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Pashina12

Planning Aizu

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kvp
10 hours ago, Pashina12 said:

Well, that's a multi-faceted question. At home, for the moment, not much - about 8' x 2' space that I can use as a "set up and leave it there" space. However, my studio space is about 15' long by 8' wide, and with some rearrangement of my gear (and getting friends to actually take their stuff away that they seem to have "forgotten" there) I could devote one entire long wall to it... though I'd have to wonder A, how would that affect the acoustics of the room (though can't be worse than it is now with people using it as a storage space...), and B, how would occasional long hours of loud noise and the consequent vibrations of heavy bass affect the layout and models...

 

For shorter periods, at home I could set up up to around a 25' length.

Thanks! Well, one thing i noticed is the number or curves on your plans. This could make it really hard to set it up along a wall. The studio environment is also bad for the layout, mainly dust and heavy stuff getting banged into the model landscape. I would expect a layout wouldn't survive a year there.

 

At home, you might have more peace, but not a lot of leave it assembled space. Setting up and tearing down every time you want to run usually means very rare running sessions. This leaves you with the fixed space.

 

So my question is this: How much of the line could you model in 8' x 2'?

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Pashina12

The curves: well, for occasional set up at whatever location, the curves could maybe make it possible to have a longer run in a space, than simply going along a wall. At the same time, there is nothing saying I can't replace a curve with a "temporary" straight connection.

 

Also important: none of these are "plans" per se, yet! So far I've only been looking at the line as it is/was... figuring out how to model what is a step yet to come.

 

You're probably right about the studio...

 

As for the 8' x 2' space... well. Not a lot of open line, really, for just running; I could model one of the stations which give me shunting options, which could let me shunt some when I feel like actually playing with the trains without setting multiple modules up. Conversely, since I do enjoy the shunting puzzles, I could just get a bunch of Unitrack, and when I want to play a bit, I can set up a different timesaver/puzzle track plan each time, without regard to what I've got done in modules...

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Pashina12

After receiving my HoKi800s today, I decided to try to reproduce some Aizu Line trains...

train1.jpg

train2.jpg

train3.jpg

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Pashina12

So I've started planning out the construction of the Kuragawa bridge. In addition to the Central Valley bridge girder pieces, I picked up a Walthers Through-Plate Girder Bridge kit, with the thought of using the webbing under the deck/track, but since have realised that there are a number of other parts I can use from the kit. Compromises... the model isn't going to be hyper-accurate, but it will definitely look the part enough to be recognisable as this specific bridge.

 

Still haven't decided what to tackle next after/in addition to this module, but it's 50/50 between Kamimiyori and Kuwabara/#1 Ogawa Bridge. In any event I think I've finally decided that I'm going to focus on the Kamimiyori - Narahara section of the line, with an unscenicked staging yard to represent Nishi-Wakamatsu and the rest of the world at one end, and Aizu-Takinohara at the other end, skipping over (for the foreseeable future, anyways) everything between Narahara and Takinohara.

 

The idea I have in my head, in terms of modules, is:

 

Staging - Kamimiyori - Kuragawa Bridge - transition into tunnel - tunnel exit/Kuwabara + #1 Ogawa Bridge/tunnel mouth - tunnel exit/#2 Ogawa Bridge/tunnel entry - Yunokami (omitting Onogawa Bridge) - transition - Cliffside viaduct scene - Narahara - transition - Takinohara.

 

This omits three of the Ogawa bridges and several other things (including Yagoshima Station), but it does include *most* of my favourite scenes, and cuts the line down to something manageable, and gives me a somewhat more concrete aim of what I'm doing. And of course it leaves plenty of room for future expansion, but I think it's also important that if this is all that I ever manage to get done, I can be quite content with it from several angles: it'll be visually pleasing and be unquestionably the Aizu Line, and it'll be operationally interesting, too: opportunities for wayfreight work at Kamimiyori, Yunokami, Narahara, and Takinohara, and be plenty long enough to make timetable running of passenger and freight trains interesting and challenging.

