Monday, 29 April 2013

Layout Construction

I have progressed a bit further with the layout construction.  The end wall had a chimney breast sticking out of it, so I have now framed it out and boarded it, to give it a better finish.

I have no altered the high level shelf to take my staging area.  But as you can see I am keeping all my Stock and Buildings here just now, until I have finished the workshop at the end.  I am no master joinery, but I have managed to put a 6 inch (150mm) facer board around the edges of the layout, it sits about 10mm about the insulation.  When the road plates are added these should just sit below the top of the wood.  Way down the line I will add a curtain of sorts below to hide all the framing below and give it a more finished look.  I plan to have switches around the edge of the layout for turning building lights on and off.  These will be set back so as not to get damaged when moving around.
I have a habit of keep lengths of timber, that might be useful but I am going to have to break this and clear out all the scrap wood.  I only have the Shelves at the end to build in the Workshop and also the helix and all the woodwork will be finish.  I have the weekend off and my boy is at his granny and granddads so I should be able to make a little time to do this. 
I am going to have to start a to do list. as I don't seem to be getting any closer to putting any track down.  To save a little money I am going to design High level track platforms to take my track around the layout, as I might need to re-mortgage the house is I am to do it in Kato Track.  The laser cutter at the club rooms will help here. 
My Layout plan is coming along well in AutoCAD I now have track and the road plates in position, and I have drawn up a few buildings to see how they can fit into things.  Also now the LED's are here I can start to put buildings together with lights, I am just going have to pick up some detail parts to make them look interesting inside and out.
Again you will have to click on this to see it better.  the road system is now in with a few buildings put in to see how they would fit.  the dashed line is where I might build a bridge to join the road system up here.  I have drawn an 8 Car Bullet train in the station to make sure this fits,  10 car trains should fit on each siding ok.  I will bee to buy a few extension pieces to lengthen the station.  Some times you can over plan things, but once I start to build stuff it will be a good reference tool, and can be altered to suit the build.

My stock level is growing fast, I have made another new addition.

About the Loco :-
The E2 series (E2系?) is a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on the Tohoku and Nagano Shinkansen high-speed lines in Japan since 1997. They are formed in 8- and 10-car sets. The 8-car sets are used on the Nagano Shinkansen, and the 10-car sets on Tōhoku Shinkansen services. The 10-car sets can be coupled to E3 series Komachi sets using couplers hidden behind retracting nose doors.
They operate at a maximum speed of 275 km/h (170 mph) on the Tohoku Shinkansen and 260 km/h (160 mph) on the Nagano Shinkansen.
As of 1 April 2012, there are 53 E2 series sets (14 8-car "N" sets and 39 10-car "J" sets) in service
E2+E3kei0bandai omiya.JPG

E2 series Shinkansen at Ōmiya Station, February 2011
In service1997–Present
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation
Number built502 vehicles (53 sets) (as of April 2012)
Number in service502 vehicles (53 sets) (as of April 2012)
Formation8/10 cars per trainset
Capacity10-car J sets: 815 (51 Green + 764 Standard)
8-car N sets: 630 (51 Green + 579 Standard)
OperatorJR East
Depot(s)Sendai, Nagano
Line(s) servedTōhoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen
Car body constructionAluminium
Car length25,700 mm (84 ft 4 in)
(end cars),
25,000 mm (82 ft 0 in) (intermediate cars)
Width3,380 mm (11 ft 1 in)
Doors2 per side
Maximum speed275 km/h (170 mph) (Tōhoku Shinkansen), 260 km/h (160 mph) (Nagano Shinkansen)
Traction system(AC) MT205 (24 x 300 kW (400 hp) per 8-car train, 32 x 300 kW (400 hp) per 10-car train)
Power output7.2 MW (9,700 hp) (for 8-car train), 9.6 MW (12,900 hp) (for 10-car train)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC, 50/60 Hz overhead catenary
Current collection methodPantograph
Safety system(s)ATC-2, DS-ATC
Multiple working400/E3 series
Gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in).
I will be looking to add the 4 car add on set to the train at some point.  but I have a few like that just now, so this will join the queue like the rest.  I pick this up for £60 and £3 postage, so all good.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

More Design, and Road Plates

I have been busy designing my layout in AutoCAD, to see how everything fit's together and how things will look next to each other.

