you how they all finish up later.

Ken C
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John

It is starting to come alive, after seeing it in the Bare bone state in 2013 at the NG meet. Hope I can make it down next year for the meet.

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Hi Ken,
I hope you can make it too. There will be plenty more to see than last time.

Now on to how the LPVH works when applied to the other side of the tracks at the top of the incline.

Keep an eye out for that chap waving in the last photo of my previous post. Stay tuned, more along shortly...

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Hope you can make it downunder Ken.

oztrainz
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Hi all again,  
Previously I introduced the LPVH design concept.
 
It's now time to have a look at the "other side of the tracks" on the Top End module.
 
Remember the kids and that derailed coal skip - they are at close to LPVH on the incline module

 
Backing the zoom off, at the junction between the Incline and Top End modules, we have 

 
Here's what we have without any foam on the top end module from this side of the tracks at LPVH looking to where the Empties Incline swings away over the Fulls incline

The first attempt at foam carving is underneath.  
 
Zooming in on the Top end from LPVH, the view of the tracks is obscured by the left end of the Top End  module - Sorry but I can't do much about that, but I should be able to see skips travelling along most of the run of the higher level Empties Incline. Remember that the lower-level Fulls Incline is totally obscured here by the Empties incline and can only be seen from the other side.  

 
So what happens when the foam starts to be blocked in to at least rail-height? From the other side..

this is not going to look real good from the other side...
 
Can't see a thing - time to start carving

 
The "first carve" looks pretty good from my standing height 

 
Remember our greaser and the skip that we set up for the other side back in Post #131? - here he is again at the far left.

 
Checking out the LPVH again

Houston, we have a problem..He's disappeared..more carving is required at the front edge... until
 
Ahh! There he is again. Maybe we still need a smidge more off?

 
That's better


I eventually arrived at Mount Chux after the foam was covered with Chux cloth and bedded down with flexible caulking compound.

 
but this is only the front part of this module - there is a brakehouse for the incline that has yet to go in. More on the brakehouse next..

Robert Comerford
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This is going to be one interesting exhibit when finished John.
regards
Bob

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Hello John,

One solution to the LVPH problem that I have occasionally seen at Brit Exhibitions is a movable, ramp access low wooden platform, about + 12" - 14" above floor level, strategically placed right in front of major interest points on a layout, where kiddies can stand, and be 'supervised' by their parents standing at floor level immediately behind them. As I have seen so few of them, I presume this is an individual exhibitor solution rather than an Exhibition Organiser initiative.

Your Fulls, Empties Inclines cross over point is looking nicely cramped and tight fitting - just like that point on the real thing. Some of the trestles at this point were an absolute maze of timbers & cross braces, all creaking and swaying as a loco went charging up propelling a cut of heavy fulls up to the discharge spouts. With Madame's kind permission I used to sometimes 'invest' a week of my precious annual leave by dashing up to Heaven (sorry, the ever fascinating Northeast) to see the last remains of our coal mining and shipping trade in action, where the 'teemers' ** used to welcome me up the external wooden stairs to the spouts (the coal wagon discharge chutes at the incline head).

** Teemers were the chaps who braked the rake, or cut, to a halt, chocked the wheels and pulled the bottom discharge door 'handles' ,known as monkey tails. A real old time teemer always had a weirdly flattened thumb, where repeated mallet blows to release or close the door monkey tails and remove the wheel chocks (scotches) had missed and hit his own thumb. Ouch. Many a Blythe pub regular had a flattened left thumb and nail.

Regards, Michael

W C Greene
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Yes, make it visible to the kids. My experience at train shows is that you can pretty much trust kids to "not touch" when they are told...but the "adults" ALWAYS want to and DO touch your models and many times cause damage because they "know" how to handle fragile models. Maybe the adults need to be muzzled and constrained while the kids get to run free!

Woodie

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Hi all,
Now onto the next saga - the brakehouse. First up a quick discussion of the haulage rope and their management at the top end of the prototype Corrimal Colliery incline

On the prototype the brakehouse, the rope came in through the front wall of the brakehouse to the top of the drum from the top of the Empties Incline, wrapped around the drum several times and then exited low through the front wall from the bottom. The drum under the rope was wrapped with hardwood segments. The rope actually slipped sideways as the drum turned to get the rope from where it came in through the front wall to where it went back out and headed downhill. 22 loaded skips headed downhill is enough grunt to slip the rope sideways.

