Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Sunday, 16 November 2014

"Open up the gates!"

One of my many projects on this layout was to somehow animate the gates of the crossing square of Victoria Street, I do now believe that I am a step closer to fulfilment.

I have glanced over the possibility of using servo motors in the past, but had no real idea how to make it all happen, today I stumbled across the dark arts of Tam Valley Depot being offered by Brunel Hobbies at the Croydon Model Railway exhibition.

After parting with/investing some cash, I came home with a servo decoder and four servos, in the process of cooking the Sunday roast, I nutted out the how to put it together, then program this collection of components, and made it work as a proof of concept.

Some happy snaps...
 Blu Tak is a wonderful product.
The entertaining part will be fitting it under the module
and making it work.
Behold the wonder of technology.............(and dodgy video)

some tweaking will be required, but that's where the fun is.
From under the wires with a new way to spend money.


  1. I award you the Victor Laslo award for lateral thinking....
    Now I recall back in the 60's one of the railway crossings on the Wattle Park line had a problem with the overhead frog, they must have been some sort of moveable device that moved with the Gates to separate the 600 from the 1500 DC and one morning it failed and 3 W2's were fried after brief acceleration to warp 1....

  2. Hey that's pretty slick! Nice work.

  3. The project is moving along nicely, thanks for your comments. Trev there have been a few episodes of the 1500V having some fun with 600V of the tramway. This is still the reason that the four remaining crossing squares are still controlled by railway signal staff, the tram trundles up to the crossing ( a compulsory stop), the driver sounds the gong to inform the signalman of their presence, the signalman decides if a approaching train is in the vicinity of the crossing (that has priority), either sets the gates to close or sets the tram catchpoints for the straight with a proceed signal for the tram after setting the overhead to 600V. Sometimes the system does not work, traction motors get cooked, the tram driver gets a fright, the signalman gets chewed out. Three of the four crossings now have the catchpoints removed after some trams made sudden left hand turns after failing to observe the concept of stopping at certain crossings when unoccupied by trains. Never a dull moment.