The Ulpha Light Railway

Tell us about your layout, where you put it, how you built it, how you operate it.
Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:16 pm

I had better idea for the hinge on the point blades. I experimented with a Peco fishplate - the new type they introduced for the bullhead track. I used a piece of scrap rail in lieu of a properly filed point blade. After messing around a little, I tapered the foot of what would be the blunt end of the point blade slightly. It now hinges very nicely.

The first photo shows the Peco fishplate in position

Ulph021.jpg
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These two show the point blade closed and open. The piece of scrap rail representing the point blade doesn't sit properly against the stock rail, of course, as I have not bothered to file the taper. This is purely experimental. A properly shaped point blade would look far better.

Ulph022.jpg
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Ulph023.jpg
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I am really pleased with this and will probably use the idea on all the turnouts for Ulpha. It is nice and simple, which suits me! The photos do show up some dodgy soldering though. I was using a new reel of not very good solder and an almost life-expired soldering iron tip, so things did not quite go as well as they normally do. I shall do a bit of tidying up before installing the assembly on the layout.

The trackwork has been removed from the paper template and is currently in soak to dilute away the flux. Then, it will be almost ready to stick down on the baseboard. No time over the weekend though - a 26 mile walk tomorrow and a 13 mile walk on Sunday will leave no time for modelling. :shock:

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Le Corbusier
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:28 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote: No time over the weekend though - a 26 mile walk tomorrow and a 13 mile walk on Sunday will leave no time for modelling. :shock:


Hmmm! I think that officially makes you a ranger from a well known fantasy classic .... though I do wonder how many orcs there may be to track in your neck of the woods :D
Tim Lee

PeteT
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby PeteT » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:35 am

Thanks for making the topic - when Paul posted the layout as available I thought it had a lot of potential, so will be interested to see it develop as time and the 2mm allow.

For the narrow gauge, and especially with the Baldwin and tressle (if a bit high), it is quite Snailbeach esc. I find Peco track section very heavy duty, but agree that the pragmatic way forward is to leave it as is.

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:38 am

Hi Richard. As I have been away north of the border, as far as John 'O Groats for the last 3 weeks or so, I have just caught up with this topic. Good to see you are back in circulation and am following with interest. Would like to see what you are doing in the flesh.
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:06 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote: No time over the weekend though - a 26 mile walk tomorrow and a 13 mile walk on Sunday will leave no time for modelling. :shock:


Hmmm! I think that officially makes you a ranger from a well known fantasy classic .... though I do wonder how many orcs there may be to track in your neck of the woods :D


Unfortunately, all the Orcs were in hiding when I completed the White Peak Walk yesterday. The intense heat really sapped my energy, so I missed today's walk. Here's a topical photo from yesterday's walk - on Monsal Dale viaduct.

DSC00471.jpg

Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:16 pm

PeteT wrote:Thanks for making the topic - when Paul posted the layout as available I thought it had a lot of potential, so will be interested to see it develop as time and the 2mm allow.

For the narrow gauge, and especially with the Baldwin and tressle (if a bit high), it is quite Snailbeach esc. I find Peco track section very heavy duty, but agree that the pragmatic way forward is to leave it as is.


Thanks Pete. Glad you are finding this of interest. I agree that the Peco track looks a little heavy - Code 80 rail!

The board with all the visible NG track will be the last to receive my attention, so no need to think too deeply about it for the time being. I really don't fancy the challenge of converting the Baldwins (there are two of them now) to finescale standards, so Peco track still makes a lot of sense. Also, I fear the trestle might get seriously damaged if I tried removing the existing rails.
Last edited by Armchair Modeller on Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:19 pm

RobM wrote:Hi Richard. As I have been away north of the border, as far as John 'O Groats for the last 3 weeks or so, I have just caught up with this topic. Good to see you are back in circulation and am following with interest. Would like to see what you are doing in the flesh.
Rob


Hi Rob

Hope you enjoyed your holiday. I would be delighted to see you, but the next month or more are very congested already. Maybe think about it again in late August or early September? I promise not to finish everything before then. Your artistic advice etc. may well come in valuable :thumb

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RobM
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby RobM » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:52 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Hi Rob

Hope you enjoyed your holiday. I would be delighted to see you, but the next month or more are very congested already. Maybe think about it again in late August or early September? I promise not to finish everything before then. Your artistic advice etc. may well come in valuable :thumb


Look forward to it sometime when mutual engagements permit. I'll PM you sometime rather than interrupting the topic.
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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Le Corbusier
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:29 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Here's a topical photo from yesterday's walk - on Monsal Dale viaduct.