On either side of the rope drum was a 7' diameter brake drum with 6" wide water cooled Aussie hardwood brake pads. These brake pads were absorbing 40 HP when the incline was running. Speed was governed by a ball-type governor and the incline operator had a way to drop the brakes on hard for an emergency stop.

There were two wires on a fence that ran the length of the incline. If these were twisted together, it rang a bell in the brakehouse that was the emergency stop alarm. The incline was not to be restarted while the bell was ringing.

L: I had thought of mounting a 10" fire alarm bell under the layout to simulate this when the model incline is not running. Perhaps no?? :bg:

So now onto the model brakehouse that made its first appearance as a placeholder beyond the tresle

with simple doors and window shapes drawn on a blob of scrap foam

At the lower track level, it is starting to get congested

That big foam blob to the left is the mock-up of where the brakehouse will be going in.
Next up the brakehouse foundations.

oztrainz
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Hi all again,
Why use a placeholder for the brakehouse? We need to work out where the rope runs go. 
 
Remember the ropes?? The Corrimal Colliery is a model of a self-acting continuous rope incline after all - isn't it? The incline ropes are one of the key things that distinguish this layout as an incline. So I need to work out where the ropes are to go on the model. Perhaps I'd better give the top-end some thought before I scenic myself into a corner that I can't get out of. 
 
Here's where it gets tricky, because we have varied the angle between the tracks to fit an offset T-shape I can't put the brakehouse where it actually was as shown below 

 
The top-end tracks on the model actually look like this

The brakehouse has to fit to the right where the blue line crosses over the red line but before the curve on the red line leading to the dead-end in order to get the rope runs close to straight as possible (after all we might be able to get the ropes moving eventually so perhaps designing as few kinks as possible into the rope "circuit" might be a good idea).  
 
As mentioned in my last post, the original brakehouse had a slightly tapered drum around which 4 1/2 turns of the 3.5" circumference Lang's Lay steel haulage rope passed. Now there is a world of difference in the performance of the rope around the top drum between the gravity drive of the prototype where the rope slips on the drum and a motor dive for a model that requires that the rope can't be allowed to slip on the top drum if the drum is to drive the model haulage ropes.

So far getting a rope drive that is small enough, powerful enough to move up to 8 metres (9 yards approx)
of continuous model haulage rope, tensioning that model haulage rope so that it will drive aw well as not tangling or interfere with the skips, AND, synchronising the rope speed to the under track chain has proved to be an insoluble problem after months of attempts. So the incline ropes are non-operational.  

On to construction - What we actually have here is a 3 level structure - with the baseboard at the lowest level, then the Fulls track and the Empties track passing over that on the trestle bridge. The brake house is at the immediate left of the picture, and lives somewhere in between the 2 upper levels 

:L: If I use separate non-operational ropes for the full and empties inclines. I'll need a hole in the baseboard to pass the ropes through - I can keep a light tension on them by hanging some kind of a weight on the end of each rope under baseboard level. With some clever design the hole is uphill and away from the chain paths for the incline. :2t:
 
First off I need to put a "floor" in for the Fulls Incline

A few bits of cardboard a cardboard tube and a few dobs of hot glue and we're done. The "rollers" to support the rope also now start to make an appearance. These are non-operational(just like the incline haulage ropes) but are designed to be easily swapped out should it look like the ropes might be got moving at some later date.

The brakehouse on the model is higher relative to this track than on the prototype. So the rope will come out of the front of the brake house and then step down to the Fulls incline by this ingenious pulley and bracket arrangement that just fits between the front of the brakehouse and the trestle bridge supports.

 
Viewed from the other side...with the brake house place holder roughly in position 

And Mount Chux has disappeared under its first coat of paint  

Next up, replacing the brakehouse placeholder,

oztrainz
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Hi all again,

And now on  to the saga of the brake-house at the top of the incline.
In the beginning there was a brake drum that was mounted to a stryrene floor over a hole

 
It then grew a back wall that had been used somewhere else previously

 
As mentioned previously, the bottom of the drum is up in the air with respect to the Fulls Incline so we need some pulleys to lift the haulage rope to the correct level. Here they are again 

 
Now if these pulleys are painted a suitable gungy grey, this whole set up hides in amongst the other stuff near the trestle carrying the Empties Incline over the top 

 
Here's the view from the top of the Empties Incline looking towards the brake drum showing the pulley that kicks the rope out under the rail to the right

 
At this time the brakehouse still needed side walls a front wall and a roof, but in order to be able to thread the brake drum, the roof and front wall had to be removable.