 

Actually, Takinohara - even though it's what first attracted me to this line - is the asterisk/"would be nice" part of this vision: I'd be equally content with just the Kamimiyori - Narahara section I described above, as even if everything from Narahara to Takinohara is represented just as an unscenicked staging module, the visual and operational points I made above are still equally valid.

bridge1.jpg

bridge2.jpg

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Pashina12

Oh, one other decision I made, whilst working on the bridge plans: I'm not going to go for hyper-accuracy... if an existing structure model is pretty close in appearance, I'll be satisfied with that, even if it's not 100% correct. This will make it easier to achieve my vision, and then down the road - once I've got the bulk of things done - if I feel like it I can always build a more accurate model. My first priority, then, will be to produce something that reproduces the scenes *in general* (such that they elicit a "yeah, that looks like XYZ" reaction from viewers), even if this or that particular element isn't an exact replica of the original. Upgrading to greater accuracy can wait until later.

 

Apologies for making a post just about some mental musings, but with the way my brain works, writing it out like this for others to see makes me perceive it as something more concrete, than if I just think it to myself... if I don't write things out, I'll just keep vacillating, and never get anything done... :)

Edited by Pashina12
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Kiha66

Thanks for the update!  Even if there isn't a lot of visible progress, I've found just putting words to paper (or text to screen) is a good way to motivate and to organize your plans on what to do.  I like the use of a locomotive to translate distances from a photo to model form, good way to get the "look" of the scene right. 

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Pashina12

Playing around a little... KiHa16 38 and KiHa23 504 ready to depart...

20180619_220248.jpg

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Kiha66

What a great scene!  Love the old Kiha's and buses! 

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Khaul

Very nice scene indeed. Are the KiHas sitting on track? Maybe Peco 55?

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Pashina12

Thanks! Yeah they're on track - a piece of Atlas sectional bridged between two pieces of Unitrack. XD

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Pashina12

So, I've done some more research on the section between Kuwabara and Yunokami - the #1, #2, and #3 Ogawa Bridges, the four Onumazaki Tunnels, and the former Oto Tunnel (the actual name of that tunnel seems unknown now, that name is the name of the new tunnel whose southern mouth it immediately adjacent to the southern mouth of the old tunnel just north of #3 Ogawa Bridge.

 

The old Oto Tunnel was about 300m long. The original tunnel wall was made entirely of concrete bricks, with a lining of poured concrete up until about halfway up the side walls; this was a feature of tunnels built in the late Taisho and early Showa periods. Later, the poured concrete layer on the lower half of the walls was given an extra layer, and a layer of wooden boards was applied to the arch of the ceiling where the brick was exposed; this was fastened in place by iron ribs that ran all the way around the arch from floor to floor. 

 

Another interesting feature was that the ballasting was quite thin - the sleepers were buried halfway into the hard soil, and a thin layer of riverine gravel was poured over top. That river gravel ballast is still there, indicating that it was still that ballast when the old section of the line was abandoned, and that it had last been reballasted - if ever - prior to 1955, as the collection of riverine gravel was banned sometime in the Showa 30s.

 

The inside of the #4 Onumazaki Tunnel was the same as that of the old Oto Tunnel; this was the 400m-long tunnel into which the line went (upwards) immediately off the north end of the #2 Ogawa Bridge. After exiting the #4 tunnel, the line ran through cedar forest.

 

The approach to the southern mouth of #3 Onumazaki Tunnel had a long retaining wall on the cliff side (of the round-rocks-in-concrete variety), and there was a short bridge 30m south of the southern entrance to the tunnel. Unlike the other tunnels, the inside of this very short tunnel was lined entirely in concrete, including on the ceiling. Heading north from the north mouth of the tunnel, the line continued on a ledge between the cliff and the river, with a short retaining wall at the tunnel mouth; adjacent to the line, just north of the tunnel, the old route of the National Highway had a concrete arch bridge.

 

Heading towards the #2 tunnel the line went through a flat plateau of agricultural land south of the village of Koide, where the line made a turn to the east before continuing northwards again. #2 Onumazaki Tunnel was quite short, about 100m in length, and the inside was the same as that of the #4 tunnel.

