Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:35 pm

Sometimes on this thread it feels like innocently lobbing a pebble in the water and then watching the ripples ... I love this because I learn so much and find it pretty fascinating to boot! :D

Here is a close up of another buffer stop. As a suggestion, could the brackets actually be fishplates with two welded lugs to fix to the uprights. The portions within the rail webs appear to be a different profile to the lugs? Would that also explain why there is a mixture of bolt fixings and rivets?

NRM 1 copy.jpg


Edited after Noel's comment following .... fishplate drawing added
DSC_0003.JPG
Last edited by Le Corbusier on Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tim Lee

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Noel
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Noel » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:55 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:As a suggestion, could the brackets actually be fishplates with two welded lugs to fix to the uprights


No. The brackets appear to have been bent, not welded, and the shaping to the rail web could be done in a forge. In any event, ignoring hammer welding, not relevant here, no welding technology would have been available until the very late 19th century, and took some time to become common even then. I suspect that the mixture of bolts and rivets is there for a very similar reason to the way whitemetal kit bufferstops are made - the riveted bits are constructed at the works [and are fairly flat], and the crossbeam is bolted on once the uprights are in place. Much easier to move three [or five] more or less flat pieces and assemble them on site than to build the whole thing on site.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby John Palmer » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:55 pm

Another one made of reclaimed double-headed rail, I sugggest. Both this and the previous one on inside-keyed track.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:14 pm

John Palmer wrote:Another one made of reclaimed double-headed rail, I sugggest. Both this and the previous one on inside-keyed track.

presumably, that begs the question .... in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, If one is modelling a siding/wharf circa 1903, which was put in in 1860s ... with further work carried out in the late 1880s, should one reverse the chairs locally to simulate inside keying?

for info the dates of the photos are 1920 & 1914 respectively.
Tim Lee

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:55 pm

Going back to my track building endeavours, there has been a slight pause while I try to work out exactly what I should be modelling as far as the stretcher bars are concerned and the rodding connection for actuation. I have being doing a little digging around and thought I would post my findings.

Initially I looked at the MR drawings kindly sent to me by Dave Harris at the Midland Railway Study centre. To my untutored eye these seemed to suggest that, in a similar manner to other companies the practice was to take a connection via a lug at the base of the stretcher bar - though other drawings simply showed the bars with no suggestion as to a connection.

CIMG4245.JPG

DSC_0009.JPG


I decided to trawl through all the photos i could bring to hand to see if I could find a decent close up shot of such an installation to aid modelling. However the more I looked the more practice appeared to differ from this assumption. ( I have not looked particularly at facing points as there are none at Monsal Dale and the interlocking would be different come what may). What emerged from my investigations was that the rodding connection to the switch blade (At least prior to WWI) appeared to be independent of the stretcher bars. I turned up multiple examples of this approach, but none at all attached to the stretcher bar .... these only occurred on later images when the bars were no longer circular in profile. What emerged was a practice of bringing the final run of rodding beneath the stock rail and switch blade, then turning it up through 180 degrees, and locating it directly into the switch blade. This was normally, but not always directly adjacent to the front stretcher bar (occasionally it was spaced equidistant between the two bars). I attach some images to explain this.

point actuation detail1.jpg
3 copy.jpg
4.jpg
4.jpg (93.33 KiB) Viewed 5035 times
NRM 2 copy.jpg
001_point actuation.jpeg
005_point actuation.jpeg


I would be interested in people's thoughts on this ... in lieu of any advice to the contrary, I am currently minded to model the turn out switching to reflect this prototype. Dave Harris's thought was that it may well have been something to do with the split on the Midland between departments. The permanent way engineers would have been responsible for the switches and stretcher bars, where as the signalling engineers would have been responsible for the rodding and its connections ... hence the annotation on the second drawing regarding responsibilities for drilling the switch blades. This was why on all the detailed drawing there is no connection shown for the rodding of the turnouts, nor are any lugs shown on the stretcher bar drawings.
Last edited by Le Corbusier on Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby John Palmer » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:08 pm

I've taken a look at the photograph of the Monsal Dale siding at https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=5148&start=100#p50091, and, as best I can judge, it's made up of 30' panels, probably as shown in the drawing at http://www.oldpway.info/drawings/1895pw_pl11_MR.pdf. That drawing dates from about 1895. The Midland had started going over to outside keying in 1882. Clearly by time of the 1950's photograph the siding was outside keyed, and retained rails likely to date from MR days, but that doesn't really give any reliable indication of what the position was in 1903. Since trackwork in sidings could be long lived (as the 1950's photo suggests) I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the Monsal Dale siding still being inside keyed in 1903.

