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Sven J posted a topic in LEGO Train TechDear trainheads, Finally, my new locomotive is ready! This time, I chose a prototype from quite a distant edge of the world - an articulated narrow-gauge (1067 mm) 0-6-6-0T "Kitson-Meyer" engine belonging to the Chilean "Ferrocarril de Taltal" (FCT; written as "Ferro Carril Taltal“ on locomotive number plates), or "Taltal Railway". Ten of these locomotives were delivered to the FCT by Kitson & Co. (Leeds, UK) between 1904 and 1907, and further eight engines later acquired second-hand. Over the years, several modifications were carried out: For example, all engines were converted to burn oil soon. Water and fuel capacity of some locomotives (including No. 50, the prototype for my model) were increased by adding welded enlargements on top of the side and rear tanks. "The Railway Magazine" gives a short description of the FCT (Vol. 90. No. 551, May-June, 1944, pp.158—159): More detailed information can be found in the books "The Taltal Railway" and "Kitson Meyer Articulated Locomotives", both by Donald Binns, which were my two principal sources. In general, very few technical information about the FCT locomotives can be traced. Despite searching for months, I wasn't able to find a detailed drawing. So I had to largely rely on taking measures from photos and on one single, distorted sketch on a data sheet describing the near-identical engines from the "Ferrocarril Tocopilla al Toco" - see below. (While there are numerous photos of the sole surviving FCT Kitson-Meyer, no. 59, nearly all of them were taken during the engine's last years in service, when it was already in a very poor state of maintenance, or since it has been on display as a monument. Because of that, it's difficult to conclude how it looked in better days. Nevertheless, I hope - and believe - that the model's overall impression comes close enough to the real locomotive's appearance.) The model is held in accurate 1/22.5 scale. It consists of quite exactly 3,000 parts and weighs in at 2.4 kg. The engine is powered by two L-motors (one mounted vertically in each bogie); each motor has its own BuWizz as a power supply and R/C unit (technically, one BuWizz would suffice, but this configuration allows for longer running times). The wheels come from BBB and the lighting equipment was purchased from Brickstuff, as usual, while the rods are 3D-printed parts of my own design. Enough said – enjoy the photos! Data sheet for the similar engines (though with different brake equipment and cab) of the "Ferrocarril Tocopilla al Toco": Detailed cab... ... and also smokebox interior, showing the exhaust nozzle, the base of the chimney and the boiler tubes: The cab roof is detachable. The ventilation flap really opens, you can see the lever for the steam whistle through the hole: The top of the Belpaire firebox is also detachable, giving access to the charging sockets and the power buttons: The lower part of the cab ladder is attached to the bogie and turns with it. Note also the chain which prevents the bogie from jackknifing in case of a derailment. Advanced lighting functions, controlled via two BuWizz channels: Before starting their daily trip into the Andes, engineer and fireman still have enough time to pose for a photo with their trusty old lady... ... while one of the brakemen uses the unexpected spare time in a different way. Well, but not for long. Soon "El Jefe" arrives in his flashy Chevrolet and critically watches his employees' activities... A few shots from the building phase, showing further details. First, the bogies with the motors. You can see the leaf springs underneath, as well as the brakes and (as on the real thing) only one single sanding pipe in front of the first wheel: The firebox once again: The main frame. The ashpan contains two weight bricks, which help to keep the centre of gravity low and thus to prevent the model from tipping over. And a view of the complete technical layout with batteries and motors. The multi-coloured bricks underneath are just the building stand. Full-resolution images can be found in my Bricksafe folder. At the moment, it’s too hot in my attic for filming, and I’ll go on holiday next week; but when I’m back, of course I'll shoot a video of the locomotive and its train, so stay tuned! Last but not least, I'd like to give my heartfelt thanks to all those AFOLs who attended the development of this model with their feedback and encouragement; and especially (though we've never met in person) to my dear "pen-friend" Sergio Monai @monai, whose multilingualism and commitment were an invaluable help during the research phase. Comments and criticism are of course most welcome! Thanks for stopping by! Best regards, Sven Edit: Video now available here!