 

The #1 Onumazaki Tunnel was another extremely short tunnel, but it's at present under water; its north mouth opened directly onto the south end of the #1 Ogawa Bridge.

 

I haven't yet found anything on the old Mukaiyama Tunnel between Kuwabara and Funako, and the old Funako Tunnel between Funako and the Kuragawa Bridge. I think it's safe to assume that the interior of these tunnels was the same as the Oto Tunnel and the #2 and #4 Onumazaki Tunnels. However, I will try to find photos of the tunnel mouths - at least of the north end of the Funako Tunnel and the south end of the Mukaiyama Tunnel; I'm thinking that's somewhere where I can compress the Kamimiyori-Narahara section of the line, omitting Funako.

 

Funako is kinda an interesting spot, though - it wasn't officially considered a station after 1967, but it had a permanent station structure, and all passenger trains stopped there despite the fact that it wasn't officially a station.

 

Another interesting tidbit I discovered about the line... as I'd mentioned before, the line was originally envisioned as part of a "second Tohoku main line" to run from Aizu-Wakamatsu to Tokyo; the first section to be opened, from Nishi-Wakamatsu to Kamimiyori, was opened in 1927 and called the Yagan'u Line (野岩羽線). I've also mentioned in passing another nearby short line, the Nitchuu Line, of about 11 km from Kitakata to Atsushio; well,it seems that that was to be part of the envisioned main line, and its name, Nitchuu, referring (I'm guessing) to "Central Japan" - 日中, might've been the name intended for the completed Wakamatsu-Tokyo line.

Edited by Pashina12
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Bubule

Great project ! When did you will start the build ? I will be happy to see that construction !

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Pashina12

Well... that's an interesting question! I've started cutting some parts for the Kuragawa Bridge, having decided that the first section I want to focus on is Kamimiyori - Narahara. But since then I've decided to further narrow that down, to start with the section between the south end of the Mukaiyama Tunnel and the #1 Onumazaki Tunnel - that is, to model Kuwabara and the #1 Ogawa Bridge first. I've started sketching some things I'll need to build, namely the #1 Onumazaki Tunnel and the water tower at Kuwabara. I've also started looking at how I'll compress the station area; I'll use the Tomix island platform set, kitbashed to suit. There's also the main station building and a secondary building at Kuwabara. I've only found a couple of partial views of the station building itself, so for that I'll just go "close enough" and use the MicroAce/Arii #10 Station kit; for the secondary building, I'll be using one of the Kato section houses, perhaps with some modifications if necessary. Then there will be the bigger task of drawing out the #1 Ogawa Bridge and the road bridge alongside. For the #1 Ogawa Bridge, since it's a fairly simple deck girder bridge, I'll be looking into what readily available deck girder bridge kits I can use/adapt for the role.

 

I want to start building these structures first, as then I can lay them out and work out accurately how to arrange and build the modules themselves on which they'll be placed.

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Pashina12

Something I've been trying to find out for some time now is what locomotives ran on the Aizu Line before the C11s appeared and became the only steam power on the line. Unfortunately, I've not (yet) been able to find any photos from before the late 1950s, nor any specific info yet.

 

However, I can now start to make some educated guesses, as I've found information on engines assigned to the Aizu-Wakamatsu depot. From this info we know the following (T in brackets indicates a tank locomotive; I'm only giving totals, but I do have the specific road numbers):

 

1931: 1x 960形 (T), 4x 2120形 (T), 10x 8620形, 10x 9600形

1938: 4x C12 (T), 5x C56, 12x 8620形, 5x 9600形, 3x KiHa40000 DC (!)

1944: 11x C12 (T), 8x C58, 12x 9600形

1950: 1x C10 (T), 2x C11 (T), 9x C12 (T), 1x C51, 6x C55, 3x C58, 9x 9600形

1955: 5x C10 (T), 9x C11 (T), 6x C12 (T), 17x D50, 1x 9600形

1959: 8x C10 (T), 12x C11 (T), 2x C12 (T), 17x D50, 1x D51

1967: 13x C11 (T), 3x C12 (T), 10x D51, 2x 8620形 (!)

