Sunday, 23 May 2021

Loading Ramp Preparations

The wooden loading ramp at Nystrup Gravel has been under preparation for a long time. Now construction has begun. Before the ramp itself could be constructed I needed to contour the surrounding landscape and cover the foam surface with kitchen rags soaked in white glue. I also glued down cork to act as an underlay for track. Sleepers were then glued in place and the two pre-bent lengths of rail positioned.

Every fourth or fifth sleeper spiked and it's time for test running. As I have only one loco in running order it's easy to guess which one had the priviledge. The Lister only has single axle drive and is struggling bringing more than three skips up the ramp. Fortunately the loading ramp is dimensioned for unloading exactly three skips.

As the small layout splits into 2 segments, I have the possibility of taking a module outside to work on. One afternoon after work I managed to partially cover the loading ramp module with white glue and kitchen rags. I like to model outside, and while we have had a rather cold spring in Denmark it's great to listen to the birds singing while working on a module.

The loading ramp module placed on a galvanized barrel usually used as a small bar. Perfect for sipping a G&T while chatting with family or friends.

With the kitchen rags dry and painted, I spiked the track with the two lengths of rail uncut, despite them crossing from one module to another. Where the rails cross the separation between the modules I have soldered them to brass screws to make sure the track ends will be properly fixed and aligned. Once the track is thoroughly tested, I will cut the rails to enable the modules to be separated again. While the first track I built in both 1:35 and now in 1:19 scale never looked exactly as bad as I wanted, I have succeeded on the ramp. Here the track really diverts from the optimal alignment in every direction. Lovely!

The track fixed down and soldered to brass screws. My locating of the sleepers close to the module ends aren't quite up to standards - even though Nystrup Gravel never had written standards on track.

In between spiking sessions (which can be a little tedious) I have selected wooden profiles for the construction of the loading ramp. After sanding and weathering with knife and wire brush I stained the wood to give it a basic greyish colour.

The 600 mm track on the earth ramp is finished. On the side of the ramp 3 track gauges has been left by the track worker. The pile of bent spikes is a result of gripping them with the flat nosed pliers too close to the top while pressing them through the sleeper.

A view up the ramp. The faults in the track curiously doesn't look too bad in the image. Seeing the Lister crawl over the track with a pair of skips brings out the uneveness of track much better.

If all goes well I should be back quite soon with more boring news of building track and gluing pieces of wood together for a layout so small it hardly deserves to be categorized as a model railway.

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