Friday, 13 December 2013


The selection of a backdrop method was made easier when Trevor Hodges posed his trials on his Blog 7mm Aussie on Word Press. The depth achieved is illustrated by the before and after photographs below which were copied from the Trevors blog with the article confirming the selection of photographic backdrops supplied by Haskell Models for Spicers Creek over any dreams of using painted backdrops. 

Mock up backdrops at Morphet Station [Trevor Hodges]

Mounting the backdrops.
The selected backdrop for the Spicier Creek is Barinore which will provide the best match to the tree line seen at Spicers Creek. These can be seen on MRRC web site - click here

The backdrops are printed on self adhesive vinyl which can be applied directly to the cove incorporated into the module and if you use the sky supplied this would be quite acceptable. However the size of the cove and use of a painted sky precludes this and based on previous experience a backdrop looks at its best when a shadow line is created and this requires mounting on a backing. This has another benefit in that it allows the backdrop to be reused on another layout.

The best material for a backing is 5 mm foam core and when it was found that it was available in black the choice was made.

To fit the vinyl place the foam core on a floor and start applying the vinyl  by removing about 30 mm of the adhesive covering and fix to the foam core. Next slowly roll back the covering to expose another 30 - 50 mm of the backdrop and using the palm of the hand to rub it onto the foam backing. The backing is rolled up and it supports the exposed adhesive before application to the backing.

Stop ever 250 - 300 mm and rub the area to ensure complete contact with the backing and repeat the above.

Once complete, cut the backdrop free from the sheet and flip over to fit the spacers. These are cut from scrap foam core. The first one is about 100 wide and is used to join the two sheets into one assembly. Using a new sharp [dangerous] 25 mm wide box cutter blade remove the unwanted portion of the sky by cutting into the mountains on the backdrop. Based on experience smooth flowing cuts following the printed mountain profile looks the best. Attempts that try to follow the printed profile exactly seem to always end up looking fake. At the base 40 mm was left extending beyond the backdrop as this allows the scene position to be adjusted in the module to achieve the best visual integration.

Spacers cut from scrap foam

Then about every 400 mm vertical spacer are added to the backing for the full length of the assembly. These spacer create a shadow when fitted to the backdrop and this enhances the appearance of the backdrop assembly when mounted on a painted sky. These should be about 20 mm short of the top of the mountain line.

The adhesive shown in the photographs is 3M adhesive tape 50 wide x 0.5 mm thick - hot melt works well here also.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Electrical Bus

While the writer favors soldered connections it can be quite difficult when building a DCC power bus because of the need to expose the copper wire. This has lead to re-examining 'Suitcase Connectors' or Insulation Displacement Connectors (IDC's) which allow connection of track feeder to main bus (power supply) wires without having to strip or solder.  

To connect these connectors simply place the crimp over the wires and close the cutter with a pair of pliers. The metal tab pierces the insulation and connects the wires together ensuring a reliable mechanical connection of both wires.

Suitcase Connectors (IDC #567 Brown) for bus sizes #10-12 (max insulation OD .190 inch) and feeder sizes #14-18 (max. insulation OD of 0.145''). Package of 25. These are available from Micro Mart as there is no distribution in Australia.

Track power is supplied from the main bus that rings the completed layout with a NCE EB1 circuit breaker located in the modules electrical panel providing power for the track-work. The panel is located in drawers fitted in each module as outlined in the Modules Article.

The modules power bus is constructed with multi core 1.0 mm square bus and 0.5 mm square for track feeders. 

         Colour code for modules:
                                                        Red / Black  - Track Bus & Feeders
                                                        Blue - Common feeder for point frogs.

Track Connections
Each length of rail has a brass tab 45 mm x 2.5 soldered to the underside of the web. After the rail is spiked into position a tab fitted through a hole drill in the road base, soldered to the rail and the feeder soldered to the exposed tab at the underside of the road base.

The tabs are manufactured from scrap brass etches. Tin both ends then bend one end at 4 mm at 90 degrees - this creates a connection with a small profile and is very strong. It is recommended that a paste flux such as  Laco Regular Soldering Flux be used.

Track connection

It is CRITICIAL that before commencing assembly that it is confirmed the crimp makes contact with the copper wire of the bus and feeder. 

