Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The little tram that could

Scenery work starts
Since the last post various pieces of work have commenced:
  • Construction of the Crystal Street road bridge which will be described in a later post after I obtain the necessary modelling supplies to complete it
  • Creating the backdrop using photos which will also be described in a later post 
  • And finally the construction of the tramway running parallel to "Petersham" station (a name has yet to be decided on the station name)
When trams dominated the roads
Prior to the advent of the popularity of the motor car in the 1950s, roads were shared by trams and other forms of traffic such as horses and wagons. Cars became more popular after World War II when the Australian economy was booming and families could afford to purchase a motor car. This spelt the end of Sydney's extensive tram network.

For my layout, I wanted to include trams having experience living in a city with trams in Basel, Switzerland and also as  Sydney was my place of birth, I also was intrigued that trams use to run along some of the places I knew of in Sydney.

Petersham was the location of choice as a tramline co-existed with train line adjacent to it.

Sydney R1 Tram heading west on Trafagar street before tuning into Audley Street
Image source: Noel Reed 20.11.1954

Making the tramway work
The tramway/road uses the same 7mm thick plywood as the base of the train track to ensure the tram tracks had a good strong foundation. I used scrap bits of plywood as height incliners with liquid nails and nail to hold the framework together.

Vice Grips use to hold the road down whilst the liquid nails sets.

The little tram that could
The main challenge was to get the right incline of the road. The road needed to go up to a height of  110mm (the height of the Crystal St road bridge) and I wanted it to reach this height at the  shortest length as possible. I initially intended to do this within a 1 metre length.

However, having tested this with a Bachmann Hong Kong tram with a 10% grade, it was discovered  that this was not going to work.

I decided to not be so ambitious and ended up with a 1 to 3.75 incline or 3.33% grade for my test tram.

Above is my test run.  I do hope and (think) the Weico trams I have can go up the same gradient.

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