Polishing the brass rails for the first time.

Bolendo

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12 Feb 2021
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Gourock, Inverclyde.
Hi folks.

New member here, and feeling extremely humble scrolling through what other members have posted. I console myself that we all have to start somewhere.

I live in a first floor apartment with a balcony that overlooks the sea. Although there is a shared garden, where I have an allocation, I have decided to build a small layout on the balcony. The space up here restricts the curves to R1, so my choice of motive power is limited accordingly, but I am more comfortable knowing it is "closer to home."

The layout is supported by a timber shelf running the 7 metre length of the balcony. There is a small glazed enclosure at one end. So far, the configuration is of a double track "end to end" with loops at each extremity. It runs along the outside railings, and has a fine wire mesh along the outside strung to prevent accidental falls into the garden. I am considering a scale size post and wire fence on the inside to prevent possible derailments from tumbling off onto the floor. I have already waterproofed the timbers (it rains a lot here) and acquired some track, although it is just a "dry fit" at present to permit clearance testing, prior to actual fixing the rail panels to the deck.

My main interest is in trams, which will run on the layout without too many problems, but I have also started with some steam outline stock. My biggest gamble yet is the purchase of a German Piko Class 64 2-6-2 tank loco, which is alleged to be able to negotiate R1 curves, due to a clever articulation of the rear set of drivers. I won't slit my wrists if it doesn't slide round the tight loops at either end of the layout, as there is enough straight and gentle curves to give it a good run for its money. The loco should arrive later this week.

I have some experience in o gauge, and hope to install overhead wiring to complete the scene for the trams. During the current restrictions, it is great to have something that will occupy my time. I am happy to have found this site. I appreciate I have a lot to learn, and a long way to go.

Bob.
 

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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
Welcome to the Forum, Bob..

That silhouette of the train is a stonking picture! :clap::clap::clap:

PhilP
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Welcome to the forum Bob, I think you would certainly be better sticking to Trams with R1 curves, they look just right .
 

David1226

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24 Oct 2009
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Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Bob

Apologies but I just could not resist cropping your photograph.

413060_DSC_9356.jpg

David
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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Welcome to the Forum Bob.

You've put a lot into a small space there and it looks good!

My advice would be to stick with smaller locos and 2 axle wagons, especially having seen your photo as cropped by David.

But a medium sized 2-6-2 should be fine. I've no experience of the Piko 64, but my LGB Harz Ballerina is fine on R1/R2....

20200524_170715.jpg
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Welcome to the Forum Bob.

You've put a lot into a small space there and it looks good!

My advice would be to stick with smaller locos and 2 axle wagons, especially having seen your photo as cropped by David.

But a medium sized 2-6-2 should be fine. I've no experience of the Piko 64, but my LGB Harz Ballerina is fine on R1/R2....

View attachment 281660
LGB used to pride themselves that all their locomotives ran on R1, some look simply silly like the Harz 2-10-2.
 

ebay mike

Retired, but still hoarding. (GOF)
6 Dec 2011
3,806
670
Norfolk - edge of nowhere.
Hi Bob. You mentioned you would like to install overhead. I see you have a Bachmann PCC car with a trolley pole. What make had you thought of using?
 

Bolendo

Registered
12 Feb 2021
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Gourock, Inverclyde.
Welcome to the Forum, Bob..

That silhouette of the train is a stonking picture! :clap::clap::clap:

PhilP
Thanks for that. It has subsequently been improved with some cropping by another member. Team effort!
 

Bolendo

Registered
12 Feb 2021
17
0
67
Gourock, Inverclyde.
Welcome to the Forum Bob.

You've put a lot into a small space there and it looks good!

My advice would be to stick with smaller locos and 2 axle wagons, especially having seen your photo as cropped by David.

But a medium sized 2-6-2 should be fine. I've no experience of the Piko 64, but my LGB Harz Ballerina is fine on R1/R2....

View attachment 281660
Thanks for your positive comments. I will let you know how the loco behaves. I was lucky to catch a real one back in the day on branch line service in the DDR, so it means something to me. I see you are using rail joiners as opposed to fishplates. Most of the track I bought is second hand, and the fishplates are the "weakest links," if you pardon the pun. I have ordered some, and look forward to seeing if they are better at securing the curves, and cutting out loose electrical connections. I have bought some copper paste for the joints, but haven't tried it out yet. The track is still down temporarily until I get the configuration and geometry just right. I would be interested in hearing people's opinions of fishplates versus joiners. Your loco looks good.
 

Bolendo

Registered
12 Feb 2021
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Gourock, Inverclyde.
Hi Bob. You mentioned you would like to install overhead. I see you have a Bachmann PCC car with a trolley pole. What make had you thought of using?
Hi Mike. Some years ago, I had an o gauge tram layout and managed to string my own overhead. I am going to see if my soldering skills are still up for doing G scale wiring. I like the look of the LGB "Siemens-type" masts, but I am also hoping to run double deckers, and don't want to be limited to their wire height. I am considering making bracket arms out of dowelling for the masts, cocktail sticks for the arms, and piano wire for the stringers. I had some small round porcelain insulators (if I can find them) from an old electric heater, that possibly would fit. I am looking at getting some of Paul Coles' hanger castings, but I recently read an article from the USA saying that hangers can be made from bronze/brass staples. Of course, if you have any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them.
 

