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Postby ian holmes » Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:44 pm

Even after all these years. Its still wonderful to see this layout.
More wonderfully atmospheric pics Paul

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Postby DCRfan » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:11 pm

Thanks for all the kind words. Dangerous statement but I have been reinvigrated to finish :shock: this layout so lots of little details are appearing.

Unfortunately thoughts have been sturring for a sister layout that would utilise the Wellllington City Council rollingstock (and some foreigners) but set on one of the other WCC tunnel projects.

I keep returning to ideas for something similar to http://www.nickwrightmodelmaker.co.uk/cwmdu_gallery.htm Unfortunately with the size of the concrete agitator wagon, to provide a degree of realism and reliable running in the tunnels, the curves would need to be generous so it would be a rather large layout. Perhaps next year :wink:
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Postby DCRfan » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:54 pm

Help Last night I made a second loco battery charging stand for the basement as two of the WCC locos carried two batteries. As I lay in bed I got to thinking how did they swap the two charged batteries for two discharged batteries. You guessed it, I tossed and turned much of the night as it kept coming into my mind.

Here is a picture of the basement as subsequently used by the contractor. I'm not sure what the WCC setup was. You can see a single loco battery on the lower right with rolling block and tackle above

Image

I guess the WCC probably had several battery chargers and possibly additional B&T or the one shown ran well to the left so batteries were lined up one behind the other. The locos could be run short distances when a battery was removed using a long slave cable from the charger - Is that it rolled up on the wall to the right?

My query just how did they play the 'shell game' swapping two flat batteries on the loco for two charged batteries sitting on stands. Note the batteries could not be rolled on and off like some setups, they had to be lifted in and out as they sat down inside a low fame on the locos. The only way I can figure it is that they had a least three battery stands or am I missing something very obvious????? :oops:
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Postby scott b » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:54 pm

My question is, Why is there a big chunk of the support beam missing :shock:
There does seem to be room on both sides Paul, so they could off load to the left of the picture bring the batteries on from the right move the loco pass the spent batteries back from the left over the tracks to the charger. But I still would be concerned if a major support were missing especially if I where picking up heavy batteries with an overhead hoist :wink:
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Postby Rockley Bottom » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:07 pm

I like very much the quality of the modelling, the lighting to me seems just the right level to give the atmosphere of an underground workings

Well done
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Postby Oztrainz » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:45 pm

scott b wrote:My question is, Why is there a big chunk of the support beam missing :shock:
There does seem to be room on both sides Paul, so they could off load to the left of the picture bring the batteries on from the right move the loco pass the spent batteries back from the left over the tracks to the charger. But I still would be concerned if a major support were missing especially if I where picking up heavy batteries with an overhead hoist :wink:


Probably to get the concrete agitator past??? From memory in Paul's story of the line, the concrete agitator arrived later and it was ex 3'6" gauge and has a cylindrical profile.
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Postby Peter » Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:59 am

My question is, Why is there a big chunk of the support beam missing

Haven't you ever heard about Alligators in the sewer. :lol:
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Postby Oztrainz » Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:16 am

DCRfan wrote:
I guess the WCC probably had several battery chargers and possibly additional B&T or the one shown ran well to the left so batteries were lined up one behind the other. The locos could be run short distances when a battery was removed using a long slave cable from the charger - Is that it rolled up on the wall to the right?


It probably is or perhaps it is a charging cable that could be plugged into the batteries? We used a similar rig at the ILRMS for charging up our batteries on our 2' gauge Mancha battery electric loco (now dead awaiting new traction batteries).

DCRfan wrote:Help
My query just how did they play the 'shell game' swapping two flat batteries on the loco for two charged batteries sitting on stands. Note the batteries could not be rolled on and off like some setups, they had to be lifted in and out as they sat down inside a low fame on the locos. The only way I can figure it is that they had a least three battery stands or am I missing something very obvious????? :oops:


Maybe the WCC didn't swap the batteries to the battery stands for charging - Perhaps the batteries were charged on the loco? 4 locos would be sufficient to handle 24 hours continuous operations with 8 hour shifts. The typical battery duty cycle for 3'6" gauge battery electric locos used locally was - 8 hours in service, 8 hours high rate charge, 8 hours slow rate trickle charge to top off the batteries and allow the cells to cool after the high rate charge. At any time, this gives you one loco in service, a second loco on high rate charge, a third loco on top-up trickle charge, and the fourth loco either ready-to-go as a spare loco or down for planned maintenance. At a pinch, the loco on trickle charge could be brought into service early if required.

