NSWGR Turntable Pit Construction

 
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
Hi,

I am currently rebuilding my 60 ft sellers turntable pit. The AMRM article back in the 80s has a wealth of information regarding TT pit drawings and contour but does not really go into what the pit floor was made out of / covered in.

Looking at alot of photographs, it seems that the pit grew over with grass very quickly. As I am modelling Picton during the 50s, I would have thought that they may have looked after the TT, especially due to it having a small depot attached. In some photos it looks like ash or something similar was spread over the pit.

Any information would be very helpful. Any Picton TT information would be even better. Coloured photos of the TT pit during the period are not so common. I need the memories of those that pushed locos around to tell me what they trod on.

Thanks for your time,

Linton

Sponsored advertisement

  5711 Assistant Commissioner

Knowing a little more about the bigger concrete versions, from what I have seen of the smaller branchline TT's is that there is either gravel or dirt at the base. The grass growth after lack of use would also point to this .
Have a look at NSWRAIL.net , I've attached the link for Boorowa that would be similar. Its overgrown but its got a good solid coverage of grass so that should indicate a fertile ground underneath.

http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Boorowa

and here is the Sellers TT at Tumut showing gravel?

http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Tumut

Not sure about Picton.

Hope this helps.
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
Hi 5711,

Thanks for your reply and the links.  NSWRail is a great website isn't it. I think your right, they most certainly were pretty much just dirt with gravel and ash just thrown over the top. I wonder if they sprayed old oil over the surface as well? The only concrete part of the well looks to be the ring foundation for the bridge support rail. I would like to add a little grass to my model pit just to make it look interesting. I can't believe I used to travel past Pictons turntable on the train so often as a kid and took no notice of it.

Thanks for your help,

Linton


Knowing a little more about the bigger concrete versions, from what I have seen of the smaller branchline TT's is that there is either gravel or dirt at the base. The grass growth after lack of use would also point to this .
Have a look at NSWRAIL.net , I've attached the link for Boorowa that would be similar. Its overgrown but its got a good solid coverage of grass so that should indicate a fertile ground underneath.

http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Boorowa

and here is the Sellers TT at Tumut showing gravel?

http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Tumut

Not sure about Picton.

Hope this helps.
"5711"
  hot64x Station Staff

Hi Linton

Is your turntable an Anton's or Gwyder kit?

I'm looking at one for my Kiama layout but would like to know which is the better kit, anyone?

Ultimately it would be hand powered by a small crank handle.

The turntable at Kiama had a fine gravel / dirt pit and a few weeds and grass. Apart from the steamers on excursions I remember turning diesels on two occasions, incl a 422cl  and it was a tight fit!

Mick
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
G'day Mick,

Mine started off as a Bruce Agrigg Turntable. I have since heavily modified the turntable by changing the profile of the pit, rebuilt the drive with a stepper motor and am in the middle of scratch building the bridge. This will be the third rendition and hopefuuly the last.

I can't say which commercially available turntables are the best. I can't actually remember seeing a fabricated turntable produced. I could be wrong on that front. Pictons TT is a sellers type (a cast beam with holes in the side) however I thought Kiamas was a fabricated type? Lucky for you it's still there!

What happened with the 422? Was one end U/S?

Using a hand crank is a good idea but if you feel like motorising it I can show you how mine has been done.

Are you a South Coast local?

Linton




Hi Linton

Is your turntable an Anton's or Gwyder kit?

I'm looking at one for my Kiama layout but would like to know which is the better kit, anyone?

Ultimately it would be hand powered by a small crank handle.

The turntable at Kiama had a fine gravel / dirt pit and a few weeds and grass. Apart from the steamers on excursions I remember turning diesels on two occasions, incl a 422cl  and it was a tight fit!

Mick
"hot64x"
  5711 Assistant Commissioner

Imagine the creaking and groaning of a 422 on a 60ft turnatable - that would of been a balancing act!!
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
I will put my auscision one and see if it makes prototypical noises! Maybe my TT needs a sound installation.