Sven J posted a topic in LEGO Train TechDear train lovers, It's time for another locomotive MOC! As a tribute to my favourite holiday region (where in fact I am right now, writing this), I chose the Flensburger Kreisbahn's No. 1, a 0-8-0T narrow gauge locomotive, as a prototype. The Flensburger Kreisbahn ("Flensburg county railway") was a 1000 mm gauge railway in Germany's extreme North, with two lines (94 km in total) running through the hills of Anglia close to the Danish border. When the railway's older, saturated-steam locomotives became too weak to handle increased train loads, two new superheated-steam engines were ordered from AEG in Berlin - yes, there was a time when AEG, famous for its electrical devices, also built steam locomotives! Delivered in 1926, these 0-8-0T engines, numbered 1 and 2, were an immediate success. With approx. 300 hp and a permitted speed of 40 km/h, they were suited for both freight and heavy passenger trains and remained in service until the railway's closure in 1953. Sadly, both locomotives were scrapped. A substantial problem while designing the model was the almost complete lack of reliable sources. All technical information had to be derived from a short description, some b/w photos and a single small drawing in just one book (Schöning/Kupfer: Die Flensburger Kreisbahnen. Verlag Kenning, Nordhorn, 2004; the drawing is reproduced below with kind permission by Mr Kenning). Nevertheless, I'm confident that my model comes as close as possible to the real engines. The MOC consists of approx. 2,200 parts and weighs just under 1.5 kg. It is held in accurate 1:22.5 scale, therefore compatible with conventional garden railway equipment (45 mm G-scale track), and can be coupled to rolling stock fitted out with LGB link-and-pin couplers. My layout uses the LGB R3 radius (1195 mm), so the locomotive has to be able to negotiate these curves. However, as I wanted to avoid the use of blind drivers for aesthetical reasons, this required two little tricks: The last axle is slidable sideways by +/- 1/2 stud, and the second axle's wheels are slightly set inwards, resulting in an increased lateral track play. Although this arrangement causes some drag while negotiating curves, it nevertheless works. The locomotive is driven by two L-motors. A BuWizz functions as both a battery pack and remote control receiver. The lighting equipment was bought from Brickstuff, while the wheels are BBB XL drivers, as usual. Purists may kindly ignore the two following scenes... Of course, the engine crew was proud to pose for a souvenir photo. Even the local grocer came to have a look at the new locomotive. The engine frame: While my previous BDZ 606.76 had its focus on exploring the possible level of detailing for a LEGO model, this time the goal was to design a simple locomotive for uncomplicated operation. Above all, the new model had to overcome the 606.76's proneness to tipping over. Thus, the frame houses two weight bricks for improved traction and a lower centre of gravity (highlighted in blue): Some views of the brake rigging and the two large vacuum-brake cylinders: All drivetrain components, including the BuWizz, are tightly packed and positioned as low and as close to the engine's centre as possible, again with the aim of optimizing the COG: The power button and the charging socket are accessible by removing part of the boiler top: The cylinders, closed-type feedwater heater (system "Knorr"), and generator: The upper part of the cab. While looking quite simple, the task to model the roof's half-stud offset and the vent hole in the cab front almost drove me nuts... But I think I found a satisfying solution: Cab interior and lights: This time there was no space for magnetic switches to control the headlights; so the coal bunker contains two small separate battery packs (with built-in switches) for front and rear lights. The cab is illuminated, too, when any of the two circuits is turned on. Realistic Winterthur valve gear. The basic dimensions are the same as on my BDZ 606.76: Originally, I had used zephyr1934's rods and valve gear parts again. But then I found them to be looking too massive , considering the rather delicate rods of the prototype. Besides, during the first functional testing sessions of the near-completed model, the flex elements which I originally used for the side rods proved too large by just a fraction of a millimetre - the cable connectors collided with the rear mounting of the crosshead guide, something which could not be foreseen in LDD. So I knuckled down to get used to Tinkercad and designed my own rods, including thinner, slightly tapezoidal main rods as well (both subsequently made by Shapeways). And for the first time - SMOKE (using a Seuthe No. 99 smoke generator, powered by the BuWizz via a modified PF cable): I finished the model just in time before going on holiday, so I had no time to shoot a video on track. Of course, I'll do this when I'm back home again. In the meantime, your feedback, comments and criticism are most welcome! As usual, high-resolution images can be found in my Bricksafe folder. If someone should be interested in the LDD file, please contact me by PM. Thanks for stopping by! Best regards, Sven Edit: Now with on-track video - see here!
