(F) Interesting idea: non-locomotive working

Want to talk about Sir Arthur Heywood's 15" gauge railways? About modern day minimum gauge lines? Have you found a minimum gauge line you've not seen mentioned on the website? Want directions to one of the railways that is mentioned? Whatever your interest in real minimum gauge lines, post your questions (and answer other modellers' questions) here.

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Igor
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(F) Interesting idea: non-locomotive working

Postby Igor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:04 pm

Here is a picture of Nantlle Tramway in the 1960s, when a tractor was used:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/5550460219/

Perhaps you could make a model of this, using the Faller car system or something similar.

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Postby MrPlantpot » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:53 pm

Quote from the Flickr page :-

'1963/10/20.R1221. Believe it or not, this was part of British Railways in 1963!! The Nantlle Tramway still served the slate quarries of the Nantlle Valley, just as it had done since opening in 1828. The builder had been Robert Stephenson, no less. It had been horse worked during its whole existence until, in 1963, the horse then in use died and a tractor was substituted. 20th October, 1963.'

By my reckoning, that horse was 135 years old.... no wonder it died. (I know ... I have a very strange sense of humour).

Love the shiny red paint on the tractor... I wonder how long it stayed like that?
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Postby Thin Layman » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:37 pm

There was a good feature on the Nantlle tramway with good pictureas of both horse- and tractor- hauled stock in 'Railway Bylines' magazine last year...
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Postby Cross Kitter » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:42 pm

There is also a picture I posted on here somewhere (I've forgotten where exactly) but think it was in "Random Stack' em and Wreck' em" where a fork lift is used as a shunter.
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Postby Broadoak » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:54 pm

I did the two day Watford Finescale Show this year on my own so it was difficult taking any pictures. I did manage to get a few early on the Sunday morning before the show opened. This layout which was just behind me may be of interest.

Dougal Corporation Tramways OOn3

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A small layout with two parallel tracks and a revolving sector plate at each end so the models could be turned round. This was needed as the models were horse drawn trams with no reversing facility. The horses were animated with a system of levers made from thin stiff wire and looked most realistic pulling the tram along the road in front of the shops.

This layout was set up on a table without a backscene and I apologise for the poor quality pictures.

There was always a large crowd around this exhibit drawn by the sophisticated hi-tech sound system being employed. This consisted of three pairs of different size coconut shells, these being small, medium and large. The whole thing looked to be a lot of fun.
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Postby Adrian » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:51 am

G'day folks

Peter --- I was really interested in the Dougal Corporation Tramways OOn3. The fact that the hoses were animated ---- AND in 4mm scale as well. That really is amazing :!:

I have also thought of doing something similar (but in a larger scale) and have even downloaded a short video of the skeleton of a horse walking to get the gait correct but never got any further.

Thanks for posting the pictures --- they might get me re-started again --- or maybe not

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Postby Gerry Bullock » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:27 am

Broadoak wrote:There was always a large crowd around this exhibit drawn by the sophisticated hi-tech sound system being employed. This consisted of three pairs of different size coconut shells, these being small, medium and large. The whole thing looked to be a lot of fun.


Not sure if this is the same layout that appeared some years back at Expo NG, however the animated horses plus coconuts were present and I gather from the exhibitors, in what was a small room, that it came close to a murder scene as a result of the incessant "clipperty-clop" throughout the day. :roll:
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Postby Thin Layman » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:57 pm

Getting back to tractors, surely there's mileage in using a commercially available radio-controlled tractor to shunt wagons in an inglenook layout, for example?

Not sure that anyone's done this before?

I don't know whether 'vintage' tractors are available as RC models. Most of the RC models around, having done a quick search (Britains, Ertl, etc) seem to be 1:32 to me, but I suppose a dedicated Gnutter could just possibly 'bash' a big 1:32 tractor into a small tractor in a larger scale.

I bet you'd get a lot of people wanting a go at shows!

This sort of thing was more common than the relative dearth of pictures would suggest, particularly in the post-war period.

To give another narrow gauge example, Snailbeach District Railways (a Col. Stephens operation originally) ran for roughly 20 years whilst owned by the County Council using exclusively tractors for mineral haulage...
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Postby Adrian » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:15 am

G'day folks

The idea of coconuts for sound effects for the horses, while very low-tech and easy to use (KISS); they do have the disadvantage of no volume control -- as an exhibitor of many years and having the misfortune of being placed close to layouts with excessive sound effects several times, I would suggest that exhibition managers incorporate a sound level meter in their arsenal to help solve exhibitor disputes to avoid any unnecessary bloodshed.

The idea of RC tractors running around the layout sound like a great idea. Certainly no problem with dirty track!

One of our members has done something similar, (Randim Stackam & Wrackum Inc by John Garaty:

http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t= ... 1f5fe665b3)

Although he used a forklift not a tractor and he moved the loads not the wagons.

Maybe the mech from the forklift could be modified to fit into a tractor ? ----it certainly has a small turning circle, which seems to be the biggest problem with RC vehicles that I have come across.

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Postby Oztrainz » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:05 am

Adrian wrote:Maybe the mech from the forklift could be modified to fit into a tractor ? ----it certainly has a small turning circle, which seems to be the biggest problem with RC vehicles that I have come across.


Adrian :!: NOT ANOTHER DisTRACTION :!: :!:

Here's how to do it with a mininum of effort and modifications to your forkie:

1 - Either remove/store the forks or move them out to wider than your wagons

2 - Fabricate either a fixed knuckle coupler or suitable drawhook/loop that can be clipped to the rack on the mast that holds the forks

3 - Want to couple up ? - line coupler up with coupler on wagon & bump up

4 - want to uncouple? just raise the mast, back away and leave wagons behind :D
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Postby Adrian » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:25 am

G'day again all

Thinking about the speed of the fork lift/tractors I think that possibly a new motor, with an extra gear or two could bring the speed down to a more manageable level.

Or if that is not physically possible it might be possible to slow the motor using either a resistor (probably not a good idea), a couple of diodes (better ---- maybe not ?) or an electronic circuit to produce a series of pulses similar to the output of a PWM controller (probably the best engineering solution).

Will have to pull my fork-lift apart to see what is actually possible.

Although I USED to have a tracked vehicle with a suitably slow speed which would have been eminently suitable. From memory it would have been capable of driving over code 100 track without really thinking about it. Unfortunately I left it behind when I came out to Oz in '69.

Getting back to the original point of this thread. Just thought that you might be interested in my first attempt at an animal propelled vehicle.

Built in the mid 80's in OO9 scale with a Kato motor bogie for propulsion.
No animation for the legs but the camel is pivoted so the whole thing bends around corners.

Although shunned by 'rivet counters' was popular with the kids at exhibitions -- especially when the camel stopped at an operating water tower for a drink.

Hasn't run for a number of years now but I hate to think just how many miles (kilometres) it has actually travelled. Big advantage of camels over horses ???? No coconuts required !

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Postby Igor » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:03 pm

I was thinking 14mm gauge scratchbuilt in 00 scale for Nantlle. This works out at exactly 3' 6", and you wouldn't need any proprietary mechanisms to be available because no locos would have to run on it.

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Postby Igor » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:09 pm

I just found this as well: http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/PetitTrains2.html

There is an orange "tractor" hauling normal, rail-mounted Decauville coaches. Ironically, it has been disguised as a train.


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