So the front wall ended up looking like this after a baby powder surface treatment to simulate old concrete  

 
with the lower level vertical slit for the Fulls Incline rope at the left, then the higher level vertical slit for the Empties Incline rope and the horizontal viewing slot for the operator and finally the door at the right.
 
The operator lurks inside

 
The interior still needs to be painted and detailed, but at least we now have a brake house that looks like this from the side 

 
and from the back

This view now looks a lot different from this earlier view when the trestle went in


It is surprising how much a few bits of cardboard, a few stirrer sticks fabricated into retaining walls and some stones can change things.

So when the haulage cables are run out we end up with something like this at the Top End of the Incline


There's something wrong in this photo - I'm not sure if anyone can pick it
 
That will do for this post - It's long enough, maybe even too long ;)

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John, not sure if it is the answer but it looks like the cable on the fulls incline is pushing to the underside of the rail.

Alwin

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Hi Alwin and all,
The following 2 photos might help explain things about how we get the haulage rope away from the rails at the top and bottom of the hill

The first photo shows the Empties Incline, brakehouse and haulage cable




The second photo is a tight crop of the previous photo where the cable comes out from between the rails


This photo shows the smaller offset pulley in between the rails and the larger pulley outside the rails that aims the cable at the brakehouse. The rope path is designed to pass just underneath the foot of the rail. The smaller pulley and haulage rope support pulleys along the incline are all designed to be lower than rail height so that they don't interfere with the skips' couplings, axle boxes and magnets passing over them. It's a tight fit with clearances of less than 2 mm.

The lower-level Fulls Incline is bit more complicated in that the pulley outside of the rails is offset further away from the rail to line up with the pulleys that lift the level of the rope and feed the haulage rope from the brakehouse.

This is a non-reversible, continuous-rope incline. So the prototype rope movement was from grade on the higher-level Empties Incline to the brakehouse and then back to the top of the Fulls incline, then down the hill to the tipple, where the rope was tensioned and then turned around under the tipple deck for the run back up the hill.

I hope that this helps to clear things up,

Rod Hutchinson
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Fascinating engineering John.

Robert Comerford
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Well done ...as usual John
regards
Bob Comerford

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John, every time I look at this there seems to be another few acres of ground coverage. It's all coming together superbly and I'm learning more and more about the real life operations as the build progresses. Great stuff.

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Hi all,
time for an almost "real time" photo of significance - 
P1230327a by oztrainz, on Flickr

There is still a lot of the saga involved in getting to "here" that is yet to appear on this thread yet.  

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Hi John :wave:


That's one of the most radical photos I've ever seen Posted on Freerails ;) ...


...perhaps even on THE NET :shocked:


:moose:


Si.


" It's coal Jim, but not as we know it "


:bg:

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and no-one has "got" the significance of the photo??

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Hi John :wave:


I do like mysteries ... but ?? :moose:


How to BANG in a track pin ?


HELP ! I ran out of coal ?


$4!7 the baseboard aint long enough !


;)


I give up ! :f:


I'm gonna check the Freerails crystal-ball & get back later. :shocked:


:moose:


Si.

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Hi all,
Si - you can put your crystal ball away.  To help de-mystify things - late last Thursday night was the fitting of the"Golden Fishplate", somewhere in this photo
P1230304a by oztrainz, on Flickr 


The driving of the "Golden Spike" shown in the photo of the previous posting had to wait for daylight on Friday with ballasting occurring on Friday afternoon. Wiring looms were fitted to 5 modules on Saturday and testing of trackwork and electrics on 6 new modules (of the 12 modules that make up the Corrimal Colliery Incline layout) was completed last Sunday. 