Even though the wire used meet specification there was a no connection on one of the first crimps. After investigation it was concluded that it was bad crimp but it dose open the possibility of poor connections being created during the crimping process. To be sure each cutter was removed and the larger cutter was given a few light taps to close it just a little. The wire was purchased from the local electronics shop and is a Chinese wire so for the rest of the project wire from a reputable supplier will be sourced. 

The first few crimps should be inspected carefully to confirm that the cutter and wire are operating correctly by exposing the edge of the copper on the wire. An alternative is to connect each feeder to the track as the last operation and buzz it before soldering to the tab. Overall this process offers a excellent way to speed up bus connection on any layout but materials should be checked for correct performance before commencing large scale assembly.

Bus Construction
Fixed end with cup hooks
The module bus is constructed from two lengths of 1.0 mm square insulated wire cut to fit between the former's. Fit a 6 mm ring crimp at both ends and do not strip wire insulation to insulate the wire from the rings. 

One end is fitted to a cup hook and the other has a tension spring is fitted between the hook and the ring crimp. The overall length of the wire is set to apply tension to the assembly and keeps the bus under tension making installing pillow blocks easier while keeping the bus tidy.

Cable Fixing Feeders

Friday, 25 October 2013

Spicers Creek Module A

Control Logic

Control Logic Deck Girder Bridges
The 3 span Deck Girder Bridge are equipped with separate NCE BOD's to allow each span's speaker to coordinate with the presence of rolling stock on that span allowing the sound to follow a train across the three spans. Sound is supplied by a pair ModelFXs Sound Byte sound player's fitted with a bridge rumble file. The sound player's are set to continuous play with one leg of each speaker wired through a NCE Dual Relay [dr] normally open contact. The NCE BOD [bod] detects the presence of a piece of rolling stock then sends an input to the NCE Mini Panel which triggers a output of the NCE Switch 8 operating the NCE Dual Relay coil which connects the speaker simulating the rumble created by the rolling stock running over that span. 

The length of the detector rail for the BOD's on the 1st and 3rd spans starts about 35 mm from the start of the span allowing the rolling stock to on the span before starting the sound. The middle span is a full length detector.

Control Logic Bridge Fans
The detectors on the opposite track triggers the fan controlled by a D13SR decoder operating fan's to move the mist collected in the creek bed by ultra sonic mist generators. The equipment control logic is the same as sound coordination for the bridge. 

The fans are controlled by the flickering firebox option applied to one of the four function outputs of the D13SR to create a fluky air movement. Each output will run through a voltage dropping circuit as the fans are 5V DC and the intend is to operate them at 3 volts and its hoped that this will move the mist around not blow it away. The first fan is begin prepared to be installed and is seen in the far right span. All the wire are to connect to the speakers, fans and track detectors.

Three span bridge before installation

The black wires are soldered to the underside of the rail and the rail will be isolated in five places for detectors

The large bundle of cables that have been cable tied in the foreground are to connect the bridge devices to their respective electronics located in the electronics drawer.  All the other bundles are for other specialized sounds to be incorporated. The red and black wires are feeder connecting to the track bus located at the rear of the layout.

Control Logic Flange Ring 
Flange ring [squeal] is controlled in the same manner as the the bridge sound and is located at two points on the curve before the three deck bridges leading to Goomla.

Control Logic Signal
The distance signal is controlled using a TAM Valley Dual 3 Way II decoder and servo. The decoder allows the operation of the Semophore in the two positions required with important feature its ability to simulate blade bounce. 

Sound will be created and coordinated with the operation of the signal to pull the signal chain using a light tension spring at a later date.

All the electronic hardware is fitted into the module drawer to allow repairs and diagnostics to be undertaken from one central point

Control uses a large amounts of wire as each circuit generally requires 2 cores. The use of 4 core alarm cable is the most practical means to supply the necessary cores and organization. This module has had 100 meters of cable laid in in preparation to connect the systems outlined and for other single point effects such as windmill, smoke and environmental sounds to help create the dynamic sound as discussed on a previous article sound control

Personal Comment
Will this all work?  

We are getting closer to finding out and there its a fine line between success and ridicule.

