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Stupid Question about Walthers Wooden Coaling Tower Base

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Stupid Question about Walthers Wooden Coaling Tower Base
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 10:48 PM

And I mean really stupid. I get stumped at the dumbest things...

Here's a photo of the base of the Walthers wooden coaling tower.

My question is, when you lay the track, do you cut ties away to clear the base crosspieces (the parts the red arrows point to), or do you cut the crosspieces off the base and leave the ties intact?

Anyone have photos they could share?

Thanks!

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 10:57 PM

 

Does this help?

 

 Walthers_coal by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 11:17 PM

Well, it was years ago that I built the thing. I just never installed track through it before.

So I guess I should paint the track before installing it, huh? Otherwise the spray paint will get all over the tower legs.

Thanks Ed!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 2:07 AM

Pruitt
So I guess I should paint the track before installing it, huh? Otherwise the spray paint will get all over the tower legs.

That's why they make brushes.

Wayne

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Posted by NorthBrit on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 4:47 AM

I cannot help you , Mark.

 

Just one thing.   We have a saying here in the UK,   "The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask."

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 8:11 AM

I built mine about 10 years ago and had to go look, not remembering at all.  Apparently I followed the directions and left the cross pieces.  I think leaving the cross pieces would be preferable from an integrity point of view.  If not wanting the cross pieces to simulate concrete walks, one could add some (very) thinned down pieces of ties to create a look of ties.  

 20210602_075928 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 20210602_075829 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 20210602_075817 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 10:14 AM

At some point, I started modifying these kits to make all of my buildings easily removable from the layout. In this case, it could mean either cutting through the base, or not gluing the infrastructure to the base for easy removal. I did the latter for my coaling station.

Anyway, just a thought.

Simon

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 10:33 AM

That's a good looking scene, Paul.  I don't think anyone would complain if you showed us a few more views of that area.

Wayne

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 11:09 AM

Thanks everybody! 

Great pics, Paul, and very helpful too. I second Wayne's comment about seeing more.

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 11:54 AM

This is just my opinion (I'm not a structural engineer): those two plastic slabs serve no purpose except perhaps to stabilize the model itself.  I'm sure the real structure would have relied on footings for the supporting structure on the opposite side of the tracks from the tower.  There might have been an island of concrete, a slab, on which people could move about and be at the right height to work on the rolling stock and any ancillary equipment related to the operation of the tower, but I really think those two items would be gone and tracks would have gone through as they were meant to be supported, jut like on either side of the tower...ballast, ties.  To my eye, it looks odd having ties removed and nothing keeping the rails in place for what must be close to 8 feet...?

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 12:38 PM

I don't know if those short sections of rails without ties would be a hazard or not, but Tichy's coaling tower provided troughs for the tracks. (Click on the photos for a larger view.)

This allowed use of ordinary flex track...

...and ballasting, too...

Walthers small concrete coaling tower had a base for the main part with the hoist bucket, and a narrow base for the two outer legs of the tower, but the area for the under-tower track was clear of obstacles.  I modified mine with more concrete platforms, along with a scratchbuilt sandhouse and some other details...

I didn't have enough real estate to add a second coaling track, as this camera-on-the-layout photo illustrates....

Wayne

 

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Posted by mthobbies on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 1:23 PM

My answer for every question... When in doubt, look at the prototype.

 

Matt

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 3:02 PM

doctorwayne

That's a good looking scene, Paul.  I don't think anyone would complain if you showed us a few more views of that area.

 

Wayne

 

OK, twist my arm.  Here are some more views from Flickr, some before ballasting last year.  Most structures are by Walthers: coaling tower, small engine house, sanding items, diesel loading, crane company, office.  A favorite is the silver boiler house by SSI Ltd.  It was a chore to complete but is unique.

 20200913_074958 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

  20200611_152505 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 IMG_7182 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 20200424_090128 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 20180720_154155 (2) by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 IMG_4686 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

 20181015_212349 by Paul Ahrens, on Flickr

Paul

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 3:22 PM

selector

This is just my opinion (I'm not a structural engineer): those two plastic slabs serve no purpose except perhaps to stabilize the model itself.  I'm sure the real structure would have relied on footings for the supporting structure on the opposite side of the tracks from the tower.  There might have been an island of concrete, a slab, on which people could move about and be at the right height to work on the rolling stock and any ancillary equipment related to the operation of the tower, but I really think those two items would be gone and tracks would have gone through as they were meant to be supported, jut like on either side of the tower...ballast, ties.  To my eye, it looks odd having ties removed and nothing keeping the rails in place for what must be close to 8 feet...?

