Thursday, September 22, 2016

Life in the old blog yet.

Oh my. Would you just look at that? Four and a half years since I posted to this, the most popular of my blogs. It's not that I wasn't producing model railways. Those were APA box layouts and got posted on the APA box blog. Then my famous Purespring watercress layout got refurbished for its 10 year anniversary and that went into its own Facebook page. Too much stuff going on and too many places to report them. There's a lesson to learn there I think.
But I digress...
One thing that had stimulated my creative juices in the interim had been the discovery of pictures of the Naksup wayfreight in Alaska and its car float operations. I had investigated this quite thoroughly and built up quite a library of reference material. However, life got in the way and the project got shelved.
That was until a few days ago, when I discovered the Saxman Terminal Railroad, also in Alaska. A remarkably compact site, the entire length of the system was be less than a mile in length and there was only one turnout. Model Railroader magazine delights in producing schemes for an 8' x 4' baseboard, well here's an entire railroad you could fit in that size with almost no compression.
Saxman terminal. It looks to be out of use, but the marks of the track can be traced easily.
When I had previously investigated car floats for a layout I was thinking in terms of Z scale so my thoughts were drawn there. You could model the entire location in about 3' 6" x 2'. It's a very interesting locale, from many points of view.
My interest was most definitely piqued. Studying the pictures I realized that the Micro Trains through girder bridge could be used as a basis for the car float bridge. As I happened to have a couple of them in my possession I decided to see if my thoughts were right. I think they were.
Piers were added from 6.5mm styrene tube 
Decking added from embossed styrene sheet.
Of course, the dock is only any good if you can have a car float berth at it. So I gave some thought to the construction of a car float. The pictures that follow are a "proof of concept" rather than a scale model, just to see if it works. I buried MTL roadbed track into a styrene substructure and got this.
Car float model. the cars run on the track and don't derail.
After that it was a natural thing to want to see how everything looked together.
It looks OK, doesn't it?
It's very tempting indeed to want to carry this on and develop it further. Now I need to look further into how I would present an idea like this to the viewing public. Watch this space, or perhaps even the Facebook page The Model Railways of Ian Holmes