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 Dynon Yard - Melbourne  Fostoria goes Live Again!  Tree Scapes

February, March, April - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Dynon Yard & Bunbury St Cam Project Letter From The

Learn More about our new live camera in Australia and about its location - Isaac Logan

Editor

Trees and Vegetation Learn about full scale railroading, and how many things on this exciting museum railway can relate to scale modelling - Dave Ruffner

Churnet Valley Railway Visit the Churnet Valley Railway, in the UK. Learn about daily operations and the challengers faced by its volunteers - Neil Higginson

Visit Fostoria Ohio & Fostoria Photography Come along, as Chris, Bill and Richard take you though one of the most amazing Railfaning locations in America in the photo story visit to Fostoria Ohio

Churnet Valley Railway Photography After reading Neil first story, 'Churnet Valley Railway' you can also view some of his photos of the railway and its working operations

'The Challenge' N scale Bridge Building Read along, as Sam Stokes takes you though how he constructed a space saving N scale bridge for his freelance SAXT railroad February, March, April - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Letter From The Editor- Isaac Logan

Many of you know me as log0008 and some of you by my name, Isaac Logan, from the Railstream cam chat pages. I am now your editor for our own magazine 'RailRag'. Being our first issue is here, and I am sure many of you are asking, how did this come about and what will it include. Over 3 years ago, I started my own forum and had a monthly newsletter but with the forum was small and it receive a very low

amount of viewers, so I had to scrap it as it was not worth the time and effort.

more about contributing, please view the contributing information page, the last page in this issue.

So that’s where railstream came in, I decided to ask mike and post in the forums, my idea of having a magazine every 3 months or so. Everyone loved the idea, so here we are today!

Now the name, catchy isn’t it? Well, that was my work! I was just having fun with coming up with a few names and ‘The Rail Rag’ was stuck! I hope you like it! So guys, there’s my first letter I hope you enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see you all back here next time for more fun with ‘The Rail Rag’!!!

The other question I am sure some of you are asking, ‘what will it include’. Well here’s your answer! Our magazine is run by you, and in saying that I mean, most articles are written by you and then I have the job of putting them into magazine format and getting it ready to be featured on railstream. So our articles with vary depending on what our contributors submit. To find out

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-Isaac

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Mike Kisser - Cam & Website Updates

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Dynon Yard & Bunbury St Cam Project - By Isaac Logan With our new live cam, in Australia, going live this month, I thought I would take the time to write a small article and share a few photos by me and my friends featuring Dynon Yard, which is where, the line featured in the cam runs too. Depending on how wide the view is, you may be able to see the edge of the yard within the view of the yard. I hope you enjoy, and also that the photos, help you understand the different locomotives you will see on the cam. Some interesting notes to make on the yard and the line in which the cam features is, this line is duel gauge, Australia has a poor stranded in rail, with many states having their own gauge, and here in Victoria, we have 2 gauges,

listed below. Dynon yard was constructed in an area of free land, southwest of the Melbourne CBD, in 1950. It has tracks for two gauges is stranded gauge which is 4 ft 8 ½ inch (1,435mm) and broad gauge which is 5 ft 3 inch (1,600mm). The issue was caused by the introduction, after Victoria Railways (VR) built a standard network, before a standard gauge was implemented. North Dynon yard is a general yard, which serves any railroad which requires its use, this is mostly broad gauge and South Dynon, which mostly consist of an intermodal terminal using the standard gauge. Unlike US railroads, where CSX operates one line, and NS another, our lines a government owned, and railroads require a ‘permit’ to use each line. So if you watch one line,

you may see many railroads. Dynon yard, is close to Swanston St station, the main station in Melbourne for both commuter traffic and also regional traffic. So if you watch one line, you may see many railroads. Dynon yard is close to Swanston St Station, the main station in Melbourne for both metro commuter traffic and also regional passenger traffic. The bridge featured in the rail cam is one of 2 bridges which cross the Maribymong River to enter Dynon yard from the west. I hope your enjoying the new cam like I am!

