I got some requests about references and details for timber roads. Therefore I made this gazette issue with the details I researched. I posted references to the websites where I got my info from and also hints to other books to this topic.
I came to this type of railroad during research of a prototype loco of my Toma Shay in Hon30. Actually, wooden rails were not new to me, but I never spend so many research before.
Anyway, while looking for 13 Ton Shays as my Toma Shay, I found the following photos.
These locos operated on wooden rails as can be seen on the photos or found in the description of Lima records. For use on wooden rails, such locos were equipped with extra wide tires and deep flanges, which are good visible on Shay #174.
Based on the loco above, I spend some more research at www.shaylocomotives.com and www. gearedsteam.com, resulting in the following list of Lima shop numbers. Judging by records or photographs, these locos operated on wooden rails.
#57, #89, #168, #172, #174, #191, #196, #254, #289, #290, #300, #403, #434, #433, #439, #469, #477, #516, #617, #628
Most of such locos were 13 ton classes. #57 might be the smallest with 7 tons while biggest loco weights 17 tons (#628). Gauge varies between 30″ and std.gauge (#191).
A special loco is #254, which is listed with 60″ gauge and seems to be build for operation on so pole-roads, which used full logs instead of sawn timber for rails. Usually, this was a territory for Climax locos and not for Shays.
But how about the tramroad timber rails? Here I found a good article about the D. H. Eastin & Company.
This railroad used tiny Shay #57 and operated for approx. 10 years. The link above features some photos which shows details on the track as well. Halfway down the article is a photo of a small section of track which has survived into our times and gives detailed information. The rails were made of two layers of hardwood timbers, each 2×5″, bolted on top of each other with overlap. Usually, there were wooden bolts and pins used, to avoid damage to the wheels. This results in a 4″ high and 6″ wide rail head. On some railroads, stripes of thin metal were added on top of the timber rails. Even turnouts were not uncommon with timber rails. Remember the D.H.Eastin&Co above, which operated several switchbacks on their railroad. Most timber turnouts wer21e built as stub-switches and often with switchable frogs. Unfortunately, I only found very few photos in books, which cannot be shared here.
For more details and information, I can recommend the book series “Railroading in the Carolina Sandhills”, which features many small tramroads like the “Yellow Pine Lbr.Co.”.
If you have further questions, feel free to ask, Maybe I can help.
while adding landscape scenery, I came to the idea to add a small water tower for the Shay locomotive. I collected some scrap wood and called my dad to 3D print his On30 water spout in half size. Base of the tank is piece of round wood, bored on the lathe to get a hollow tank. A matching disc from clear acrylic will create the water surface.
The scribed wood came with the sawmill kit was left over. I added some bands from 0.4mm wire. The trestle bends to rise the tank were built from strip wood as well.
Finally, I added some Woodland Water-Effects to the acrylic disc in the tank and of courste some slight weathering. In my opinion, the water tank is a great addition. BTW, the spout can be lowered and is connected to the counterweight by a thin thread.
Welcome back to the second part.
The sawmill got placed on the first segment. The ties for the further tramroad are also placed into the sandy ground of the Sandhills. With the mill in place, I started to add the final components and details. To add the roofs, I used 0.4mm plywood instead of cardboard as supplied by the kit. The tar paper also comes with the kit. As mentioned in the first part, my model railroad will represent the early begining of a new logging operation, so structures and equipment doesn’t heavy wear or weathering yet.
As the lower row of photos shows, the rails are also in place by now. I made them from basswood strips 1×1.5mm. Next will be to add some green and grass to the ground and to continue on the next segments as well.
after many ideas and withdrawn plans, I finally found a way to build a timber-tramroad layout to run my little Toma-Shay. The layout is designed in 3 segments and will show a fresh started logging operation in the late 19th centuray, out in the Carolina Sandhills.
I found an old diecast kit of the “Tie & Plank Mill” produced by Woodland Scenics, which will become the sawmill on my railroad. To make it fit, I had to mirrow the working direction so the logs will come in from the right, while the timber output is to the left. This required some kitbashing. Also, the mill will become a relief structure right at the backdrop.
Once the parts were deburred and cleaned, I made the required changes and created subassemblies when possible. This would make the coloring part easier. All parts got primed and base colored with an airbrush. After a wash to highlight the wood grain, all the small details got hand-painted.
Finally, the sawmill got pre-assembled on my workbench. Remember, that this will become a relief structure and lean against the backdrop one finished.
Next weeks report will show the final touches on the sawmill and installation on the first segment of the layout.
actually, the railroad projects are on hold, as we start work to rearrange the lower portion of the garden. In the past weeks, I moved a lot of stones and earth.
The space below the railroad station will be covered with wood to store crates of rolling stock and kid toys. The ground in front will get filled up to level the lawn and off course, new grass will be installed as well. To support the new layer of dirt, I added a dry wall from sandstone.
There were some more corners, which need some attention. I added slices of sandstone to an old concrete wall. Once dry, I’ll cut off the excess on top and create more weatherproof storage capacity here.
Most stone work is done. So, the next weeks, I’ll install the storage shelfs and dig over the ground for further processing.
time for a new update here on my blog. my Romanian style logging railroad operates a rail car, rebuild from a an old Russian Wolga. Out “in the woods” the railcar is turned on the wye, but down in Ronja Springs, there was no turning facility available. The real rail cars often featured a turning device to lift the car off the rails on any location. But this is hard to model in scale, especially in a functional way.
