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

    Back To Topics
    (0 rates)
    • December 4, 2019 10:59 AM EST
      • San Diego , CA
         
      • Posts
        43
      • Thanks
        2
      • Thanked
        4

      This is very interesting thread and the modeling is excellent. When I was young, I rode the “Inclines” in Pittsburgh when I would visit my grandparents. The last one I rode was at Six Flags Magic Mountain in September.  I’ve also ridden this one https://youtu.be/dk3YXaRWxOk in Park City, UT that is fairly new and rather unique in the fact the track angle is not constant and IRC the cabin rotates to keep it level. 

      Another funicular readers may find interesting is the Otis Elevating Railway that was in the Catskill Mountains of NY near where I grew up http://www.catskillarchive.com/otis/otis-15.htm I believe this was a 3 rail system where the cars shared the middle rail and passed halfway. Also of interest in that railway was they had the ability to haul narrow gauge railroad cars on the incline to be transferred between the two railroads at the top and bottom. 

      This post was edited by Patrick Kramer at December 4, 2019 12:49 PM EST
    • December 4, 2019 2:11 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
      • Posts
        858
      • Thanks
        566
      • Thanked
        632

      John,

       

      I finally had the chance to look at this!  Magnificent from so many perspectives - engineering, design, modeling, etc.  After watching the videos and reading the following threads, it gave me good flashbacks to liberty call in Hong Kong and the Peak Tram!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • December 5, 2019 9:42 AM EST
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
      • Posts
        2,610
      • Thanks
        112
      • Thanked
        550

      How about some underground Funiculars?  Istanbul, Turkey, has 2, and this one is extremely modern.  It is about 600 meters on a slope of 60 degrees under the road up the hill to Taksim Sq.

       

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at December 5, 2019 9:43 AM EST
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • December 5, 2019 12:05 PM EST

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

      Watching the video I sure did not see 60 degrees, with people sitting in both orientations one side should have fallen out of their seats!

       

      On Wikipedia, it states a max 22% grade...  which gives you 12.41 degrees, much more in keeping with what you see in the video.

       

      Cool to see a modern funicular though, nice and fast.

       

      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: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 5, 2019 1:29 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
      • Posts
        7,626
      • Thanks
        170
      • Thanked
        304

      Very cool, cars remind me of the Mt Lower funicular that used to be above my town.

      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • December 17, 2019 7:03 PM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

      G-Scale Funicular Modeling Tips

      Updated 1/17/20

      Here are a few things that are important to know when designing a functional model funicular that’s driven by a motor. See separate list of Parts Suppliers. Consult design drawings to see where the parts go.

       

      Power Source Selection: Use a 12V DC constant power source made for outdoor use. Waterproof power sources are available. 12V is more than adequate for the slow moving cable system, controller, sound module, and lights. It stresses the light bulbs less than a 24V source. I used a waterproof 35 watt power source protected in an outdoor electrical box purchased separately.

       

      Motor Selection: Use a small high torque 12V DC motor with integral gears. 60 rpm works great. If motor has integral gears you will be able to use fewer reduction gears for a simpler system. Only use motors that can be securely attached to a motor mount of the correct size. Protect motor in a water-proof Gear Room.

       

      Gear Selection & Calculation: To reduce friction, jamming, excess noise, over-complication, gear box size and headaches, use the fewest number of gears that will give you your desired gear ratio. With my system, only two gears are needed! Beveled gears are the best for loads and even wearing. They are better than sprocket gears and much better than worm gears. Use only metal gears, not cheap plastic. Solid Brass Meccano Gears are the BEST! Keep gears greased and oiled. My bevel gear arrangement has a 3:1 gear ratio (36 teeth/12 teeth). So if the motor is 60 rpm, the main drive pulley will rotate at 60/3 = 20rpm. If the Drive pulley has a 9” circumference, then in theory it will move the cable 9” x 20rpm =180”/minute = 3”/sec at full power. Actual measured speed was slightly higher, but the throttle knob fixes that. At nine volts, the cable moves at 3"/sec.  A throttle will give you the exact speed you want.

       

      Pulley Selection and Uses: There are two main types of uses for funicular pulleys:

      1) The big Drive Pulley (also called “drive wheel”) moves the cable. You want to maximize friction between the cable and Drive Pulley so that the cable won’t slip which causes jerky movement or no movement at all. It should have a “V” groove and be as large as possible (3” diameter is good). The cable should be in contact with the pulley along as much of its circumference as possible to maximize friction. To do this use two directional pulleys close together and close to the drive pulley. I call these two “pincher pulleys”. Use the Meccano 19b pulley for the Drive Pully. Don’t use plastic pulley.

