THE CHURCH ALONG THE SWISS RAILWAY

WATERMILL 


We started on the module for the watermill. First a basic shape for the landscape is made from waste styrodur plates and pur foam. Later these are covered with clay and then covered with a layer of acrylic paste.

Extra landscape behind the curve

Creating  depth by the addition of extra landscape

The first landscape piece we will discuss is in the middle of the curve.

It consists of 4 modules and has a total depth of 120 cm.

In the  2 back modules,  a single electrified track  runs from left to right.

Later on,  an oval will be made behind the modules so that the trains can run on the railroad. 


Track : Peco, O scale

Catenary : home made brass poles.

Locomotive : MTH Taurus

Bridge : ? 



Between the curve (somewhere in the middle) and the landscape in which the modelrailway in scale  zero  is located, there is another strip of 50cm that extends from left to right over almost 160cm. The intention is to create a waterfall on both sides that will then flow into the existing stream in front of the gallery. Here are the first photos.

Gallery and tunnels : 

In our new section, the curve, there will be 2 railway tunnels and 1 gallery. Their construction will be discussed here.
First, there are quite a few conditions we have to take into account:


1. It is a modular layout


2. There is a functional overhead line, the pantograph always makes contact with the contact wire. Therefore, extra attention must be paid to the transitions between the modules. The contact wire here will consist of a brass wire. This makes it possible to have transition tubes at the ends of each module over the brass contact wire and so have a "continuous" contact wire.


3. The contact wire transition between the visible parts and the tunnel parts will have to be made in a different way as the contact wire in the visible parts is very thin. Here we are going to use springs to fix and tension the contact wire in the beginning of the tunnel. We have to make sure that the pantograph can easily make the transition and that everything is visually acceptable.


4. The inside of the gallery and the tunnels must be finished: rock faces, walls, support beams...


5. At the rear there are lockable openings to allow intervention in the event of derailment or technical failure. The edges of these openings must be hidden as well as possible. Also in terms of fastening these inspection hatches, they should stick out as little as possible at the back. Indeed, each module is packed in a box for transport to an exhibition. Therefore, we will try to keep the hatches in place by means of velcro straps.


6. Through the openings of the gallery, the inside of the tunnel is visible. Here again, the choice of the height at which the walls are placed will determine what the spectators get to see. The height of the contact wire is 16.5 cm above the track. The ceiling of the gallery is at 27.5 cm above the rail.


7. We transformed a part of the NMBS layout to link the Church part to the curve part. These two modules are not to leave our rooms.


8. Meanwhile, we're at the end of November 2022, plans have changed a bit, in that the entire turn will be located in Switzerland. After the turn will be the small station, now with NMBS overhead lines, which will be provided with an Italian-looking station building and FS overhead lines.


more info on the bottom of this page.


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9. First test set-up related to the separation of the modules and the construction of the catenary . It is necessary that the pantographs take the transitions between modules as smoothly as possible. We are going to have to test whether the speed will have to be limited or whether we can still, as is the case with the church modules, we can run at high speed even if the locomotive approaches and leaves the section with catenary.

A small brass tube ends just before the end of the module. So this way  transporting the modules cannot damage the catenary. 


A smaller brass wire is put into the tube. The tube has been filed down at an angle so that the pantographe will pass smoothly.


At the separation of the modules, the brass wires should run at the same height for 1 or more cm, though close to each other.


This is a first test ! 


The catenary in the module itself will be stretched at both ends of the module.


November 2022 : 


The curve consists of 8 modules.The chances of going to an exhibition with this part are quite small. It will be more along with the other parts a showcase for what we can build. This allows someone who wants to order something from us , to get an idea of what might be possible.


But so this means that the modules should be able to be detached from each other. So will the overhead wire. Since it must be tensioned, there are various types of transitions made.

The first part after the "Church" layout is fixed, the catenary masts are attached. The catenary wire can be detached both left and right (side of the curve). You can see that the wire is diverted to the top of the first module. In the back wall is a small opening so that we can hook and tighten the tensioner.

The catenary wire of the first 3 modules  is fixed by itself in each module.

In the 1st module, the wire is fixed  on the left side with tension system in the top of the module. At this point , the wire from the transition part between the "church" layout and the "curve" layout is also hooked in the same eye at the top of the module. The right part os the wire is hooked in the eye of the 2nd module.

In the 2nd and 3rd module, the contact wire is soldered to the transition piece (between 2 and 3)  on 1 side and on the other side there is a tensioning system at the top of the module (left side for module 2 and right side for module 3). The transition between the 2nd and 3rd module is formed by 2 brass wires inserted into the thicker solid soldered tubes. So nothing sticks out of the module when it needs to be transported. This system will have to be tested extensively since there can always be a hitch in the pantograph.


Between the modules 3 and 4 we overlapped the thicker soldered tubes. This gives greater operational reliability. Only during transport the protruding tubes must be well protected.


In the modules 4 and 5, the track is largely visible. The catenary masts in module 4 are removable (plug system), those in module 5 are fixed. During transport we will unhook the wires, detach the pylons from module 4 and place them on module 5.


