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Wisconsin Rapids Update

 
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Cheshire001



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 50
Location: Crewe

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:12 pm    Post subject: Wisconsin Rapids Update Reply with quote

Wisconsin Rapids featured in MTI 76. I am pleased to say that the layout is still going strong, having enjoyed numerous visits to model railway shows at Crewe Heritage Centre.

It's surprising how much work one can do on a small switching layout.

At the end of last season we had had problems with wagons coupling or not uncoupling. I spent some time with a borrowed coupler height gauge, applying shims (slivers of plastic strip) to raise drooping couplers and ruthlessly removing damaged couplings.

I also became aware that E-Z Mate couplings didn't always perform reliably when mixed with Kadeee's, so most of them have been replaced. A rather extravagant expense by my standards, but reliability has improved and the old couplings are earmarked for use elsewhere on a permanently coupled rake.

A few wobbling wheelsets have been removed for use a loads. Other wagons have benefited from a plastic pin in each bolster on either side of the pivot to stop them wobbling, the other bogie being left to rock as a sort of 3-point suspension. (Idea courtesy of Model Railroader.) Sometimes you can get a similar effect by tightening one pivot screw (not too much) and leaving the other comparatively loose.

The cardboard unloading shed has been replaced with a plasticard version.



Similarly the Harris Mfg. cardboard flat has been replaced with one made from plastic sheet. Brick inserts are from some scraps of brickpaper with the windows ruled on black card with white ink in a Rotring pen.



Having recently experimented with static grass, I hope to 'grow' some grass between the tracks which should add colour and interest.

One interesting aspect of operating this small layout at exhibitions is that you are very open to questions from the public. Several have come up with the misconception that US models are expensive until I explain that the Athearn SW1500 I have used for hours only cost 30. Some have gone away saying 'I could have a go at that', there wives being placated by the fact that something this size would not take over the house.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1969
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice update, Roy. I like the Harris building with the brick inserts and the air-con fans mounted on the wall. I must go back and look up your original article.

Somewhere on this forum (I think - sorry I can't recall where) there is a post on growing tufts of grass between the rails to act as Kadee uncoupling ramps; maybe something to experiment with while your grass is growing.
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Cheshire001



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 50
Location: Crewe

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments, Giles.

The air-con fans were from Unit Models.

I did a quick search but couldn't find any mention of uncoupling Kadees with tufts of grass; I must have another look when I have a little more time. At the recent Alsager Society MRX, somebody showed me a clump of long grass material inserted into a hole between the rails and cut off round about rail height (check!). These formed a highly effective uncoupler for tension lock couplings, much better than ramps and the big-hand-from-the-sky. If I remember correctly the hook had been removed from one end of each vehicle.

As you can see, Wisconsin Rapids uses magnets, with the sleepers painted with dabs of yellow paint to highlight their position - see in front of Harris Mfg. Very useful when you are looking into the gloom between wagons, although with hindsight clumps of grass or waste paper would blend in better.
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1969
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheshire001 wrote:
At the recent Alsager Society MRX, somebody showed me a clump of long grass material inserted into a hole between the rails and cut off round about rail height (check!). These formed a highly effective uncoupler for tension lock couplings, much better than ramps and the big-hand-from-the-sky. If I remember correctly the hook had been removed from one end of each vehicle.


You're right, Roy - it wouldn't work with magnetic couplers. I must have been thinking of the ones you were shown.
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Blackcloud Railways



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1984
Location: Sandbach UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The grass tension lock ramps at Alsager were on one of Roger Nicholls' layouts.

Neat replacement buildings Roy. Smile
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Bob Hughes
Playing Trains

Once there were mountains on mountains and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down.
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ruedetropal



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 814
Location: Accrington, Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If memory serves me right, I think Roger initially used the tuft of grass uncoupler on his European HO layout, then tried it on his OO layout. Its such a simple idea, which I will hopefully try on one of my layouts .
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Simon Dawson
Will try anything once, looking for the ultimate easy to set up portable exhibition layout, preferably French narrow gauge and with lots going on, not necessary on the rails.

http://www.rue-d-etropal.com
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