      2) Directional Pulleys change the direction of the cable. You want to minimize the friction of the cable against directional pulleys. To do this, avoid large angle changes to the cable when you design your system. Also minimize the number of pulleys in your design. Pulleys with ball bearings have less friction on the pulley axle. Don’t try to minimize cable friction by using light weight cars! Model funiculars work much better with heavy cars of equal weight because they add friction between the cable and the Drive Pulley. Don’t use plastic pulleys. I used 7/8” steel pulleys with ball bearings. Real funiculars will also use smaller directional pulleys or rollers between the rails along the entire length of the track to hold up the heavy cable which would sag and rub the ties without them. They also use tilted small pulleys to direct the cable around the curves in the passing switch. I found that these directional pulleys along the track were unneeded in my G-scale model since the cable tension provided by my heavy cars prevents the tiny cable from sagging onto the rails. This really simplifies cable management!

       

      Cable Guard Importance and Location: At the top of the track there is a small “U” shaped cable guard made from a bent 1/16” thick brass rod with two pieces of brass tube around the two pins of the guard. It is located close to and below the top set of directional pulleys. After the cables leave the pulleys they pass between the two pins of the guard. Its purpose is to maintain the two cables in exact alignment with the nearby two directional pulleys as the cars move along the upper straight section of track. Since the directional pulleys are in the center of the track and the cable hooks on the cars are off-center, the hooks would move the cable towards the outside rails as the cars ascend. Without the cable guard, the cables would not align with the pulleys and might cause the cables to jump off the pulleys.

       

      Cable Selection and Modification: Carpenters’ string was great for some of the initial testing, but don’t use it on your final model or any string or rope that will stretch over time. DO NOT USE: fishing line, cotton, hemp or nylon string! Stretching will cause the cars to stop and pass incorrectly! Avoid the use of ball chain too.Only use flexible stranded stainless steel cable of the thinnest diameter possible. Thin cable is more flexible than thick cable and will bend around the pulleys better. Also, it is more prototypical. The 1/32” marine cable I used is perfect. To determine cable length, place both cars exactly opposite each other in the exact middle of the ABT passing switch. Keep cars in place using clamps placed on rails. Cut a piece of cable slightly longer than you’ll need (about 8 ft.). Make an eye loop on one end of the cable using the included cable crimps, then thread the rest of the cable through all the pulleys, cable guard, and rail gaps. Connect the eye loop to the hook of one car, then loop the other end through the cable hook of the other car. Pull the cable so it becomes taught, then make another eye. A hemostat works great for holding a cable loop together until you crimp it. Cut off excess cable then test.

       

      Cable Hooks for Cars: Use 1/16” strong thin steel rod to make cable hooks for cars. Don’t use thicker rod because it might hang up in the ABT switch cable gap. Don’t use brass rods which might bend under load. Cut rod with Demel cut-off disk. Bend with needle nose pliers and hammer. Insert and glue stem of hook into an attachment bracket (I used a small triangular piece of ¼” acrylic sheet) at the bottom of the front of each car, slightly off-center on the same side as the double flanged wheels. The hook should be as small as possible and be slightly below the top of the rails so it passes through the gaps in the switch. If set too low, the hook will hit the rail spikes. If set too high, the cable won’t pass through the rail gap. The correct hook height requires great precision and must be determined by testing!. Test the hook before you glue it to the attachment bracket!

       

      Magnet for Car: Only one car has a small neodymium magnet underneath which activates both the Circuitron AR-2 controller and the sound module by tripping two reed switches located between the rails at each station. Use the smallest magnet possible and locate it 1/8” above the top of the rails. A small magnet is more precise because it will let you stop the cars at exactly the right spot. The large magnetic field of a large magnet is less precise. Do not put magnets on both cars! The MM-D-10 style magnet I used is flat mounting with a female threaded shaft permanently attached. Screw a short piece of threaded rod into the hole under the flat car that was meant to attach a coupler. Screw the small threaded flat magnet in the other end of the rod. The screw allows you to easily adjust the height of the magnet. This is the perfect magnet for a funicular!

       

      Car Wheel Selection and Modification: Use the biggest and heaviest steel wheelsets you can find. Remember, heavy cars are a good thing! Don’t use plastic. This helps keep a low center of gravity in the cars. Modifying the wheels is easy and fast. Grind off the flange on one wheel of each set by putting the axle in an electric drill and grinding it off against a disk sander. Epoxy a 1½” steel fender washer to the other wheel of each set to create a double flanged wheel.

       

      Car Design Types: Funiculars, like most vehicles, need nearly horizontal floors and seats for passengers’ comfort and safety. So on steep inclines, funicular car frames have a different angle than the passenger compartments. Usually, small short cars have a single horizontal floor with seating.  But long cars often have two or more floors. I call these split-level cars. Split-levels require ramps or stairs for boarding in the stations. Although harder to build, they do have a lower center of gravity which is safer, and they are more interesting I think. (See the adorable Budapest Funicular).

       

      Car Lighting: Don’t electrify the rails! You’ll have a big electrical short between the inner rails in the ABT passing switch. If you want car lighting, you must use onboard 9V batteries. Since these batteries have steel casings, you can save space by attaching to a thin magnetic disc glued underneath the flat bed. You can use electrified rails in a four rail funicular however. Obviously, there would also be a short in a three rail funicular.

