Temporary Post: The Beeches Light Railway Carrabasset Parlor Car

This post is temporary to support a thread on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group. It does not form part of the Maine On2 FAQ’s, but is posted here for convenience.

Terry Smith writes: “we’ve just got back from our first caravan trip this year – to our favourite site in Wales – up in the hills near Tan Y Bwlch on the other side of the valley. So I’ve now seen the Beeches Light Railway’s Carrabasset Parlor Car on a daily (or more frequent) basis – it seems that it never moved for the whole week that we were passing by – it was stuck at Boston Lodge on the track leading to the passenger equipment storage sheds nearest to the sea. It was pretty visible, but very awkwardly placed for decent photographs. I did not want to trespass or climb over sea walls for better pictures.”

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General view of the Festiniog Railway’s Boston Lodge Works with the Carrabasset Parlor Car.

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Just in case there happens to be a question about the location…….

 

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Close – up view.

Update: 18 – May -2016: while Carrabasset appeared to be stationary throughout my sojourn in the neighbourhood, it has been put to use at other times as on trips such as the Snowdonian and the Afternoon tea party. Click on the blue words to see the Festiniog Facebook pages showing these events.

Click here to visit the Wikipedia page for the Beeches Light Railway.

Click here for more pictures of the Carrabasset Parlor Car.

On2 Mounted Wheel Standards

In the following table, we show three different wheel standards compared to prototype dimensions derived from measurements of photographs and also a sample of measurements taken from commercial wheelsets. The ¼AAR for Two Foot Gauge – 1966 and the NMRA – 1974 Standards are included for historical purposes, as they reflect the standards in place when many of the brass locomotives and rolling stock were first produced.

Experience has shown that the back to back measurement of the wheels is most critical single dimension that affects the running of On2 trains through pointwork, and paradoxically this is also the dimension which is most likely to vary outside the control limits of the various specifications.

The table can be enlarged by clicking on it.

On2 wheel standards 2016-01

Notes

1/. Scaled from known object placed on central plane of wheelset.

2/. Scaled from track gauge with allowance for perspective.

3/. Measurements based on set of 4 wheelsets bought in the mid 1990’s. Measurement accuracy estimated at +/- .002 inches.

5/. By calculation.

7/. Back to back variation in a wheelset: three wheelsets had no measurable variation, one had .006” variation. This wheelset showed wobble on the insulated wheel.

8/. Back to back variation in a wheelset: all four wheelsets showed variations ranging from .002” to .005”. Three wheelsets showed wobble on the insulated wheel, one on the un-insulated wheelset.

9/. Back to back variation in a wheelset: one wheelset had no measurable variation, three wheelsets showed variations ranging from .002” to .003” and wobbled. Larger variations in measurement between set of four wheelsets, as expected by use of injection moulded axle with double shoulders. (Range of .018” versus .010” for NWSL and Portland Products).

10/. Back to back variation in a wheelset: wheelsets showed variations ranging from .003” to .024” and wobbled. Larger variations in measurement between set of four wheelsets, as expected by use of injection moulded axle with double shoulders. (Range of .027” versus .010” for NWSL and Portland Products).

Grandt Line Wheelsets.

The original Grandt Line On2 wheelsets consisted of metal rims with cast plastic centres featuring ribs on the back of the wheel and a moulded half axle outer profile with a steel functioning axle.

A later version was produced using the metal rims and cast centre only with a moulded plastic functioning axle. This combination can give problems with true running of the wheels, and most serious operators at the time chose to upgrade to NWSL wheelsets.

Grandt followed suit and supplied their freight truck with NWSL wheelsets. More recently Grandt has chosen to supply their freight truck without wheels.

Sample locomotive back to back wheel dimensions.

The following data was provided by Terry Smith from his own locomotives;-

Portland Products, F&M #1,    .417 – .429″

Putnam & Stowe, SR #2,     .417″

The Car Works, B&SR #7,    .406 – .409″

The Car Works, B&SR #8, from the front;-   .4245 -.4165 – .4235 – .423 – .4225

Custom Brass, SR&RL #6, from the front;-   .422 – .4245 – .4175 – .4165

Custom Brass, SR&RL #24,   .413″

 

Is “On2” P48, Proto 48 or Finescale? No, not according to current NMRA definitions or Standards. Click here for more details.

Updated 22-May-2016

Yikes! …we are three!

Is it really three years since we made our first tentative public disclosures of this blog?.

Yikes! ……….They say that time flies when you are enjoying yourself – or is it because as you get older your perception of elapsed time changes and that you have many more distractions?

