Author Topic: The Rail Grinding Train Thread  (Read 8050 times)

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fcnrwy23

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The Rail Grinding Train Thread
« on: July 16, 2016, 04:34:33 PM »
+3
The Rail Grinding Train Thread

I have always been fascinated by the Odd Equipment that I had seen riding the rails.  Mostly, during my early Railfanning days.
I had wanted to add these pieces of equipment to my own collection.  But, unfortunately, like most things in early N-Scale (early-1990s). There wasn't many pieces being made of just about anything.  Let a lone, Maintenance of Way items. Which were non-existent.
So, along with my usual kitbashing and scratch-building of the usual items. Upgrading Engines and Rolling Stock.  I started to built up a small sample of Maintenance of Way equipment.

My first projects where, Hi-Rail trucks.  I then went on to build, tracked pieces of M of Way equipment.


FCN Hi-Rail trucks and the smaller tracked pieces. (Ballast Reg, Tie Crane and Tamper).

As my modeling got better. I made a few larger pieces.  Most of these were built from photographs.  That, I had taken or were given to me.
Or in the case of building the P811, my info came from a VHS tape.  Which, I don't think is still available.
I did finish the model. But, ended up destroying the VHS tape in the process of getting most of the details.



P811 Track Renewal Train, it is "missing" its' flatcar "Concrete Tie" loads..


Ballast Cleaner (I am trying this weekend to upgrade it with a DCC-ed Kato 11-103 mech. chassis)

   But, all of these were just "static display" pieces.   
I wanted to model, equipment that could operate on their own, just like a train.

The Rail Grinding Train...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 12:30:08 PM by GaryHinshaw »

fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 06:17:42 PM »
+1

The Rail Grinding Train...

I only saw them in person, twice.
One was a Loram Company train.  And the second was a Pandrol Jackson.   The latter company had since been folded into Harsco Corp.   

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1436077  Loram train.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1259173  Harsco train.

I started to make a "Loram" train. But, the way they were built.  Proved to be out of my modeling experience at that time.  The small space of the power units, also.  Left me with little room in the model for any possible electronics.  Which, I assumed would be necessary for all of the bells and whistles.  That I was hoping to use.
So, I dropped the Loram idea, and started the Pandrol Jackson, now Harsco train.

In a lot, of my Kit-bashing and Scratch-building work.  I like to use as many "model pieces" as much as possible.
It makes a lot of the construction work, much easier.  And it allows me to, "Customize" my work.
Since, I don't have any access to vacuum forming or casing materials.
ALL of my work is Styrene-based.  Either in, model parts or styrene shape stock. (Rods, tubes, dimensional shapes, etc.). So, I try to use what I have on hand.

The Train Consists:
     The Trains, usually consist of  (2) Control Cars, (2) Power Cars, (3) Grinding Cars, (2-3) Tankcars (water and other fluids) and (1-2) Dormitory Cars (for the crews).
I decided to model, a "Shorten" version of this train.   I kept the (2) Control Cars, but would go with only (1) Power Car, (1) Tankcar, (2) Grinder Cars and an as an option, a Dormitory Car.

Building Process:
Now, Since I had a plan.  I needed to see what I had for parts.  I first went through my "inventory" of model pieces.
As fate would have it. I had (6) MDC/Roundhouse 57' Mech. Reefer cars on hand.   They consisted of a Plastic body, with a cast metal frame.  I could easliy modify the body with styrene details.  And the metal base made for a good stable platform for the proposed electronics.
     After studying, a lot of photographs of the Grinder and Control Cars.  I concluded that I would simulate the "End porches" of the car bodies.  By cutting a small end section out.  And used styrene stock to make the End Walls, Doors and Floors.
In my parts bin, I had a sample of End Rail from a, Atlas "Extended Cab" caboose.  This part, allowed me to add some nice, end railing detail.  I needed five more of them.  And was lucky that Atlas Parts Dept. still had them in stock.


The Atlas Caboose end detail, added to the end of a Grinder Car.

As I was working on the Cars' End details.  The problem of how to work the Cab portion of the Control Cars, was also addressed.   Since, I am lousy at drilling and cutting, "perfectly square" window holes. (I can never get them, square enough. To MY liking).
I happened upon the thought of using the Cabs from the Atlas Bxx-7 models in my inventory.  ( I had a "ton" of them!).  After a few measurements and a 'test' cut.  I found that I could make them work and save myself a lot of cutting.
I also wanted to make the project of handrails, easier.  And found if I, Grafted-on the front sill/frame from a Bxx-7 loco body.  I could use the handrails from the units as well. 


A modified cab and front sill assembly from a Atlas Bxx-7.