Sven J posted a topic in LEGO Train TechEdit: New video here. Dear trainheads, Some time ago EB member @Plastic_Goth presented his digital model of Ferrovia Eritrea's Gruppo R.202 shunter. I immediately fell in love with that cute little prototype, and I knew I had to build a model myself, in slightly larger scale for 45 mm garden railway track. Well, here it is! The prototype was built in 1927 by Breda in Milan, Italy, for shunting service on the 950 mm narrow gauge lines in Eritrea (which was an Italian colony at that time). In total, eleven class R.202 engines were built; several lococomotives are still in operation today (the „R“ stands for „scartamento ridotto“, narrow gauge). My MOC represents a R.202 locomotive in ca. 1936, after the original lifting injectors (inside the cab) had been exchanged for non-lifting ones (below the cab), but before a new numbering scheme was introduced, dropping the „R“ in the class designation. The model is held in accurate 1/22.5 scale and driven by a single L-motor working on the second axle. It features front and rear lights (from Brickstuff; separately controllable for the left and right engine side) and a Seuthe no. 99 smoke generator. All funcions are powered and remote-controlled by a BuWizz 2.0. The rods and valve gear parts are 3D-printed parts of my own design. The model consists of approx. 1,400 parts and weighs just over 1 kg. Compared to my previous models, it is much easier to handle and maintain, due to its "small" size, but still has amazing pulling power (10 four-axle LGB cars are no problem). So I think it will become my standard "everyday" engine... And here are the pictures: Prototype data sheet (drawing not accurate and not to scale): While the fireman is carrying out a minor repair on the smokebox door, an administrative officer arrives in his brand new Fiat Topolino (modified design by Peter Blackert): Two tiny Italians... Some views of the cab interior. As the BuWizz is located in the position of the firebox, the roof and the boiler backhead can be removed for access to the power button and to the charging socket: The frame: Three weight bricks are installed inside the frame and boiler, thus increasing traction: The half-plate offset in radius between smokebox and boiler required some unusual (but surprisingly sturdy) SNOT-work. A video of the model on track will follow. For now, here is a short sequence of the engine on the roller test bed: More and high-resolution photos can be found in my Flickr album. Comments and criticism are most welcome. Thanks for your interest! Best regards, Sven
Sven J posted a topic in LEGO Train TechDear AFOL trainheads, After almost six months of designing work, another five months of construction, countless bursts of temper, and being relieved of a small fortune, I am very proud to present my latest locomotive MOC. This time, it’s a 2-10-2T narrow gauge (760 mm) steam locomotive, class 600.76, of the Bulgarian State Railways (Balgarski darzhavni zheleznitsi, BDŽ). Basically an enlarged version of the German DRG Baureihe 99.73, the first five locomotives of the class were built in 1940 by BMAG (formerly L. Schwartzkopff) in Berlin for hauling all kinds of trains on the mountainous Rhodope railway from Septemvri to Dobrinishte. Delivering about 850 hp, the engines were extraordinarily powerful by the time’s standards for single-frame narrow gauge locomotives. They were so successful that the BDŽ were keen to acquire more, but after the Bulgarian Tsardom had turned into a communist republic at the end of WW II, it became almost impossible to buy industrial goods from German manufacturers. Thus another 10 engines were delivered in 1949 by Fablok in Chrzanów, Poland. These Polish-built locomotives were technically identical to the original Schwartzkopff ones, but could easily be distinguished from the first series by the combined steam/sand dome casing and the odd-looking smoke deflectors, which seem quite ridiculous on an engine with a top speed of no more than 45 km/h! From 1966 on, after new diesel