Given that the arrangements for swapping battery boxes looks labourious and time consuming, the easy way to charge the loco is to unplug the battery lead where it goes to the chassis and plug the charging plug direct into the battery lead. You need to open the battery box lids to vent any hydrogen produced during charging and then turn on the battery charger. The battery charger may be able to automatically switch back to trickle charge

You would also need one or 2 spare battery boxes that are kept charged up with good cells that would be available to swap out other battery boxes with defective cells that won't hold charge. Perhaps this might be one of the times when the "shell game" is played? When sufficient cells "die" to make it unlikley that you will get through the full shift, the battery box with the defective cells is rotated out to the battery stand and a new battery box with good cells is placed on the loco. Once on the stand, the individual cells in the battery box can then be tested at leisure with a hydrometer, while the loco remains in service. Any defective cells can then be de-linked, removed and replaced with good cells that will hold charge. The connections between individual cells are re-attached and the battery is then put through a charge cycle to check that all cells are charging.

Another time the battery boxes would have to be removed is when attention is required to wiring, traction motors, gearboxes, axles, bearings or wheels on the chassis as most of these components are under the battery boxes. Maybe the battery boxes weren't swapped all that often?
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Postby DCRfan » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:06 am

John,

Thanks. The reason I believe the batteries were swapped for charging is that the charging facilities were astride the single track into all of the WCC tunnel projects so once a loco was stopped for charging all train movement in and out of the tunnel must stop. From the pictures I have only two locos were in use at any tunnelling operation and worked paired up when when the concrete agitators or four full hoppers were moved.
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Postby DCRfan » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:08 am

Oztrainz wrote:Probably to get the concrete agitator past??? From memory in Paul's story of the line, the concrete agitator arrived later and it was ex 3'6" gauge and has a cylindrical profile.


That is exactly how I have interpreted the 'bite mark' in the side of the portal.
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Postby DCRfan » Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:16 am

You need to open the battery box lids to vent any hydrogen produced during charging and then turn on the battery charger.

Just reread your post. A battery box with the lid off and bottle of water, now there's an idea for a little variety 8)

Or a man leaning inside the top with high intensity white LED flashing in the bottom - he must have shorted +ve and -ve :lol: Been there done that with an Army radio fitted Land Rover with 6 batteries wired in series and parallel, and a spanner in the wrong place = instant welding and a big bang. Did I ever s**t myself :oops: :oops:
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Postby Oztrainz » Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:30 am

DCRfan wrote:Or a man leaning inside the top with high intensity white LED flashing in the bottom - he must have shorted +ve and -ve :lol: Been there done that with an Army radio fitted Land Rover with 6 batteries wired in series and parallel, and a spanner in the wrong place = instant welding and a big bang. Did I ever s**t myself :oops: :oops:


And lots of sulphuric acid flying around from the blown cells,
In a previous life I was standing close to an electric forklift truck that had cells fail and explode - certainly cleaned the concrete under the forkie. It was a "tow away" job. Fortunately for me and the driver most of the acid stayed in the battery box.....
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Postby DCRfan » Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:05 am

John,

Just enough detail to give the impression there is something inside the box when positioned at the back of the basement

Image
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Postby Oztrainz » Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:58 am

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Postby DCRfan » Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:26 am

Exhibited Mt Albert at Anything Vintage Festival today. Unfortunaetly its going to be one of those exhibitions to forget. Lack of organisation, set up in dark Tram Barn and the Gremlins turned up and redirected the power to some of the layout lights :cry: Thank goodness for jumper leads.

Then a loco departed without its train and I discovered there was no glue in the tool box to reattach the coupler.

