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Shay #5 is done !!

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 22 May 2014 with No Comments

Yesterday, I finished my Shay #5 and she’s now ready for service on the logging railroad in the back yard.

The wires and RC components had to be installed smooth and space-saving. Therefore I build a wooden box to hold the batteries and mounted the RC-reciver to the front. I also had to install some weight to the rear to get more traction.

The tender shell just sleeves over the interior and is hold in place by strong magnets. This way, I’ve easy access to the RC components and batteries and the tender shell will not fall off.

Well, when the weather is fine, the loco will be in service next sunday on a father-son-railroad-day.

Engine #5 is back on track

Posted by Gerd on Sunday, 18 May 2014 with No Comments

Today, we brought Shay #5 back on the garden railroad after her long break. Once the wires were determined, we installed RC control and batteries temporary and tested the loco on the garden railroad. The tender tank, where the batteries and RC is located, is just loose on top of the loco in theses photos. Once I’ve installed all the RC stuff properly, I’ll add an easy take off lock for the tender tank to get easy access to the components.

All in all, the loco is running fine and I look forward to get her back into full service the next couple days. I’ll make a rack inside the tender tank to place the batteries and RC components and all the wiring.

A Dinosaur – Digging out my Decker style log loader in Fn3

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 15 May 2014 with 1 Comment

The last week, I started to bring my Bachmann Shay back into service and while I remembering the good old times, I got another model in mind that should still be there in my parents cellar…

Round about 15 years ago, I scratch build this Decker style log loader for my Fn3 logging railroad. I digged this dinosaur out and tested the mechanism. After a break for more than 6 years, the loader was sill working. I needed to fix some smaller issues, but all in all, the loader was ready for first service.

Such log loaders were used whenever a railroad had multiple loading places or a fixed arrangement like a spar tree was impossible or too complex.

This type of log loaders is often called tunnel loader, since the empty log cars will pass below the loader. In case of the Decker style loaders, the cars will run on special tracks inside the lower frame of the loader. This way, you didn’t need a parallel track to pass by the empty cars. The log loader could be used on any piece of straight track on a main line. Some of those loaders even were self-propelled (my model is not).

Once the log train was loaded, the loader was just coupled to the end of the consist and could be hauled to the next loading point.

Old photos of my loader in one of the first services.

The upper level of the loaders is used for the steam-powered winch. Like on steam donkeys, the log loaders were used a vertical boiler and a steam-driven winch assembly which was used to operate the loading work. In case of self-propelled loaders, chain drive lines were used to power the wheels.

My log loader is mostly free lanced and uses the pattern from a Decker style loader. There was also the Cody loader that worked the same way, but was mostly made out of wood. Much more known and build are the McGiffert loaders wich were using liftable trucks so the empty cars could pass on the main line below the trucks, while the loader stand on 4 big columns. Another type was the Surry-Parker design, also made completely from wood. These loaders were brought into place on a flat car and raised upon wooden pillars until the empty cars could pass through.

You’ll find more about the other types of log loaders at google.

Restoring my Bachmann-Shay #5 ?!

Posted by Gerd on Sunday, 11 May 2014 with 1 Comment

While the weather was very “april style” today, I couldn’t run my Accucraft Shay in the garde. Therefore I spend some thoughts on my old Bachmann Shay #5. Since I digged out another “dinosaur” yesterday (more about this next week), I was considering if it would be possible to bring Shay #5 back into service… […]

Fn3-Shay rebuild is finished

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 9 May 2014 with No Comments

The new burner jet arrived this week and I was able to reassemble the whole loco for a first steam up. The new burner setup works fine, the flame is not longer burning in the smoke box and the boiler is making good steam. A first test run in the work shop was successful as […]