DSC00471.jpg


Now I'm properly jealous :thumb
Tim Lee

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:30 am

Le Corbusier wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote:Here's a topical photo from yesterday's walk - on Monsal Dale viaduct.

DSC00471.jpg


Now I'm properly jealous :thumb


The walk included the trail from Brushfield to Monsal Dale Viaduct, not far from your spar mine - then along the railway trackbed until just before Bakewell.

Moving on, I tried scaling the drawings of the Solway Viaduct from the drawings in 'The Engineer' yesterday. This proved mildly challenging as the drawings are not quite true scale - more like beautiful artistic drawings roughly in proportion. Different parts of the drawing were scaled to suit the page size too. I stretched and squashed the component parts to a constant scale, based on measurements given on the various parts of the drawing and by comparing one with another. Some of the small detail I left much larger. The copies below should come out at 2mm scale when clicked on to enlarge them - but I drew most of it at 8mm scale to show the detail better for my own reference.

Ulph025.jpg


Ulph024.jpg


I shall adapt the design slightly as I need something in between this and the simpler style of the slightly earlier Kent Viaduct. The latter, for example, appears to have had wooden planking on the deck, rather than contoured iron plates, which would be easier to model. Some of the detail is vague, or missing altogether. Thankfully there are photos online of the viaduct after it was partially demolished by icebergs. There are also photos of some remains that still exist. These answer most of my questions.

I am in the early stages of thinking how to construct this. I am thinking of using metal tubes, washers and strips to fabricate the piers, with a bit of added detail in plasticard. Plastic sheet may be best for the deck and girders as there is a lot of intricate detail to reproduce. Some of the detail is almost certainly far too fine and delicate for 3D printing, for example. I did think about etching, but doubt it would give me the 3D look that would be essential to capture the look and feel of the structure. Plastic components should be easier to assemble and ought to be strong enough. After all, the structure is supposed to be disused, so it only has to carry its own weight.

As always, other people's experiences and advice would be welcome. I have never attempted to construct a structure like this before.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:30 am

Oops! Change of plan for the bridge following further research and discussion with a few friends.

I was accused (very nicely) of gross over-engineering by proposing something based on the Solway Viaduct for the replacement waggonway bridge. I have also discovered a lot more about the history of tramroads, wag(g)onways and other similar things online and in a couple of books I have now read. These make amendments to my history of the waggonway and the later light railway desirable.

This article was particularly interesting and relevant. https://www.plaskynastoncanalgroup.org/ ... s-tramway/ It explains the limitations of waggonways built with L shaped rails and gives plausible dates for the construction of one with edge rails. This tramway was converted to a railway in 1860. I could plausibly use a similar history for the Ulpha Waggonway.

I also found more information online about the Preston & Walton Summit waggonway I mentioned in a previous post. Apart from a very early plateway in Whitehaven, this is the nearest I can find geographically to Ulpha.

I discovered that timber bridges and viaducts built for waggonways (I use the term loosely) lasted a long while. One on the Lee Moor Tramway lasted until at least the 1950s. The Preston viaduct on the Walton Summit line lasted as a timber viaduct until 1936, when it was reproduced in concrete after a washout. That makes a timber construction for the bridge on Ulpha more likely. I have also found several designs for earlier iron viaducts and bridges worthy of consideration.

Meanwhile, the track I built is now ready for laying on the baseboard. More of that in due course.

