Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 newbie

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tjejojyj
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Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 newbie

Post by tjejojyj »

Hello,

After a long hiatus I am drawn by the siren song of model railroading. My background is in HO but given I now live in a flat I thought about a 'coffee table' layout and was initial drawn to the Kato N-gauge 1:150 Rhaetian Railway rolling stock which can handle a 150mm radius curve.

However I have been inspired by T-gauge in general and this discussion group in particular. It seems to me you get more "railway" for about the same money and it might genuinely fit within the extents of my coffee table.

Below is a screen grab of the design I have worked on in Sketchup. The minimum radius is about 190mm with 4% gradients and the whole thing is about 532mm x 1072mm (21" x 42"). There is large depression in the middle of the layout so I can get very tall bridges and viaducts in a tight space.

Operationally I would like to have some level of automation with one possible "timetable" having two trains running in opposite directions passing each in the two stations. The design also effectively forms a long continuous loop (I can post a separate image of just the track bed if this is any help).

My questions:
- Is this layout viable in t-gauge and worth pursuing?
- Is there a problem with a lot of long tunnels? (I was imagining trying to make the scenery as a shell so they tunnels would be in the void underneath). Not sure yet how I would support all the track there.
- Technically the exact scale would be 1:333. Doesn't any one else pursue true scale at this size?
- Is having trains start, slow and stop realistic?

I'm only at the initial stages and enjoying the designing right now but I would be thankful for any thoughts.

With the greatest of respect and admiration,
Tim J.
Sketchup design for model railway
Sketchup design for model railway
tjejojyj_rhaetian_design.jpg (165.66 KiB) Viewed 13208 times

Ozrail
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by Ozrail »

I'm impressed with the design, though I'm not to sure about some of the track work, mainly the switch work for you automated running.
Can we please see a track plan?

My questions:
- Is this layout viable in t-gauge and worth pursuing?
The 4% gradients might be an issue if your planning for a single motor unit to pull a train, I'd recommend having multiple ones together, say about 2 or 3 depending on the length of the train.
On the plus side the motor units have magnetic wheels, so you could make a funicular railway if you wish.

- Is there a problem with a lot of long tunnels? (I was imagining trying to make the scenery as a shell so they tunnels would be in the void underneath). Not sure yet how I would support all the track there.
No matter how perfectly laid your track work is, accidents happen randomly, even in tunnels, so it's best to have some form of access just in case.

- Technically the exact scale would be 1:333. Doesn't any one else pursue true scale at this size?
Me: Naaa, I think one can easily accept that your not always going to make something perfectly, especially at this size.
Others: Maybe?

- Is having trains start, slow and stop realistic?
The standard controller - no, not under automatic system at least, you'd have to do it manually
Customised controller - yes, some have created circuits can do this, sadly I can't remember who and how it was done.
Check out my Shapeways store for T-gauge stuff.
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by NeilM »

Great looking layout. Just some thoughts that come to my mind (from reading on the forum and building rolling stock, rather than actually completing a layout myself)

You have almost anwered your own question with regard to supporting the track. You really do need a solid support for the track, and then have the scenery over this. The set track does have some strength when assembled, but long runs of usupported track, especially on curves, would not be a good idea. Also you need to think about access to tunnels, either lift out scenery sections or clear access from below, both for rescuing stalled/derailled trains and also for track cleaning.

As to the points you have used in the plan, check out the points that are avaialble first. Without modification the geometry of what is currently avaialble will not support the plan as you have draw it.

My final though is gradients. T gauge locomotives do not have a great deal of power, which is why long trains need more than one power chassis even if that has to be powered boxcars/coaches etc. I have not tested the maximum gradient for reliable operation, although I beleive I saw a figure of 6% quoted at one time, but this would proabably need investiatinig for the trains you are planning to run before committing yourself.

Hopefully I have not put you off too much as you do have a good vision for a layout, but I think the first thing for you to do (as I am planning to do myself) would be just a simple loop of set track (which could be reused later for a larger layout, so nothing wasted), a power chassis and a coach chassis or two and then try this out to set what is possible as regards operation, gradients, effective scenery etc.
Neil

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by martink »

I had originally considered doing an automatic layout with a couple of passing loops using the one-way points, but some quick experiments made me more than a little dubious about their effectiveness, so I ended up going with a pointless (!) design. As research, I did a bit of playing around with one of the HST starter sets, and my comments on it can be found at http://modelrailmusings.weebly.com/t-gauge.html

- Is this layout viable in t-gauge and worth pursuing?

