Sunday, June 21, 2015

How I contructed a coal staithe / bin

As my railway is set in the early 1930s, coal is an important source of traffic on the railway and so I felt it was about time I constructed somewhere for the coal to be stored at at least one one station - Beeston Market.

Having recently reorganised the trackwork at the station and ballasted the track (see Progress Report 59), I decided it was about time I exerted some effort in detailing the station area. Having already built a cattle dock (see How I made a cattle dock with JigStones mouldings), I turned my attention to the coal yard and initially the construction of the staithes or bins to hold the coal.

I bought some 15mm x 5mm stripwood and marked it out in 75mm lengths (in hindsight, I could have reduced the length to 45mm).

After sawing, I then had a pile of 'sleepers' awaiting the next process.

A depression was filed into one side of each sleeper, 20mm from one end.

The edges were then bevelled irregularly with a craft knife and the upper edge (nearest the depression) attacked with a triangular file to give the impression of rot.

 Four holes were then drilled on the edges of the depression to simulate bolt holes for the chairs.

Grooves were then scoured into the ballast beside one of the sidings at Beeston Market station, and the 'sleepers' trimmed to slightly different lengths before being glued into the grooves with exterior grade PVA.

This process was repeated until three adjacent coal bins had been created.

The wood was then treated with wet rot hardener to help prevent decay. The wooden sleepers were liberally doused in the hardener which is quite expensive but I feel this is worthwhile in helping to prevent effects of the ravages of the weather in this part of the country.

The framework was then left for a couple of days for the hardener to fully set .....

...... before being 'creosoted' with a mix of black and dark brown acrylics.

One the dark base coat had dried, the sleepers were dry-brushed with lighter shades of brown to pick put the detailing.

Pieces of thin expanded polystyrene (underlay for laminated flooring) were then shaped and glued into place to provide contours for  .........

.... a layer of bituminous felt adhesive .........

...... on to which crushed coal was sprinkled.

Some 'loose' coal was then scattered behind the staithes and between the track, where sloppy yard staff had spilt some of the loads when unloading.

The loose coal and that in the bins was then given a final coat of diluted exterior PVA to ensure everything was held firmly in place.

After a couple of days, the rails were given a clean to remove any stray coal and dust ......

..... and the staithes given a trial in a short operating session.

There is still more to do such as providing a coal merchant's hut, weighing scales, bagged coal, a delivery cart, fencing and a gate - not to mention detailing the approach to the station. However, I feel quite pleased with the way this has turned out.

No comments: