Author Topic: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)  (Read 21016 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 07:42:50 PM »
Another cautionary tale is that of the Meadows and Lake Kathleen Railroad in Oregon. It was 15" and (according to all accounts) a spectacular railroad. But the owner didn't have the necessary permits, and the county basically forced him to rip it out and sell it (to cover the fines and taxes.)
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Mike Fox

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 10:49:48 PM »
Nice little two foot gauge that is for sale in Fairfirld, Me. would work great for this project. I took about 40 photos and can send some if you are interested.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2013, 10:01:09 AM »
Thanks for Everyone's Comments and Interest in Downeast Thunder Railroad My DSL connection is back, but still spotty - so I'm back until it drops out again. The phone company tech is supposed to come and look into it this week.

To John, Keith, Ed, and Mike: I appreciate all of your input and thank you. To Ed: Thanks for emailing the forwarded info on turntables. I very much appreciate it.

Back to turntables:

I have gathered quite a bit of information about various types of turntables from books and the internet, but have also received several notes with valuable tips and advice from some very experienced folks and professionals in the industry (mostly on the Yahoo 18" gauge Railway Forum).

Turntables are certainly not complicated machines or structures. Most are quite simple, but there are several variations and designs using different materials with the structural design reflecting the use of those respective materials.

Being an engineer (and me being me), I tend to research everything to exhaustion before starting out with any new design. I've discovered I can learn quite a bit beyond the books and internet searches; simply by chatting with others on forums such as this. Maybe not everyone has all the answers, but it's amazing how many little "gold nuggets" I've been able to garner from various individuals. My goal is to eliminate features that are problematic, and add features that enhance the operation of the turntable.

The design parameters for the Downeast Thunder Railroad turntable are thus: (1.) Simple & easy to build. (2.) Economical to build. (3.) Does not require any heavy equipment beyond what I already have on hand. (4.) Uncomplicated (manual operation - no auxiliary power). (5.) Use of readily available parts and components that are common, off-the-shelf items available almost anywhere. (6.) No need for any specialized equipment, machinery, or tools such that most people I share the completed plans with, will have the capability of duplicating the turntable on their own railway if they so desire. (7.) Designed such that the turntable can be easily be modified to be larger or smaller as desired by the person building the turntable to meet their own requirements. (8.) Keep the plans and drawings clear, uncluttered, easy to read and comprehend by others contemplating the construction of the turntable. (9.) Keep all drawings restricted to standard 8-1/2" x 11" sized paper such that the plans can be released for free download in pdf format and interested parties can easily print out the plans on their own printers.

My turntable design will be for the Downeast Thunder Railroad 18" gauge system, but by making the design fairly easy to scale up or down (within reason) to suit other railway systems, the design will be versatile.

Once again, I'm asking for any ideas, comments, suggestions, or advice anyone has on this subject. I appreciate everyone's participation regardless of how much you may have to offer. Any detail pictures of turntables is a huge plus if anyone has any they care to share.

Thanks everyone!

Paul Bennett
Milbridge, Maine
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 10:11:52 AM by Paul Bennett »

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 02:43:57 PM »
Turntable pictures on Pinterest

I've opened an account on Pinterest and started a board called Narrow Gauge Trains & Railroads

I've pinned several photos of turntables and you can check them out and re-pin them to your own board if you wish. The URL is: http://www.pinterest.com/downeastthunder/narrow-gauge-trains-railroads/ and the nice thing about Pinterest is that the photos I pin when doing research also post the web site URL where I found them. That allows me to go back to the site for more info, if needed. It's better than me simply copying photos and saving them to a picture file on my computer. More often than not, I tend to forget the site where I found it. If you see a picture you want to save onto your own board by re-pinning it, the photo will appear on your board with the original web site URL where I found it so you can visit. The Pinterest account is free (at least for now).

