Forums General Prototypes
  • Topic: G-Scale Funicular Garden Railway

    Back To Topics
    (0 rates)
    • November 26, 2019 10:49 AM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        30
      • Thanks
        32
      • Thanked
        41

      G-Scale Funicular Garden Railway

      This is a rare two rail G-Scale Model Funicular with the ingenious and revolutionary ABT Passing switch. (the only railroad switch without moving parts!) 

      See video of the first full system test here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcarmichael/49105795553/in/datetaken/ 

      and another video here: https://youtu.be/SmoXgy7kNUo

       

      After seven months of design and construction, we moved it to my garden railway Nov. 23 for permanent installation where I'll build a mountain around it. My funicular features automated station stops, delay, and reverse- all programmable.  Speed is adjustable with a throttle.  It also has an automatic warning bell just like the real ones, and extensive cabin and structural lighting.  Controls are conveniently located outside of the rear of the Gear Room. Everything is weather resistant for outdoor use. The track slopes upwards at 30 degrees and is 72 inches long. I created the track and passing switch using LGB brass Flex track. I believe this is the first G-Scale fully functional garden funicular railway in the United States with the ABT Passing Switch. In fact, you'll be hard-pressed to find ANY G-Scale funicular anywhere in the United States or anywhere else for that matter.

      See ABT Switch Info: https://www.giessbach.ch/en/abt-switch.html

      And see this VERY interesting article: Giessbach Funicular.pdf (2.1 MiB)

       

      Most of the people I talk to- even railroad aficionados, don't even what a funicular is.  This is understandable since very few exist in the United States.  But there are some incredible ones in the rest of the world.

      To make a fully functional G-Scale model I had to teach myself everything about it since there is almost no information on modeling a funicular on the internet or in railroad magazines.  Everything, including the crazy tracks, had to be designed by just using old photographs of real funiculars.  It is the biggest railroading challenge I have ever undertaken. Precision in all parts of the design and construction was imperative. The split-level cars had to stop exactly in line with the boarding platforms. The cars had to travel at 3 inches/sec. so I had to teach myself all about gears and gear ratios and how to do the calculations knowing the motor's RPM.  Difficult but lots of fun!

      I’m making the full design drawings, electrical diagrams and construction photos available to everybody hoping that more will be built.  This way, future modelers won’t suffer the learning pains and design errors I had to solve teaching myself how to make it!

       

      See G-Scale Funicular Album here:

      https://www.largescalecentral.com/albums/g-scale-funicular-garden-railway/12773/set/121.333281ttd3s2a16b1307173840511729636605dd215098631945dd715387110005ddd714835425595ddd4370145ddd46407211

      G Scale Funicular Finished1.JPG (1.47 Mb)
      This post was edited by John Carmichael at December 5, 2019 1:28 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • November 26, 2019 1:58 PM EST

      •  
      • Posts
        9,393
      • Thanks
        249
      • Thanked
        862

      commented on other thread where you posted same

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: [email protected]­massian.co­m

    • November 26, 2019 2:22 PM EST
      • Maryland, USA
         
      • Posts
        2,600
      • Thanks
        2,097
      • Thanked
        1,639

      That's spectacular, John! Excellent track work and structure!

      Your motor & house at the top is amazing, and your controls look very thorough.

      How long have you been working on this?

    • November 26, 2019 3:18 PM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
      • Posts
        2,508
      • Thanks
        482
      • Thanked
        932

        Beautiful work, really nice, can't wait to see it installed outdoors....but you're sadly mistaken if you think you can slip a famous Italian train / love song past me!

       

       

      edit: not that you were necessarily trying to...thanks for bringing back some childhood memories!

       

       

       

      This post was edited by John Passaro at December 2, 2019 9:22 AM EST
      ____________________________________

    • November 26, 2019 4:13 PM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        30
      • Thanks
        32
      • Thanked
        41

      Dog gone it John, you got me on that. I knew I couldn't get that song past you!  Oh well, at least I tried...

