Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Updated track plan

Here's the improved track plan freed from infamous curved turnouts. Minimum radius is about 15 inches which should be more than enough for 40ft cars, boxcab and Alco S2 switchers.

I'm ready to build the layout and I ordered 1/4" lauan plywood to build the modules from my local home improvement store. I gonna follow the "waffle module" technic as described on S&SS website. My train room is located on the second storey of my old mid-19th century home and I don't want to struggle with large and heavy modules as I did in the past. Modules will be covered with 1" thick styrofoam to build the wharf.

I started to kitbash a Lindberg Coast Guard Tugboat into something similar to Erie's prototype. The kit box says the model is 1/72, but so far, everything scream 1/87 to me. The hull dimensions are a perfect fit for Erie's "Chicago" tugboat. I also ordered a Walthers tugboat which is far more closer to prototype than Lindberg kit. When I'll get the Walthers kit, I'll be able to better eyeball what proportion give to Lindberg's new kitbashed superstructure. If given choice, Lindberg kit could be a good stand in for "Rochester".

Walthers' carfloat is to long for the module. I'm actually thinking about heavily kitbashing it into a 2 track carfloat with the central covered catwalk as seen on old pictures. These were shorter and hold about 8 cars.

I also started to seriously investigated radio-controlled/battery power locomotives. I'll describe my idea later but I think a boxcab locomotive would be the best candidate for this serious kitbashing.


  1. Battery/radio control sounds intriguing, especially in H0.

    There's a UK company, Red Arrow Control (http://www.redarrowcontrol.co.uk/) who've been around for 10+ years doing pretty much what you're looking at. I had a play with their IR system at a model railway exhibition last year and it's pretty impressive - good slow speed and quite controllable.

    I think the real issue is space inside the locos - a boxcab would certainly give more internal space than a conventional switcher and it might also be worth considering axle-hung motors to reduce the mechanism space, giving even more room for batteries. I've a set of these H0 axle-hungs from Japan: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10260574 which are low-current draw. You'd need to fabricate a frame and bogies, but 4 of these under a switcher/boxcab would work - I've used 2 to power an East German railbus and have 4 more to try in a sprung chassis. The gearing is a tad high, but they are smooth and controllable and will run happily off a battery.

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