There will be a Road and a Rail bridge between my football stadium and city section on the back wall.  As the club has its laser cutter up and running I thought I would have a go at designing one to fit the gap.  I had a look through Google images to get some inspiration and came across the Story Bridge in Australia.

So I based my design on this and got to sketching.  About 8 Hours later (over a few nights) I had my design finished and to the size to fit the opening in my layout.  I had managed to break it down into a kit I could cut from thin plywood and had made myself a set of instructions.  As I had drawn a section of the Football Stadium I thought I would put both in there correct locations in the section of the Attic to see how it looked.  Well it looked stupid, the Stadium dwarfed the Bridge and it just didn't look good at all, so it was scrapped.

It got me thinking about the football stadium and its size,  as I am building it in the middle of my city I wondered how other buildings would look around it.  So I draw up three buildings to scale that I own and put them into the section to see how it would look.

You may have to click on the picture to see it properly
From left to right, Football Stadium, Aoshima Carpark, and Two Kato High Level Buildings. 
Looking how the towers and car park size up against the stadium, and once I scratch build some high towers I think it will all look ok.  I will just have to sort something out for the bridge that does not look out of place.
After buying the High level viaduct station, I have decided to use the Dio Town Road plates in front of it for the road surface.  I really like how they look and give a nice road finish, yes it might look to clean, but I think when I fully detail them, with people, cars and buildings I am hoping they won't look to bad.  I have drawn a plan of my attic, again using AutoCAD, to see how the plates would fit in with my base board size, and it seems they were meant for it as the fit perfect.
You will have to click on the picture to see it properly, It shows the location of the football stadium and the station across from it, with the track in red running round.  Drawing up the road plates in yellow to scale, I know how many of each type I will need to complete my road network.  The road that will come to the bridge will only be to service the football stadium and will take you into car parks around the stadium.  At the end of the station I have put a road that looks like it is cross the walkway to the other side, where my industrial area will be.  I wanted to create the impression that the road would continue on and join both sides on the layout, I may build a removable bridge for this section at a later date.  With a road plan set I now have a rough idea of building space around the layout, so I can start to build and buy buildings to start make this look like the city I want.

If I can find a way to hide the faller wire in or under these plates I might try and have there road system on the layout.  But I will have to look into that.
Some new stock for the layout.
I bought a Tomix JREF210 Set of loco and two flat car wagons with containers.  I have been after this loco for ages, but I have only seem it for £100 plus, I found this set from an English Seller for just under £60, So happy with that.

About the Loco:-

The Class EF210 (EF210形) is a Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement DC freight locomotive type operated by Japan Freight Railway Company (JR Freight) in Japan.
The locomotives are built at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries factory in Kobe. Based at Okayama, Shin-Tsurumi, and Suita (Osaka) depots, they are primarily used on freight on the Tōkaidō Main Line and Sanyō Main Line, replacing class EF66s.
As of 1 April 2009, 74 EF210s were operated by JR Freight. Nine EF210 locomotives are scheduled to be delivered during fiscal 2009, with nine more scheduled for fiscal 2010.

Power typeElectric
BuilderKawasaki Heavy Industries
Build date1996–present
UIC classificationBo-Bo-Bo
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Length18,200 mm
Width2,887 mm
Height3,980 mm
Locomotive weight100.8 t[1]
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC
Traction motorsAC
Top speed110 km/h (70 mph)
Power output3,390 kW[1]
Tractive effort199 kN[1]
CareerJR Freight
Number in class74+
First run1996
DispositionStill in production

Looking forward to giving this a good run in.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Pacific Fruit Express - PFE - Part 2

The next main building was the boxcar works at the front.  I wanted a building that would hide part of the movement of cars and loco's, and also look like it had been cut through in section.  This building had to show the full construction and internal detail that was need to make it stand and see what went on in there.


There are three rows of LED lights in the works, and outside light for the yard.  Boxcars are brought in for repair, damaged wheels, couplings and boards.