If you delete the points and use two separate loops, then yes to the first and your-call on the second. 4% gradients are probably workable if you keep the trains short and over-powered. I use 3% on straights and 2% on curves.

- Is there a problem with a lot of long tunnels? (I was imagining trying to make the scenery as a shell so they tunnels would be in the void underneath). Not sure yet how I would support all the track there.

Another drawback with long tunnels is that all that track and running time is effectively wasted since you cannot see the trains! As long as you can get access to every bit of the track with enough clearance to get your fingers in to rescue stock and manipulate a track cleaner then you should be OK. And make sure that there are no hidden bottomless pits that can swallow trains! Some careful planning is certainly required here. On mine, I've cut access holes in the backscene and have two removable hilltops. My track is supported on a 3mm ply strip on pillars and battens, and that is holding up fine.

- Technically the exact scale would be 1:333. Doesn't any one else pursue true scale at this size?

If it looks OK to you, then it is OK. T is especially forgiving on this issue.

- Is having trains start, slow and stop realistic?

Tricky. I've just now got my basic automation up and running using three controllers to set fixed slow, medium and fast speeds and switch between them using relays (notching up or changing gears). It works, but is critically dependent on ultra-clean wheels and track, so most of my testing is actually being done at fast, very fast and super fast. In the longer term, I have decided to set up all of my trains with two permanently coupled (and wired!) motor units at the head to get good enough reliability. I really don't think this concept would be viable otherwise. On the other hand, simply starting and stopping wouldn't be a problem.

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tjejojyj
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by tjejojyj »

Many thanks for the comments so far. I was imagining four or five car trains but maybe three car trains, all powered, would be okay. (Like the Rhaetian model shown in this group.)

Below is the design without the terrain removed to just show the road-bed and the bridges. The blue is the upper lever and red the lower lever. If you follow it round you will see if the points are removed it forms a continuous loop. (NOTE: the height of the bridge pylons is not correct, since these go 'through' the terrain they will be 'cut off')

I had put a mountain at the left hand end so all the tracks there will be "tunneled" to make ease of access greater to all of them. I also didn't want the whole track to be visible from any single side so even though it is quite small someone would have to walk around to appreciate it. That why the upper station his hidden by a ridge in the first image. (I have already had a few more ideas already on how to make more of the track visible.)

I might start with a loop as someone suggested to get a feel for the scale and work up from there.
tj rhaetian design trackwork and bridges only
tj rhaetian design trackwork and bridges only
tjejojyj_rhaetian_design-trackwork_and_bridges_only.JPG (158.51 KiB) Viewed 1471 times
Here's another view down the central "valley" showing the depression to exaggerate the bridge height. (Please ignore the separation between the bridge deck and the road bridge. It's not millimetre perfect yet. ;)
tj rhaetian design  view down valley
tj rhaetian design view down valley
tjejojyj_rhaetian_design-down_central_valley.JPG (274.95 KiB) Viewed 1471 times

Ozrail
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by Ozrail »

After looking at your track work there is a small problem with your design.

Eishindo has no made many switch/point/turnout types.

Mainly the crossover junction on the bottom left of the photo, that track type doesn't exist.
Also the first one after that with features a left hand turnout are also not quite available yet, even though they have been planned for 2 years now.
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tjejojyj
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by tjejojyj »

Thanks. Just shows what I take for granted.

I suppose I could build the loop and make allowance for the "technology" to catch up.

Is there a good place to buy t-gauge from in Australia? Or is it better to import? The only place I've come across on the web is Hobbies Plus in Gippsland but they don't seem to have a wide range (I'm guessing there isn't great demand at this point).

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dkightley
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by dkightley »

Hi Tim

Welcome to Talking T Gauge....

I do like your draft plan for your layout...and not only are you thinking as ambitiously as I did two years ago when I started Robin's Run, but your ideas and the use of 3D modelling to develop the layout are very much the same as mine were. :) :)

Please allow me to give my thoughts on your plans so far...

As you're thinking of the layout being encased under a coffee table with a level of automation, I would seriously recommend you not use any points....which at the moment are the one thing that cause 99% of the running issues. Either have one continuous loop with electronic control to keep two trains separated...or have two separate loops with no interconnections.