1969: 12x C11 (T), 2x C12 (both transferred away in April), 2x C58, 8x D51

1973: 12x C11 (T), 2x C58

 

So the first thing we can determine is that although the C11 was first introduced in 1932, it wasn't until after the end of the war that they first for-sure may have appeared on the line, in addition to whatever other power was used there, since two engines was by no means enough to power all of the trains on the line. My guess is that these two that were there in June 1950 (323 and 324, both built 1946; 323 was there still in 1969 but gone by 1973) were there to be tested on the Aizu Line and the Tadami Line... and obvs found to be suitable, since they became the mainstays on both of those lines.

 

So, what could have worked the Aizu Line before 1950?

 

Well, the C12 is a definite possibility, as it's also a tank engine like the C11 (but 2-6-2T instead of 2-6-4T) and being 10t lighter, certainly it can fit the line... so I think it's pretty safe to assume that C12s worked the Aizu Line (Aizu-Wakamatsu to Kamimiyori opened 1927, extended to Yunokami in 1932, and reached Aizu-Tajima in 1934; it wasn't until 1953 that the final segment to Aizu-Takinohara was opened... so it's possible that C11s were the only steam engines ever to cross the Sannougawa Bridge...)

 

But what about before 1955?

 

To determine this, let's compare the engine types assigned to Aizu-Wakamatsu to the C11, by axle load:

 

C11: 2-6-4T, axle load 12.4 tonnes

C12: 2-6-2T, axle load 10.9 t

C51: 4-6-2, axle load 14.61 t (passenger)

C55: 4-6-2, axle load 13.62 t (passenger)

C56: 2-6-0, axle load 10.61 t

C58: 2-6-2, axle load 13.5 t

2120形: 0-6-2T, axle load 6.40 t

8620形: 2-6-0, axle load 6.1 t (loco only), 7.58 t (incl. 3-axle tender)

9600形: 2-8-0, axle load 6.04 t (loco only), 7.25 t (incl. 3-axle tender)

 

This tells us that the only pre-war type that could *not* have worked the Aizu Line is the C58, if we assume that the C11's 12.4 t axle load is the maximum allowable. So basically were not any better informed than we were at the start of this exercise, so the best/safest guess that can be made is that 9600形 pulled freight trains and 8620形 pulled passenger trains before the war. By 1944, the 8620s were gone, so one might guess that the C12s were doing the passenger trains and the 9600s were still on freight jobs. The Takinohara section opened in 1953, with ore trains from the mine (opened in 1949) being a thing from the start - the C12s were probably not powerful enough for those, leaving it likely that it was still 9600s working those trains, until by 1955 it was C11s doing everything. Of course, these are just guesses that are as educated as I can get based on the available information.

 

None of this is directly relevant to my modelling plans, since I'm aiming at the late 1960s, but it tells me that I can get a model of a 9600 to run occasionally and say it's 1953...

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Pashina12


So some more learnings about steam at Aizu-Wakamatsu - some not entirely relevant to the Aizu Line itself, but related and interesting.

"Prehistory"

* Aizu-Wakamatsu Station was opened in July 1899 by the Gan'etsu Railway (岩越鉄道) from Kōriyama. It was nationalised in 1906, and the line reached Kitakata in 1914. The Gan'etsu Railway had five 0-6-0T tank locomotives built by Beyer-Peacock; these were numbered 1 through 5 (Gan'etsu Railway class 甲1形, these were acquired second-hand from the (private) Japan Railway (日本鉄道), where they had been P3/3形 nos. 148-152. They had been built in 1896, and after nationalisation, in 1909 they were reclassified 1900形 as numbers 1925 - 1929. See: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/国鉄1800形蒸気機関車 They were acquired from the Japan Railway in exchange for two Naismith-Wilson locomotives, nos. 1 and 2, which had been acquired from the Boso Railway but were inadequate for the Gan'etsu Railway's needs). One more locomotive, number 6, was added in 1904, built new for the Gan'etsu Railway by Maffei of Germany. (class 甲2形; after nationalisation became 2000形, number 2000).