Update added 03 – April -2016;-

The anniversary post has previously contained a quick review of the past year – this year the anniversary seemed to come round a lot quicker than previous years (hence the Yikes!), and then other circumstances conspired to prevent me posting the review portion on the anniversary – but here goes.

Around 20 posts/topics have been added in the last year, split fairly equally between Maine Two Foot prototype data, and On2 modelling topics. A few were re-publications of topics from the old HTML version of the FAQ’s, but the majority were new topics.

 We were fortunate to be given permission to publish Dwight Smith’s pictures of his visit to Bridgton in 1940, the announcement of which resulted in our biggest one day surge of viewers and viewings after Day 1 (our all time record, so far).

The blog receives a spike in the viewers and viewings when a new topic is posted and/or an old topic is referenced on the MaineOn2 Yahoo! group board, so it would seem that the blog is functioning to support the group as we and our founder intended.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed your visits, and thanks to all our contributors (and not forgetting the administrators),

Terry, Matt and Trevor.

Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module

Editorial note: The early pictures of Bob Harper’s Franklin module shown here were originally published in one of the last galleries to be revised on the original Fotopic pictures FAQ site. As noted elsewhere, that site went belly-up (without warning), and the backup copy made temporarily available a year or so later pre-dated the Franklin gallery revisions, so all the original work was lost. The recent work on Bob’s latest module, (Megantic, click here to view on another browser page) unearthed some of the original Franklin pictures and drafts for the accompanying text, so we present this topic as if it were published in the 2010 to 2012 timeframe or so.

Foreword: UK Style small exhibition layouts, owned and shown by individuals.

The Franklin module is typical of many UK Exhibition layouts in being relatively small,  consisting of three major units; the visible part of the layout is in two pieces with an integral (and solid) backscene and ends, and a non-sceniced fiddle yard section using a multi track centre pivotted sector plate. The two scenic units fold together for transit, and the turntable unit fits on top forming a pretty complete and strong cage to protect the permanently attached scenery and structures whilst in transit. The size of the units is essentially dependant upon the owners’ vehicle or vehicles.

At the UK Slim Gauge Circle meet, I helped Bob bring the layout in from his car to the hall in the morning and back again in the afternoon. Bob confirms that his vehicle is a Ford (UK) Mondeo estate car, pretty similar in size to the Audi A4 estate, and quite compact compared to the American cars that I used to rent on my business trips throughout the 80’s and 90’s. The layout sections were loaded in lengthwise from the rear door.

The fiddle yard section has two sets of legs built in and is erected first, and then the sceniced sections are added as they only have/need one set of legs each.

In many cases the exhibition layout is the owners home layout, built so that it is easily transportable for exhibitions or even house moves. In other cases, like Franklin, the exhibition layout is part of the owners home layout designed and built to be easily removable as a section. In a few cases the owner may actually store the layout between exhibitions and only run trains at shows and exhibitions.

This style of layout is ideal for a first layout and for those who may have space or other restrictions, or who do not wish to commit to a larger layout. An added advantage for an On2 modeller is the linear nature allowing the larger radius curves required for satisfactory running of the larger Forney locomotives.

The Man and his module;-

When Bob joined the Maine On2 Yahoo! group he posted this introduction;- “My name is Bob Harper and I live in Manchester, England. Modelling in On3 since 1998, I have been adding an On2 feeder line to the On3 main line for the last 4/5 years. The On2 branch leaves the mixed-gauge junction and climbs up to the terminus, “Franklin”, which is detachable and can be taken out to exhibitions around the country. I was introduced to this Group by Terry Smith, and you can see a couple of photos he took of Franklin at the recent meet (13 May 2012) of the UK Slim Gauge Circle meet at Hillmorton, near Rugby”;-

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Bob continues;- “The white-bearded figure on the left of the photo is myself, controlling the layout from an i-pod. This is my latest painstaking mastery of modern technology, and creates a lot of interest at exhibitions. The scenic part of Franklin is 10 feet by 2 feet, and is fed by a 5 foot long turntable “fiddle yard”, with 5 tracks. The station is roughly based on Bridgton, but greatly compressed.” Note the legs and various boxes under the layout that transport the rolling stock etc.

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This picture shows a train of Terry Smith’s Bridgton freight cars arriving at Franklin on Bob Harper’s On2 portable layout.

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This view emphasises the track-work, which is all hand-built by Bob using Karlgarin code 82 rail. This rail is specially drawn in the UK with heavier sections to suit O scale (and larger) narrow gauge track work.

Click here to visit the Karlgarin home page, and here to download a .pdf of the rail sections available.

This picture shows the wider head (and base flange) of the Karlgarin rail.