So. now I had the core of the Control and Grinder cars, figured out.
Next would come the process of ironing-out the core models for the Power and Dormitory cars...

To Be Continued..........

Jerry G.






craigolio1

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2016, 10:30:48 PM »
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Awesome. Your earlier pieces are very cool as well. I remember driving by the CPR yard near my house as a kid and wondering what all of that cool stuff is. My railroad will be in constant need of maintenance.

Craig

ljudice

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2016, 09:34:21 AM »
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Nice!


fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2016, 12:58:24 PM »
+1


The Rail Grinding Thread.   continued....

On closer inspection of the prototype train.  I was amazed of what the builders had used for the basis, for it's Power Car.
I discovered that the unit was an exBN B30-7AB locomotive. (One of a group of 100.  That the BN had had during the 1990s.  After their leases were up.  Most of them were scattered in the wind.) The frame, sill, trucks and fuel tank had been reused.  With, rest of the body having been fabricated.

Since, the BXX-7 model is the basic locomotive type on the FCN.   I had that problem licked. And just took one out from inventory.
As for the body.  I found out after some quick measurements.  That the MDC shell was the same width and just about the same length, as the Atlas BXX-7.
The hard work was making the shell match with the sill/frame.  I wanted the resulting assembly, to be removable.  Just like the original shell.
So, after some cutting.  I cut down the height of the BXX-7 body (leaving enough of it to utilize the mounting dimples). With the placement of some additional styrene stock at key locations.  I was able to make the body shell fit squarely on the BXX-7 sill.  With the original mounting locations the same.   Maintenance on the unit would be no problem.... 


The Modifications needed to make the Reefer body fit.


The finished modified locomotive and reefer shell, just before attachment.

The Crew Dormitory Car..




fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2016, 01:27:01 PM »
+1

A view of the near-completed Power Car.  After all of the main components have been added..




The Crew Dorm Car...

The design of the dormitory car, was up in the air for a while.  As, I had seen a couple of variations used.  One being the use of some old passenger coach cars.
The prototype, used some custom-fabricated bodies.  Mounted to 89 foot flatcars. 

       I did not have any 89-footers in stock.  But, I had acquired a number of Kato passenger cars, of various types over the previous years.
The car the I had the most of, were the 75 foot Baggage cars.  To help 'disguise" the origins of this car.  I blanked-out all of the doors, except for one, and added a vestibule to one end.  For the steps, I went back to my BXX-7 stock pile.  To add some extra detail, I also cut out some side windows.



With the Power and Dormitory cars set.  I now turned my attention to the last remaining car, of the train.

The Water Car.....




Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2016, 08:26:31 AM »
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Great job, keep us updated!
I love MOW stuff too. I totally agree there's not enough of that stuff available.

craigolio1

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2016, 04:26:52 PM »
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Yup yup. We should have a thread just to post MOW models.

fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 06:22:17 PM »
+1
Ya!!!  I think the "Dirty Side" of this hobby is ignored!!!  :D

The Water car.....

Again, I went to my "parts stock" and had a MDC/Roundhouse 50 foot  general purpose tank car on hand.
On the prototype, the walkway is elevated to about 2/3s of the way up the sides of the car.    I was able to do this, with some styrene stock pieces and styrene handrail stock.  I originally had some brass ladder stock for the access ladders.  But they got damaged, sitting in the box. That,  I had the train sitting in.  The box got moved around a lot over the years..  :o.

Just recently, before I painted the train. I replaced the brass ladders with styrene ladders.



The photo below is how the train, or part of it.  Looked the last time I did anything with it...



So up to this point, I had most of the physical pieces ironed out.   But, I had not yet seriously thought about the electronics.  I did have a "vision" of what I was hoping to have the train do.
But I didn't really know how to get there....

It was at this point in time, that I shelved the project several years ago....


Jerry G


fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2016, 01:46:28 PM »
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July 30, 2016

    Well, Since I have resumed work on the Grinder Train.  The last two months, has seen a lot of final prep-work on the train cars.
I finished all the major body work on the all of the units, that needed to be done before painting.
The final coat of GTW Morency Orange was painted on, three weeks ago.
   
    Two weeks ago, I did the decaling.  I made my own decals with my Inkjet printer and the Micromark decals.  The major problem was that I can not do White-colored decals.  So, some serious time was spent on deciding on what decals were needed.
And then, three days after that, I applied the final paint coat a nice helping of Dullcote.


This is 5/8 of the train.


I missed the "F" on the front of the #920.. :scared:

Early this morning, I assembled the five parts of the train.  And "Test Ran" them on the FCN layout.  I have since, spent the rest of the morning, tweaking out the faults.
I am finding out, that some cars DONT play well together....

Here is a video on the train's first run.....


