With the track building fast approaching the loading ramp area, I set out to build the wooden retaining walls keeping the earth fill in place under the ramp itself. In the process I also tested the dimensions and design of the trestle like structure of the wooden ramp itself.
|Ramshackled ramp erected for testing. The real ramp will be flimsy, but definately more substantial than this!
I built the wooden walls on pieces of foam board cut to roughly match the contours of the earth fill. The foam board was painted black and then clad with lengths of wood in a variety of dimensions. The wood was treated with wood staining fluid to produce several tones of grey. With the different dimensions of wood used, the work was quite like a little jig saw puzzle.
|Retaining walls in progress. The Nystrup Gravel workshop manager seems a little sceptical (as always when he wasn't in control of a project).
I will be installing the retaining walls with only basic weathering. Once the complete ramp and surrounding landscape is finished I will be adding the full package of weathering. Having never built a layout in 16 mm scale before I'm still unsure about many elements in the construction process. Can I weather a structure this large to meet my desired level of quality when it is solidly attached to the module? Time will tell.
While I have already chosen a prototype loading ramp I nevertheless keep checking old photographs to better understand how loading ramps were designed (some thought must have gone into at least some of them), built and used. The digitalization of Danish archives is of a tremendous benefit to this study.
|Loading ramp for lorries at a clay pit near Nostrup, Kalundborg. The photo is reported to be part of a series taken in 1939-1940. Notice how low the ramp is. Photo: Ø85, Kalundborg Lokalarkiv.