Unpacking and erecting the layout at a show (Wigan 2012)

On the 15th June  2012, Bob sent these pictures and wrote “It’s still raining here in Britain, but I managed to dodge the showers and get the layout into the Exhibition Hall in Wigan, where I took photos of the rotary fiddle yard and the lighting beam.”

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The turntable style fiddle yard as folded for travel.

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The legs hinge upwards (in this view) and are locked in place by struts with toggle latches.

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The unit is rolled over and upright. This view shows the wooden wheels and upturned furniture castors which assist in taking the weight of the turntable when rotating.

The turntable fiddle yard is fitted with two sets of legs, and so is free standing. Both of the scenic boards are fitted with one pair of legs only and so must be erected and connected to the fiddle yard and first board in sequence. The legs are visible in the heading picture.

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The picture also shows the travelling position of an essential piece of equipment, the folding stool which Bob and other operators can sit on at the front of the layout while  conversing with visitors and occasionally operating trains.

Bob explains;- “the track on the turntable looks complicated as it was originally built for my On3 exhibition layout, “Cascade Yard”, which has 2 entrances to the yard and is a different width to “Franklin”. When I was getting Franklin ready for its first show I realised that I could share the old fiddle yard with the new layout, by adding the On2 track down the middle of the On3. Hence the 4 rails – 2 gauges, not check rails!”.

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After generating some interest on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group, some of it in error, Bob wrote “picking up a few points that have been raised, the micro-switches are needed to isolate the tracks, not flip the polarity. One is needed for each track at BOTH ends of the table. Isolation is required with DC operation, but not essential with DCC. I put the facility in to stop the sound of 5 trains at once driving fellow exhibitors mad at shows, not to stop the locos moving.”

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Like many UK exhibition layouts, Franklin has its own lighting system, built into a folding fascia that frames the layout like a theatre proscenium arch. Illumination is provided by a set of CFD “bulbs”, which were rather expensive on initial purchase in the UK when the layout was built.

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In transit, these expensive bulbs are housed in dummy bulb holders (ie not wired up) under a protective cover;-

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The fascia is supported by cantilevered brackets attached to posts at the rear of the layout, and held in place by toggle latches. Just visible at the top left of the fascia is the locking strip which fits across the top of the hinge line to hold the to parts open and in line;-

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The picture below shows the general arrangement of the layout from rear;-

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A “before the storm shot” below; the layout has now been fully erected, and after an electrical check can be connected to the mains supply, and rolling stock un-packed, and the paying visitors admitted.

Note the use of a cloth curtain in the picture below to hide all the detritus under the layout visible in the heading picture.

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– and here’s the continuation shot showing the turntable fiddle yard ready to accept the rolling stock.

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The red end stops are always kept down at the outer end of the table, and at both ends when it is being rotated.

Bob comments;- “As a space saving device, a turntable fiddle yard is very useful to save length, but do remember that you will need more width – you need a square space  to allow full rotation of the table. So it can’t be set up close to a wall. However, a friend has got round this by having the whole thing on runners, like a drawer, which pulls out and then allows rotation. Also I now use much niftier castors to support the table, which fit into a recess in the sub-base.”

Footnote 1: Bob and the Franklin module are booked to attend the National Narrow Gauge Convention 2016 at Augusta later this year. Click here for more details of the Convention.

Footnote 2: The Slim Gauge Circle is an informal group of around 200 UK (plus some overseas) based modelers interested in North American narrow gauge railroads. The Circle was founded 30 years ago to provide an alternative meeting place where the emphasis was on modeling, exchange of ideas, meeting old and making new friends plus some trading. Members’ interests include Colorado, Maine, logging and mining in all scales. The Circle holds “get togethers” twice a year at Hillmorton, near Rugby, in May and November.

Click here for more details about the Slim Gauge Circle.

 

The Bridgton News available to view online

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The Bridgton Public Library has digitised its collection of local papers, and the Bridgton News from 1870 onwards is available to read on screen at http://bridgton.advantage-preservation.com/

Using this address, the Home Page shown above is reached. The Search facility does not always find particular names or phrases. I have found it far easier to look at particular editions by their dates, as this type of search is very straightforward.

The old copies of The Bridgton News has contemporary reports of many happenings of the B&SR and B&HR and in addition, it carries reports of interest to the fans of the other Maine Two Footers, such as George Mansfield reporting that the Sandy River RR had poor track and ballast but magnificent equipment, and reports of the opening of the Kennebec Central.

The Bridgton News of the period of interest to the Bridgton fan appears to have been a 4 page publication, always dated for the Friday of the week. Very occasionally extra pages were published, but note that sometimes the scanning runs pages and editions together – if the page or edition wanted is not apparently available then take a look at the previous and next available files.