Imagine the creaking and groaning of a 422 on a 60ft turnatable - that would of been a balancing act!!
"5711"
  hot64x Station Staff

The loco ran around its train & coupled up and had a huge difference in the coupler height so we turned it and all was good.

Yes it was a balancing act... well done to the Eveleigh driver! 3 ppl pushing the turntable.

Yep South Coast local.


Cheers

Mick
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
Another question,

I am in the process of building the bridge support wheels, the ones that run around the ring rail. Looking at all the drawings published In AMRM, particularly June 1984 issue, as that details the 60ft sellers, it shows that the wheels are angled at 90 degrees to the bridge. Was this the case as the wheels would not run straight on along the ring rail? Instead they would scrub along. In all the photos it is hard to see if they are angled due to the wheels having a box section of sorts built around them.

In this photo from an American museum: http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image.aspx?f=1&guid=d92daae8-06d4-4054-a43d-a860c7cb7d6c&gid=3 it shows some detail of the wheels. To me they look angled so they will run straight on the rail.

Any help would be handy. At this point I can angle the wheels with a little modification but I can not precede to lay the rail as its diameter is slightly affected.

I know this sounds trivial as they will be very hard to see, however I have this annoying problem where I try to get things right.

Thanks,

Linton
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Something to consider when it comes to scale turntables......

I can vividly recall that 36 class locos used to occasionally bring the Riverina Express to Narrandera (my home town). The loco had to be turned on the 60 foot (fabricated) turntable, ready to return to Junee.

The balancing of a 36 on a 60 foot table was not something for the faint-hearted to undertake....but provided the tender was correctly loaded with water and coal (not sure how "loaded" it had to be), a 36 could squeeze onto a 60 footer; just.

Now, given that our steam loco models are generally over-length (due to the usual necessity for a larger-than-scale gap between loco and tender), a model of a 36 would be unlikely to physically fit on to a scale 60 foot table.
I used modeler's licence and installed one of these:

http://www.diamond-scale.com/products__turntables.htm ......I used their 65 foot small girder (SS-065)

My Austrains 36 just manages to fit onto this t/table with a couple of mm to spare at either end. Getting it on there (with momentum set-up) is ..... ah....interesting!


I have had this table for over 30 years. I kit bashed it by making my own bridge deck (styrene sheet), super-glued Code 55 rail to the styrene and fabricated the side safety rails by adding brass angle to the sides, onto which I soldered brass rods for the posts. I pre-drilled the top end of each post, to accept a small brass stand-off (like used for rods along the side of a boiler), then threaded .04mm brass wire through those stand-offs.

I originally had the ring-rail done as a split type (when I was using DC power), but recently altered it so that the complete ring is attached to one DCC BUS wire and the other BUS wire wipes against the central spindle. Now I don't get a "dead" reaction on my sound decoders when the table crosses the gap in the ring rail. My table is powered by Diamond Scale's electric motor, via an old H&M transformer/controller.

Narrandera's table had a concrete pit which had weeds growing in it a lot of the time.

Roachie
  a6et Minister for Railways

Linton

Coming in late on this question.  However hope the following is of help.

Many of the open TT's had originally been cut out with a bed of sand & bricks set in the sloped area of the pit.  The centre pinions were built on concrete footings as was the rail, & mini cut sleepers. Over time the bricks would move, break up & become a danger, & in some cases were removed, or nature took over with dirt blowing in, meaning they were covered in weeds & other growth. The bridge proved to be a good mower in those cases.

The wheels on the outside, were not really part of the turning process, as these TT's & all the manual types on the NSWGR were balancing types, that meant for any engine to be turned the loco had to be set correctly & in balance on the table bridge. When balanced properly the wheels on both end were sitting in the air, same as during the turning process, although when the balance was precise the bridge could wobble up & down with the wheels occasionally touching the rails. If the wheels touched too much the bridge would or could stop turning.