Have you yet thought about whether to build the layout with flexi-track or with the "fixed" sections?? If you're thinking of sections, I would seriously think about investing in a copy of AnyRail so you can accurately work out what sections are needed ( http://www.anyrail.com/index_en.html). If you're thinking of all flexi-track, then you'll be able to go with the flow of the curves...

If you're not intending to run too long trains, then I'm not sure you'll get too many issues with gradients. I've no idea what gradients I have on Robins Run...but I've not had anything grind to a halt yet!

I have 11 tunnels on Robins Run...the longest being around 12 inches long. I've designed and 3D printed custom tunnel portals and liners that match the track sections. My theory is that my tunnel liners are smooth and don't wander away from the track....so if anything derails, I can simply push it out!. And I've also made a track cleaning tool that pushes against the liner to give the required pressure to clean the track in the tunnels. I've got the portals and liners up for sale on Shapeways...both single and dual track versions.

And finally, I'll answer your first question..."Is this layout viable in t-gauge and worth pursuing?"....you bet it is!! Provided you don't commit to a timescale to complete it, then I predict you'll really enjoy the challenge of building it.

Don't forget there's loads of experience here on the forum....and all the help you'll need! Just ask....
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

Ozrail
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by Ozrail »

Hobbies Plus is the only Australian Seller.
Check out my Shapeways store for T-gauge stuff.
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dkightley
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by dkightley »

http://www.TGuage.com will probably be the next best option. Alan does seem to have almost everything in stock....but it seems ironic buying from somewhere half way round the world....when the goods have already been shipped almost as far already!
Doug Kightley
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tjejojyj
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by tjejojyj »

[quote="dkightley"]

>As you're thinking of the layout being encased under a coffee table with a level of automation, I would seriously recommend you not use any points....which at the moment are the one thing that cause 99% of the running issues. Either have one >continuous loop with electronic control to keep two trains separated...or have two separate loops with no interconnections.

I see there seems to be quite a few points in your Robins Run. Do they function well in the normal position or is any use a problem?
It would simple to modify my design to create two loops with one at the lower station level and another between the two stations.

>Have you yet thought about whether to build the layout with flexi-track or with the "fixed" sections?? If you're thinking of sections, I would seriously think about investing in a copy of AnyRail so you can accurately work out what sections are >needed ( http://www.anyrail.com/index_en.html). If you're thinking of all flexi-track, then you'll be able to go with the flow of the curves...

I was thinking of flexi-track but maybe that's just because of an HO prejudice against "set-track". I've read that that the interface between flexi-track and points in T-gauge is a bit messy but if I'm avoiding points entirely it won't matter.

Tim J.

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by tjejojyj »

Thanks
dkightley wrote: As you're thinking of the layout being encased under a coffee table with a level of automation, I would seriously recommend you not use any points....which at the moment are the one thing that cause 99% of the running issues. Either have one continuous loop with electronic control to keep two trains separated...or have two separate loops with no interconnections.
It is possible to make a simple change to my design so there are two loops: a very flat "base tunnel" loop at the lower station level and another up and down the mountain between the two stations. I'm not sure this is best since the lower loop would be 75% in tunnel (although I could make part of the tunneled section visible like an ant-farm with a "half shell" tunnel lining). I'll have to think about this and the operational side although it might a nice analogue of the RhB network.

(It occurs to me that if I change the prototype to the Bern-Lotschberg-Simplon and make a double track mainline up the mountain I could do have two loops. The only problem is this would look a bit silly with short trains.)

I notice that in Robins Run you still have a number of points. Is it just a problem with points when they are set to reverse position or is it in the normal position as well?
dkightley wrote: Have you yet thought about whether to build the layout with flexi-track or with the "fixed" sections?? If you're thinking of sections, I would seriously think about investing in a copy of AnyRail so you can accurately work out what sections are needed ( http://www.anyrail.com/index_en.html). If you're thinking of all flexi-track, then you'll be able to go with the flow of the curves...
I was thinking about flexi-track but maybe this is just an HO prejudice against "set-track". I really liked the Sarum Bridge track work so I thought this would be okay but I guess flexi-track needs a very stiff road-bed like plywood compared to the 6mm artist board you used.