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Trees and Vegetation - Dave Ruffner

The following is about my experiences working at an operating museum railroad, from the perspective of a model railroader. In fact, many of the people I worked with at the museum were and are model

railroaders and we tended to call it modelling in the 1:1 scale since we did many of the things that model railroaders do, including laying track, repairing and in some cases rebuilding equipment and also building structures as

necessary to improve our operations and appearance to our passengers and the public. We also dealt with trees and vegetation along the right of way. Of course the big difference in our 1:1 scale model and the smaller scale models is that instead of having to create trees and vegetation to add to our right of way, we had to remove quite a bit of it in order to run trains. When I first joined the museum, much of the track appeared to be a pair of rails running through a sea of green. The line had been ballasted mainly with cinders from steam locomotives and over the years of deferred maintenance, the cinder ballast had become fouled with dirt and rotting ties, making it fertile ground for growing all sorts of weeds. All sorts of bushes and tree limbs brushed against the train when it ran down the track,

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also due to deferred maintenance, as controlling the vegetation along the right of way is one of the responsibilities of the track gangs. Since we were a self funded, non-profit museum we had little more than hand tools and chainsaws for use in controlling the vegetation. A lot of our members were farmers and some of them would bring their spraying equipment over from time to time and try to spray chemical weed killers along the right of way, but in the early years these attempts were sporadic at best and most of the brush was cut by hand. In addition to the brush, we would deal with the occasional tree blocking the tracks. Most of these were removed in the spring after the snow melted and we could get out on the line with our trucks and motor cars to inspect and see what sort of damage had

occurred over the winter. Our track would lay dormant for three to four months from the time we shut down operations in the beginning of December usually until about the middle of March when it became warm enough to thaw the ground and work outside for a few hours depending on how the weather went each year. A lot of trees would come down in the winter storms and it usually took us a couple of Saturdays to clear the line of fallen trees. We would load up our hirail truck with chainsaws and axes, chains and come alongs, and fuel and water and set out to do battle with Mother Nature, who sometimes seemed determined to shut us down. Downed trees come in all sizes from less than a foot in diameter up to huge monsters nearly four feet in diameter which are a lot of work when most of your chainsaws

have short bars less than two feet long. We rarely had more than three or four guys out there at a time and sometimes there would just be two of us. The easiest trees to remove were the one that fell at an angle to the tracks, with ofter just the brushy top fouling the track, the trunk nearly parrallel to the rails. That was just a matter of cutting the limbs and using a combination of lining bars and come alongs to move the trunk away from the track. Next in difficulty were trees the fell across the tracks which usually meant a

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lot of sawing to remove the trunk from the rails and track structure. In many cases this required us to cut the tree into pieces small enough to be moved with the manpower at hand. By far the most difficult trees to remove were the ones that leaned against another tree on the other side of

the track. This situation was complicated by the danger of the tree falling on the guys trying to cut it down and we had several close calls with these over the years. In addition to blocking the railroad physically, falling trees could cause other problems, too. In at least one case, a tree fell on a

creek bank after the roots were undermined by floodwaters and left a hole in the bank that those same floodwaters eroded until they washed out the roadbed under a bridge approach and left some twenty-odd feet of track hanging in the air. This happened in June and could have cost us quite a bit of lost revenue, except for the fact that we were running a special event for two weekends which did not require us to cross the bridge. The same spring storm that caused the washout also dropped more trees on the line further south the track gang spent most of its time during the event reopening the rest of the line, while a contractor was hired to deal with the washout. One of the craziest tree involved situations that I was involved in happened on a Sunday afternoon in 1985. Normal operating weekends at the museum

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involved two passenger trains operating each day, one being a small train of a locomotive, coach and caboose that ran deadhead on Saturday morning from our northern terminus to our southern terminus, seventeen miles away and hauled passengers two miles out and back from our southern terminus, making several trips on Saturday and Sunday, before deadheading north on Sunday. The other passenger train was a roundtrip from the northern terminus to the south and back after a two hour layover. This train consisted of a locomotive, three coaches or more if necessary and a caboose. On that particular Sunday, the daily train returned and unloaded and the crew was in the process of putting their train away when we heard a plaintive call from the deadhead about a tree across the track obstructing their progress. I

got the hirail truck and a chainsaw and headed down to them. Sure enough a tree had fallen across the track between the two trains. I cut it up as quickly as I could with the chainsaw and the engine crew

got down from the cab to move the pieces out of the way. To the best of my knowledge that is the only time something like that has ever happened at the museum. -- Dave

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Churnet Valley Railway Churnet Valley Railway/Moorlands And City Railway Permanent Way

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Here in North Staffordshire, England is the Churnet Valley Railway, an 8 1/2 mile long heritage line. This is connected to the Moorlands and City Railway, a new project to connect the Moorland District with the network mainline at Stoke on Trent. These lines were last used by passenger trains in the early 1960's and by freight in the 1980's. They were then mothballed until the North Staffordshire Railway company bought the track from Leekbrook Jn to Oakamoor in 1996.