Just reversing the chairs won't work as the rail they carry will then be inclined outwards rather than inwards. For just that reason, companies that made the change from inside to outside keying had to replace all their chairs in order to do so.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:23 pm

John Palmer wrote:Just reversing the chairs won't work as the rail they carry will then be inclined outwards rather than inwards. For just that reason, companies that made the change from inside to outside keying had to replace all their chairs in order to do so.

Sounds like a step too far perhaps ... though I suppose I could revert to ply and rivet construction for this section and use the chairs cosmetically.
Tim Lee

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Colin Parks
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:51 pm

Hi Tim,

Some interesting research on the stretcher bars and switch drive rods of the Midland Railway. How easy a drive of such design would be reproduce in 4mm scale, you will have to find out - good luck! Re. the inside keyed track, perhaps an experiment using some chairs 'persuaded' with a dab of butanone to incline the other way might work, though this would have to be done before the chairs were fixed to the sleepers.

All the best,

Colin

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:19 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tim,

Some interesting research on the stretcher bars and switch drive rods of the Midland Railway. How easy a drive of such design would be reproduce in 4mm scale, you will have to find out - good luck! Re. the inside keyed track, perhaps an experiment using some chairs 'persuaded' with a dab of butanone to incline the other way might work, though this would have to be done before the chairs were fixed to the sleepers.

All the best,

Colin

Thanks Colin,

On the stretcher bar front I have been thinking about this. To be absolutely true to scale the bars would need to be 0.417 diam. I am thinking of experimenting with 0.6 to see how over sized this looks. To my eyes, I think that when scaled down to 4mm scale 0.45 wire somehow looks too delicate. Maybe it is just me, but I suspect that the eye requires an element of fitness for purpose when assessing something and the brain somehow doesn't compute 0.45mm wire in this location, as self evidently it is not stiff enough. I also suspect the same will be true for the rodding ... if it looks too slender the eye will assume it is meant to be in tension. So I have fingers crossed that what looks right will actually work ... though others may disagree on this point.

Anyway, I will have a play and see how I get on.

On the inside keys ... maybe I can use chairs threaded both ways, temporarily fixing the outside keys as a jig to encourage the inside keys to take up the right incline with butanone ?
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:31 am

I used 0.6mm tube on my single blade turnouts with a 0.4mm soldered rivet to secure it to the rail. That looks acceptable and is quite strong enough. Would be difficult to do the 180 degree bend though. You would have to do it after riveting to the rail.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:42 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:I used 0.6mm tube on my single blade turnouts with a 0.4mm soldered rivet to secure it to the rail. That looks acceptable and is quite strong enough. Would be difficult to do the 180 degree bend though. You would have to do it after riveting to the rail.


morning,

any reason for using 6mm tube instead of wire apart from the rivet connection? What was the thinking behind the rivet connection?
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:07 am

Using a rivet makes a very strong, but unobtrusive joint. The only reason for using the tube was to accommodate the rivet. I got the rivets from Eileen's Emporium. You could of course put 0.4mm rod inside the remainder of the tube to make it a solid rod, but I haven't felt this necessary.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:33 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:Using a rivet makes a very strong, but unobtrusive joint. The only reason for using the tube was to accommodate the rivet. I got the rivets from Eileen's Emporium. You could of course put 0.4mm rod inside the remainder of the tube to make it a solid rod, but I haven't felt this necessary.

That makes sense .... couldn't find a picture of the final stretcher bars on Neversay.

I suspect I will have to go for 6mm wire for the rodding drive as the thought of fixing a tube to the switch blade using a rivet and then trying to form this composite into a 180 degree bend gives me the heebyjeebies :shock: Too much scope to either fracture the joint or trash the blade me thinks :?

I wonder if with a good strong solder joint I can get away with 6mm wire through out (luckily no issues with isolation to worry about).
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:43 pm

This is where you are pioneering something new. Your guess is probably as good as anyone else's ;)

Best to experiment rather than procrastinate too much.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Colin Parks » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:37 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:
Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tim,

Some interesting research on the stretcher bars and switch drive rods of the Midland Railway. How easy a drive of such design would be reproduce in 4mm scale, you will have to find out - good luck! Re. the inside keyed track, perhaps an experiment using some chairs 'persuaded' with a dab of butanone to incline the other way might work, though this would have to be done before the chairs were fixed to the sleepers.

