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Peninsula benchwork continues …

Hi all,

As I am still waiting on a parcel of track to arrive from the UK, work on the helix has come to a standstill.  In the meantime, I have been continuing on with some benchwork on the peninsula.  As the spline has been approaching the teardrop on the peninsula, the height of the risers has been getting quite high, which I found was resulting in a slightly unstable roadbed foundation, so I decided to build a second layer of joists to strengthen up the construction which in turn will shorten the risers.

This second layer of joists has also filled some of the ‘void’ between the spline and the bottom joists.  This will save a lot of scenery ‘filling’ for no reason.  Plus I didn’t really need so much depth below the spline.  Refer to the pictures below.

section of teardrop showing new layer of joists

the other side of the teardrop with new joists

The spline has also been set at the correct grade right up to the end of the teardrop.  The photo below shows just how much the track will climb from the bridge at Chilcotts Creek (the gap in the spline on the right) to the teardrop.  At this point, there is approximately a 13 inch (330mm) difference in height.  The distance to this point is around 81 feet (24 metres).

showing the grade from the bridge to the teardrop

The roadbed around the peninsula  is now starting to get to a good height.  I can just visualise the trains climbing this grade now!!

That’s all for now.  Hopefully the next update will be on the next stage of helix construction.

Cheers for now.

Peninsula benchwork complete …

Hi all,

Since the last post, I have been quite busy.  I have commenced more spline construction round the corner from Kankool onto the first peninsula section.  I have also now completed the second peninsula with wall frame.  Below are some shots of the benchwork during construction.

main peninsula benchwork

main peninsula benchwork

main peninsula benchwork with wall   main peninsula benchwork with wall

I am amazed at how sturdy the whole structure is now it is complete.  I was thinking I may have had to secure the wall to the floor joists above the ceiling tiles, but I found there is no need to.  To give some idea of size, this main peninsula is 8 metres long.

spline continues from Kankool

Just to finish off this post, the above photo shows the spline continuing along the first peninsula section from Kankool and onto the main peninsula.

It’s amazing now that I have most of the main benchwork up, how I can get more of a picture of how the layout will look.  Up until now, it’s just been a two dimensional drawing; very difficult to imagine how things will look.  But now I’m starting to visualise scenery and track elevations.  All good fun!!


Kankool spline finished …

Hi all,

Well, I have finally completed the section of spline through Kankool.  As mentioned previously, this section has been slow going because, as can be seen, there has been quite a lot of gluing and clamping required, but the end result is very pleasing.

Kankool spline complete This shot also shows the effectiveness of spline to achieve flowing curves with easements, something that would be very difficult to do cutting out from plywood.

The roadbed is still only on temporary risers/joists at the moment, until I get more spline built so that I can start to set the grade from the bridge.  The top surface of the spline is yet to be ‘smoothed’ off prior to laying track.

Kankool spline Another view of the spline through Kankool towards where it turns left along the first peninsula.

The next task is to set out the next peninsula so I can continue with the spline.  Over the next few months, I may make a start on some scenery, if not the Chilcotts Creek bridge.


Peninsula Benchwork …

Hi all,

Since the last post, I have made more progress on the peninsula benchwork and main support wall.  I have constructed the wall from 3×1 DAR pine.  The ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ plates are made from 3×1 L girders placed back to back with 3×1 ‘studs’ installed between them.

'bottom' plate of wall The photo above shows the two pieces of L girder in place to form the ‘bottom’ plate of the wall.  These are supported on 70x35mm joists spaced about 1500mm apart.

finished wall in place

The photo above shows the completed wall.  The gap above the ‘top’ plate is to allow for more 3×1 on edge to support the future lighting pelmet for the top deck.  The lower level spline will be supported on risers from joists supported on the main I beams.  As the elevation gets higher, I may need to support the spline off cantilevered joists from the ‘studs’.  Each end of the wall is secured to both the room wall at the far end and the steel post.  It ended up being quite sturdy.

I have also made more progress on the spline through Kankool, with this nearly complete.  Hopefully within a few days it will be.  Below is a shot taken a few days ago.  There has been more spline installed since.  It has been quite slow going in this section, as I am basically building two lots of spline as I go, one each for the main and loop through Kankool.

Kankool spline


More benchwork …

Hi all,

Just a quick post today.

I have started on the next section of benchwork for the rest of Kankool and around the corner onto the peninsula.  For the main peninsula backbone, I have used fabricated timber ‘I’ beams, mainly for the long spans I can get between supports to try and eliminate the amount of legs required.  The beams are 200 x 70mm and are custom made to the length required. The two shown here will be just under 6 metres long.

peninsula benchwork

peninsula benchwork

On top of these will go the joists to support the roadbed.  The two beams are only temporarily in place at the moment, but hopefully after the weekend, they will be fixed in place.

I also added two more L girders at an angle from the wall where it steps back to just near the right hand side beam.  This will now allow me to continue with the spline roadbed through Kankool and around the corner.  I will have to start lifting the spline up on risers to close to the final level, as the two new L girders and beams sit about 100mm higher than the first section of benchwork.  I worked out that I could get away with this as the line is climbing steadily here, and at the mid point of Kankool loop, the level is already about 4 inches higher than when it began at the bridge, so I realised I didn’t need to keep the benchwork at the same height, as I would have ended up with very tall risers.  All I had to ensure was that I would end up with enough distance below the track to allow for scenery etc ie embankments.

More updates as things progress.


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