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2013, 12:10:45 PM »
2/6/2013 Update:

I haven't posted anything lately in the past couple of days because I've been spending quite a bit of time researching turntable design & construction methods. I've been successful in compiling quite a database of information, along with many photos to aide my decisions on how I wish to design a turntable for DTRR. In the meantime, I'm also working on some drawings to fabricate a brush fork/tines attachment for the loader bucket on my tractor. Such an attachment can be clamped on quickly and be used for moving large piles of brush and tree limb trimmings from my woodlot processing area. I'm also planning on adding a couple of new pages to the DTRR web site: One for farm photos, and another for plans & drawings for farm related stuff such as a chicken coop and nesting box. These plans and photos will be available to anyone interested (again, for free download in pdf format) but with their own respective pages, they won't be mixed in with the railroad stuff. I should have the new pages added and populated within the next couple of days.

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2013, 08:26:13 AM »
SNOW:

Wonderful stuff! But......it does tend to impede any outdoor progress on the railway. We still have a lot of clearing to do, and I've removed quite a bit of snow into the woodlot so I can skid out some trees with my tractor, but that operation is limited. My tractor does not have an enclosed cab (or any cab for that matter) so it can get quite cold when the wind picks up with the wind chill factor. Work does continue however, in spite of the weather, even if we only cut down one tree in an entire day. At least something is being accomplished.

Looks like the next few days should be relatively mild after the past several days of sub-zero and single digit temperatures. I intend to take advantage of the warm up and get as much brush & tree removal accomplished along the woodlot spur right of way as I can.

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2013, 09:15:17 AM »
Un-Scientific 18" Gauge RR Survey Results:

Greetings all,

A little while back, I posed a dozen questions entitled: "Questions To
The Yahoo 18" Gauge Forum." I also posed the same questions to certain individuals with 18" gauge railroads overseas (not already part of the forum). I only
received a small percentage of responses from the 18" gauge forum with
respect to the total membership.


I've decided enough time has gone by and I haven't received anymore
feedback in the last few days, so I've decided to tally the results and
share them with all of you. Please bear in mind this was not a
scientific survey, and there were no weighted questions. I was simply
curious about what others in the 18" gauge forum are doing with their railways.
You may find the results interesting as well.

I owe many thanks to all who participated and shared information about
their respective railroads. I very much appreciate the time and effort
they took to respond.

You will see the same questions that were originally posed
to the group below, with each question followed individually with my
summation of the results from responses received:

(1) What is the most common diameter wheel you use for locomotive drivers?

*Several respondents omitted answering this question. Of answers
received, the most common diameters for driver wheels of steam
locomotives ranged from 20" to 22" and the most common diameters used
for non-steam locomotive driver wheels ranged 12" to 16" (with most at
or close to 16").


*(2) What is the most common diameter wheel you use for your rolling stock?

*This question was also omitted by most respondents. Of answers
received, the most common diameter wheels used for rolling stock are in
the range of 9" to 12" with only a few being a bit smaller or larger
outside that range.

* (3) What size rail do you use for most of your railway (i.e. - 12#,
16" etc.)?

*It seems that 12#, 16#, and 20# rail is the most commonly in use,
however 12# rail is overwhelmingly the most popular rail in use for
mainlines.

* (4) What size in cross section and length are the ties that you use?

*4" x 4" ties are the most common in the results received.

* (5) How far apart do you space the ties on your railway?

*Some respondents reported their tie spacing at 12" O.C. and others
reported tie spacing much wider at up to 24" O.C., but the most
common**tie spacing is a toss up at 16" O.C. and 18" O.C.

* (6) What type of couplers do you use?

*There were a few reporting the use of knuckle type couplers, and
European style chain & tension w/buffer type couplers, but the
overwhelming majority uses link & pin, draw bars, or a combination of
the two.

* (7) Do you use air brakes & if so, what type?

*There were almost no air brake systems in use. Many in fact have no
brake systems at all. Some reported hand brakes, and that's about it.

* (8) Do you have both steam & diesel locomotives or just one or the
other, and if
so - which type?

*When I posed this question, I should have been more specific. Rather
than specifying "diesel," I should have said "non-steam, motor driven"
such to include gas, electric, air, and so forth. For the results I
received I'll just refer to non-steam as "motor." There were only a
couple of steam locomotives reported. The majority of respondents use
motor driven locomotives of various types. The steam locomotive
respondents also had motor driven locomotives.


*(9) Does your railway employ trestles, Warren truss, or other types of
bridges &
which one(s)?

*There not many trestles or bridges reported. Most were simple beam
spans, but there were a couple of short trestles and a simple truss
reported in use.