One of the smaller buildings on the layout is Big Al's Garage, the inside of the building is fully detailed with reception area, tool boxes, car ramps and more.  A young lady has brought her van over for fixing, while the garage dog loos on.
The mechanics and the Van are a Woodland Scenic's set. 

The garage is placed in the waste ground next to the Ice House.
The last building is the power plant and substation.  As we were making this a night scene and every light could be turned on and off.  We decided to put a sequences in where some workman in the substation manage to dig up and cut the power cable, sending the layout into darkness.  There is a control panel built into the power station with flashing lights, as they manage to sort the damage the lights on the layout start coming back on, over about 15mins, then at the end they hit the power cable again.   With the lights coming on at different points of the layout, it draws you eye to different details.
One small detail part is Chuck's Chuck Wagon.  I converted a Silverline Caravan into a Fast food wagon.  There is a full set of grills with food being cooked on them, a fridge keep the drinks cool.  The bar on the outside also has a full range of sauces.
The one on the left is how it started out, on the right is the finished van, just need to put together.

And in place with a trash can and some dinners.
This layout has been all over the UK and in Europe.  This year it is again touring the British shows and off to Eurospur Holland and Frankfurt American Show later in the year.

Pacific Fruit Express - PFE - Part 1

Not N gauge, but still a layout I have built and completed.  I will take a lot of what i learned building this into building my N gauge layout.


Phoenix Fruit Express in an American HO exhibition layout that myself and John Bowman built.

Building the Layout up for testing

I collected American HO loco's and started to build a layout in the attic, but found I didn't have enough space for what I wanted to do, so that was scrapped.  I found myself with about 40 Boxcars and a few diesel loco's, so I worked on a plan to build a layout that these could be used on.

There was an Old EM Gauge club layout laying in a members garage,  it had been in there for about 10 years.  It was an Iron Works 6 foot long by 2 and a half foot deep.  The layout was stripped to the baseboard, all track was lifted and most of the buildings and scenery removed, the only building to survive was the large shed at one end.  We decided to extend the layout at both ends, we added another 4 foot long board to the scenic section, and a 4 foot fiddle yard after the shed, making the layout 14 foot long in total.

Having a lot of old reefers and an old Ice house Kit I to decided base the layout on the Pacific Fruit Express that used to carry fruit from California over the Rockies to the east side of American.

(A Little info on the Pacific Fruit Express - PFE)
The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF).
In 1923, the Western Pacific Railroad joined the venture by leasing its own, brand new fleet of 2775 reefers to PFE. They were painted in standard PFE colours with only WP heralds on the cars instead of the paired UP-SP markings. The WP cars were all retired by the late 1950s, among the last wooden reefers in PFE's fleet. WP ended its partnership with PFE in late 1967 and joined Fruit Growers Express instead.
PFE's assets were divided between the UP and SP when the company was split on April 1, 1978. It is now a UP subsidiary.

The trains that ran from one side of the country to the other, were 90 to 100 box cars long, with 4 and 5 loco's pulling them, we were going have to cut it down a bit to make it work on the layout.  We decided to make it an End of the road yard, where the last 4 of 5 box cars would coming in to be emptied, clean, repaired, restock and sent on there way.

We wrote a list of the buildings that would be required.

A warehouse for storing the food and products that arrived from across the country.  This was the only part of the old layout that survived the cull.  The Shed has 3 roads, we made the front one the In road from the Staging. (as if this is were the PFE arrived from it long journey) the other 2 roads would be used for emptying out the boxcars when they arrive.  The gantry you can see has full lighting and a signal to show if the road is clear.  The back to roads have working roller shutter doors with flashings lights above the doors, and this all works at the flick of a switch and some amazing electronics for Donald and Kenny fellow club members.