Tim J.

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dkightley
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by dkightley »

tjejoy wrote:I notice that in Robins Run you still have a number of points. Is it just a problem with points when they are set to reverse position or is it in the normal position as well?
I have two main issues:

1 - There's a very long dead zone in the points.....approx. half an inch!..and when a loco runs over this dead zone, there's a very high probability that the single bogie in contact with the rails doesn't have a good enough electrical contact to keep things moving. I find I need to use my 0-5-0 shunter far too often.

2 - Mainly when taking the side route, there's too high a risk of a wheelset jumping off the rails when encountering the gap in the rail..usually if the train runs too fast through the points. Its as if the rolling stock is too light. And weighting up carriages & wagons leads to other issues such as increased friction.

So, reduce the risk of 1 and you increase the risk of 2.....and vice versa. Run slow through points and the train stops; run faster and the train tends to derail!

I'm certainly looking forward to some high tolerance well engineered points....that is if any get made!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by peterg »

Basic question please;

What is the 0-5-0 shunter to which you refer ?
Is it more powerful than the standard HST motor unit ?

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by martink »

peterg wrote: What is the 0-5-0 shunter to which you refer ?
Is it more powerful than the standard HST motor unit ?
A bit of an in-joke... your hand has 5 fingers... and yes, it is more powerful than the standard HST motor unit. :)

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by peterg »

martink wrote:
peterg wrote: What is the 0-5-0 shunter to which you refer ?
Is it more powerful than the standard HST motor unit ?
A bit of an in-joke... your hand has 5 fingers... and yes, it is more powerful than the standard HST motor unit. :)
OK so now i feel stupid ! :oops:

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emdb67
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Post by emdb67 »

dkightley wrote:http://www.TGuage.com will probably be the next best option. Alan does seem to have almost everything in stock....but it seems ironic buying from somewhere half way round the world....when the goods have already been shipped almost as far already!
It's actually quite common, although I agree it does seem silly. I've sold quite a lot of models made in Brazil - to customers in Brazil. :roll:
There are plenty of items made in one country, then sent half way around the world to be packed in another, and then sent to the country that the company is in before being sent to a distributor in yet another country. :shock: I have a small pack of coffee here marked "Coffee from Brazil / Indonesia. Packed in Hong Kong. Distributed by DPM Imports - which is in Australia. :lol:

As I've not been on here for quite a while (login issues) I thought I'd better post regarding the situation with me (Hobbies Plus) and T Gauge. Unfortunately T gauge has had to be put on hold for a number of reasons. As much as I like T gauge, it was really being paid for with sales of HO/OO and N scales and it obviously wasn't a sustainable way of doing business for a small shop like mine. I do intend to restock T gauge eventually, but for the time being I need to delay doing so.

The other reason for posting was to let tjejojyj / Tim J know I managed to log in at last. ;) I'll repost some of that older material from the former T gauge.net forum when I get the chance. :D

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by tjejojyj »

Just an FYI that I've ordered a couple of pieces of flexi-track, joiners and a power unit from Hobbies Plus to get myself started. I plan to build my own PWM controller and do some experimentation & "acclimatisation" before any layout construction.

Thanks for all the comments so far. I will post if I make any developments worth noting.

BTW: I'm sure most of you have seen this but for those who haven't I saw for the first time yesterday this YouTube video of a t-gauge Garratt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s66UdcECUks . It's a pity he doesn't have some nice hi-resolution still images of it but it's still amazing.

Darren from Hobbies Plus also told me that in the Orbost layout they created crossovers by cutting down the points so it is possible. I think I'll minimise the operational complications to start with.

Regards,
Tim J.

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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by emdb67 »

For anyone else who may be interested, here's some T gauge points that Paul cut down for his Orbost layout.

Image

Image

Image

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tjejojyj
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Re: Rhaetian Railway (Rhatische Bahn) in T-gauge? help 4 new

Post by tjejojyj »

How my design might look as a coffee table without points. I'm thinking if I build the mountains into the corners I can conceal the support posts.
There would be glass running down the sides as well. I'll probably make some other modifications to the layout if I build it but the basic features would be as they are.

I should get my trial track work tomorrow and I'm building a PWM controller using a Pololu Baby Orangutan microcontroller board. One step at a time.
tjejojyj_RB_as_coffee_table.JPG
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