This is all a big unknown but as outlined at the start of this blog the writer believes there has never been a better time to try to create a "Theater for the Mind". Not my words but a perfect description for what is being attempted - time is required for judgement.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Gang Shed

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

As installed Spicers Creek

Gang Shed Fittings

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

Fettlers Cottage

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

Crossing Sign

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

Sketch 3 applies to Spicers Creek

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rabbit Trap Gangway

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

For more information go to Rabbit Traps Article

Monday, 21 October 2013

Distance Signal

Courtesy Ray Pilgrim 2013

Friday, 18 October 2013

Mile Posts

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

Road Crossing

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fence Details

Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013


Courtesy Bob Merchant / Ray Pilgrim 2013

Power Poles

The NSWGR recycled old rail for fences and power poles along the full length of its right of way. Ray Pilgram provided a series of photographs showing a series of line side power poles in various locations and while all are of a similar construction but there are too many variants to cover in this article.

Pole Construction


3D Solid Model Rendered Image 

The image for the cross arms was extracted from a Ray Pilgrim photograph taken at Werris Creek and clearly shows the arm construction allowing the 3D model to be created and the parts sent out for rapid prototyping. The model is about 25% oversize to allow the detail to be reproduced and to allow urethane casting. A separate photo of the Silver City Comet taken in the 80's out west provided a template for the poles.  

Technical Notes
Ray Pilgram on his Bylong Blog has posted some PDFs on the technical detail related to the installation of telephone poles on NSW Railways plus some additional notes of interest

The main document "Line Route Maintenance & Construction" has all the relevant details for those seeking to construct the rail based poles. There are another series of manuals for wooden construction on the same site for those seeking an alternative to rail. 

Cheat Notes:
The relevant points for modelling are listed below

Minimum rail length 30 feet [9 meters]

Spacing 165 feet [50 meters]

Standard cross arms are either 6 pin or 8 pin

The base of the rail faces the running track

The cross arm faces the Sydney side of the line except where wire stays are required and it can be varied for this

Cross arms for 6 pin are 3'' x 3'' x 5,-3'' [75 x 75 x 1600] - Timber tallow wood.

Cross arms for 8 pin are 3'' x 3'' x 8,-3'' [75 x 75 x 2500] - Timber tallow wood.

For complete detail link to Ray Blog and review the manual linked above.

Model Construction
Code 100 rail was used for posts cut 280 mm long [40 scale feet] with a etched brass V and urethane cross-arm with Peco pins rejected for spiking used to pin the V to the arm and rail. The spacer between the base of the V and the rail face is a length of 1/16'' diameter Styrene is drilled 0.020'' [0.5] and a Peco Track pin pushed through. 

All the rails and etches were sprayed using Tamyia Red-Brown with the the cross arm painted in Tamyia Sky Grey and finally the insulators with Hombrol Gloss White Enamel. This should be done before assembly. A alternative is gray for the V to represent galvanized finish - White Knight SLS primer is perfect and need no additional painting. 

The wire will be simulated using Berkshire Junction EZ Line heavy green between the poles. The green was selected as it provides a superior effect to other colors with the light catching the line in a most realistic manner when installed. The main feature of this line is its elastic construction preventing small strikes breaking the line with the disadvantage begin a lack of catenary sag but in service this has proven to be a practical sacrifice. An alternative is to use 0.010 [0.25 mm] CMA phosphor bronze wire that can be purchased on special order from the Model RR Craftsman.

The poles on Spicers Creek are set at 27 - 30 feet above track and at  120 - 150 mm from the edge of the running rail. The centres are set at 700 mm [100 scale feet] to give a sense of distance while reducing the load on the poles. On curves the poles have to be closer due to restriction on space and the tight radius of model curves [1625 mm] which if not allowed for will create a chunky appearance. The module the poles were positioned visually to provided a suitable appearance in the module. The elastic wire will require the addition of a stay at the last pole in each module. On the Spicers Creek the start was terminated in the styrene backdrop and in between the poles the loads cancel out.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Modular Layout

After much discussion with Ben & Geoff Small it was decided that it would be a good exercise to take the layout to the next level - well not really but the growing reality of the task to create a dream layout focused by creating Spicers Creek and with the small amount completed to date combined with a desire to have a operating layout and a very occasional exhibition layout created the new arrangement shown above.

One of the issues of all exhibition layouts is 80% of the infrastructure is not a public one and this is a real problem in O scale where the minimum radius is 1550 mm [5 feet]. This design seeks to maximize the public viewing for the layout footprint. The viewing area is 22.8 meters [74 feet]  with a 10.5 x 4.9 meters [34 x 16 feet] foot print providing 86% of the perimeter as viewing area with the back against a wall. The issue has to be if exhibition managers are willing to provide a location with all sides view-able and the back against a wall.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Rabbit Traps

The Railway Crossing at Spicers Creek Road which would lead to the Station has two distinct concrete structures located at both sides. When these were first noted it was assumed that they were another culvert or cattle grid but at first inspection the construction showed no apparent exit in fact it formed a pit approximately 4 feet deep. 

