Thursday, April 9, 2009

Belle Mead Photos

I took a drive over to Belle Meade to look at the section of track Claude is looking to model. Here are my photos of the stations and overpass.

Track is in good condition and looks well used. The station has seen better days...

Building across from station...old freight house?

Mike Mc.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

sky blue yellow


Never used any kind of blog before, so please help me out :-)

I do not like rules, but can live with guidelines, such as....

Module paint color. I do NOT like 'southwest desert sand' for our lush green northeast. I happen to use a dark green, but can change to any reasonable color.
Ballast color
Tie color - I use 'roof brown' and paint the rails a rust color


any interest in PRSL? I'm a confirmed Reading fan (20+ yr member RCT&HS)
any interest in marine railroading? waterfront module?
how do I post pics of my modules, legs, leg pockets, etc?


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Legs for Calais Module

With the frame and top pieces completed for each unit, I moved on to building the legs. I have been looking at different options for the legs and finally settled on leg units built from wood, much like the RMC article describes. After looking over the lumber selection available locally, I decided to go with clear pine 1 x 2 material for the legs. The quality of the wood is pretty high so I feel this will work well. I started the legs by building L-girders, glued and screwed. Next I added a small piece of 1 x 2 for the bottom where the T-nut will be installed, making a "solid" end that is 2 x 3. After some test measuring to determine the needed length, I cut the legs to 47.5 inches long. I drilled out the hole for the leveling bolts and inserted the T-nut and bolts.

I built leg pockets using 1 x 2 pieces and a rectangular section of plywood (see photo). Because the ends are not 90 degrees, I set the leg pockets in a couple of inches from the ends. Using the legs as a guide, I glued the 1 x 2's in place using the assigned leg as a guide (I labeled each leg so it would go to a specific pocket). After the plywood was attached, the leg fit was tight, so I sanded the leg ends some to make them slide in easier.

I inserted the legs and stood the module up. The module will rest on a cross piece connecting the 2 legs on each end, so I set that in place, measuring to get the end around 49.5" off the floor (the roadbed and track make up the remaining half inch). Doing this, I set the 2.5" bolt to about halfway in so I would have an inch adjustment either way, up or down. I glued and screwed the cross piece to the legs, and then added another cross piece at the bottom to stabilize the lower portion of the legs. I tested pulling out and inserting the leg to make sure it aligned OK. A little extra sanding on the legs into the pockets helps. I repeated the process for the other end.

The single module unit is suprisingly stable with no bolts to hold the legs in and no diagonal braces. I do think I will add a diagonal stabilizer to each leg unit to keep it from twisting or bending. As far as a diagonal piece connecting the leg to the module side, I am going to wait until I get the whole module assembled and see how it works. I can pobably make a piece that can be installed with carriage bolts so I have it available if needed.

So, the module A is complete and I am on to module B. Should go faster now that I figured out the process. Here is a look at the completed module A unit.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My first Module


I'm excited to get started, so that we can get together. For my first module, I want to model the Belle Mead, NJ area. The line used to be double tracked, but now only single. It is a CSX mainline through this area. I drew up my idea, see below. I need to get it to wherever the meet is, so it has to fit inside my van. Hence, I'll limit it to 7' long. Take a look:

Here is a satelite view:

The spur leads to a mill (now it's called Belle Mead Coop). The tracks are now gone, but the loading doors are still visible on the buildings, and as you can see, it's curved (more noticable when zoomed in). At the far end of the module, just to the right of the overpass is an old, forgotten and dilapidated station. The rest of the module is filled with trees and a couple houses. Except for the overpass, the rest of the module will be pretty flat.

Let me know your comments. I think this won't be too difficult, or intricate, to build. Looking further into the future, I have an idea for an interchange module, essentially an "X" shape. That'll be more difficult, but would add some fun during operations. More later.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Calais Trackplan & Prototype

Here is a look at the trackplan for the Calais Module Set:

Now, I know that is kind of small! You can click on it to get a larger view.

Here are a few pictures of the prototype MEC yard at Calais. This would be looking at the track from the overpass. The GP7 is on the main and heading out.

Here is a look from the loading dock area, looking back towards the overpass.

Finally, here is an image that is more of a closeup on the engine servicing area and the enginehouse.

Mike's Calais Module Set

I have started construction on a set of Free-mo modules based on the track plan in Calais, ME, on the Maine Central, circa 1980. This will be a 2 module set to contain the yard, passing track, enginehouse, freight depot and other industry. These are not rectangular modules. Module 1 is 21" at each end and 53" on one side and 58" on the other side. Module 2 is 21" at one end and 24" at the other end, with sides measuring 58" and 59". This gives the modules a slight curve. I will need to build a transition piece for the 21" end to come back out to the Free-mo standard 24" end plate.

In this first photo I am test fitting the track onto the sections to see how it will align. This was prior to finalizing the dimensions of module 2.

After the top pieces were cut, I test fit them into the car. I had already done careful measuring to ensure they would both fit, but you never know. Luckily all fit well and I then moved onto assembling the end plates, sides and support pieces. I still need to determine what I will use for legs.

(Mike McNamara)


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