       

      Adding and Removing Cars: Before connecting the cables to the cars, make sure that the ends of the cable are next to each other near the middle of the track. After connecting one car, be sure to hold it firmly until you connect the other car. Don’t accidentally let go of it or it will fall down the track and crash! Likewise, before you remove a car, make sure you stop the cars next to each other in the center of the passing switch. (I put two compression contact springs from D-cell flashlights on the wood bumper at the bottom to protect the car in case there is a runaway someday!)

       

      I'll add to this list as I think of other things.

       

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at April 21, 2020 6:44 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • December 17, 2019 10:32 PM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

       posting error. I tried to delete this post but was unable.
      This post was edited by John Carmichael at December 18, 2019 2:44 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • December 17, 2019 10:32 PM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

       
      This post was edited by John Carmichael at December 17, 2019 10:33 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • December 18, 2019 2:10 PM EST

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

      John, you posted similar data on November 30 in this thread, has something changed we should pay attention to in particular?

       

      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: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 18, 2019 2:41 PM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

      Thanks for catching that.  Both versions of Parts and Suppliers are the same. I'll try to delete the most recent duplicate.

      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • December 18, 2019 2:48 PM EST

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

      Thanks! You saved me from printing out both posts and comparing side by side!

       

      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: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 20, 2019 10:13 AM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

      I have updated the above lists of Funicular Parts Suppliers and Tips since these are works in progress.

      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • December 27, 2019 11:15 AM EST
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

      I've updated the Funicular Modeling Tips page to include important tips on cable management (track pulleys, cable guards and hooks), controller car magnet, and car lighting, and car addition and removal.  (see Tips page above)

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at January 5, 2020 11:46 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • December 29, 2019 4:30 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
      • Posts
        4,784
      • Thanks
        240
      • Thanked
        359

      This is of course a prime example of modelling a type of railroad; steel wheel on steel rail. and takes a lot of modelling skill to accomplish. By showing how it is accomplished is great for those that often wondered how it was done...THANK YOU GREATLY.

          Fred Mills

    • January 5, 2020 11:54 AM EST

      •  
      • Posts
        394
      • Thanks
        10
      • Thanked
        88

      John Carmichael said:

      I've updated the Funicular Modeling Tips page to include important tips on cable management (track pulleys, cable guards and hooks), controller car magnet, and car lighting, and car addition and removal.  (see Tips page above)

      John - I just took the time to read through all of this thread and to view the videos - what a wonderful job you have done.  And I may just be inspired to give a similar project a try.  It has been on my list for some time and this may be the push I need to get moving

      Thanks for sharing!

      dave

       

      PS FYI, I have built a number of HO, O and G-Scale inclines over the years - some info is here  http://www.trainelectronics.com/Incline/ 

    • January 5, 2020 4:26 PM EST

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

      I like how you did the window frames on the cars, very nice appearance.

       

      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: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • January 6, 2020 11:28 AM EST

      •  
      • Posts
        394
      • Thanks
        10
      • Thanked
        88

      Greg Elmassian said:

      I like how you did the window frames on the cars, very nice appearance.

       

      Greg

      Greg - it is remarkable what one can do with a well focused laser beam!

      dave

    • March 8, 2020 4:59 PM EDT
      • Tucson, AZ
         
      • Posts
        28
      • Thanks
        29
      • Thanked
        38

      Yesterday, after 10 months, we finally finished installing the funicular in its new mountain range!  I've designed and built a passenger boarding area that includes an ornate Victorian ticket booth (modeled after the upper station booth at Saltburn Cliffs Tramway in England).  

      You can see more photos  of this construction effort here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcarmichael/albums/72157711889718966/page2

      (I can't figure out how to post photos in this quick reply- can somebody tell me please?)

       

       

      This post was edited by John Carmichael at March 8, 2020 5:05 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      John Carmichael

      Tucson Arizona

      1-520-6961709

    • March 8, 2020 8:31 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
      • Posts
        4,582
      • Thanks
        519
      • Thanked
        737

      John Carmichael said:

      Yesterday, after 10 months, we finally finished installing the funicular in its new mountain range!  I've designed and built a passenger boarding area that includes an ornate Victorian ticket booth (modeled after the upper station booth at Saltburn Cliffs Tramway in England).  

      You can see more photos  of this construction effort here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcarmichael/albums/72157711889718966/page2

      (I can't figure out how to post photos in this quick reply- can somebody tell me please?)

       Photo inserting

      1. Start by uploading your photos to a server. You have storage space in the Freight Shed on this web site.
      2. After they are uploaded, click on the file you want to open.
      3. Once it is opened, RIGHT click on the picture and select copy image location. DO NOT use the url in the address bar of your browser.
      4. Next click on the insert photo button in your post and paste the image location in the source line.
      5. Look at the dimensions. You will see them if you click on the first box (height). Make it 800 then click on the second box and it will automatically be correctly scaled.
      6. Then hit OK and your photo will be in your post.

       

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • March 8, 2020 8:42 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
      • Posts
        4,582
      • Thanks
        519
      • Thanked
        737

      ____________________________________

       

       

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