      I love that melody too.  Have a look and listen to all these great versions of it on this website: https://secondhandsongs.com/work/116089/versions 

      And FYI, here is the English translation:

       

      I climbed up high this evening, oh, Nanetta,Do you know where? Do you know where?Where this ungrateful heartNo longer pains me! No longer pains me!Where fire burns, but if you run away,It lets you be, it lets you be!It doesn't follow after or torment youJust with a look, just with a look.(Chorus)Let's go, let's go! To the top we'll go!Let's go, let's go! To the top we'll go!Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!To the top we'll go, funiculi, funicula!Let's go from here below up to the mountain,A step away! A step away!You can see France, Procida, and Spain,And I see you! And I see you!You rise, pulled by a cable, quick as a wink,Into the sky! Into the sky!We'll rise up like a whirlwind all of a suddenKnows how to do! Knows how to do!(Chorus)Let's go, let's go! To the top we'll go!Let's go, let's go! To the top we'll go!Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!To the top we'll go, funiculi, funicula!The car has climbed up high, see, climbed up high now,Right to the top! Right to the top!It went, and turned around, and came back down,And now it's stopped! And now it's stopped!The top is turning round, and round, and round,Around yourself! Around yourself!My heart is singing the same refrain:We should be wed! We should be wed!(Chorus)Let's go, let's go! To the top we'll go!Let's go, let's go! To the top we'll go!Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!To the top we'll go, funiculi, funicula!
      This post was edited by John Carmichael at November 27, 2019 12:26 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • November 26, 2019 5:31 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
      • Posts
        11,160
      • Thanks
        129
      • Thanked
        931

      We have 2 here in Pittsburgh, and there is one in Johnstown that even carries automobiles up and down the mountain. But we heres in PA calls em Inclines.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • November 27, 2019 7:32 AM EST
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
      • Posts
        4,706
      • Thanks
        589
      • Thanked
        795

      David Maynard said:

      We have 2 here in Pittsburgh, and there is one in Johnstown that even carries automobiles up and down the mountain. But we heres in PA calls em Inclines.

      That's because Funicular is a big word!

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • November 27, 2019 9:28 AM EST
      • Maryland, USA
         
      • Posts
        2,600
      • Thanks
        2,097
      • Thanked
        1,639

      David, you remind me of Dave Bodnar's garden RR incline. Like Pittsburgh's remaining 1:1 inclines, it has dual track all the way.

       

      However, John's model has the more difficult funicular arrangement involving a single track for most of its length, with a passing track & switches at the midpoint. Though trickier in the middle, it economizes on the track, and simplifies the stations quite a bit. Very impressive work, John.

       

       

    • November 27, 2019 10:46 AM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        30
      • Thanks
        32
      • Thanked
        41

      Thanks to all who have commented on my funicular. After all that work, your kind words mean a lot to me.  If you hadn't liked it, I think I would be devastated. So thanks, I really mean it.

      Cliff: You are absolutely right.  The ABT switch was an instant hit when it was invented so most funiculars made afterwards were of the ABT design. There are basically three types of funiculars:

      the least expensive but hard to make two rail ABT Switch system, the moderately expensive and harder to build three rail system, and the easy to build but expensive four rail system.

      See Diagram Here: https://www.largescalecentral.com/albums/photo/view/album_id/12773/photo_id/113738

      This brochure is the best source of information about ABT funiculars available and is a MUST READ!  Giessbach Funicular.pdf (2.1 MiB)

       

      John C.

       

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at November 27, 2019 12:40 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • November 27, 2019 1:04 PM EST

      •  
      • Posts
        9,393
      • Thanks
        249
      • Thanked
        862

      Do you have a diagram of the original ABT switch layout? From reading the document, it appears you have made the improved version.

       

      Very interesting.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: [email protected]­massian.co­m

    • November 27, 2019 3:34 PM EST
      • Maryland, USA
         
      • Posts
        2,600
      • Thanks
        2,097
      • Thanked
        1,639

      John, in view of wheel flanges being only on one side, and the angle of the operation, how's the behavior of your cars? Like, do they want to stay firmly against the rail without bouncing, especially when going over the switches? Did you have to weight them down a lot?  Just curious.

       

       

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at November 27, 2019 4:38 PM EST
    • November 27, 2019 4:39 PM EST
      • Maryland, USA
         
      • Posts
        2,600
      • Thanks
        2,097
      • Thanked
        1,639

      John, here's a similar project I expect you've seen. Doesn't strike me to be as advanced as yours (though the doors are cool), especially in all the structures and drive system. 