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Extensive track renovation has taken place with many track panels completely replaced, and 1000s of sleepers (ties) replaced due to the damp track bed. Our permanent way gang is totally voluntary, mainly being golden oldies (me being an exception). The MCR line from Leekbrook Jn-Cauldon Lowe was completed in 2010, and work is underway to renew the line from Leekbrook Jn-Stoke on Trent as we speak. There are many varied duties to perform on the Permanent Way gang, from track renewal to weed killing, crossing replacement to drain clearing. It’s not always the easiest of jobs, but it’s a very satisfying one to watch trains roll by when it’s done. We have acquired a mobile tool van to help us out on our endeavours, a Permaquip 4wd to get us to where our tasks take us. It also helps to eat our lunch in the dry, as its often raining up on the moors. All people working on the railway, be it on the national rail system (Network Rail) or on a railway like ours are required to wear orange hivisibility kit at all times. Safety is priority number one for us.

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Professional rail contractors have been brought in from time to time with their time-saving (and labour saving too) machinery such as tampers and sleeper changers. These will have to be hired in again as the Stoke on Trent line needs much upgrading. Over 5000 sleepers will have to be changed, and many chairs replaced, as well as lineside fencing, signalling cable and bridge/crossing/ station infrastructure restored/replaced. Once finished, the line into the quarry at Cauldon Lowe can be extended into the premises, and cement brought out to various UK destinations. Freight will also be taken into Cauldon Lowe, as their power station burns green energy sources, imported by rail. The revenue generated by this will allow a further line from Leekbrook Jn to Leek to be reopened, and also a link to Alton Towers, Britain's biggest theme park, to be reopened from Oakamoor. An hourly passenger service is planned from Leek to Stoke, and in season trains

--Neil Higginson

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This is us at the stop at Cauldon Lowe I'm on the right, my son next to me then my Dad!

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Visit Fostoria Ohio

During 2011 and 2010 I visited Fostoria Ohio, the location of 2 of railstreams live cams. I had a fun time! The first time there in 2010 I saw many trains! When I visited in 2010, the platform from the old station along the CSX double track mainline was still there, this has sadly now been removed. I loved it how I could see NS & CSX trains at

By Chris - with photos from Chris, Bill and Richard

the one location. I also saw many units for other railroads such as BNSF and it was my first time seeing a UP food car. I was so lucky because I really wanted to see that train, I think it’s the best train that goes through Fostoria. During my visit in 2011 I only saw one NS and but saw many CSX trains. I saw an a train which had, CSX, CN and 'The J'

leading it. For me, this was my second time I seeing a J. The J is orange, Bright orange. But sadly I did not get a photo of that train. But I got video. I am hoping to go there during 2012, and have more fun and maybe see a few of you there. I am also hoping I can go to Deshler too! Fostoria is Awesome! -- Chris - DownRiverBoys

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Churnet Valley Railway Photography

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'The Challenge'- N Scale Bridge Building - Samuel Stokes The Challenge for the designers of the Penn Central Railroad their challenge was the getting tracks around Allegheny river. Their solution was the horse shoe curve. For me I recently faced just as great of a challenge. Before I go any further let me back up some. When I started designing my current N Scale layout, the first thing to go up was an extensive locomotive repair/service facility. This building went in before track was even placed.(see fig #1)on the layout. Soon after track staring going in and my plan called for the mainline to come around the back of the massive scratch built shop. Before that could take place the layout was moved into the room where it now resides. With that moved went any room for an expansion on the end where the shops reside.

I looked at and studied ways of getting the mainline around this rather large obstacle. This included relocating the shop, but the thought of moving it and all the road bed was enough to cause night mares. So I started looking at the concept of building a bridge. With this several factors had to accounted for. What size trains (tonnage) would pass over the line? The bridge could in no way interfere with operations of the service shop. Exactly what building materials did I currently have on hand? How sharp was the curve going to be and could it handle six axle road power and cars of 89 feet? Further how steep would the grade be? With those questions in mind I spent around a month looking at the bridge concept.