When looking through my books, I spotted a special kind of railcar turntable used on the CFF Teregova line. This would be the perfect turntable device for my lower station.
I found some low-pro brass rails and some brass pieces in my scrap-box. I made a cut through the foot of the rail, bend it down, soldered it together and milled the lower section of the tips flat to create a little ramp.
I use soft-solder to join the parts together. After a balance test, I added the pin to the center brackets. For the layout, I made a small socket from round bar and brass sheet. This socket is located near the water tower, at the switch to the loco maintenance spur.
The turntable track is placed beside the rails when not in use. Now the rail car can be turned before heading backwards into the storage spur. BTW, the Krauss loco also fits this turntable, but might be way to heavy in relation to the rails used. The Resita loco also fits, but there’s not enough space to turn her around.
We also started some garden work at the lower portion of the garden, so railroad projects are on the backlist at the moment. But I’ll keep you updated.
Another good news – I finally found a layout concept for my Hon30 battery Shay “Gopher” – so stay tuned.
today I like to share some update on Louise Valley Lumber Co. Shay #5.
During the last rework, I added 3D-printed replacements for the broken foot boards on the pilot beams. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long. Also, the steps to the cab were broken multiple times and glued back in place, until they broke off again.
Now it’s time to replace them with rigged brass parts. I used the opportunity to make the foot boards at the end beams smaller, as I don’t need the extra wide opening for the regular couplers.
The construction is very simple. I used 12x10x1mm brass L profiles and some 1.5mm thick brass strips. The parts are holt together with small rivets and got soldered as well. Before applying the paint, I spend a quick sandblast.
While I was already working on the loco, I remembered another tweak I had on my list for many years. The previous owner chopped the length of the cab roof. In my opinion the overall proportions don’t look right. At least to me. Fortunately, I got an original replacement roof.
To make the longer roof fit, I had to rearrange the firewood load. I poked a screw driver under the load and it came off very easily. So I moved the wooden create inside the tender further to the back to get more space to lift off the tender shell for access to the batteries. A new firewood load was installed to match the longer roof. Some small parts as the water valve handles are homemade from brass and styrene.
The new firewood pile isn’t “full load” as before, which looks more realistic to me.
At the end, I’m very happy with the new appearance of the loco with it’s original roof. Finally, the loco is ready for the 2021 season.
short update from my projects.
Not much done, but at least, the tiny Toma Shay got named “Gopher” inspired by Shay c/n433. I had ideas to build a small layout for this loco, but non of the plans could convince me by now or at least, were to large for my space.
So I’ve to spend some more thoughts on a layout and maybe I can use the time in between to finish some other models.
Well, some may have wondered about last weeks update, others already got an idea what I did. Here’s the 4th part of my tiny Shay loco, showing you a little untold secret ;-)
The Toma Shay is factory equipped with a small coreless motor. I meassured the current draw of this motor, which is 6-7mA in regular use, up to 12mA when the wheels are blockes with a thumb. Let’s combine this with a tiny 50mAh Lipo battery, which will be the base for an RC conversion.
As the Shay has limited room inside, the only spot to add RC would be the tender top and inside the firewood pile. I already had a Deltang reviever at home, so I searched for tiny Lipo batteries.
I made a 3D model of each component in Fusion360 as well as model of the tender shell. Next hours were spend in good old Tetris-manner, trying to puzzle all parts in place. A tiny SMD switch could be placed behind the timber railing, same would be possible for a charging socket. Its tight, but should work.
What Fusion360 did not show me is, how tiny tiny the space really is and how to use a soldering iron in litteraly no space at all. First, I converted the power truck. I removed the pick-ups to the wheels and replaced them with a tiny 2-pol socket. This plug-in connection allows easy desassembly if necessary.
A 3-pol-socket for charging was placed on the back side of the tank. I had to file one of the opening and add some shims to make it fit. I use 3-pol sockets for charging with “minus-plus-minus” to allign polarity. On the firemen side, I added the SMD switch with some shims underneath. The knob is sticking out of the grate.
The photo below shows the components used. To charge the battery, I use an external USB-charger with cable connection.
As I designed the whole rebuild in CAD, it was easy to create a woodpile which would cover up all the RC components. I added cut outs for the switch and socket and send the file to my dad for 3D-printing. The printed part got painted and fits perfectly in place, covering up all the electronics below.
Beside the wood pile, I send files for disconnect log cars to my dad as well. But that’s another story for another week.
time for a new update. I did some research on 13ton open cab Shays in the past weeks and where they were used. Doing so, I found a couple of such locos in North Carolina, running into the Carolina Sandhills to get timber, turpentine and tar from pine trees.
A very interesting detail is, that a few of such small Shay locos once ran on timber rails. I was already aware of Shays, build with wide tires and deep flanges to operate on wooden rails. Going through the Shay records, I was able to determine more than 2 dozen of Shays, which were running on timber rails by clear evidence (either photos or notes in the Shay records). This idea fascinated me. So, I made this small test track from basswood strips.
And this is how it looks with a Shay on it…