       

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at December 2, 2019 8:16 PM EST
    • November 29, 2019 10:59 AM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        30
      • Thanks
        32
      • Thanked
        41

      I'm glad you posted this video Cliff.  My Funicular was greatly inspired by this video of a G-Scale demonstration model of the Horseshoe Curve funicular. The model was made in Barcelona Spain. (You Tube doesn't give the maker’s real name.)  It was the ONLY video I could find of a G-Scale funicular with an ABT passing switch.  Although his model is a little “rough around the edges”, it proved to me that an ABT Passing Switch was possible on a G-Scale track. I might not have made mine without the inspiration from his video, and must have watched it a dozen times to find out how he did it. I even took screenshots of individual frames and enhanced them in Photoshop for deep study! I copied his wise use of a 3" Meccano 19b 'V' groove pulley for the main cable drive pulley.  I could not find a better 3" 'V' groove pulley anywhere on the internet.  Although I Really wanted a 'V' groove pulley with pretty spokes, but could not find one. I took his great idea and made several improvements.  By the way, Meccano makes the best solid brass beveled gears available.  And you're right, the automated sliding doors are fantastic!

       

      My respect and thanks go out to the unknown man in Barcelona...

       

      p.s. If you watch it carefully, I think he had some problems with the cable and hook arrangement.  Note that the cable hooks on the front of the cars are ABOVE rail level, so the hooks don't pass between the rails as they should.  As the car moves over the switch, the cable hook is up in the air and does not guide the cable between the rails.  I think he saw this and tried to correct the problem by adding  vertical wires with a slight bend that would sort of hold the cable down some.  These curved cable guards lessen the problem but don't fix it.  Nevertheless, it works because it is not essential on a model that the cable pass through the rail gaps.  Tension from the weight of the model cars is enough to keep a lightweight cable above the rails. Getting the hooks and cable and cable crimps to pass through the narrow rail gaps is how the real funiculars work because the weight of the cables is so much that the cable would not stay above the rails from tension alone (like on his model). This would cause the cable to droop and drag against the top of the rails- A big NO NO in the funicular world! My cable is very taught because each car weighs 750 grams.  It is so tense that I was able to eliminate the many support pulleys you can see in this photo of the real Horseshoe Curve Funicular in Pennsylvania. Getting the cable and hooks to pass smoothly through the rail gaps requires great precision in design and construction. Tolerances are down to 1/32". To do this, the cable must be as thin as possible and the cable crimp must be as tiny as possible.  You must also use tiny rail spikes hammered tightly in place.  Even a miss-placed rail spike can screw things up!  

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at December 2, 2019 8:16 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • November 29, 2019 1:26 PM EST
      • Maryland, USA
         
      • Posts
        2,600
      • Thanks
        2,097
      • Thanked
        1,639

      Thanks for the further background, John! 

      And please post pics of it installed, maybe another video of it working outside? (hint )

    • November 29, 2019 5:43 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        5,439
      • Thanks
        1,982
      • Thanked
        1,368

       On the Forestry Forum this is called a 

      Molly Hogan. you open and rebraid an eye in the end. The wire has twists in it already and they retwist together fairly easy, rarely do they slip.

      My eye didn't like the look of the crimp. This should help smooth out the run...

      This post was edited by John Caughey at December 2, 2019 9:26 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • November 30, 2019 10:21 AM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        30
      • Thanks
        32
      • Thanked
        41

      Thank you for your thoughts and photos on the "Molly Hogan" cable braiding.  Very interesting!

       

      I hope I did not imply that the tiny cable crimps I used were too big and causing problems in the rail gap which is not the case.  They are small enough to pass very smoothly through the gaps so I am happy with the results. The proper crimps for this size cable are included in each cable order, which is convenient. They are also very easy to crimp using pliers. 

       

      On your photos of the braid, it looks like the braided part has some sort of covering to keep the braid from unraveling (tape maybe?) that creates a" lump" on the cable that is similar in appearance and size to my cable crimps. So it appears that both the crimps and the braids have "lumps" that are much wider than the cable diameter.  The difference may just be cosmetic.  I can't say...  But there is wisdom in the old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  So I think I'll keep the cable crimps. 

