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Anti-Gravity Train

Having seen, but sadly not ridden, the gravity train on the Ffestiniog Railway, I was inspired to make a model of it. The problem with modeling this type of train in 16mm is that on the average garden layout it will go nowhere, fast, it might trundle slowly down an incline but when it gets to a level bit or, even worse an uphill, then that's about it as far as running is concerned.

So some sort of power unit was needed, hence the anti-gravity bit.


With the CAD drawn up for the chassis, it was decided that 4WD would be essential, so a suitable motor
was sourced from the local model shop. The motor is 12 volt and the type used in slot cars with a shaft at each end
this made it perfect for 2 axle drive via 30:1 ratio Cambrian gears.


The chassis was made from 1/8" acrylic, actually an old car number plate, and cut out on a CNC router.


The wheels, axles and axle boxed are IP engineering.


Then for a variety of reasons the whole project came to a halt, but 20 months later I have managed to get around to finishing it.

As I'm a great believer in "If there's a difficult way to do it then that's the way it should be done" I decided that the power unit should be radio controlled, with 2 channels, for speed and forward/reverse, after all if it's anti-gravity then it may as well go backwards as well.


Things were a bit of a squeeze especially as I decided to go for a 6 volt NIMH battery with an on-board charging socket.


But it doesn't look much like a slate wagon yet, so the next thing was to 3D print a cover for the electronics which could be made to look like a dummy slate load.


To finish the cover off, I used a soldering iron to melt the plastic to give the effect of slates and made a slate wagon wooden body on the laser cutter.


Finally the 2 pieces were painted and assembled to form the body of the power unit.


So I now have the makings of my train, with 3 scratch built and 4 Binnie slate wagons, the next part of the project is to make the dandy wagon to carry the horse at the end of the train ..... hopefully it won't take me another 20 months to do that !

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