Image

A mixed train passing through the basement

http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y218/D ... s005-1.mp4

Finally for those having a cold Christmas, some of the scenery shot on the way home.
Image
Last edited by DCRfan on Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Will Vale » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:10 am

We thought you were putting on a pretty good show today despite lighting :) It was great to see the whole layout again, I just hope the sticky-fingered kids didn't make off with anything - they were a lot less well-behaved than at Railex from what I could see.

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Postby DCRfan » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:41 am

Thanks for stopping by Will and Gavin. Gavin put in some driving time letting me get a break. Unfortunately his trained eye picked up several track faults - out of gauge and subsidance - work for the track gang :cry:

Also two locos gave up the ghost although one came alive in the last half hour :? Not bad after I realised the oldest was constructed almost five years ago.

One incident occured to put a smile on my face. A young subteen lady was following the trains up and down the layout. Mum said 'lets go'. She didn't move so Mum says I'll be at the next stand. Some minutes later Mum arrives, 'Come on' - 'No I'm fine here' so Mum departs again. In all she spent about 10 minutes looking and asking questions. I suspect a potential modeller :D
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Postby Ryan » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:40 pm

Great layout, makes me feel like im back at work :D

Just a quick question, the steel arches used in the real tunnel, were they the gothic style shown in the model and just loosely borded out?

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Postby DCRfan » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:21 pm

:shock: Yes of course, my model is more acurate than the original :lol: :lol:

Somewhere I have a council report that discusses support requirements. In general they were only needed where poor rock was encountered.

This is the standard WCC profile. Each arch was in two sections bolted at the top. While they have holes for stays/bolts between arches (not sure of correct term) all the pictures I have seen show either nothing joining the arches or wood posts jammed into the 'H' section. Then planks were pushed in behind often held in with a variety of wooden wedges.

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Postby Ryan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:00 am

Thanks for the info Paul, interesting to know.

From the lack of tie bars in between the arches it sounds like they weren't to worried about the rock, and they were more for show than anything else. Having stood under arches that have suddenly come under stress i can tell you they ain't a massive amount of use :lol:

Impressively model tho, captures the scene very well :D

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Postby Gavin Sowry » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:51 am

:D Ryan, sounds like you are not in unfamiliar territory. Winding back to my Engineering Geology paper, so long ago, I've probably forgotten more than I came remember, the underlying ( very underlying, actually)rock formation in the Wellington area is Greywacke, on both sides of the fault line than runs through our fine city (faultline is the meeting of the Australian plate, and the Pacific plate, if you know a bit about techtonics). The surface of the greywacke is very heavilly weathered. The top gets skimmed off as what is colloqually known as rotten rock (makes a good fill material, and basecourse for enigineering works). The WCC tunnels are through a mixture of weathered, and solid greywacke... the solid stuff is essentially self supporting.
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Postby Gavin Sowry » Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:01 am

DCRfan wrote:Exhibited Mt Albert at Anything Vintage Festival today. Unfortunaetly its going to be one of those exhibitions to forget.


:shock: Au contre :!: Apart from the positives in the fault finding that you have just spoken about, we did discuss 'presentation', and came away with some thoughts and ideas after seeing some of the 'other' displays. I was quite taken with the 'cubicle' idea, using screens to hide the extraneous rubbish, and actually present a more professional presentation.... topic of a future (not to distant) thread.
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Postby Ryan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:57 pm

Thanks for that Gavin, certainly interesting to know. We are in a very similiar situation at the moment, the ground we're in at the moment has been very rotten and just loves to drop out. Hence the amount of arches we've had to do
Image

Can see what i mean about close boarding with lots of tie bars for strength. Sadly in this case not quite strong enough

Image

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Postby DCRfan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:08 pm

:shock: :shock: Yikes. Did that happen instantly or over time?
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Postby Ryan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:18 pm

The first collapse happened instantly, which was abit nervous as we were standing directly under them at the time, and the weight of the stuff dropping just bent them down, and there 8inch H beams.
The ones in the photo are actually part of the work to try and fix the problem, there a second set of arches inside the original ones, the collapse you see in the photo actually bent both together. They estimated somewhere between 450 and 600 tons of stuff came down on them


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