Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Grain Facility

I finally forced myself to take some time out to engage in another intricate project. It's going to be 5 years in this November that I started with this layout, and now I really want to see this finished as early as possible. Well the fact that I have been saying that for last 3 years sort of indicates how realistic that is going to be! :)

Anyway, so among the major items that are still pending, I thought of taking up the grain facility as the first one - it's already half done, and is actually the biggest of all the facilities, so finishing it will be a major milestone.

So as you have been seeing for last about 3 years, the silos and the elevator tower is already in place, so is the small pneumatic unloader. To refresh your memories, here is the build description of the unloader:

Now, given the extremely constricted space available and the fact that the rail line goes in between the unloader and the elevator/silo, I decided to approach the model in a little different way - simulate the elevator tower just for the output to barge and hopper cars, and use conveyors for input to the silos.

This required a High Angle Conveyor, or commonly known as HAC. The operation can be visualized as the barges bringing in the grain will be unloaded by the pneumatic unloader, place on a horizontal open conveyor that takes it to HAC, HAC lifts it to the required height, and then another low angle usual conveyor takes it to the silos turning it nearly 180 degrees. The elevator mechanism required for loading barges and hoppers can be imagined to be inside the elevator tower.

Now leaving the technical pieces aside, here are some photos of the progress so far. Due to lack of time, I am not taking photos of each step, only building milestones. Here are a few photos of the HAC progress so far.

Materials are primarily styrene sheets (Yes, a change in my approach from paper for once) and left over runner material from my old trestle kit - after all, I had to use some scrap material to do justice to my approach!

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