Andrew builds a corner tunnel

“Hi Al,

Like so many of your followers I enjoy your blog. And like so many others have scrapped my last layout and started again (Photo Corner 1) using many of the tips and ideas that you have shared from other model railway enthusiasts.

I attach a series of photo showing my construction of a tunnel in the corner of the layout. The curve is standard Hornby Dublo 3 RaiI that is fairly tight (15 inch radius) and I wanted to be able to remove the tunnel top in case of derailment and for track cleaning.

Because there is critical clearance between the tunnel walls and the overhang of larger locomotives on the outside of the bend (Photo 1A) and passenger coaches on the inside I needed to ensure that the tunnel would be in the exact same position when replaced.

I made the tunnel from 5 mm ply (Photo Corner 2A) and used small pieces cut in a U shape on the baseboard to relocate the tunnel top (Photo Corner 2B)

I used expanded polystyrene and wood off cuts to form a frame for the scenery (Photo Corner 3) filled with newspaper (Photo Corner 4) and covered with light cardboard (Corner 5) – A mistake – I should have put the shiny side down as the plaster did not like sticking to the shiny side and requiring a pre-coating of PVA to secure.

I gave a coat of plaster of Paris, the first time I have used this for landscapes and found it sets very, very fast. A mixed blessing and I am told that the addition of household washing up liquid will slow the setting time – Perhaps one of your followers will be able to confirm. (Photo Corner 6)

I first give a coat of diluted green and brown acrylic paints then PVA and coloured sawdust (Corner Photos 6, 7 and 8). I have a petrol motor grass mower that allows some cuttings to fly up onto the blade protection cover and dries them. I use these with a thick PVA solution to make a rough heath-land effect (Photo Corner 9).

A special ‘Thank You’ to Dangerous Dave for his road tunnel – I have plagiarised his idea which may just be seen at the back of photos 5, 7 and 8.

Also a thank you to Fred and his trees. Mine are not as good and made from old wire, kitchen paper, shredded and spray painted and may be seen in photo 8

And I am a messy worker – (Photo Corner Mess)

Best wishes to you and all your followers

Andrew

Cooroy, Queensland, Australia”

(All images are clickable.)

1A:

corner tunnel

2A:

making corner tunnel

2B:

model train corner tunnel

corner tunnel for model railroad

making corner tunnel

Corner mess:

A huge thanks to Andrew. I don’t think he should worry, I suspect we are all messy workers. Besides, whoever has seen a tidy layout in the making?

That’s all for today, folks. Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to make your own mess that grows in to a masterpiece.

Best

Al

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

9 responses to “Andrew builds a corner tunnel”

  1. Keith Miller says:

    Thanks Andrew. Good to see several stages and a good description of what you did. It is helpful when people also describe any problems they had, and possible solutions. Does the ‘loaded’ tunnel cover lift off easily? Dangerous Dave gets yet another mention. He has become quite influential!
    Dustyk UK

  2. David Bower says:

    Excellent Andrew, It’s good to see some HD 3 rail on here as well. I don’t think I’ve seen any before on Alistair’s postings.

  3. Keith says:

    Andrew would you be interested in a engine and coaches (3 rail) approximately 50 years old.

  4. steve joyce says:

    I enjoy work in progress photos. Gives a great view on how the final stage was accomplished. Would wonder about using old grass clippings . I guess if you cover them with a preservative. Be concerned about rotting and insect larva. Woodland scenics makes such nice stuff to do ground cover with

  5. great fun andrew
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  6. Andrew says:

    Thank all
    Dustyk The tunnel is easy to lift off, care is needed to refit without damaging any of the scenery, fortunately it is not something that I need to do frequently.
    Also thank you to the reader who offers his old locomotive. I do not need any more locos or rolling stock as the track I have is fully utilised.
    In fact mine date back over 60 years, the 0-6-2 tank engine with 5 trucks and a guards van and an oval track with one siding was a Christmas present from my father. It grew over subsequent years until I started work and it got put into storage until I retired in 2014.
    The grass clippings are dried so I hope no infestation remains, but this is a good warning – Thanks – Some time ago I did try drying and using old coarse ground coffee beans. The humidity of a Queensland summer caused mold growth so I will be monitoring the grass

  7. Paul Selwyn Otway says:

    Great to see vintage model trains here as well. Plus good to see them being used.

  8. Biggles says:

    That’s great work Andrew. I wish my woodwork was a tidy as yours!
    It’s also the first time I have seen Dublo 3-rail featured here and it’s great to see. It’s what I am modelling with, although I’m not as far on as you are.
    My Dublo kit was also Christmas presents although I have added to it from eBay and it’s a tribute to the build quality that most of it still works perfectly, even after all these years, with servicing and a remag or two.

  9. Rod Mackay says:

    Another advantage of the old third rail system was you could have a triangular junction like that, or a reverse loop, without needing a polarity switching arrangement. I loved my Hornby Dublo dearly.
    The layout shown in the ‘corner mess’ photo, with the road crossing the river straight onto a level crossing by a small station, reminds me strongly of St Fagans near Cardiff, where my great uncle was a signalman back in the 30s and I worked occasionally as a reliefman until quite recently. Lovely job!
    Rod

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