* (10) Is your railway based on industrial, park train, grand scale, or
other
"rules of thumb" and which one(s) (if a combination)?

*Not surprisingly, it seems that several railroads are based on park
train systems, and an equal number based on mining/industrial
specifications, with a few being a combination of park train and
mining/industrial. One reported "totally freelance."


*(11) How long in actual feet (not scale feet) is your railway at present?

*The average railway length reported by respondents is about 1000 feet,
give or take.

* (12) Do you plan to expand your railway anytime in the near future?

*Less than half of the respondents plan to expand their railway and of
those reporting the length of the planned expansion, about 2000 feet is
average.


There you have it folks. The results are in no way intended to be
regarded as a set of standards. It's just a "window" to the 18" gauge forum group,
peeking in on what the "other guy" is doing or planning. It satisfies my
curiosity, which is of course my original intention. I hope you will all
find this as interesting as I did. Once again, I just wish to express my
thanks and gratitude to all of the participants. I hope you'll all
continue to share information about your railroads. I
find this sort of information exchange motivating in many ways.

Paul Bennett,

Downeast Thunder Railroad, Milbridge, Maine
http://www.downeastthunder.com

Ira Schreiber

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2013, 08:20:45 PM »
Nice job, Paul.
Thanks

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2013, 06:41:55 PM »
Free Plans for Brush Tine Attachment (clamps onto tractor loader bucket):

I have just completed a plans package for a tractor loader bucket, clamp-on brush tine attachment. The package is 11 pages, 9 of which are drawings, all in pdf format. These plans are available free from the Downeast Thunder Railroad web site ( http://www.downeastthunder.com ). Just hover your cursor over the "about" button and scroll down the drop-down menu. Then click on "Farm Project Plans & Drawings." Then select and click on the Brush Tine Attachment plans hyperlink - that will begin the pdf download, and as always - it's FREE.

I put these plans under the farm heading because that's where this attachment will see the most use over the years, but it's a very handy attachment to have when clearing land for a new right-of-way. After dropping trees and cutting off limbs, there is (almost always) a huge pile of brush to contend with. This attachment will save hours of backbreaking physical labor.

You might have to alter some of the dimensions to fit the loader bucket of your tractor, but it's a simple attachment and this can be easily accomplished by most folks capable of steel fabrication work.

I designed this attachment based upon my tractors loader bucket dimensions and the steel scraps & pieces I found laying around my shop. When finished, I'll have less than $50.00 invested, yet similar attachments bought at retail go for between $1000.00 and $1500.00

Here are the plans (free). Go make some arcs and sparks!

Paul B.

Milbridge, Maine

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2013, 09:51:14 AM »
Present Plans for Farm & Railroad

For many folks around the country, the beginning of March is the start of the Spring season as their local weather begins to warm up. Of course in this part of Maine, we are still very much in the dead of Winter. In fact, it snowed all day yesterday (the 1st of March) and it’s snowing today.

We can’t make any large expenditures on railroad supplies or equipment right now. In order to maintain farm operations (our main source of income), we have to allocate funds for livestock & seed purchases, plus other farm supplies required to allow us a productive season when the warm weather finally arrives. We already have our fencing and shelter materials for the new hog pen. We’re just waiting for the ground to thaw so we can set fence posts. In the meantime, we are negotiating with local pig farmers for some feeder piglets.

Today’s job involves cleaning all of our maple sap collecting equipment. We’ll then be out in the woods tapping maple trees to begin our sap collecting later this afternoon. In about three weeks, we’ll take all of the maple sap we’ve collected and boil it down to fresh Maine maple syrup. We use Silver Maples, so it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

By the end of “sugarin’ season,” we’ll be getting our brooders all cleaned out and set up with heat lamps and fresh bedding, making way for our first batch of freshly hatched meat chicks (about 50 at a time). Some time in April, we’ll take delivery of 2 day old meat chicks at the post office (ordered from a large, commercial hatchery), and get them situated in the brooder.  They’ll live in the brooder under a heat lamp for the first 4 weeks before moving outside to the meat bird coop & run. When the chickens are 8 weeks old, they will be processed right here on the farm. They will average around 6 pounds each (dressed) after processing. If you are local, you’ll want to get your order in now because they go fast (as do the turkeys).

