Photo 1 of 123 in G-Scale Funicular Garden Railway

G-Scale Funicular Track Template
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
I moved it to my garden railway 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.
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 here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcarmichael/albums/72157711889718966

John Carmichael's Album: G-Scale Funicular Garden Railway

DESCRIPTION : This is a fully automated rare two rail funicular railway model with the innovative ABT Passing Switch. This album contains design and construction photos. It was designed and built over a seven moth period by John Carmichael in Tucson Arizona. I hope these photos help other people who want to make a similar one. I used LGB flex track to make the rails. The cable is 30 lb. test 1/32" stranded stainless steel cable. The wood parts are redwood. Structure underneath is all angle iron attached to composite wood deck board footings. Brass sheets, rods, strips and fittings and acrylic sheets were also used. The old Meccano solid brass beveled gears from England are truly the very best gears available. Don't use anything else! I would NEVER use cheap plastic gears for something like this. Roof cladding is thin copper sheets applied with GOOP. I used Minwax dark walnut stain on the railbed and ties, and Testors dark red and classic white enamels on the stations.


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