The tunnel section in modules 6 and 7 (the track will disappear completely) is built so that the pantograph will not touch the contact wire at the transition between the two modules. A copper wire will catch the pantograph back and guide it to the contact wire. The copper wire should still hang at the transition at a height of 23cm so that the pantograph is allowed to be completely in its highest position without touching anything.



In the 8th module comes the track from the tunnel . In this module, the overhead wire will have to be tightened, coming from the station on the right. Also the catenary mast will have to have a tensioning system that can tension the contact wire coming from the branch track.
Since we want to take the "station modules" to an exhibition someday , we will have to make a new additional terminating piece (module) that can replace the curve module . The catenary mast mentioned above will also have to be placed on it, and also at the correct distance in connection with the tension of the contact wire coming from the branch track. Some thinking will have to be done.

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September 2020


8 modules form the curve.

Each module is 500mm deep, the front measures approximately 760mm, the back measures 955mm.

The height is 650 mm at the front and 800 mm at the back.

Poplar plywood (12 mm) is used.

As the landscaping progresses, the modules become stronger due to the Styrodur glued into the modules.

The overhead line will again be a difficulty. As soon as the route is ready we will give you all the details.

The roofs of the modules slope upwards so that the lighting is less visible.

There will also be other modules in the middle behind the modules that form the curve.

The rail height is approx. 13cm. We glue a thin sheet of plywood onto spacers. The track bed goes above that. The rails are supported overall with 20mm thick Styrodur material (which is a bit too high).


November 2020


After several weeks of working on the modules, we came to the following situation: The modules are painted inside and out. This means they are already somewhat protected from damp environments. There are 4 openings in the ceiling so that we can attach the modules to each other at the top. Access to the fastening screws on the bottom of the modules is through the rear panel. This is necessary because the modules will later rest on other modules and if we make the openings at the bottom, we won't be able to get to them. Since the openings are on the back, when laying the track bed we have to make sure that we leave an opening free to access the bolts.


The next step is to attach an aluminum foil to the ceiling and sides of the light box. This creates a reflection of the light. We also need to add a short cable duct on both sides of the ceiling that leads the RGB cable to the rear openings. The lighting (5-core RGB+W cable) and the power of the rails (2 x 1.5 mm²) are connected between the modules through the rear openings with 2 x 6-pin connectors. The LED strips (2400K, RGB+W) are attached to the aluminum strips with double-sided adhesive tape. Since these have sometimes weakened in the past, we will install a transverse reinforcement made of transparent silicone over the LED strip every 10 to 15 cm.

Then it's time to cut the plastic cover and screw it on the 4 sides.


Once the lighting is installed in the modules, we can start laying the tracks. 2 layers of Styrodur of 6cm form the basis of the landscape. They are glued to the wood and to each other using acrylic putty.On top of this, a 2 to 3 mm thick plywood sheet forms the base of the track bed. There is an 8 mm thick layer of cork on top. The tracks are temporarily fixed between the sleepers until they are permanently fixed by ballast.

But before we start fixing the track, each individual rail must be provided with a flexible power cable of 1.5mm². As mentioned, the power lines on both the left and right sides need to be routed to the top rear opening. It is necessary to ensure that the current flows through the module, so first the wires of all rails must be connected together (e.g. the inner rail wire is red, the outer rail wire is black), and then left and right 2 power cables each (red-black) lead to the upper openings in the roof of the module. To do this, we will install a small cable duct in the two rear corners of the modules.When all the tracks are attached to the full 180 degree angle, we begin cutting up pieces to attach the rails. After drying, we can cut off the conductor tracks at the junctions of the modules.Then we will see if the rails are well aligned when we connect two modules together. If necessary we use connectors. If there are still problems, we attach the rails with 2-component epoxy adhesive.


December 2020:


The rails are built on 2 layers of 6 cm thick Styrodur. For this reason the wooden blocks are 12.2 cm high so that we can glue the Styrodur with acrylic sealant between both layers of Styrodur and between the Styrodur and the bottom. of the module


The plywood base is glued to the wooden blocks and secured. We make sure that the seam of 2 pieces of plywood lies exactly on a block of wood. We first placed them on top of each other and then sawed them both together. The plywood panel is glued with TEC-7 at the transition between 2 modules because the openings in the side walls of the module boxes are not exactly at the right height. It was therefore important that the plywood over the module boxes formed a whole, which was cut through after attachment.On top of this plywood comes new plywood and then a layer of Styrodur (2 cm), into which we can form the shape of the track bed. Until the rails are shot, they are held in place by screws (between the sleepers) in the double layer of plywood.


January – February 2021


There was little progress on the layout. The rail is painted in a brownish base tone and glued to the Styrodur with gray acrylic material. Access holes were made in the boxes, in the back wall to connect the track wires and in the bottom wall to access the screw at the front that holds the boxes together. The rear bolt is accessible through the opening in the back panel.Landscape boxes are attached to the back wall in three different areas. For this purpose, openings are made in the corresponding panels.Now we need to make the gallery walls and the tunnel entrances.