Thursday 17 October 2013

Nystrup's Last Crawler Tractor (1/35)

Nystrup Gravel used a Soviet built crawler tractor for pulling machinery and cut down trees from the areas to be quarried. The S-65 was huge and unpractical, but it was bought cheap and in the 1950's you had to use what you could get your hands on, as machinery was under import restrictions. When restrictions lifted somewhat Nystrup Gravel managed to buy a much smaller Ransomes crawler tractor from the United Kingdom.

The Ransomes type MG6 was introduced in 1953 but I don't know when Nystrup Gravel got hold of their's. Here the tiny tractor is photographed outside the loco shed at Nystrup. 
The MG6 was the first crawler tractor I ever built a model of. I assembled a Model Tractor Co. 1:32 kit of a MG6 in 1994 and recently went over it again with some paint and weathering. As with any Model Tractor kit the MG6 is of whitemetal with a small number of etched brass parts. I left off the three point linkage at the rear of the tractor and fitted a protective steel plate with heavy coupling and chain for hauling tasks.

Fuelling of Nystrup Gravel's wheeled or tracked vehicles were usually done from jerry cans. Here the MG6 has been driven to the loco fuelling site. Had 'Stalin' done that, the track would probably have needed repair.
The Ransomes MG6 was a small crawler tractor designed to operate on small orchards and market gardens. They were often fitted with power take-off drive and hydraulic three-point linkage. The first model of the Ransomes crawler, the MG2 was released in 1936. A total of about 15,000 Ransomes MG series tractors were built - 4800 were MG6s. The MG6 was Nystrup's last crawler tractor. It was last seen during the clean up after the close down of the company in the late 1970's, probably ending up as scrap.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

750 mm Gauge in Southern Germany

Once a year I usually travel to the 'Feldbahntreff' (last year at the Muskauer Waldeisenbahn) to meet other enthusiasts that keep alive narrow gauge railways – almost all of them with an industrial connection. The mostly continental, German speaking enthusiasts keep each other updated with their latest challenges and accomplishments. This year I chose not to attend and teamed up with some friends for a trip to the 750 mm. railways in Saxony in southeastern Germany.

While not particularly 'industrial' the railways we visited gave us much inspiration. To see how others have developed heritage railways is always interesting and regarding work shop facilities the visits set new goals for us Danes.
99 1741-0 in the work shop at Oberwiesentahl on the Fichtelbergbahn. Notice the well laid out work shop, removable floor panels and over head crane. 99 1741-0 was built in Chemnitz in 1929 and still going strong between shop visits.
The hilly and wooded area gave great views from the trains and one day on the Pressnitztalbahn was devoted to nothing but goods trains. A great day in the woods watching trains.
99 715 with a train of standard gauge wagons on transporters. The train is working uphill towards Jöhstadt.
99 568 and 99 542 ready to double head a long train from Schmalzgrube.

On our way home to Denmark we managed a visit to 'Ferropolis' and the five huge machines once used to quarry brown coal. They are marvelous creations of steel weighing from 700 t. to almost 2.000 t. Not as huge as the F60 Förderbrücke I visited last, year but impressing anyhow.

Bucket and chain excavator type Es 1120 built in 1962 by the VEB Förderanlagen Köthen. The machine weighs 1250 t. Notice the standard German car passing.
Back home I have been getting the etched parts for the David Provan bogie wagons unpacked and ready for bending. While the kits have half etched rivets to be pressed into rivets I have chosen to fit rivets with my trusty method of gluing one plastic rivet head after the other. More on the subject in a future post.