Monbulk Creek - Australian 2'6" in 1:350 scale

martink May 6, 2019

  1. martink

    martink New Member

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    The Monbulk Creek trestle bridge is a popular viewing spot on Puffing Billy, a 2'6" gauge tourist railway on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. This 37"x15" micro layout attempts to show the bridge and the immediate environs with typical length trains for this busy little line.

    The layout is modeled in 1:350 scale, so the trains are just a bit smaller than T scale standard gauge. All trains and structures are 3D printed, using a standard ABS filament printer. The layout is almost complete, just waiting on the arrival of suitable trees and backscene. The area is heavily forested, so it all looks just a little bare right now.

    The layout uses a linear motor drive system rather than conventional track and mechanisms. The track is a series of small custom printed circuit boards soldered together, with coils printed on them acting as electromagnets. Each board is about the same size as a piece of T gauge track. When powered in a suitable sequence by what is basically just a modified PWM controller, they act like a magnetic conveyor belt and pull anything with magnets along the track. All locos and carriages have their own set of magnets underneath, and so are effectively self-propelled. The track surface is just printed paper, from images generated in AnyRail.

    The linear motor system is my own variation of a commercial product by IDL Motors (www.teenytrains.com).

    This layout is primarily intended as an experiment to see how well this technique works for a serious, albeit small, model railway. The main advantages of using a linear motor here compared to conventional T Gauge track and mechanisms are (or should be) high reliability, low maintenance, good low speed running, and full length trains. The main disadvantages are that it isn't truly a railway, and has somewhat jerky movement (although that is hardly unknown in T). For future layouts, an additional drawback is the minimum track spacing: the powerful magnets in the trains mean that triple or even quadruple track spacing must be used, although workarounds are possible.

    While the models are not highly detailed, please keep in mind that all except the Garratt are less than 1" long, and close-up photography at this scale is very, very cruel.

     
    ddechamp71, rpeck, tracktoo and 2 others like this.
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow. Without trees, that landscape looks vast and the bridge seems to be enormous! Very nice!
     
  3. martink

    martink New Member

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    The trees are about half done now, so it is getting there. A few more gum trees, then the ferns, shrubs and backscene still to do...

    DSCI0105 - Copy.JPG
     
    mosslake and Kurt Moose like this.
  4. martink

    martink New Member

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    Construction is now complete.

    DSCI0111a.JPG DSCI0116a.jpg DSCI0117a.jpg
     
    mosslake, tracktoo and Kurt Moose like this.
  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, amazing!!

    Well done!(y)(y)(y)
     
  6. martink

    martink New Member

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    And finally, a short video of the completed layout...

     
  7. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, that runs so smoothly for such a small scale!!

    (y)(y)(y)
     
  8. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hard to believe that is 1:350 scale. Really looks great.
     
  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Wow! I'm not familiar with the propulsion system. Do you have photos or a website that talks about it?
     
  10. martink

    martink New Member

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    There is a bit of a rambling description on my website, focusing on my earlier experiments with model roads.
    It is based on a commercial product from IDL Motors.
    Or for the heavier stuff, there is always wikipedia.
     

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