The first building we started to built was the packaging plant, it was a Walthers Slaughter House Kit, that we made low relief by bringing the back of the building to the front to double the length.  We thought this buildings would make and provide the packaging to the warehouse for the goods coming in, and also sell to local businesses in the area.  This build took 8 months to build.  The main building has 3 floor level and the annex on the side has 2 floors.  The club use a Lightning set up called DMX, it is mainly used in theatres to run there lightning in stage shows.  This building has over 100 LED's in it, that this programme allows us to turn each one on and off as and when we want.  The ground floor of the main building in the packing plant its self. and stores for the trucks.  On the second floor we build as dispatch and control room for the train yard and truck fleet, there is paper and pens on the desks, lockers tables and chairs.  There is also the board room which looks like it has just had a big meeting and the owners big office next door.  On the top floor we decide the work force would require somewhere to get changed and eat,  so we built a full kitchen and canteen, with everything from dirty dishes, food on the plates, people sitting eating and playing cards, to queuing for there food.  There is also a changing room with showers and toilets.  On the roof of the main building we built a packing plant sign that lights up and some water towers as the Americans love these.  The Annex building to the side I a small delivery bay for small vans, and a parts stores on the second floor.

John Bowman Wiring the lights inside the packaging plant

As there was so many lights in this building and so much detail we decided to make the layout a night scene so you could see the lights and the detail inside.   This is by far my favourite building on this layout.

We then moved on to the Ice house and Ice platforms.

The "Ice Age"
The use of ice to refrigerate and preserve food dates back to prehistoric times. Through the ages, the seasonal harvesting of snow and ice was a regular practice of many cultures. China, Greece, and Rome stored ice and snow in caves or dugouts lined with straw or other insulating materials. Rationing of the ice allowed the preservation of foods during hot periods, a practice that was successfully employed for centuries. For most of the 19th century, natural ice (harvested from ponds and lakes) was used to supply refrigerator cars. At high altitudes or northern latitudes, one foot tanks were often filled with water and allowed to freeze. Ice was typically cut into blocks during the winter and stored in insulated warehouses for later use, with sawdust and hay packed around the ice blocks to provide additional insulation. A late-19th century wood-bodied reefer required re-icing every 250 miles (400 km) to 400 miles (640 km).

Top icing of bagged vegetables in a refrigerator car
By the turn of the 20th century, manufactured ice became more common. The Pacific Fruit Express (PFE), for example, maintained seven natural harvesting facilities, and operated 18 artificial ice plants. Their largest plant (located in Roseville, California) produced 1,200 short tons (1,100 t) of ice daily, and Roseville's docks could accommodate up to 254 cars. At the industry's peak, 1,300,000 short tons (1,200,000 t) of ice was produced for refrigerator car use annually.

"Top Icing"
Top icing is the practice of placing a 2-inch (51 mm) to 4-inch (100 mm) layer of crushed ice on top of agricultural products that have high respiration rates, need high relative humidity, and benefit from having the cooling agent sit directly atop the load (or within individual boxes). Cars with pre-cooled fresh produce were top iced just before shipment. Top icing added considerable dead weight to the load. Top-icing a 40-foot (12 m) reefer required in excess of 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of ice. It had been postulated that as the ice melts, the resulting chilled water would trickle down through the load to continue the cooling process. It was found, however, that top-icing only benefited the uppermost layers of the cargo, and that the water from the melting ice often passed through spaces between the cartons and pallets with little or no cooling effect. It was ultimately determined that top-icing is useful only in preventing an increase in temperature, and was eventually discontinued.

The typical service cycle for an ice-cooled produce reefer (generally handled as a part of a block of cars):
  1. The cars were cleaned with hot water or steam.
  2. Depending on the cargo, the cars might have undergone four hours of "pre-cooling" prior to loading, which entailed blowing in cold air through one ice hatch and allowing the warmer air to be expelled through the other hatches. The practice, dating back almost to the inception of the refrigerator car, saved ice and resulted in fresher cargo.
  3. The cars' ice bunkers were filled, either manually from an icing dock, via mechanical loading equipment, or (in locations where demand for ice was sporadic) using specially designed field icing cars.
  4. The cars were delivered to the shipper for loading, and the ice was topped-off.
  5. Depending on the cargo and destination, the cars may have been fumigated.
  6. The train would depart for the eastern markets.
  7. The cars were received in transit approximately once a day.
  8. Upon reaching their destination, the cars were unloaded.
  9. If in demand, the cars would be returned to their point of origin empty. If not in demand, the cars would be cleaned and possibly used for a dry shipment.

Rest of the layout on the next part.