Bolendo

Registered
12 Feb 2021
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Gourock, Inverclyde.
Welcome to the forum Bob, I think you would certainly be better sticking to Trams with R1 curves, they look just right .
Thanks for that. I have some ideas to "kitbash" a few of the standard LGB models into types I am more familiar with. However, before I start surgery with a dremel and cutting disc, it would be interesting to hear from other members on here on similar projects they may have tackled, and with how much success.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Thanks for that. I have some ideas to "kitbash" a few of the standard LGB models into types I am more familiar with. However, before I start surgery with a dremel and cutting disc, it would be interesting to hear from other members on here on similar projects they may have tackled, and with how much success.
Have a look through this thread that shows plenty of modified and scratch built trams.
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
24 Oct 2009
25,612
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Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
Welcome aboard. As tour track is still loose, you could try putting the ends in Coca-Cola (or some cheap brand) over night. Sounds odd, but the phosphoric acid in cola cleans them up nicely. Then use the copper grease to keep the moisture out. Don't fix the track down too frequently - it needs to move a little - maybe one a meter is good.
 
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dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,580
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Thanks for your positive comments. I will let you know how the loco behaves. I was lucky to catch a real one back in the day on branch line service in the DDR, so it means something to me. I see you are using rail joiners as opposed to fishplates. Most of the track I bought is second hand, and the fishplates are the "weakest links," if you pardon the pun. I have ordered some, and look forward to seeing if they are better at securing the curves, and cutting out loose electrical connections. I have bought some copper paste for the joints, but haven't tried it out yet. The track is still down temporarily until I get the configuration and geometry just right. I would be interested in hearing people's opinions of fishplates versus joiners. Your loco looks good.
You will find that Clamps nicely lock you track together sorting out any dead spots. Massoth ones have a screw and tightening that is enough to clean some crud off the base of dirty rails. These days I do not bother to clean the rail base ends for this reason.

As for holding your track in place, as I think you are in a secure location it would be just fine to use either blocks of thin wood or plastic. Cut to fit between 2 sleepers and the in between width they will keep the track in place when either pinned or screwed to the baseboard. The depth needs to be sufficient to catch the webb below the rail. This pic shows a roughly pinned bit of rocket stick to show the concept. If you allow a few mm all round the block you get a bit of flexibility if required. Probably only needed every 2 feet or so.
F79614B8-DE28-4AC8-B14D-7889BC74F230.jpeg
 
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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
Thanks for your positive comments. I will let you know how the loco behaves. I was lucky to catch a real one back in the day on branch line service in the DDR, so it means something to me. I see you are using rail joiners as opposed to fishplates. Most of the track I bought is second hand, and the fishplates are the "weakest links," if you pardon the pun. I have ordered some, and look forward to seeing if they are better at securing the curves, and cutting out loose electrical connections. I have bought some copper paste for the joints, but haven't tried it out yet. The track is still down temporarily until I get the configuration and geometry just right. I would be interested in hearing people's opinions of fishplates versus joiners. Your loco looks good.
Hullo Bob,

on my original layout, I used fish-plates, copper grease and the LGB 'dog bone' joiners that clip into the sleeper ends on the curves.

When I moved to Cambridge, I had room for a much longer run of trackage, and I brought some second hand track that was fitted with clamps.

So I opted to fit the new line with rail-clamps. I've used a mixture of Massoth, Hillman and other types, and some of the sidings still use fish-plates, dog bones and copper grease! My track floats on the ballast and is not fixed, but I would do so in your case.

I've mainly used LGB track, but I have some Train-line R2 points, as well as some Piko and ART, so the clamps help with joining these makes which although Code 332, do have slight differences in the profile. Due to space constraints at the bottom of the garden, I have a return loop which is double track R1/R2, but the rest of the Main Line is R3. Most of my Rolling Stock is thus medium size, so 2-6-2 steam locos, Bo-Bo diesels and shorter bogie wagons/coaches look best to my eyes, alongside shorter 0-4-0, 0-6-0 and 2 axle vehicles.

I see that there are lots of good tried and tested tips posted on your thread, like the Coca-Cola and brown sauce ideas since I last read this thread, and I commend these to you....

20200526_154549.jpg
 
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Bolendo

Registered
12 Feb 2021
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Gourock, Inverclyde.
Thanks for all the positive tips. Much appreciated. I took delivery of the German class 64 today. To my relief, it negotiated the R1 curves without a problem, but I suspect it will be more of a cabinet trophy, to be taken out on high days and holidays, rather than a regular runner. I am happy just to run it up and down the straight section for now. My macaw graced the new arrival with an appropriate flypast.
 

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