 

That's what I was thinking.  Those plastic slabs are a function of the model, not the prototype.

I would remove both of them and slide the track through, intact.

After the exploding roundhouse incident, Mark probably favors having all of his buildings built very stoutly. 

But once its on the layout, I don't think that having those stabilizers removed would cause an issue.

I could see that the slabs would keep the thin pole supports straight if they came from the factory warped, as is often the case, which could cause the entire length to bow inward or outward as it approached ground level.

Maybe apply some silicon caulk on the bottom to keep those poles plum if the slabs are removed.

double stick tape?

Remove the slabs, then use thinner styrene under the pole base and main body, with the track raised slightly to lay over the whole new piece.

- Douglas

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 4:30 PM

LMAO, Douglas!

But I like your idea of the thinner styrene below the base of the tower. I think I'll go that way.

Selector, I was thinking the same way you were - the tower supports would be on footings, but might well have a slab that would serve as a walking / equipment rolling surface for maintenance crews. Just the bits between the rails that left me wondering.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 4:36 PM

Thanks for sharing those photos, Paul.  I enjoyed the tour.

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 6:34 PM

Hi Paul,

Very nice scene! Thanks for posting.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 7:37 PM

Pruitt

LMAO, Douglas!

But I like your idea of the thinner styrene below the base of the tower. I think I'll go that way.

Selector, I was thinking the same way you were - the tower supports would be on footings, but might well have a slab that would serve as a walking / equipment rolling surface for maintenance crews. Just the bits between the rails that left me wondering.

 

I also think you could do it the way Paul suggested and has shown.  No reason they don't resemble concrete walkways.

- Douglas

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Posted by Scott Scl on Thursday, June 23, 2022 2:22 AM

I am wondering if this area is a supposed to serve as a coal accumulation pit, similar to the shed? IF NOT clipping the ties in this area and then covering with balast all of the way through would conceal these "pads" and keep the structure very sturdy. That is probably what they were thinking. Does anyone have pictures of the real thing?

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Posted by CharlieM on Thursday, June 23, 2022 10:16 AM

Just another input in case the final decision has not been made. Years ago, when I first built the coaling tower for another layout, I removed the crosspieces and layed flex track unmodified. Now the tower is installed the same way on my present layout. This allows me to reposition the tower as my layout matures and allows complete temporary removal during layout work sessions. If you lay track over the original crosspieces you have to be dead on in placement the first time. The tower can't be "moved just a bit" to accomodate that extra yard feature or completely rermoved to facilitate layout work. There's prototypical and there's practical. Sometimes they coincide, but not always. I can't tell you how much easier layout work is without that tall tower in the way. Safer for the model too.

Charlie - Northern Colorado

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, June 23, 2022 1:05 PM

CharlieM
There's prototypical and there's practical. Sometimes they coincide, but not always.

Brilliant. Railroads virtually ALWAYS do what they deem practical. Modelers have to compromise what is practical in order to approach the appearance of prototypical. I wouldn't hesitate to remove those crosspieces; no shame and no shade.

-Matt 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 23, 2022 4:13 PM

FWIW the instructions have a section in the page 4 diagram that's pointing at a cross piece and saying "remove ties from track in this area on both ends of the base". So it's saying to remove a couple of ties in those two places.

https://www.walthers.com/wood-coaling-tower-kit-7-1-2-x-6-1-2-x-10-5-8-quot-19-1-x-16-5-x-27cm

(See "Product Attachments" to open the Instruction Sheet.)

Stix
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, June 23, 2022 8:31 PM

Here's what I finally did:

And with dirt added to the area:

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, June 24, 2022 6:07 AM

Mark, I think that looks just fine. Good job and thanks for posting that stupid question. Laugh

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, June 24, 2022 9:07 AM

Appears you ended up following the instructions, looks good!

Stix

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