This completes all operational trackage on the layout required for the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention at Easter. :2t:

There are still some extra tracks to be woven around the buildings at the mine once they start to appear in the next month. The following diagram shows what will be at the Convention 

Corrimal Colliery Incline 2017ANGC display by oztrainz, on Flickr
The overall dimensions are 7.2 metres (23'8") by 5.8 metres (19') - It's only a little layout.. ;)


The construction focus has now switched to scenery - and planting trees by the 100's....It's going to get tight before Easter...The mine buildings will be placeholders that can be replaced with more detailed buildings later. Some of these will be sectioned buildings with detailed interiors. (but not before Easter)
  
The construction saga will be resumed from posting 145 above shortly - Once I can work out which bit needs talking about next. :bg: There is still a lot to catch up on here before we get to that "Golden Spike".  


Till next time...

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John

It appears I will be missing the meet this year. Always look forward to the layout progress.
Working on a clinic, for the meet, perhaps in 2019.

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Ken C wrote: John

It appears I will be missing the meet this year. Always look forward to the layout progress.
Working on a clinic, for the meet, perhaps in 2019.

Sorry you won't be joining us at Easter Ken.  A number of us were looking forward to a catch up with you.

Last edited on Sat Feb 4th, 2017 11:05 am by Rod Hutchinson

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Wish that I could be there, I would really love to see the incline mods in operation.

Woodie

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Ken C wrote: John

It appears I will be missing the meet this year. Always look forward to the layout progress.
Working on a clinic, for the meet, perhaps in 2019.

Hi Ken and all,


I'm sorry you can't make it too. For those who don't know, Ken has been quietly sitting in th background offering long-range encouragement for several years in several internet places. 


Work focus is currently on detailing the mine. The buildings will be placeholders for more detailed structures. The actual mine entrance trackage and buildings went something like this.
P1210017a by oztrainz, on Flickr

which, when squoze to fit onto the 2 mine modules, comes out like this
P1230959a by oztrainz, on Flickr


Still a whole lot of pot-holing to do in the story of how we've got to here, but I've got a couple of acres of building sides to get encased in corrugated iron sheeting rapidly - so, no I'm not going to be "plating" the buildings one 8' x 3'  scale sheet at a time...

Kitbash0n30
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Poll time - the probability of this layout being a showstopper is ...?

"Definition of showstopper
1: an act, song, or performer that wins applause so prolonged as to interrupt a performance
2: something or someone exceptionally arresting or attractive"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/showstopper

Nice Guy Eddie
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I hope the 2 lemon heads operating it know what they're doing


It looks complex !


:f:


Eddie



Attachment: Lemon Heads.jpg (Downloaded 25 times)

oztrainz
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Nice Guy Eddie wrote: I hope the 2 lemon heads operating it know what they're doing




:f:


Eddie



Whatever gives you that idea??   :shocked:  :P 

oztrainz
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Hi all,

A top of the hill scenery update, from this: 



through this..


   

to this, where a line of loaded coal skips await their turn to go down the Incline with the brakehouse rising behind in the background.

Tony M
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Hi John, nice job on the finished scenery I don't think my modules turn out like that has, pure awesome. Have a couple of questions how did you bend the track on top of the slope like that I had a go once at bending HO scale Peko track just broke, and what is the hinge used for on the leg to hold it in place under the module

I started nailing down track yesterday afternoon  on my layout one module done.

Tony from QLD down under

Last edited on Thu Mar 2nd, 2017 12:25 pm by Tony M

oztrainz
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Hi Tony 
these vertical curves are "pushing the ragged edge of the envelope". We can get away with vertical curves this tight because we are running short wheelbase coal skips one skip at a time over these vertical curves. 
For these vertical curves you cut through the foot and vertical web of the rail, leaving only the head of the rail intact. For the tight vertical curves we have on the incline, both at the top and bottom, you need to cut the rail foot and web for the full length of the vertical curve at about 1/4" or 6 mm spacing. The exact spacing isn't that critical, but you need enough cuts to allow the rail head to bend rather than form a series of kinks 

As you come off the grade onto the flat at the top of the hill, the cut gaps will close, but at the bottom of the hill  the gaps will open up slightly. 