       

      Here is a description and the supplier of the cable and crimps made for it:

      Marine Grade T316 Stainless Steel Wire Rope Cable, 1/32", 7x7 with 25 PCS Sleeves,100 ft: $24.99 (Amazon)

      1/32" T316 Stainless steel Marine Grade cable & Sleeves Stainless Steel Type 316 Wire Rope 7x7 , 1/32" Cable Marine Fishing - Works well around salt water. Will not rust as fast as Galvanized Aircraft Cable. Construction 7x7 strand cable is 7 bundles of 7 strands of cable It is a fairly flexible cable and the most popular in snare building. High Quality - Marine Grade For Maximum Corrosion Resistance Working Load Limit: 30lbs

      https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Grade-Stainless-Steel-Sleeves/dp/B07GRSTSRC/ref=sr_1_3?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4crBu9zV4gIVFNNkCh0XIQLfEAAYAyAAEgLf1fD_BwE&hvadid=224125413760&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=2840&hvnetw=s&hvpos=1t3&hvqmt=e&hvrand=10687074805269477251&hvtargid=kwd-366694074420&hydadcr=20523_9561723&keywords=1%2F32+steel+cable&qid=1559854081&s=gateway&sr=8-3

       

      DO NOT use any kind of fiberous rope (nylon, cotton, etc) or fishing line!  This is very important. The ropes will stretch and will cause the cars not to pass correctly in the switch and will affect where they stop. 

       

      Also, I'm not thrilled with using ball chain, (the chain of little balls that hangs from light fixtures)  See this guy's ball chain in his attempt to make a three rail G-Scale funicular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x06IdKw9mzk .  He wouldn't need the unrealistic and noisy ball chain if he had  used cable with a 19b Meccano 'V' groove pulley: see: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Meccano-Blue-Pulley-19b-3-Diameter-Original-Used-Condition/173838434987?hash=item28799402ab:g:l08AAOSw~SNbTLof  I wonder if it's dawned on him that he will need to design and make a three rail passing switch too! 

       

       

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at November 30, 2019 10:57 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • November 30, 2019 12:06 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        5,439
      • Thanks
        1,982
      • Thanked
        1,368

      Hi John, It's a wonderful model and very nice rendition.

      My only thought was the side crimp didn't look prototypical.

      On the site where I found those pics, other's had rewoven the ends and either cut the ends to fit inside the eye or were left long and rewove and bound beside the main lead. The tubing is optional. just the best pics to understand the idea.

      Welcome to the tribe.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • November 30, 2019 12:22 PM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        30
      • Thanks
        32
      • Thanked
        41

      Hi John,

       

      Thanks for the kind words and explaining that what's around the braid is a tube.  That makes sense.  Just for fun and my own education, I think I will attempt to braid a piece of spare 1/32" cable.  I'm thinking I'll need to put on my jeweler's glasses because the little individual strands are as thin as a human hair!  I suppose instead of a tube, one could use shrink wrap instead for a tighter wrap.  It might even be thinner than a tube.  A dab of super glue on the braid before wrapping couldn't hurt.

       

      Stay tuned, I'm preparing for everybody a list of important parts suppliers with links, prices and descriptions....

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at November 30, 2019 12:25 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • November 30, 2019 9:26 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
      • Posts
        5,439
      • Thanks
        1,982
      • Thanked
        1,368

      John, These are the instructions as per the Forestry Forum;

      "You start with a clean end on your cable.   Split and unwind the cable so that you end up with say 3 strands on one side and 4 strands on the other (seven strand is pretty common).   Unwind enough so that you get the loop size you want.  You want the ends of your strands to stop just inside of the loop.  You can check roughly by just bending the two sides to form a loop.  Make sure the strands in the two sides are wrapped tight, you should notice a spiral in the strands.  This spiral is what is going to lock the two sides together when you wrap them back together.   Bend the two sides together and start wrapping them back together at the top of the loop, working your way down both sides toward the bottom of the loop (cable).  You have to wrap the two sides ( groups of strands) so the spirals fit together.  If the spirals don't fit, you need to wrap in the opposite direction.   I've used this with a lot of cable and never had it fail.  Braiding cable is easier than braiding most ropes...  you don't have to worry as much about securing the ends of the strands."

       

      http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=73822.0

       
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

Forums General Prototypes

    Icon Legend

  • Topic has replies
    Hot topic
    Topic unread
    Topic doesn't have any replies
    Closed topic
    BBCode  is enabled
    HTML  is enabled

Add Reputation

Do you want to add reputation for this user by this post?

or cancel

Ads by Google