All copies examined so far have had the then current B&SR Timetable at the top right hand of the back page, normally page 4.

For starters have a look at these pages;-

http://bridgton.advantage-preservation.com/document/bridgton-news-1877-10-12-page-2

George Mansfield + B&B, page 2 column 1.

http://bridgton.advantage-preservation.com/document/bridgton-news-1883-01-26-page-1

The story behind the B&SR.

http://bridgton.advantage-preservation.com/document/bridgton-news-1883-01-26-page-2

First B&SR train arrives columns 2, 3 & 4. Track report column 6 under title Locomotive sparks.

http://bridgton.advantage-preservation.com/document/bridgton-news-1911-05-26-page-3

Perley’s Mills derailment, column 4 top, also note column 3, loco recovered.

 

Enjoy if you visit,

Terry

(with due acknowledgements to my fellow researchers Wes Ewell and Rick Uskert)

Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module

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Over the last few years Bob Harper, who hails from Manchester in England, has been doing a great job showing and publicising real Maine On2 on the UK Exhibition circuit with his “Franklin” module.

Pictured above is Bob’s new module “Megantic” at its first public outing at the ALSRM (Association of Larger Scale Railway Modellers) North 2016 Show at Wythenshawe yesterday (14th February 2016). The modules are parts of his On3/On2 layout located in the basement of his home which have been designed to be removable for exhibition purposes.

Bob has a very relaxed style of operating at UK Exhibitions, and so the controls are placed at the front to enable Bob to chat easily with the audience. It is not unknown for him to hand the controller to a member of the audience to allow them to run the trains.

Note that all the pictures in this post are shown reduced. By clicking on the pictures the larger versions are shown, use your browser back arrow to return to this page.

 

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Bob sent the first pictures last week and wrote;-

“I’ve been working furiously on the Megantic module trying to get it mostly ready for its first proper outing at the Manchester O gauge show this coming weekend. This will be the last new station on the 2ft, as there is no more space in my basement! It would be nice if it was far bigger, but it’s the best I can do. Very roughly based on Bigelow, the granary and section hut come from Kingfield, station from Mount Blue Models kit and freight house (much reduced) from Bigelow, loco shed from Randoph (reversed), turntable from Bridgton, and factory (chair mill?) inspired by another Mount Blue Models kit. Come and see it and help operating next Sunday if you can get there. Real ale on tap at £2.50 a pint!”

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In response to the posted question below Bob has replied;-

“the scenic station section is 80″ long by 15″ deep, and the fiddle yard adds another 40″ to the length. Because of the rotating top, this is effectively 36″ deep, though only 24” when stowed “line ahead”. Everything is very tight, both in length and depth, with the station restricted to Forneys; in order to get in a run-round loop long enough for a 2 car passenger train, l had to reduce the head-shunt by the tank to the bare minimum, and also the turntable, so tender locos won’t fit either. Of course, at home I can use a pilot loco to release the tender locos, but for exhibitions I will stick to the shorter trains and locos. The white background mill is not a Ken Berlo kit, as he has designed his with the freight doors at a pitch to match 2 Bachmann box cars. I scratch-built my version based on Ken’s, but put the doors on 28′ centres instead. I had also run out of window mouldings, so had to reduce their number!”

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Bob’s modules are parts of his On3/On2 home layout which are removable for exhibition purposes where they are mated with a turntable style fiddle yard section to hold trains “off scene”. This type of layout is very popular on the UK Exhibition circuit. Bob’s open style makes it easy for the viewers to look over the stock held in reserve, rather than making them strain over view blocks.

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The editors made a deliberate decision to publish these pictures at full frame to allow our viewers to see the backgrounds – which are typical of many UK shows.

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The section hut comes from the SR&RL at Kingfield.

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The station was built from a Mount Blue Models kit of Bigelow Depot.

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This structure was scratch-built and represents a prototype industry believed to be a chair factory. The design was based on the Mount Blue Models kit “Backdrop Industry #2”.

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The loco shed is based on the Kennebec Central shed at Randoph (reversed) and the turntable is based on the B&SR’s at Bridgton.

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The freight house is based on the SR&RL prototype at Bigelow but is much reduced to fit the available space.

Stuart Edmundson was at the show and has sent in the following pictures showing trains on the module.

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Bob’s latest addition to his fleet of scratch built rolling stock is this caboose based on the early version of the Bridgton lines prototype.

Note that Bob’s Franklin module has featured in a number of publications such as the UK 7mm Association newsletters and the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette, September/October 2014 edition, and is booked to attend the NNGC in Augusta, Maine later this year.

2016 National Narrow Gauge Convention. Click here to view the Convention site on another browser page.