locomotives had arrived at Septemvri, all class 600.76 locomotives were relocated to Cherven Bryag in northern Bulgaria. Several have survived until today, albeit most of them in desperate condition. One engine – No. 609.76, however, is in operational state (now stationed in Septemvri again) and regularly used for excursion trains. My model portrays a locomotive from the second series as it ran in the late 1960s, some years after the whole class had been equipped with compressed-air brake and supplementary oil firing. As opposed to the drawing, it therefore has a shortened right side tank (to make room for the air compressor), air reservoirs below the rear tank and an extended coal/oil bunker. The model is in accurate 1:22.5 scale except for the track gauge, which according to G-scale standard is always 45 mm regardless of the prototype’s actual value (as mentioned before, class 600.76 has 760 mm, or 33.8 mm in 1:22.5). Therefore, it matches LGB garden railway track and rolling stock. Dimensions and height of the coupling bars are designed in a way that they work with LGB link-and-pin couplers. Three PF L-motors working on the central driving axle are responsible for propulsion, with the other drivers (BBB XL) being coupled by the side rods, just as in the real thing. One BuWizz brick allows to remote-control running direction as well as speed, and serves as a power supply for the lights (separately switchable front/rear headlights, combined cab & running gear lights). The LED equipment was purchased from Brickstuff; valve gear parts and main rods were supplied by zephyr1934. The running gear layout proved to be quite a challenge. The leading and trailing axle are of the Bissell type and can swing out by 9°. Of the driving axles, the second and third one are blind, while the fourth one is slidable laterally by +/- ½ stud. With this configuration, the engine is running stably on straight track, yet also able to negotiate LGB R3 curves and switches (1195 mm radius). The model consists of more than 3200 parts and weighs about 2.2 kg. Enough said – enjoy the pictures! Some views of the engine frame. For reasons of stability, I had to fill the prototypic cutouts with trans-clear plates and bricks. You can see the steam inlet pipes running to the cylinders on the outside, as well as the exhaust pipes inside the frame, leading steam to the exhaust nozzle in the smokebox. Underneath, the brake rigging is also reproduced: The leading/trailing trucks. The tongue connecting the truck to the main frame is free from load, which means that it could be kept prototypically thin; the engine weight is supported by the axle bearings via the 4x4 tile on top. Fully detailed cab interior, including a tiltable ”Marcotty“ type firebox door and functional folding seats: Complete smokebox interior as well. The exhaust nozzle, spark arrestor, smoke stack bottom, boiler tube openings and superheater tubes are visible: Plenty of water in the side tanks: Some boiler details, among others showing the generator hidden behind the smoke deflectors: The combined oil/coal bunker can be removed to give access to the power button and the charging socket: The three magnetic switches for the lights are hidden in the rear toolbox: Posing in front of a historic BDŽ crest: The cab lettering: The lights: Some matching, albeit non-purist decoration (1:24 GAZ M20 Pobeda by Yatming, 1:22 [sic!] VAZ/Lada 2106 by Avtoprom)… A short video, showing the valve gear in motion. Note that unlike many conventional model locomotives, the valve stem is really pushed back and forth. A video of the engine pulling an LGB G-scale train will follow as soon as possible. As always, you can download the lxf file here. Also, more and much larger pictures can be found in my Bricksafe folder. Finally, I’d like to say special thanks to Sergio Monai, who with his fruitful feedback and proposals kept me stimulated to achieve the best possible result! Comments are of course most appreciated – thanks for stopping by! Best regards, Sven Edit: New video here!