Trio with five rails
How are new rails on your LGB layout transported to the trackmen? Reinhold Braun has transformed a set of three stake cars into a rail transportation system for narrow-gauge railways.
Small prototype large replica: The idea for the rail transport car came from a Marklin HO model (item 45095).
The idea for the construction of a three-part rail transport vehicle did not come from a specific proto-
type of a narrow-gauge railway, as is the case for most building tips in LGB Depesche, but from an actual Marklin model. Specifically from the HO car 45095, a set of three flat cars connected to each other by spacer bars. The three connected cars transport long track profiles. Marklin has loaded the cars with eight reproduction rails. They are made of flexible plastic and are therefore mobile enough to also handle cornering without any problems. What Marklin offers in HO format can also be created with manageable effort as a three-part rail transport car in G-gauge. Measuring almost 3.3 feet in length, it is quite a sight.
The 9.8″ long LGB stake cars of the German State Railroad (DR) are suitable as the base material for the rail transport car. Three cars are required. The pivot plates and pivoting arms are taken from the LGB dual flat car (LGB item 4050/40500). The cars are equipped with forest railroad couplers and interconnected by means of two drawbars. The drawbars are manufactured by Reinhold. Alternatively, plastic bars from LGB logging trucks can also be used. Visual details such as a plate with screw heads or dummy rivets can be added as desired. The operating characteristics of the long car can be improved through ball bearing mounted wheel sets (LGB item 67403).
Art.45000 DR Rungenwagen
Building phase 1:
Attaching turntable plates and pivoting arms
For assembling the carrier plates, turntable plates, and pivoting arms as well as for further processing of the chassis, the cars and the pivot plates are dismantled into their individual parts and the dummy brake hoses are removed. After the carrier plates with the pivot plates have been removed from the original model, they are attached to the stake car. For visual reasons, installation is different from the original pivot plate car. The carrier plates are not fitted longitudinally in the direction of travel, but transversely. This ensures the plate is easier to see on the car when loaded. To fix the pivot plate firmly to the car, the carrier plate is not only glued to the pivot plate, but the anchoring pins of the plate are also used. This means the pivot plate is seated more securely on the car. Since the carrier plate with its pins is asymmetrical, installation is somewhat tricky. The use of a light railroad truck superstructure from the dual flat car (LGB item 4050 or 40500) as a drilling template facilitates work. But be careful: The injection molded lug on the truck leads to the assumption that the center point is here. That is not true, it is offset by 0.07″ in the longitudinal axis. A 0.03″ hole is drilled through the center of the carrier plate into the truck superstructure so that the light railroad truck drilling template can be inserted centrally on the stake car superstructure. Subsequently, a hole of the same size is drilled into the center of the stake car superstructure. A small pin is inserted into the stake car hole and then the truck car template is positioned so that the pin makes contact with the drilled hole in the template. The drilling template is positioned at a right angle on the stake car.
Präzise Bohrung: Um die Verankerungszapfen präzise auf den Aufbau des Rungenwagens setzen zu können, wird der Aufbau der Feldbahnloren als Schablone genutzt.
Precise drilling: In order to be able to ilace the anchoring pins precisely on the uperstructure of the stake cars, the suierstructure of the light railroad trucks is sed as a template.
The retaining holes for the pins can now be marked on the carrier plate. Using a 0.12″ bit, the holes for the pins of the carrier plate are then drilled into the stake car. The pins of the carrier plate are inserted into the holes, additionally the carrier plate is glued into position on the stake car superstructure using a plastic adhesive (for example: Technicoll TC 8008).
Buildingphase e 2:
Installation and conversions in the chassis area
The cargo to be transported, in our case five plastic track profiles, is not particularly heavy but it nevertheless demonstrates considerable lateral leverage. For reasons of operational safety, the three cars therefore need to be weighed down with ballast weights. The additional weights are installed between the axle support frames. After various trial runs, a minimum ballast weight of 1.7 lbs per car was determined. To provide this amount of weight in a fairly compact form, Braun uses metal – as heavy as possible. A block measuring 2.80″ x 1.73″ x 0.87″ is cast from the lead. It then fits perfectly into the center section of the chassis. The block of ballast is attached to the chassis and the stake superstructure. To achieve an even adhe-
sive surface, the excess injection molded lugs underneath the car superstructure must first be ground flat. Reinhold Braun uses plastic adhesive to fix the blocks into place. With their additional weight of 1.7 lbs each, the three transport units were able to negotiate the test route featuring curved LGB tracks (radius 3) and also the counter curves with 16000-series switches without any problems. However, trial operation with lighter additional weights (0.99 lbs) underneath the cars resulted in problems on the test route. To improve the running characteristics, all three cars are equipped with ball bearing mounted wheel sets.