The explanation was to be reveled in a conversation with Chris Wangman at the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention 2013. When these strange concrete pits were described to Chris explained that were a rabbit trap...! 

This raised more questions than answers but there was now a new must model feature on the Spicers Creek models as it was intended to include the road crossing as a scenic feature. Following the introduction of myxomatosis to control rabbits in the 1950s, the importance of rabbit-proof fences and traps diminished.

Pit at either side of road crossing - Spicers Creek
Stops and both flanks of pit

View at center

The construction seems quite convoluted at first glance and no details seem to exist anywhere and most modelers have never heard of such a feature on NSWGR - the mystery deepened.

On a recent trip to gather more data and scenery materials time was taken to measure the pit for 3D modeling and manufacture.

Proposed Pit Design

The 3D rendered model is a result of a best guess of the construction based on discussion within the group working on the module. We summarize that the 4 bolts were used to fix a 12'' x 8'' timber [refer Rabbit Trap Gangway] with the rail supported across the opening by a Universal Beam [U.B.]   A 18'' deep beam fits between the underside of the rail. Standard NSWGR rabbit fencing would have been installed along the right of way and short wings installed on the road side to the rails for that purpose.

The use of the series of undercuts in the top side of the wall still made no structural sense until as a group the concept of a trap was full embraced.

A rabbits road to destruction

The question of the reasoning behind these installations is now history but was recently answered by Paul Baker from his conversation with old railway hand at the Arimdale Rail Museum. He explained that the farmer's were required to control rabbits on their property's by the Pastoral Protection Board but the NSWGR was exempt. In time the farmers prevailed on their property's so the rabbits moved to the railway right of way. Here they were safe as the farmer could not enter and the railway were not interested. Two events combined to create a sense of urgency for the NSWGR. The first was the rabbits began to borough in the road base which ultimately lead to collapses and secondly farmers decided to group together and to sue the railways for the damage from their rabbits on their  land. 

The NSWGR found the solution in the using a combination of rabbit proof fences and traps. This allowed the rabbits to be eradicated along the right of way by destroying their boroughs while the fences prevented escape onto the land at either side. The rabbit trap seal the end and provided the final point for extermination. 

Rabbit trap or Modeling trap
In the illustration above shows two possible paths to destruction for rabbits. The trap is mirrored about the track center and repeated on the opposite side with the wall and cast in trenches forming a maize. Any rabbit approaching along the outside of the rail would come up against the 12'' high wall but is presented with a small drop and path down - this would match the rabbits natural instinct to enter borough so it follows the trench along the face of the wall to be presented with another small drop between the end of the wall and the face of the U.B. [not shown for clarity]. Again the rabbit follows the path that worked before and is now faced with a 40'' drop into a pit with no exit and as rabbit cannot turn or back up easily it is trapped with few options,

The center follows the same logic but is much shorter and direct but has the same result for the rabbit. The trenches also would have promoted water to fill the pit in wet periods further increasing deadly nature of the trap.

Rabbit Stop at Yard exit -Spicers Creek

This Rabbit Trap is found on the Spicers Creek side and marks the location of the Spicers Creek Station exit in an embankment. The rabbit trap shown above is located at the yard exit at Spicers Creek and are shown on the plans for the Spicers Creek Yard that Chris Wangmann has as part of his research on the line. The conclusions are supported by plans found for a shunters gangway for rabbits traps [NSWGR Plan #F1846] recently found by Ray Pilgrim and now in the data section of the blog.

Culvert located between Spicers and Drill Creek

This detail is the same as the rabbit trap design but without the wall and channel but suggests that the rabbit trap design is a modification of this standard culvert.

Friday, 20 September 2013

MFX's Deck Girders

Deck Girder Construction and Modifications.
The 24' Deck Girders Bridges are manufactured by Waratah Models using all etch brass construction making them ideal to integrate MFxs. The notes below cover some tips for assembly and the modifications to integrate the MFxs

Parts were separated from the frets using a pair of 100 mm pair of stainless steel scissors. These are excellent for trimming off the fine attachment that bind the parts into the fret. They however only last 3 or 4 kits before loosing the edge so purchase a few as they are cheap.