Next, will be the Electrical.....


Jerry G.


C855B

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2016, 02:23:07 PM »
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Very cool. Deep down in my own wanna-haves is a grinding train, but I'm trying to reconcile how to do modeling justice to the complex, skeletonized Loram-style grinders. We have seen these in action at night, in a surprising variety of locales*, and the fireworks show is spectacular.

Now... are grinding special effects on the to-do list? I'd suggest orange LEDs driven by welding simulators.

* - You had commented about only seeing them in action twice. In our railfan outings ranging from Georgia to California, we just seem to run into rail grinders with odd regularity. It's now to the point when we're out chasing on a normally-busy main and there are no trains for extended periods, we have to ask ourselves, "OK, where is the grinder?"
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2016, 02:33:18 PM »
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I showed my wife the video. She asks "Where are the guys on the rear platform with the fire hoses?" :D

Also, similarly, multiple times we have seen a hi-rail tank truck following a mile or so behind putting out brush fires. On one occasion it was on the edge of out of control and we were poised to dial 911 to summon the local FD. The Loram guys were able to knock it town... but barely.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2016, 04:30:50 PM »
+1
C855B -  Because of the fragile-ness of the Atlas handrails.  I plan on them being applied last, after ALL the electrical is finished..
Right now, they are still on the sacrificial sills, that they were painted on.



As far as the "Fireworks"....

I recently bought a lot of LEDs from Evans Designs.   The reason, this project got resurrected in the first place.  WAS because of the LEDs, that I had purchase from them at Trainfest last year.
In the past 6 months,  I've added interior lights to a lot of the buildings on the FCN.   With all this lighting work going on.  It got me thinking about the RGT project again.
Figuring out how to show the 'grinding process" was the main reason for the shelving of this project years ago.. 

On the 'Fire Hoses"....
I am still in the design stage on reproducing the "Fire Monitors" that they use.  I am trying to make them out of ONE piece of wire.. The Harsco unit has them in one design.  Loram has their's in a different design, that design, looks more doable..
 
The train will have wire connections between cars.    I plan on using "BLACK" wire for the electrical and "BLUE" wire for the water connections.  I have already drill-out extra deep holes on ALL the car ends.  The Connectors will be permanently attached to the end of one car.   And be 'Free" to move at the end of the adjoining car.   I have already added the "Water Lines" to the roof-edge of ALL the cars.  On one Harsco train set. The Water line is painted white, on another it is the painted the "body" color.


Jerry G.

fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2016, 04:40:16 PM »
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Body Design....

The main reason for going with the Harsco design.  Was for the fact, I did not know how much room, I would need for ALL of electronics.
Plus,  I wanted this to be a "Do-able" project for someone else.  Should anyone be interested.

Jerry G.

fcnrwy23

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Re: The Rail Grinding Train Tread
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 12:29:10 AM »
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Aug 5th, 2016

Today, I got the chance to test the "Fireworks".  As I received, my final electrical parts for this project.
As always happens.  What I plan on, does not always work.
The Flashing circuits that I had on hand.  Proved to be too unreliable.  They also, added too much wiring to an already tight space.

I had planned on using them, WITH a decoder.  But, since I have never tinkered with decoders (short of installing them).  I had no clue on what they could do.
Meaning = I got a "Crash-Course" on programing Decoders 101.

To my relief!!!  I found I could use the FX options on the Digitrax DZ-123, that I am using.   The DZ-123 has only 2 functions.  But, I was able to achieve the desired effect.
By turning both Headlight controls (F0F and F0R) to different functions.   I reprogrammed both headlights to "Gyralites".


In the photo ALL four lights are ON. 

I had planned on (hoping) to use only four LEDs per car.   One to give a "solid" color and another to "flash".   With the "Gyralite" feature, I got both.
Though, Only two are "ON" at one time.   Because, Only two are ON going Forward and two going in Reverse.  The light they give is pretty visible even under bright lights.

Tomorrow, I plan on tackling the Control Cars.  With their more complex wiring needs.  The NCE N14SR decoders, I plan on using.  Have two additional outputs which will be sorely needed.  I will need the (White) #1 function for the Front Headlights.  The (Yellow) #2 for the Rear (RED) marker lights. (The Rear Headlight)
The (Green)#3 for the Beacon on top and the (Violet) #4for the Ditch Lights. If I can fit them in...   Since, I NOW know how to use these other Outputs.  I can do away with the Flashing circuits again.

The electrical pickups, that I had purchased.  Have worked very well.  There was solid contact and very little "flicker".   Only, problem is they are very tight on the axle.  And do have an amount of drag.
Some more time, in the "test running" stage.  Will hopefully solve that problem...

Jerry G.