The weight is the key: The additional weight (1.7 lbs) is glued into the cut-out center section of the stake car chassis.
Buidling phase 3:
Couplers and drawbars
The three cars are interconnected using the forest railroad coupler set and two drawbars. They are well suited to this task and look prototypical. When installing the coupler pockets, however, it makes sense to modify the assembly somewhat, as the heads of the coupler pins collide with the central buffers of the cars on the traditional setup. There is a simple trick to work around this prob¬lem: The couplers are mounted upside¬down. This means that they are slightly lower than usual and thus prevent colli¬sions with the central buffers. This meth¬od of installation has no negative impact whatsoever on operation. In addition, the chain of the pin is not attached to the frame as usual but to a small screw be-hind the coupler pocket. The advantage: This allows the entire unit to swing freely in curves.
Reinhold made the drawbars himself: I However, if available, drawbars of US tim¬ber cars from LGB can also be used. To make the drawbars, wooden battens of a desired length are required, at the end of which holes are pre-drilled. A u-shaped piece of brass wire (thickness: 0.07″) is glued into them. The advantage of DIY construction is that the distance between the cars and thus the overall length of the three-car set can be determined according to your own wishes. In our case, 3.94″ long, 0.43″ x 0.28″ wooden battens were used.
All the parts at a glance: The drawbar and all its components
Finishing the bars: The fully assembled drawbars are finally painted matt black with model making paint.
Upside-down is the way to go: The couplers are mounted upside-down to prevent a collision with the central buffer.
Building phase 4:
Making the cargo
Traditional LGB brass rails are not suitable as the cargo. They are not flexible enough when sat on the three cars to navigate a set of switches without problems. Much more suitable are – similar to the Marklin prototype – flexible plastic track profiles. Maquett offers these track profiles, for example, as model making accessories in every rail gauge (for G-gauge: Item 460-58). The track profiles are supplied as 39.3″ sections and can be cut to the desired length of the car set. They were shortened to a length of 35.4″ for our rail transport car set. Five track profiles were used as the cargo. The load surface therefore appears fully loaded, yet the cargo has no negative impact on the actual running
Load restraint test: The load restraints glued onto the pivoting arms still have to be filed to guarantee the rails have sufficient clearance. Otherwise correct cornering will be not be possible.
Flexibility test: Flexibility of the rails within their load restraints on the cars is tested using R3 tracks.
behavior of the cars. The color of the gray track profiles was not altered. This corresponds to the Marklin model car and offers the advantage that the rails remain
flexible. An additional coat of paint would hinder movement of the rails in the supports.
Building phase 5:
Fastening the cargo to the pivoting arms
Load restraints are mounted on each piv)ting arm to fasten the five rails to the )ivoting arms of the three car units. The 35.4″ long rails are held in place by approxmately 0.39″ long pieces of track profile whose rail head has been cut off. At the .wo outer load restraints, any unwanted rotrusions to the exterior are removed. [le load restraints are glued into place with a low viscosity instant adhesive e.g. Bindulin glue). To mount the load retraints, first determine the position of the :enter rail on the pivoting arm and glue the two load restraints into place. Subsequently, fit the rail load restraint on the left and the rail load restraint on the right. Finally, the load restraints for the outer rails are mounted. It is important to make sure there is sufficient space between the load restraints. The rails should not be squashed together but be mounted in a way that allows them to move between the load restraints. This ensures sufficient flexibility when navigating curves. If necessary, the load restraints should be retouched slightly using a diamond file.
Building phase 6:
Painting and final assembly
After the disassembled parts of the three cars, including the shortened dummy parts of the substructure have been reassembled, the blocks of ballast are painted satin matt black. The dummy brake hoses dismantled at the start of the conversion are attached to both ends of the special vehicle. Brake hoses are not used on the other parts of the car set to prevent them colliding with the cargo.
Fully assembled: View from below of the intermediate car with painted additional weight and ball bearing mounted wheel sets.
Initial running: The first car of the set is finished and is tested on the tracks along with its small cargo of rails.
Final run: The KOf loco goes on a trial run with the new rail car set. The running characteristics of the long car in curves and vitches are awesome.