The primary purpose for the wheels was that when the engine ran & off the bridge, the whole bridge would drop on that end, the wheel was set so that the bridge rail was set just below the entry/exit road rail top. When bringing the engine on to the bridge the fireman had to stand on the bridge at the entry end, which would allow the bridge to drop down, with the wheels taking the wait, at that point the fireman got off the bridge & waved the drive onto the bridge, once the whole Engine & Tender were on, caution signals were given so that a quick stop would be made when balanced.

It was rare to get the balance with the first move, as the bridge balance was passed it would drop hard on the other side, again the other end wheels took the brunt. This allowed the driver to then wind the hand brake on partially, & very slowly move back to get the balance, when that was obtained, he stopped very quick, & if the bridge rocked up & down things were right.  The hand brake was fully applied & cylinder cocks opened, to stop any movement.  The driver would help the fireman start the TT moving, when balanced properly it was very easy & you only had to get the bridge started, & it roll all the way round, push to far & it would keep going.

Once moving you walked alongside until you got to the exit road, where you lifted the paul & got read to drop it on the concrete edging to the paul cut out locking recess. As the engine moved off again the fireman stood on the departure end to drop the bridge off balance.

Roachie mentioned the 36c & problems, that happened very much at Armidale, until a new DLE came there & he told the shed crews to not water the engine prior to turning, this had been something also learned with the 59cl, these "big engines" (for these depots) such as the pigs & 59cl needed to have a maximum of half a tender full of water to be able to gain the appropriate balance to turn them without splitting.  The TT at Richmond was a problem for the 59cl unless there was less than half a tender full of water

When you consider that most of the small depots in the country including Picton, there was few staff attached to the depots for general cleaning duties, the Trainee enginemen, or cleaners as they started off prior to being qualified for firing duties, had to contend with cab cleaning as well as calling crews, taking out call papers & other duties, the shed crew, were there to sit pilot for assisting the mails or similar, coal & rake out the engines. Usually most had a fitter & mate for the mechanical work & a single labourer on day shift to clean around the depot & assist the fitters as required.
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
G'day Roachie and Col,

Roachie, yes my turntable is slightly over length. Not quite 65 ft but long enough for a bergs 36 class to fit, just.

Col,

Thanks for the great insight into using a turntable. I operated one at Werris creek once, turning a 48 class but as it is motor driven no balancing act seemed to be required. Well I think I will leave the wheels sitting at 90 degrees and lay the ring rail.

Bricks in the pit hey. I wonder how they were layed. From the centre out or layed in straight lines right across. It would be nice to add a few bricks in.

Linton
  a6et Minister for Railways

G'day Roachie and Col,

Roachie, yes my turntable is slightly over length. Not quite 65 ft but long enough for a bergs 36 class to fit, just.

Col,

Thanks for the great insight into using a turntable. I operated one at Werris creek once, turning a 48 class but as it is motor driven no balancing act seemed to be required. Well I think I will leave the wheels sitting at 90 degrees and lay the ring rail.

Bricks in the pit hey. I wonder how they were layed. From the centre out or layed in straight lines right across. It would be nice to add a few bricks in.

Linton
linton78
Several balancing type TT's were power operated, the one at Gosford, & 1 shed at BMD & 2 shed Enfield, straight off the top of my head.

From memory the bricks were laid in circles from around the middle pinion block out to the cement edge for the rails.

Realistically, there is no need for the wheel on a model TT, as the motor does the work, & the bridge should move freely by sitting above the rail.

Even though motor driven, those TT's I mentioned above still had to be balanced pretty right otherwise they could create problems in turning.  I recently saw a DVD of an event at Gosford with a 32cl as it was tried to be turned as the engine was not balanced, I had to turn it off & not watch it beyond the 3rd attempt.  My mind immediately went to thinking it was just as well it was a Pcl rather than a 36cl with the old screw, with the amount of turns needed, much of which was unnecessary, & could imagine what some of the old drivers would have done had they had it happen to them.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: a6et

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.