A 7.5 in model railroad, named the Carbon Valley Railroad, built by Nicholas Janzen and established in 2015: is a real ride on scale railroad: which is very loosely based on CP rail line through the Carbon Valley. In the real village of Carbon (AB), the original full sized railroad has been removed with the decline of coal mining in the area.
This railroad is on the south side of the Kneehill Creek. On both sides of the village (west/east) you can still see this railroad bed flying over (2016), and you can walk some of it. This railroad was operated by CP rail. Glenbow museum in Calgary has photos of this railroad under construction on file. This railroad was primarily used to support the coal mining and farming in the area.
Please note this railroad is on private property, please do not trespass. Contact me for more details: nj a@t nicholasjanzen.ca
Train Station - Bench
Length of track:
|57ft / 40ft||spur line / in the storage shed|
The track inspector:
|CP painted electric (12v) powered 8 wheels on trucks with lights, engine sound effects and horn.
This locomotive is the first locomotive that Nick's Locomotive Works has made (that still exists) and is generally the locomotive used for passenger service. This Locomotive was built using trucks purchased from lawntracks and then modified, the rest of the body is made from aluminum.
The first locomotive ever used the same powered trucks, but had a thomas the tank engine body made out of wood.
|Overscale Northern Alberta Gas hydraulic powered 8 wheels on trucks with lights and horn, you sit inside the cab of this locomotive when driving. This is the latest engine i have been building and is very powerful.|
|Steam engine - This is a real steam engine and is my first 7.5in steam locomotive. This is a real propane fired steam locomotive (0-4-0) with a cold water tank built onto the front of the locomotive. It has a blower, whistle, propane valve and firebox door, engine water pump (similar to an axle pump), superheater, feedwater heater with hand pump and an external tube boiler. Hydro tested to 180psi - safety is set to 100 psi.|
|CN painted gas powered 4 wheels with belt slip drive, has a bell, light and horn. This locomotive can only be powered forward and only at the speed you preset the engine for - idle. (idle is still quite fast)
This locomotive was build from an old self propelled lawn mower, using the gas engine and the worm gear: I did purchase 4 machined train wheels online for this engine.
Easy to transport and light, simple to use.
|VIA painted electric (12v) powered 4 wheels with lights, sound effects and horn: This locomotive has no speed control, it can go forward at full speed, backwards or stopped.
This was to be built as the simpliest locomotive. It was built using wheels that i machined out of 4041 steel, and gears purchased at princess auto and a ebike motor. The sound effects are from mylocosound
The body is made out of wood and sits on a metal frame.
|Human powered pedal car - made from an old bike: Most people have to use their hands to power this, as it isn't long enough to use your legs. This may get converted to a pump car at some point.|
|Riding car for a steam engine|
0 - tomas 0001 - sit on 2 - removable sides sit on 3 - Caboose 4 - coal car 5 - coal car 0006 - tractors 0007 - heavy wheels 0008 - diggers 302 northern alberta 9000 CN 8840 CP 6429 VIA
I'm currently building a 7.5 in model railroad. Currently approx 850 ft of track has been layed and the first loop (phase 1) as well as the second phase is complete. This loop has curves of approx 25-30 ft radius. Phase 3 will be a long siding from the station to the line which goes to the reversing loop. All of my derailing issues have been fixed, they were caused by the track wasn't level as well as as the gauge wasn't prefect everywhere, this is due to the handmade ties that I was doing before I got a better saw, then build a saw which cuts them automatically.
This was the momentus last spike, it is golden as per the tradition:
Building the railroad: Specs
- 1/8 scale railway using "grovey track" groves are dadoed into the top side - 7 5/8 gauge (distance between the rails inside) - Groves loose fit approx 1/2 of the 1/4" flat bar - Joins are custom made: bolt on 4 hole angle these get screwed to the joint ties - Joint ties are made from 2/4 pressure treated cut to approx 16" long (they lay wide side down) - Some ties are made from 2/4 pressure treated cut to approx 16" long and are placed short side down - Most ties are made from 2x2 pressure treated Railing Baluster (cheaper than 2x2x8) 36" cut in half to make 2 - Ballast is road crush, with a top layer of screened crush will be added to look nicer than the road crush. (not to use the rounded rock, only crush) - Ties are spaced approx 3-5" apart - Rails are made from 1" by 1/4" flat bar (hot rolled) in sections of approx 10ft to make transportation easier.
Building the railroad: Track sections
The railroad is constructed in place, not as prefab sections. I started by cutting the grass really short where the track is going and/or killing the grass. If the ground was really unlevel or needed some grade, I hand dug it to make it level in the dirt (or mostly clay here). The next step was to cut and lay landscaping fabric, I used wide stuff that had to be cut lengthwise. Then a thin layer of road crush is placed and roughly leveled packed by hand with a small shovel. Track building really begins now with spacing out the precut and dadoed ties using a spacer (chunk of wood) heading straight out from the last section (even if there is a curve). Insert the flat bar into the ties (try to offset the connections) and you can now bend the track section to fit your curve and sit it on top of the roadbed. Finally i cover upto the top of the ties with more roadcrush
Building the railroad: Finishing
Track joiners are bolted to the 2 sides of each rail at a join, these are also screwed down to the ties. Occationally rails are drilled at an angle and screwed to it's tie. The gauge is checked using a homemade tool that fits between the rails. If it doesn't fit or is too loose, you will probably have derailment issues here (I have fixed these issues cutting out more of a knotch in the wood, or replacing a tie). Finally you need to level the section using levels and lifting the ties and tapping with a hammer the crush to settle it. I plan on trying a air hammer for some of this work.