The girders will require a timber jig to solder the top and bottom flanges in there correct relationship to the web. The jigs packers were laminated from 0.5 mm scale lumber to center the flange on the web. The assembly was soldered using 0.5 mm rosin cored electrical solder and paste flux using a temperature controlled iron set at 400 deg C with a chisel tip. Check that the web is located about the flange center-line before soldering the rivet strips.

Timber Jig with flanges installed - Finished girder above

The construction of the kit was altered by removing the internal cross bracing and replacing it with a folded brass channel 45 mm wide x 5 mm high x 0.4 mm thick x 150 mm long.

Tip: When folding metal you gain a gauge at each fold line [material thickness]-to obtain a finished width of 45 mm two metal thickness are deducted to locate the fold lines. The girder sides a packed with tissue paper saturated with water and applied to absorb the heat required to fit the channel.

The top side of the channels supported in its correct position using to strips of 5 mm square lumber - this dimension is not critical. Low temperature [280 deg C] solder is applied at three points along the flange of the channel with heat applied using a propane torch. Start at one end and allow the assembly to cool and move to the opposite end - repeat at the center.

Clean check alignment and repeat for the opposite side


All etches for vertical angles are folded using a "Hold and Fold" from the Small Shop as hand folding proved impractical. After folding the vertical flange there is a notch formed at the end of the angle to fit over the rivet strip located at the base of the flanges. If it is not correctly formed remove a metal thickness at both ends - see photo below. 

Fit to the instructions provided by the manufacturer and solder using 0.5 mm rosin core solder and a propane torch.

Solder located against vertical ready for soldering
Only the front verticals were installed to allow the channel spreader to be fitted

Tip: Apply the heat gently to melt the flux and then move in closer to quickly to build temperature at the center and melt the solder. The heat is initially applied at the center of the vertical on the opposite side to the solder and when at the solder appear to distort move the flame to the other side. Repeat for each verticals allowing most of the heat to dissipate between applications.

The angle spreaders and associated bracing are installed across the girders top and bottom.

The sound effects are created by a ModelFXs Sound-Byte Player with the bridge rumble file using a exciter speaker mounted about the bridge bent spreader centers.

The exciter speakers were purchased from Parts Express and fixed to the inside face of the channel using the self adhesive mounting pad. A exciter's frequency response and sensitivity are completely dependent on the exciter's designated surface. Thinner, smaller materials will tend to be louder and facilitate mid/tweeter response. Thicker, larger materials will be slightly quieter but result in a more full-range sound.

HiWave HIAX 19C01- 8 19 mm Metal Cup Exciter Specifications:Power handling: 3 watts RMS •Nominal impedance: 8 ohms • Mounting diameter at face: 22 mmBody diameter 40 mm(including terminals) x 13 mm H • Weight: 29 grams.

The ModelFXs Bridge sound file is as dimensionless [speed] as practical but still creates a fixed relationship to equipment crossing the bridge so a fixed speed restriction will be applied in that area of the layout.

Sound and Control Logic Overview
The player plays the sound on continuous loop with one of the speaker wired run through the normally open contact of a NCE Dual Relay. A BOD20 detects the presence of a train and triggers an output on a NCE Mini Panel with code associated with that output triggering an output on a NCE Switch 8 stationary decoder activating the coil on the Dual Relay connecting the speaker. This approach combined into the three bents using the same logic allows the sound to effectively follow a locomotive across each bents.

Air Movement
To create a sense of motion the air movement associated with trains crossing a bridge is to be simulated with a fan. The fan is used to push away mist at the base of the bridge which is created with a ultrasonic mist generators. These will be employed during the night to fill the creek bed with water mist for the early morning trains to run through.

Ultrasonic Mist Fogger 24v DC

Two axial 5V DC fan are fitted at the entrance's of the center bent and are coordinated by the locomotive using a pair of BOD20's located on the opposite rail to the sound triggers. The fans are mounted between the girders pointed too the creek bed and are controlled using two NCE D13SRJ functions with the firebox flicker effect assigned to the function to flicker the fan creating flukey air movement of the real world. The D13SRJ decoder are controlled by the code in a NCE Mini Panel associated with the triggering BOD20.