The yearly cycle will continue with other batches of meat turkeys and more meat chickens. There will be more egg laying chickens and ducks to add to existing flocks, and of course there will be lots of work prepping our green house, starting plants from seed, getting outside fields and raised beds prepped with rich compost and getting plants in the ground. Deer fencing will be erected everywhere to protect crops, and a new crop irrigation system is being installed this year. there is no shortage of work.

Somewhere in between all these activities, we’ll be working on our railroad as well. Good thing the days are now getting longer. Even so, there never seems to be enough hours in a day around the farm.

James Patten

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2013, 06:56:49 PM »
When you receive your "2 day old meat chicks" in the mail, are they two days old the day you receive them, or were they mail when they were two days old?  How does one mail a chick?

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2013, 08:28:41 AM »
Greetings James,

the large commercial hatcheries ship chicks as soon as they hatch. They ship them in special boxes designed for the purpose. The chicks can live up to three days without food or water when they first hatch as they are living off the nutrition they received from the egg. They have to be shipped with no less than 25 chicks per order so there is enough body heat from the chicks all huddled together to survive the trip. When the chicks are received, they are about two days old from hatching. The brooder has to be all set up and up to temperature (95 degrees F.) when the baby chicks arrive. We have to pick up each chick out of the box, and dip their beak into their fresh water supply before letting them loose in the brooder. This gives the chick much needed water, and lets the chick know where the water supply is (very important to their survival). The water has some sugar mixed in with it to also give them a bit of energy (but only in the first batch of water on their arrival). After the chicks get settled into the brooder and are drinking water, getting rehydrated after their journey, we introduce food a few hours later.

This practice has been going on for many years by all the major hatcheries. We usually purchase about 50 chicks per order. Some hatcheries are better than others with respect to healthy breeding stock and the care they exercise in handling and shipping their chicks.

Our meat chickens are usually Cornish Cross Rocks (a commercially bred meat chick species) or Freedom Rangers (a commercially bred meat bird species bred by a Mennonite family hatchery in Pennsylvania. The Cornish Cross Rocks (also known as Cornish X Rocks) reach market weight as roasters (average 5 to 6 pounds after processing) in 8 weeks from hatching. The Freedom Ranger are slightly smaller and reach market weight (average 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 pounds after processing) in 12 weeks from hatching. The Freedom Rangers are more expensive to purchase and cost more to feed as it takes an extra month over the X-Rocks before ready for processing, but most people agree the Freedom Rangers are much more flavorful and worth the extra time and money. The Cornish Cross Rocks are the breed of chicken you buy at your local grocery store when you bring home a roaster.

This is probably a whole lot more information than you need (or wanted), but now you know!

My Downeast Thunder Railroad web site http://www.downeastthunder.com has a page where you can download plans for a chicken coop (free) in pdf format if you are thinking about raising chickens. There is also a page with step-by-step photos showing the same coop being constructed from start to finish. This web site is where we share our thoughts and information regarding the progress of our farm expansion and integration of our railroad with the farm (to become a farm attraction - helping the farm to become a destination, taking advantage of the increased interest in "agritourism").
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 08:31:05 AM by Paul Bennett »

Ken Fleming

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2013, 12:09:16 PM »
My father was a Baggageman on the CB&Q and I remember him handling thousands of chicks from a hatchery in Leland, ILL.  They went to Chicago or West for shipment to the rest of the country.  All were being shipped by U.S. Mail in special boxes.  He always kept the baggage car heated to a very warm temperature during this time.  Interestingly, the most expensive poultry shipments in those days were turkey eggs at an insured value of $.50 each (1950 dollars).

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2013, 03:28:13 PM »
Ames True Value in Wiscasset sells chicks.  Shipments arrive each Spring in the form of special boxes.  The boxes are consigned to customers who are called as soon as the chicks arrive.  They are in the store for about a day.  I've been in the store when a few cases of "peepers" are sitting up front waiting for the customers to pick them up.   

Stewart

Ira Schreiber

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2013, 10:35:36 PM »
When I grew up in Southern New Jersey, the local Post Office had chicks every spring. Many times I was there and heard the peeping. Since my Aunt was the Assistant Post Master, I got a personal viewing of the boxed chicks.