As far as the hinges go, these are used to ensure that everything lines up every time. You need a hinge that can have the pin punched out. This enables the two halves of the hinge to be separated. It is important that you get hinges that have no slack in the pins when flexed. These hinges are just over 75mm long. The next photo shows one of the hinges holding 2 modules together but with the pin nor fully pushed home. This makes getting the pin out easier but all segments of the hinge have pin in them and the hinge cannot flex 


How to do it - clamp your 2 modules together making sure your alignment is correct, then fasten the hinge to both modules while the pin is in place. Do this on BOTH sides of the module joint BEFORE doing the next step. Remove the clamps, punch the pins and you should be able to separate the modules. When the modules are put back together, the hinge ensures positive X Y and Z axis alignment. This ensures that the rails jumping the module joint also go back in the same spot relative to each other. 

The hinges must be securely attached enough to each module that there no movement between the hinge and the module that each half of the hinge is attached to. Any movement between the hinge parts and the module means that the modules can go back in a different spot relative to each other. 

CAUTION - ideally you want a solid pin (preferably brass)  The last lot of hinges we got from Bunnings have a steel pin with a brass sleeve crimped to the pin. We have had several cases where the sleeve has been left behind in the hinge when the pin was pulled, I would suggest talking to something like a kitchen place/shopfitter rather than Bunnings or similar to get a better class of hinge that will avoid this problem.

I hope that this gives you some ideas 

Tony M
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Morning John, thanks that is what I should of done cut under the rail, you quite often see that when coming off a grade, what I was trying archive and there is a fly over in NSW where the some thing was in the middle of a bridge.
Hump yards are like that how I would like to have one a lot of fun making up trains like the real thing, nice to dream, what I am lacking at the moment is a main yard.
I did the  same thing on one of my module layout but only used 2 inch hinges, you are right on took me some time to find the right size pin to fit the hinge and was a big effort drilling out the hinges pin did work ok,, needed a bigger one.
How is the weather you end of OZ it is perfect here making the most of it outside warming up again from Sunday.
Keep the pics and great work coming, love it, can get great ideas on my layout.
Tony from QLD down under

Si.
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Hi John :wave:


Nice scenery ! :bg:


John explained the rail-cutting for the 'roller-coaster' sections ;) on the dog & bone to me...


...makes sense to avoid the 'kinks' as is said.


Temp. variations as well ... PHEW ! ... I thought we had it HOT sometimes ! ;)


Lookin' good John ! :bg:


:moose:


Si.

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Hi Tony,

The nearest thing I can think of with grade and route changes with bridges is the flying junction on the Suburban lines between Sydney Central and Redfern 

Have a look at https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Central/@-33.8876712,151.2022692,569m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x55e79b4a664d3471!8m2!3d-33.8826209!4d151.2065819 You may have to go to Street View and stand on the bridge at Cleveland Street to get a better idea of which track goes where. You are looking at the tracks to Platforms 17 to 23 which are the through lines to the underground to the East of the Country terminus (main building) 


Streetview link - https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.8888028,151.2016293,3a,15y,45.76h,88.11t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTFKMWhh6mkGEAV_q_ygyLQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

That should keep you occupied for a bit next time it is too unpleasant to work outside. ;)

oztrainz
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Hi all, 
a minor update - the main mine entrance is in and the hill behind it has been "sandstoned" with textured paint 


First up, the Mine 2 module with the mine entrances and trestles to the powerhouse coal dump at frontP1240144a by oztrainz, on Flickr


A closer look at the mine entrances. The white spots are where the lamphouse goes in at the left and weigh cabin goes in at the right,P1240145a by oztrainz, on Flickr


and what the sandstone looks like after some "weathering"P1240148a by oztrainz, on Flickr
The area around the mine entrances grew some greenery yesterday, 

oztrainz
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Hi all,

Another sign of the times..

P1240452a by oztrainz, on Flickr


Made by Group member Geoff Potter. It comes pre-weathered as the modelling period is about 20 years after the original sign was writ way back in 1902,

The layout survived its +1000 km journey to the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention, at Geelong.  At present we have skips running between the mine and the incline top with skip running on the incline. Running coal starts later today...:2t:  

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:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:
:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:



Si. :)

W C Greene
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WONDERFUL! There ain't enough Moosies for me. Excellent and very groovy!