Fan 5v DC - 20 x 20 x 10 mm

Control Logic Overview
All electronics will be located in the module drawers fitted to the base of the module frames. This will allows repair and diagnostics to be achieved without removing models and electronic hardware from the layout. Full schematic and control logic will be found in the article on Spicers Creek Control Logic

Wrap up
MFxs cannot replicate real life as scaling effects are difficult to overcome but MFxs is an attempt to suspended the reality of a viewer and if that is achieved the goal has been achieved. Only time will tell if the result is success but for this builder simulation is the next frontier in all our hobbies involving modeling and motion and there has never been a better time to try.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Track Laying

Curved Track
Curved rail is prepared in advance as per the straight rail except it is curved to radius to fit its location. Preparing curved track work is not very different than building straight track work and does not require any special skills. The real difference is that the rail's needs to be curved. To ensure that the rail is properly pre-bent into shape consider purchasing a Fast Tracks Rail Roller.

The Fast Track Rail Roller tool will not only make it easy to create smooth consistent curves, but will also ensure that the rail is properly pre-bent so that it will retain its shape over time. For curves use  track gauges to ensure smooth curved track work and is especially important at joints between individual sleeper bases.

Failure to properly pre-bend the rail for curved track work will result in failure over time! 

Track Laying General.
After preparing the road base and ensuring it is 100% flat the time has come to install the track work. What will be outlined here is the basic technique applied to that task. 

The golden rule is bad track work CANNOT be fixed...!

Curved Rail ready for Installation
The base as shown was fixed using acrylic sealant to the layout road base following the drawn center line and once the primer is dried the rail is inserted onto the tie plates in 840 mm length [ 40 feet x 3]. Each piece of rail is prepared for metal rail joiners at both ends and the plastic 6 bolt rail joiners are applied at  40 scale feet as described in the  the Turnout article.

Drilling Tie Plates for Spikes
The choice of the Peco Track Pins is described in the article on Turnouts which worked with no real issues so when problems occurred when spiking the rail it was a shock and required a rethink. The problem lied with the laser cut ply bases that the sleepers are attached to combined with the weakness of the pins. The pins fold up trying to be pushed through the ply base. 

Initially 0.020' [0.5 mm] drill was used but the pins just slipped into holes with little apparent holding power. The real issue was the short life and cost so another way had to be found. The answer was found in spring wire 0.020'' [0.5 mm] which was filed into a simple D bit by grinding 5 degree taper then form a point at the end. Using a small battery drill and chuck the wire drill cleanly through the sugar pine sleeper and ply base. In most cases the pins press in with a slight pressure were the pins fold up re-drill till success is achieved. These drills will bend to unbelievable angles without breaking and a length of piano wire will supply as many as any project would need. Another advantage is that the hole created appears to close up after the pin is inserted and develops excellent holding power.


Another problem was found with the foam base - it dose not resist pressure well but it was found that a scale ruler spreads the load enough to overcome this problem. To make this task easier adhesive was not applied at at the edges of the sleeper base.

Electrical Connection

Each rail is connected to the bus with 0.5 mm multi-core wire soldered to a brass tabs which in turn is soldered to the base of the rail . Even though the rail joiners are brass castings you do not depend on them to transmit DCC signal that the job of the wire.

Spiking Rail

When spiking it is critical that when the spike is inserted that it follow the path of the drilled hole. The shape point is necessary to successfully insert the pin but it will generate its own path and will fold the pin. 

In practice it has been found that the head of the pin should be bent from the normal axis to obtain a tighter fit. This is best done by drilling the hole at 5 degrees to the vertical. The pin is inserted until the spike pliers strikes the rail flange - using the pliers bend the head into the vertical and complete the insertion of the spike to the flange base

The Final Result

At this point the track is ready for weathering and ballasting which will be covered in separate articles.

Is there a downside its the speed but a looking at the finished product you are reminded it is all worth while - I think...!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Goolma today is a small village on the proposed Ulan Line but would be the major station on the layout in its finished form. At this time I have not given much thought to it final incarnation other that to do a proposed layout .

On a visit to Spicers Creek to measure the bridge abutments and when passing through the town a flash on concrete was noted. A stroll down a path reviled one of the many abutments on the line but this one screamed to me "Model It" .There published here for a little inspiration.

Abutment Spicers Creek End

Abutment Goomla End - road side 

Abutment Spicers Creek End - road side

Looking back to Goomla

Looking to roadway - not seen

Rear of Church - rail to cross road on opposite side

Culvert looking from Front of Church - line to Spicers Creek