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Noel
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Noel » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:41 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:I discovered that timber bridges and viaducts built for waggonways (I use the term loosely) lasted a long while


Sometimes. On the other hand, one on the Penydarren fell down in 1815 [injuring several people and horses], and was replaced by a high single arch [Victoria Bridge] in stone. There is an early iron bridge here http://www.engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=285, a kit of parts, rather like the classic bridge at Ironbridge and its sister, and another here http://www.engineering-timelines.com/who/Overton_G/overtonGeorge.asp, plus a stone viaduct at Bassaleg on the 'Old Rumney', The iron bridges are plateway [i.e. using L-shaped plates] as was the stone one originally, but by the time the 'Old Rumney' was bought by the Brecon and Merthyr, it was using steam engines on rails which were combined edge rail and plateway [so horse trams and steam engines could both use it].
Noel

Armchair Modeller
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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:13 pm

Noel wrote:
Sometimes. On the other hand, one on the Penydarren fell down in 1815 [injuring several people and horses], and was replaced by a high single arch [Victoria Bridge] in stone. There is an early iron bridge here http://www.engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=285, a kit of parts, rather like the classic bridge at Ironbridge and its sister, and another here http://www.engineering-timelines.com/who/Overton_G/overtonGeorge.asp, plus a stone viaduct at Bassaleg on the 'Old Rumney', The iron bridges are plateway [i.e. using L-shaped plates] as was the stone one originally, but by the time the 'Old Rumney' was bought by the Brecon and Merthyr, it was using steam engines on rails which were combined edge rail and plateway [so horse trams and steam engines could both use it].


Many thanks for that information Noel. :thumb

I did find information on the Pont-y-Cafnau bridge, including a dimensioned drawing. It is a real oddball though - originally 2 aqueducts and a railway bridge all in one structure. The Robertstown Tramway Bridge looks cute!

Locally, we have the Kings Mill Viaduct, built in stone for the Mansfield & Pinxton Railway (a horse-drawn tramway built with fishbelly edge rails) - 200th anniversary next year (2019).

Image

I was reluctant to use a stone bridge - mainly because of the 'headache' of what stone to use. Ulpha is all modelled as limestone in what should be a totally non-limestone area. An iron or wooden bridge would avoid the dilemma - with the possible exception of the piers, of course.

Maybe I am just over-thinking again (what's new!) :?

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:30 pm

OK, my (second) final solution to the bridge problem is to choose timber construction. My idea is to loosely base the design on a former bridge on the Lee Moor Tramway, linked here...

Image

on the parknowethtramway.co.uk site.

You just have to imagine a river, rather than a road running under the central span. Similar construction seems to have been used elsewhere. The design is pretty timeless I guess, allowing it to fit in better with the Ulpha railway/waggonway's fictitious history.

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Re: The Ulpha Light Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:07 pm

Some minor progress on the track today

Ulph027.jpg


At the baseboard joint I am doing my usual trick of soldering the end of each rail to PCB, with an extra piece of rail sandwiched in-between. The recess provided by the extra layer of rail allows me to add cosmetic sleepers to hide the PCB. It has worked very well on other layouts, so it ought to here. I have cut a recess in the trackbed to take the PCB. This will eventually be glued and screwed in place to produce more or less totally immovable track at the baseboard joint. The ends of the rails are over-long at the moment and will be trimmed. The extra length is useful during soldering, as it allows one to put track gauges there to ensure that the rails are the right distance apart. I cut insulation slots on the underside of the PCB as well as the top.

For a change, I decided to have a look at the Bobbin Mill. This is by far the largest building on Ulpha. It was very solidly built and is finished in a typical Lake District grey/green colour. Unfortunately, it had suffered superficial damage, largely because it was located really close to a baseboard joint. As part of the river renovation, I shall move it more towards the middle of the baseboard.

I have glued down a few tiles and other bits that were coming loose and cleaned up the surfaces with a stiff brush. The building will be recessed slightly below ground level, so some marks will automatically disappear. Others parts need touching up with a bit of paint, which I shall complete in due course. The worst damage was to a small projecting roof over the wood saw. I had to remove it. Most of the glue etc has been removed successfully, but the paint in this area will require more attention than most.

Just a little bit of extra detail will be added as part of the renovation, including a new wood saw and shed. I have a visit planned to the Lake District in a few weeks time. This will give me the opportunity to visit the preserved mill at Stott Park and obtain details of a real bobbin mill first hand.

Here is the back of the mill (left), not normally seen by spectators - and the side of the mill with the damaged saw. The detail hanging off the wall is the belt powering the saw. This will be incorporated into the new sawing shed in due course.

Ulph029.jpg


This view shows the river side of the mill. Apart from essential repairs I want to preserve the look and feel of the existing building as far as possible. One of the very few 'improvements' I am thinking of doing would be to add just a little more detail onto and around the door on the ground floor, as this will be very close to the front of the layout.

Ulph028.jpg


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