Model Train Ferry

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jawharp1992, May 13, 2007.

  1. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    While riding my bike earlier today, I came up with the greatest idea. I figured out a way to make a model train ferry! What you would need to do is build a ferry (a boat) around a train engine (trust me on this, I'm not crazy!) Then, under the water level, build track for that scale, so the boast will ride on the rails and look like it's floating. When you have that all set, build the track for a scale 1 size lower than that of the boat's engine, like if the boat used an HO engine, than the track on the boat would be N. You're probably thinking how the trains on top will get electricity. Well, they aren't moving while the boat's moving, so they don't need electricity. When the boat is "docked", a little piece is sticking out on the boat. This piece has to side to it. The sides have plating on it to supply electricity. When the boat docks, the little "jigs" slide into a port that connects to it and supplies it power. This also aligns the track.

    Now you have an operating ferry!

    In the picture, both sides of the boat (the red thing with "track" written on it) will have the prongs sticking out. The yeller thing is the dock, and the blue thing is the fling pig. Not really, it's the water.

    Attached Files:

  2. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    No, uhhh. you're not crazy... you're...


    What the heck are you talking about?

    It'll be $200.00 an hour if you reply. Now lay down on my couch and explain this to me- take all the time you need:mrgreen: .


    COMBAT Member

    One time, at band camp...... :)
  4. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    What the heck are you guys talking about? I'm being serious here! Tell me if that sounds like a good idea!
  5. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    so you jut want to use a loco underneath to move the ferry around? i can see that happening but you kinda got me confused.--josh
  6. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    Finally! Somebody gets it!
  7. NTaghon

    NTaghon New Member

    What about the rut in the water where the loco runs? Would you just have a model Moses standing on one side?:-D Would look kinda silly. Or would the loco be buried far enough into the car float that you could just have rails on the surface of the water and a model Jesus walking next to the floating track?
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    You would have to isolate the loco under water from the water. You would probably need to re-arrange your locomotive and drive the motor from sealed wiring rather than the rails. If you are interested in a car ferry, check out an article in Railroad Model Craftsman (I believe Feb. or March of this year.) Three model railroaders did a supurb model of the Solano, a real railroad ferry on San Francisco Bay. It will eventually able to operate by RC and dock and unload trains.
  9. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!


    You were talking about a simulated water surface like plywood covered with gloss medium or expoxy resin or other "model water" and not an actual water basin right?

    If so then I'm assuming you are imagining a hidden section of track under the ferry that is shorter than the ferry's length itself. That way the locomotive inside the ferry could move back and forth, maybe even forward enough to dock at port, without the tracks the ferry runs on showing (?)

    So, for example, if you make a car ferry that is three feet long with a locomotive inside it and place, say an 18 inch length of powered track underneath it in the middle of the ferry's length, that should give the loco enough track to move the ferry into the ferry apron from a short distance. I suppose it would be a fun visual to see the boat approach the dock from a few inches away. Animation is always enjoyable and eye catching.

    Remember, they laughed at Fulton when he invented the steamboat! :)
  10. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    You've got it!
  11. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Ok, guys. It made sense to me the first time around, believe it or not, and I can see taking it a step further and having the track run "under water" all the way across the lake or river (assuming you have room) and have the ferry make regular trips back and forth. For the ultimate, you could even load and unload cars at each end.

    Now there's a project for someone.
  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    In the Sept. 1977 issue of MR, there was an article about the [SIZE=+1]The Port Caribou RR & Western Navigation Co.. [/SIZE][SIZE=+1]This was a very detailedn HOn3 layout with lots of animation, including a working ferry that crossed a river full of real water. It ran on rails under the water, much like the ride at Disneyland (world... whichever).

    The problem with real water is, of course, that real water is heavy![/SIZE][SIZE=+1][/SIZE][SIZE=+1]That layout[/SIZE][SIZE=+1] needed pretty substantial benchwork to support the weight of I don't know how many gallons of water that flowed through the river.
  13. Raistlin

    Raistlin Member

  14. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I'll repeat my comment of last week. I was talking about myself at the time but it seems to apply to this thread. Robert Louis Stevenson (a well known author to us older guys) said " Write not just to be understood but so you cannot possibly be misunderstood."

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