Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The ever expanding empire.

I have been busy, just like last year at about this time when I refurbished the man cave/study, this year has been no different, I am in the process of expanding the layout, and as you can guess, the clearance testing was a success.

An overview of the new/reworked modules connecting
with the rest of Victoria Street

With just a few alterations from the original draft, Victoria Street now features a now reworked fiddle yard which shall be called the 'Ammo Factory', in honour of the long history of the domestic armaments industry of the inner west of Melbourne, with a newly installed siding to cater for extra trams for shift changes and enthusiasts excursions.

This is fed by a set of reverse curves from the Victoria Street alignment, that has a spur line feeding a small three road depot that will be called the Albert Road (Westside) depot. All of which fits inside the prescribed boundary enforced by the domestic authorities.

Albert Road seems a pretty good fit with Victoria Street, aligning with the empirical nature of the times when a lot of subdivision of inner Melbourne took place, (for the record, I am not a royalist, but I reckon the Queen would be a nice lady to have chat to; however the rest of the family would be another story)

Some more photos......

A family mugshot on the depot fan.
A Birney and the X1 on a gunzel trip wait on the siding for the
regular service to depart at the 'Ammo Factory'.
W5 800 waits for SW5 812 to proceed before
leaving the depot.
As X1 460 emerges from under the rail bridge, while
the two W's have a Mexican stand off.
This chicane module will be residential.
The Depot has a switch that can isolate it from the rest of the running lines, so in the event of DC running I do not have to remove DCC trams from the layout and so not to reprogram the rest of the fleet when setting/adjusting CVs while trial running/troubleshooting DCC rollingstock.
From not under the wires at this end of the layout.





Sunday, 11 January 2015

Plotting the reverse curves..

As stated in the previous post, the planning for the extension of Victoria Street is now a work in progress. The issue is that I have some domestic obligations to abide by in regards to the extension, that is that the study/man cave has a boundary line, that I dare do not cross, as not to invoke the full force of the domestic authorities.

The reverse curves that I have planned for the extension are an example of the town planning that occurs when former Melbourne municipalities employed either different and/or incompetent surveyors to plot aligning streets/roads from one subdivision to another.

There are still to this day plenty of reverse curves of the Melbourne tramway system that obviously traverse within the boundaries of the former municipal authorities, these roads and the real estate were plotted and sub divided when small suburban councils were operated like personal fiefdoms. The tramways came along later, and had to fit the alignment.

Classic examples of these are the route 1 to East Coburg, that cranks from right to left from Lygon St  across and along a short section of Albion St into Holmes St, in East Brunswick.

Another less extreme example is the route 12 to St Kilda/Fitzroy & Park Streets, this deviates from Danks St across Mc Gregor St, to Patterson St, in Middle Park ( the eastern edge of the former City of South Melbourne).

My example, as plotted, forecast and basically dreamt up, is so far according to clearance testing seems to be a working proposition.

The two ends of the layout were plotted, (the railway station and the fiddle yard/new ammo factory) across the available space left in the study and the potential bench/layout area.

The faint pencil lines show the extent of the chicane
module, the ammo factory module to the lower left, the
railway station module to the top right, the three way point
leads into the (future) depot. A Peco set track point has been
plotted to feed the depot three way point.(all going well?)

The Ammo Factory/fiddle yard module will have another
commercial Y point fitted for the siding. I have done away
with building a single blade point for reliability.

The pencil lines show the overhang of the running boards,
as these are my longest/widest bogie trams, all others do fit inside the envelope.
There is enough room for everyone.
Enjoying taking things further than pencil and paper from under the wires,

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Plotting the course.....for the new year.

Almost two years ago, I posted a punch list of things that I wanted to be done with the layout.

**Sunday, 3 February 2013

Time to get organised.

Several projects have been horribly neglected since becoming besotted with DCC, materials for other projects have stockpiled to the point that the domestic authorities are in the process of intervention.

  •  The illumination of Victoria Street, so far only one module has been completed, The Railway Station. The rest of the layout still resides in the dark ages.

  • Project completed for Caulfield Exhibition.
  • The animation of the crossing gates.
  • Nailed it!
  • The construction of several other classes of Melbourne trams, these will include the W2, X2, VR, PCC 1041 and a Z1/3, plus the reworking/painting of several existing models with the correct decals and the installation of DCC friendly lighting.

  • Needs to improve, I have been distracted by other non Melbourne models, but this W2 from the dark arts of 3D printing looks very interesting. This year this will be the year.

  • The construction of 2 to 3 more modules featuring back scenes such as residential, educational, and industrial to compliment the current retail, recreational and railway aspects, all with simple trackage to offer longer operational running.
  • Planning in progress, intend to do clearance testing of chicane with flexitrack before committing to building module and depot. Watch this space.

  • The updating of the track wiring for DCC, and the elimination of terminal strips in favour of plugs and sockets.

  • Project completed for Caulfield Exhibition, with the ability to run DC
So there is the rundown of what I promised myself, and the results. The Blog not only chronicles the progress of the layout, but is also a reference to projects planned, attempted and executed. This also includes the spontaneous refit of the study that I did last year.

Some housekeeping has also been done, W5 800 which blew a motor at Caulfield has had a heart transplant and is now back in service.

The Bride's parents bought me some weathering pastels (Pan Pastels) for Christmas, I have few Bachmann Brill bodies to practice on before I grubby up my fleet, plus that I have been reliably informed that 'less is more' with this medium unless I want my models to resemble drag queens.

What will the new year will bring...
  • Hopefully an extension to the layout.
  • Some different Melbourne models to be built and modified.
  • More DCC fit outs.
  • Experiments with live overhead on DCC.

From under the wires with a new punch list.