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'Corrimal Colliery Incline'
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 Posted: Wed Sep 21st, 2016 03:37 am
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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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 Posted: Wed Sep 21st, 2016 11:34 am
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oztrainz
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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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 Posted: Thu Sep 22nd, 2016 02:49 am
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oztrainz
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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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 Posted: Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 12:39 am
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oztrainz
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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 Tue Sep 27th, 2016 03:11 am by oztrainz



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 Posted: Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 01:18 am
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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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 Posted: Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 03:40 am
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oztrainz
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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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 Posted: Fri Sep 23rd, 2016 06:57 am
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W C Greene
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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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 Posted: Sun Sep 25th, 2016 01:44 am
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oztrainz
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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 Sun Sep 25th, 2016 01:55 am by oztrainz



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 Posted: Sun Sep 25th, 2016 07:38 pm
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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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 Posted: Sun Sep 25th, 2016 07:49 pm
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Si.
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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.



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