All the best,

Colin

Thanks Colin,

On the stretcher bar front I have been thinking about this. To be absolutely true to scale the bars would need to be 0.417 diam. I am thinking of experimenting with 0.6 to see how over sized this looks. To my eyes, I think that when scaled down to 4mm scale 0.45 wire somehow looks too delicate. Maybe it is just me, but I suspect that the eye requires an element of fitness for purpose when assessing something and the brain somehow doesn't compute 0.45mm wire in this location, as self evidently it is not stiff enough. I also suspect the same will be true for the rodding ... if it looks too slender the eye will assume it is meant to be in tension. So I have fingers crossed that what looks right will actually work ... though others may disagree on this point.

Anyway, I will have a play and see how I get on.

On the inside keys ... maybe I can use chairs threaded both ways, temporarily fixing the outside keys as a jig to encourage the inside keys to take up the right incline with butanone ?


Hi Tim,

The rod that I have been using for driving switches is 0.5mm nickel-silver and it is very tough (also easily soldered). The challenge for you would seem to be not so much the diameter of the wire, but how an effective joint can be made between the drive rod and the switch, which is obviously very thin at the tip.

As for the inside keyed track, having a mixture of inside and outside chairs on a length of rail sounds like a recipe for insanity, given all the threading that is required. Perhaps fixing the track down then using roller gauges to pull the rail up to a vertical position would work (given enough gauges!).

All the best,

Colin

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:59 pm

Colin Parks wrote:Hi Tim,

The rod that I have been using for driving switches is 0.5mm nickel-silver and it is very tough (also easily soldered). The challenge for you would seem to be not so much the diameter of the wire, but how an effective joint can be made between the drive rod and the switch, which is obviously very thin at the tip.
Colin


I am toying with a couple of ideas but will keep them under my hat at the moment as they may well bomb and never reach the public domain. I am banking to some extent on the stretcher bars to hold things square and taught giving the drive something to act on. Whatever I do, I think the link to the switch will need to allow a degree of movement or I suspect that the joint will fail over time.

Colin Parks wrote:As for the inside keyed track, having a mixture of inside and outside chairs on a length of rail sounds like a recipe for insanityColin


Again ... a little experimentation is due .... It will be a relatively short length for the wharf come what may, as the loop etc would have been renewed when the head shunt was extended and converted to the lie by.
Tim Lee

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:12 am

I had a play last night at soldering in some stretcher bars and a drive rod to a failed switch blade off-cut. The wire is 0.7mm which is way too heavy ( scale 2.1" ... so nearly twice the thickness, but was all I had to hand that was thicker than 0.45mm). I am going to experiment with 0.5mm MM & 0.6MM thicknesses to see what is the thickest I can get away with. The blade is also not filed as sharp as the actual ones. However, the locating of the wire into the blade seems to work pretty well and the joint is good and strong.

The thing I would be concerned about is whether the movement of the blades would over time fracture the drive rod solder joint ... in this experiment there is a good strong joint and plenty of surface bearing. I will have a pin joint at the crank end which should allow for some play... but I think I will need some sort of additional pin joint on the drive rod itself if the length is much greater than 10 - 15mm long - ie if it runs beneath another track or two or the rodding stools are further distant. I think there will be a maximum length for the drive rod beyond which the movement multiplied by the lever arm will fracture the solder joint over time.

I would be interested in whether people think this reasoning is valid, and any suggestions for a pin connection. I don't think there is room to have such a connection at the blade itself as in the prototype ... but it may be possible to hide it as it passes beneath the rail?
4 (1).jpg
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8.jpg
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby allanferguson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:26 pm