Woodie

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HI all, 
The Australian Narrow Gauge Convention at Geelong also provided our first opportunity to get a photo of all 12 modules of the layout togetherP1240773a by oztrainz, on Flickr
At 5.2 metres (17') along the incline edge facing the camera and 7.2 metres (23'7") along the black wall.  


I'll kick off a separate thread for photos from the 2017 ANGC. These may be a few days away yet 

oztrainz
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Hi all,
2 more photos from the mezzanine

P1240916a by oztrainz, on Flickr


P1240918a by oztrainz, on Flickr

Detail photos and how we got from under construction to semi-finished presentation will follow in due course 

pipopak
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This is nothing short than impressive....

Jose.

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What Jose said. I didn't realize how massive the layout is all together. Can't wait to see more pictures. Stephen

Ken C
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John

Certainly a vast change from seeing it at the 2013
NG meet. :moose::moose::moose:

Hopefully I can make it DU in 2019, then I may finally do a clinic I was asked to do this year if I made it.
Working on another set of plans and interior equipment for the clinic.

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Ken C wrote: John

Certainly a vast change from seeing it at the 2013
NG meet. :moose::moose::moose:

Hopefully I can make it DU in 2019, then I may finally do a clinic I was asked to do this year if I made it.
Working on another set of plans and interior equipment for the clinic.

Hi Ken,
Was a shame you weren't able to wrangle another trip down under...it was a huge weekend that ran like clockwork.  No shortage of super happy modellers walking away from this convention, with big smiles and big new ideas.  If you start long distant planning for a holiday far south, I'm sure there would be interest in the photos you have to share (I saw the CD of what potentially would have been shown if you'd been able to travel down on this occasion).
Cheers,Dan Pickard

Last edited on Tue Apr 18th, 2017 07:28 am by danpickard

Ken C
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Dan
Glad I took photos when I did of the intake Tanks and wood stave piping, the majority has been replaced with steel tanks and plastic pipe. Did do up a set of drawing's at the time for the tanks and piping . Clearing my drafting table so I can start on a set of plans for the power plant itself.
Planning to get up to the plant again in early May, so will likely take another 100 or so photos of the equipment and interior, along with YET! more notes. all ways seem to miss things I should have logged in my binder.

W C Greene
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That is excellent! I just wish that I could get "down under" to see it for real! A great work of art, you all are to be congratulated.

Woodie

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YES !




Herb

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Hi all,
it's been a while, so it's time to give this thread a poke again to see what falls out. 


Over the weekend I found that one of the convention attendees managed to catch the incline part of the layout in action during testing on Good Friday. At the time the incline ropes had not been installed and the tipple building was down on the standard gauge tracks near the Screens building so we could watch the "tipper-outer" in action.  Here's the video -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaqsiF96m40

There needs to be 3 loaded skips on the tipple deck before anything happens at the bottom end. The arriving 4th skip, nudges the 3 parked skips forward and triggers the tip cycle. 


I'm not sure if we've covered the design and operation of the tipper-outer on here previously. If not, then this might be a good place to cover it? Or we go back to where we were at the top of Page 15 and go back to building the rest of the layout?


Your call on this. I can go either way, or perhaps even to somewhere different in the Corrimal saga?? 

Rod Hutchinson
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Nice to see it working so well.

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" Your call on this. I can go either way, or perhaps even to somewhere different in the Corrimal saga?? "



Hi John :wave:



Until the 'Box Set' is released ...

... The Corrimal Chief is gonna have to choose the order of the episodes ! ;)


The 'saga' is an EPIC for sure.

I'm OK watching the episodes in any order ...

... just not the last one first ! :shocked: ;)



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



Si.



Hope the air-con held out on the drive to the convention. :cool:

oztrainz
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Hi Si and all,
Well please don't say you all weren't consulted. :bg:

BTW That last video is the "current" last episode - But wait, we ain't done yet...As the salesman says "Yes, there's more..." Both in "potholing" the past to get "up to where we is", and, going forward to detailing and finishing to ready for "public exhibition" standard. 


Stay tuned as we head backwards to head forwards... Sounds confusing?? Sometimes it was for us as well,

As far as the aircon in the Xtrail went. It behaved faultlessly for over a 1000 km each way. It should have dome, because it copped a full rebuild at considerable $$'s after it died on our Junee jaunt.  But the Junee jaunt is another story that might appear here elsewhere.   


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