Fig #1- Locomotive Repair Facility

Fig #2 - Jig for Supports

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Fig #3 - Level Supports

Fig #4 - Incline Supports

Yeah normally model railroaders don't spend that long on a project, but at time I go the extreme. Each answer seemed to present its own challenge. The on hand materials was the easy part as I have plenty of plastic I-beams and channels on hand. The grade turned out to be easy as well. This was due to the fact that I wanted the track going across the back property to be level, and had a good long straight run. So the ruling grade after measuring came out to around 1.8%. Now having that in mind the next easy answer was the weight of trains going over the bridge. Seems how I'm building the layout with all new equipment, the bridge will be seeing some very heavy tonnage with 6 axle locomotives and heavy articulated cars. So I wanted to build the bridge as though it was carrying real heavy trains at

speed. This means no speed restrictions. So enter day one. Plenty of room for a wide radius curve-check. Building materials-check. Sanity in place-uh still not sure about that one. So armed with a cup of coffee (very very large) I entered the train room. Now in the door is a small railroad crossing sign with the words "Layout under construction, enter at own risk". Those words would prove to be so true before day's end. My first project, build a jig for the level supports. (see fig #2). With the jig built, I then set about building the five level supports that would carry the bridge across the tracks in back of the shop. The beams were over size , but and spaced very close. But I wanted no chance of sagging or the train falling. Also I wanted a look of brute strength. After cutting and gluing beams and supports, I #3)

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Then I stared with incline piers. these were spaced 80 scale feet apart. Keep in mind that this bridge will carry heavy tonnage trains. some seven and a half hour later I had all the supports in place.(see fig #4 and fig #5) With the bridge complete, testing began to see if things would work as planned.(see fig #6 & fig #7). So the Penn Central conquered their challenge with the horse shoe curve. I conquered mine with the Andrews Bridge (named after my late son). Having completed the bridge I then started on the approach track. This called for an extension to go in. no problem as I already had 2x2 extension made, complete with track. So armed with screws and drill the extension was attached to the layout and the bridge was connected to the existing track on the new section. And then as

often does, came the OH CRUD moment. Two big issues jumped up to slap me in the face. The curve looked to be too sharp and it would not line up with track that was already in place for the service shop.(see fig #8) So I back my test train with a Kato CSX SD80 and two 40 foot double stack cars with a set of articulated auto racks down off the bridge. No sooner than the train enters the curve, I hear a faint click click click. I know exactly what happened. I put the train on the ground. So I check the rails as the joints were soldered. And I check the joints to insure that they are plumb and level. Then I double the curve. My fears were then confirmed. The curve is way to sharp for the big locomotive and rail cars. Crud, now what? I just got done custom building a bridge, and have previously February, March, April - 2012 The Rail Rag

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custom built a locomotive service shop. Now the layout looks to be dead before it even gets started. At this time I have a 2x8 frame already built being stored outside. So the war cry to my wife came out and something like this, BABY WE HAVE A PROBLEM. After showing her my problem , she suggested that I run the trains around the room. Man I love this woman. So here soon, that's exactly what is going to happen. If you want to be kept informed as to progress, let the editor know. "Enter at own risk", while trimming one of the beams, a piece came off with enough speed that it bounced off the train room door and then the TV in the living room. Now as for tools required for this project, I used an X-Acto knife with a new number 11 blade, Plastruct I-Beams and channels. I

also used Evergreen Plastic Strips for the sides of the bridge. Also I used a very sharp X-Acto saw and mitre box. I would estimate that project would cost maybe 20.00 to build. But considering I used materials I had on hand, my out of pocket expense was zero. With this project done, next is getting the new frame in place. I really need to seek professional help. Run Eight Sam

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Looking for Articles and columnists

Article Writers With the first issue done and now out there to read, for the team its onto next month's issue but we need your help. As you would have noticed most articles are written by you, our readers. We are always looking for more articles. Please use the article submit link under 'Magazine' on the railstream website. There is no way to attach a document in this section, this is because before you write your article we would like you to let us know what you idea is. February, March, April - 2012 The Rail Rag

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Please include the following  The main idea of your topic  The approximant length of your article  Your name  Any further info we may find helpful

-Isaac Logan

Please use the submit article page and include the following

RailRag Editor

 Topic idea  A brief overview of what could be included  Name

Columnists RailRag is also looking for some columnists, these people write something for each issue under the same topic but on different ideas and sub-topics. These could be on model railroads, real trains, train simulators or anything in between. If you have an idea and would like to contribute in each magazine, you will be required to write your column on a bimonthly basis.

Once we look at this, and if we like the idea, we will ask you to write the column for the first month and we will decide whether to include it. Editors We are also looking for editors, please contact us via submit article page for more info

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Humour & Last Word - Isaac Logan Q. What do you call a man who steps on a live 3rd rail? A. A conductor Q. What's the angriest piece of track? A. A cross tie Halloween Train Monster: I have to walk 25 miles home. Grandma: Why not take the train. Monster: I did once but they made me give it back

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