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The sand dome saddle has arrived

Posted by Gerd on Wednesday, 30 September 2015 (Comments Closed)


today, the sand dome saddle for my BCL&RR-Forney got delivered. The saddle fits perfect on top of the boiler. Only the inner diameter is 1mm less than designed. Anyhow, since I’ve to take the dome piece to the lathe anyway, I can make them 59mm instead of 60mm. I look forward to get started with the installation next week.

I also welded 3 more track pieces last weekend and I’ll spend another track making day on saturday.

Cheers, Gerd

BCRR – Making 5″ gauge tracks

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 25 September 2015 with 2 Comments

Hello 2″-scale logging friends,

Gleisbau_1last Wednesday, a good friend came to the Bear Creek Railroad Yard for some track work. In January 2015, I got a bundle of 12 rails to make at least 14 new snap track pieces for my railroad. But I never got the point to start with this, until the big indoor event in Karlsruhe in January 2016 is coming closer and Jonas finally has offered his help, but was limited in time. So we got a start this week.

First was to cut helper ties, as I call them, pieces of 3x15mm flat bar, each 200mm long. They will be welded as ties to the foot of the rails to make solid track pieces. Once done, I screw wooden ties to the helper ties to make my typical track pieces. For the new tracks, we needed 104 of these steel ties.

To weld the tracks, I made jigs from already existing track pieces of the same pattern. I placed them upside down to a board and screwed stop blocks along the rail head on both sides. I also marked the place of the ties. Now I can simple place two pre-bend rails to the jig and start welding the ties.

And here we come to the part I don’t like the most. Welding just isn’t my thing. The only thing I can reproduce very well is point welding welding rods to the work piece… Anyway – with each welded tie, I get better…

First one done, but due to starting night-time, I’ve to finish the remaining 13 pieces another day. At least, we’ve pre-made all parts so the rest is more or less “easy-going”. Many thanks to Jonas for his help.

Cheers, Gerd



BCL&RR Forney “Maggie” is in the shops…

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 17 September 2015 (Comments Closed)

Hello logging railroad fans,

after a long break, I’m back on my logging railroads, preparing the BCL&RR rolling stock for the next event in January. First project is a full maintenance to my Forney. She was not often in use during the past 2 years and has shown a number of issues. The engine is 32 years old by now and after all that time, some wear here and there is typical.

Back in May, I already replaced the boiler feed valves, since the old ones didn’t close proper. This was a big issue at the injector which got warm from the back floating steam.

Yesterday, I started with the valve gear. A first check last summer showed, that many bolts and bearings were worn out so the slide valve has up to 2mm play. I already realized that by less power and that the engine wouldn’t start in some valve gear positions. Due to the variations, the timing was very bad. The following video shows the valve gear before I start work (Sorry, German audio only).

So I dismantled the valve gear and added fine bushings to all points that caused problems. I also replaced the union joints on the valve rods.

The bushings are of a soft material and may wear at first. They are easy to replace and I look forward how they will turn out on this job. I’ve some more in cushion. Well, after getting all parts back in place, the variations was reduced from 2mm down to 0.5mm. What a difference. The video shows the valve gear with the new bushings in place (Sorry, German audio only)

Next was to set up the valve gear. She still runs a bit jumpy, but this comes from the compressed air, used for the test runs. Under steam, the loco moves more even. Still bad is the fact, that the valve gear is only in forward direction 100% correct. Backwards, the timing is not perfect. As far as I could determine, this comes while the center line of the cylinders is slightly higher than the axles. This should be avoided by Marshall valve gear. Don’t be feared by the squeaky sound – this comes from the axle water pumps when running dry (without water). (Sorry, German audio only)

Anyhow, I’m happy with the result so far. The loco runs better than ever on compressed air. At least, the loco is running forward for 95%. Therefore I’ll set the valve gear for forward in major and reverse is good enough for usual operation.

Next I’ll do some “face lifting”, but I’m waiting for some special parts to get started.

My day of inspiration at the “Waldeisenbahn Muskau”

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 10 September 2015 with 1 Comment

Hi folks, I like to share my latest day of inspiration with you. We were on holiday in Saxonia the last week and we also visited my good friend Sven in Dresden. He invited me to join him for a day at the “Waldeisenbahn Muskau”. I’ve to mention, that Sven is working as an engineer […]