These are good looking connections to the operating rods, but I would worry that they are completely rigid, and with a very small joint area; and they couldn't readily accommodate the slight angular movement of the switch. This might result in the switches sitting oddly, and in fatigue fractures in the solder joint.
Having said that, I have to confess that I don't have an answer to making rods which are robust, which provide the flexibility, which provide the insulation, and which look realistic.
In the prototype these joints are flexible (I'm taking about pregrouping vintage here!), and are attached by passing lugs through a horizontal slot in the rail, then falling to a vertical position once inserted. Where appropriate the rod is extended to pass through a hole in the stock rail.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:32 pm

allanferguson wrote:These are good looking connections to the operating rods, but I would worry that they are completely rigid, and with a very small joint area; and they couldn't readily accommodate the slight angular movement of the switch. This might result in the switches sitting oddly, and in fatigue fractures in the solder joint.
Having said that, I have to confess that I don't have an answer to making rods which are robust, which provide the flexibility, which provide the insulation, and which look realistic.
In the prototype these joints are flexible (I'm taking about pregrouping vintage here!), and are attached by passing lugs through a horizontal slot in the rail, then falling to a vertical position once inserted. Where appropriate the rod is extended to pass through a hole in the stock rail.

Allan F

Hi Allan,

I have been pondering over this as well.

I was working on the premise that - because for my installation I don't have to worry about insulation - I could look at creating a stiff trapezoidal frame with the stretcher rods ... which reflected the flat portion of the switch planing .... the idea being that this could be pushed or pulled to sit along the stock rails working as a unit. I reasoned that so long as the soldering was good, then any small flexure would happen within the switch rails themselves beyond the stretcher rods - particularly if the flexure was designed to happen on the push stroke. By drilling the switch blade and housing the wire completely through, then soldering from the back and finally clipping and filing back, I was hoping that the joint would be pretty robust (it certainly feels strong).

My theory was that if I could get the stretcher bar/points area including the180 degree portion of the drive connection to work as a unit, and then look to a pin style connection as the drive rod emerges from beneath the stock rail, I could create allowance for movement at the pin connection.

Perhaps this is naive on my part?
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby RobM » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Have you thought of silver soldering being only small parts? From my model engineering days silver soldering was much more robust than soft solder....others may have different opinions.......
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:29 pm

You probably don't have to file everything completely flat at the back of the point blade as you should still have the web on the stock rails. I found that my rivet heads just about fitted inside the web without much filing.

Also, you could try a smaller diameter stretcher bar with a short section of larger diameter tube at the joint with the switch blade - not going through the blade, just a butt joint. This would strengthen the joint, stiffen the extreme ends of the stretcher bar and make the middle bit more flexible.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:24 pm

RobM wrote:Have you thought of silver soldering being only small parts? From my model engineering days silver soldering was much more robust than soft solder....others may have different opinions.......
Rob

I have never done silver soldering .... but doesn't it require a blow torch and presumably a safe working environment? Might be a step too far for me at the moment. Wouldn't mind having a go some time though.

Armchair Modeller wrote:You probably don't have to file everything completely flat at the back of the point blade as you should still have the web on the stock rails. I found that my rivet heads just about fitted inside the web without much filing.

Also, you could try a smaller diameter stretcher bar with a short section of larger diameter tube at the joint with the switch blade - not going through the blade, just a butt joint. This would strengthen the joint, stiffen the extreme ends of the stretcher bar and make the middle bit more flexible.


Thats an interesting idea ... I could sleeve the wire with a section of tube almost acting as a washer. It would simulate the ring plate on the prototype connection as well :thumb
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Allan Goodwillie » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:40 pm

I have one point with inside keys on my Wemyss layout I am building - photo taken in early 1950's. I intend using some white metal chairs I have which come without the wooden keys and will simulate them using plasticard, or paper chads. I could send you some Tim, if you tell me how many you might need. It will be interesting seeing how you deal in the end with the point actuators. :)

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:54 pm

Allan Goodwillie wrote:I have one point with inside keys on my Wemyss layout I am building - photo taken in early 1950's. I intend using some white metal chairs I have which come without the wooden keys and will simulate them using plasticard, or paper chads. I could send you some Tim, if you tell me how many you might need. It will be interesting seeing how you deal in the end with the point actuators. :)


Alan,

I am thinking some way down the line on the inside keys ... They will be for the wharf portion of the Monsal Dale plans. At the moment I am building my test track shelf, which I am sure will keep me going this winter at least. I shall try and get some detailed layout drawing for Monsal Dale done in tandem with these current modelling exploits.

But thanks for the offer ... much appreciated :thumb
Tim Lee

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:05 pm

There was an article in MRJ about silver soldering last year. I bought it thinking the technique would be useful for my turnout operation. It said that small brass components are very vulnerable to the high heat and may just evaporate away. That is when I decided to use ordinary soldering instead.


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