Directly related

* Before 1931 little is known about locomotives assigned to Aizu-Wakamatsu, but accident records indicate that 2120 class and 6700 class were there, both of which could have been used on the Aizu Line from 1927.

* The three KiHa40000s in 1938 that were assigned to Aizu-Wakamatsu appear to have been used on the Ban'etsu West Line between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Kitakata, and on the Aizu Line (now Tadami Line) between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Aizu-Yanaizu. Not likely but I suppose possible they could have shown up on the Aizu Line towards Tajima...

* The C51s and C55s that were assigned to Wakamatsu in 1949/50 were only there for about a year, and were probably used for trains towards Niitsu, so not likely to have shown up on the Aizu Line.

* The four C11s assigned to Wakamatsu in 1959 weren't for testing - they were temporarily assigned for use in pulling materials trains for the construction of the Tagokura Dam on a dedicated line.

* In 1962 (Shōwa 37), DF50 564~566 were assigned new from Kawasaki Sharyō to Kōriyama, for use exclusively on the "Bandai" express and the "Hibara" semi-express. However, with the electrification of 1967, they were reassigned to Yonago Traction Depot.

* On 30 April 1959 (Shōwa 34), the Aizu Line management section (会津線担当分) was named Aizu Line Administration Office (会津線管理所) due to organisational changes. The Ban'etsu West Line Administration Office (磐越西線管理所) was created on 1 June 1960 (Shōwa 35), and the name "Aizu-Wakamatsu Traction District" (会津若松機関区) disappeared.

* On 5 June 1967, the Aizu Line Administration Office and the Ban'etsu West Line Administration Office were merged to form the Aizu-Wakamatsu Traffic District (会津若松運転区), due to organisational changes.

* 1969 - Duties on the Aizu-Wakamatsu~Niitsu relation were shared. Passenger trains were hauled by Niitsu C57s, and freight trains were hauled by Wakamatsu D51s.

* The C58s assigned to Wakamatsu in 1973 were used exclusively for shunting in the yard.
    
* Regular operation of C11s to pull trains on the Aizu Line ended on 30 October 1974. On 10 November, a special "Nitchuu Line Goodbye SL" train (日中線さようならSL) was pulled by C11 63 and 80. The train was made up of six OHa61 cars - a large consist that was completely different from regular Nitchuu Line trains.

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Pashina12
Posted (edited)

Just finished my overview of locomotives assigned to Aizu-Wakamatsu through history.

 

https://1960sjnr.neocities.org/awloco.html

Edited by Pashina12
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Pashina12

I made an animated gif illustrating the development of the Aizu Line (both the Aizu-Takinohara and Tadami branches)aizusen.thumb.gif.4117500bcaeb56ff6731b96e7a557ed8.gif

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Pashina12

So I bought a stack of seven magazines from 1972 for 5500 yen including shipping, because one of them was about Aizu Line... I'm glad I did, because I've learned some things that had been eluding me!

 

Initially, 2120 class engines worked the line, and from 1929 three 2900s were stationed at Aizu-Wakamatsu specifically to work the Aizu Line.

 

From 1934, brand-new C12s were sent to Aizu-Wakamatsu to work the Aizu Line.

 

From November 1936 until 1940, KiHa40000 and KiHa41000 gasoline cars were used for trains between Kitakata on the Ban'etsu West Line and Aizu-Bange (Tadami Line). The 40000s were retrofitted with huge awkward roof-mounted radiators to prevent overheating.

 

C10s, C11s, and C12s all worked the line in the 1950s.

 

In the winter, 8620s, 9600s, or C58s were used to push snowploughs, though they were unsuitable for regular service on the Aizu Line.

 

Most local trains on the line were made up of 2 DC cars, but the last train from Wakamatsu to Takinohara was four cars, as it was used by commuters and schoolchildren... (I'm taking a guess, but I imagine there was a corresponding morning train, too).

 

A black bear committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at Kuwabara.

 

In the area between Kuwabara and Yunokami, tobacco, persimmons, chestnuts, and mulberries were grown.

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nah00
On 6/11/2019 at 3:57 PM, Pashina12 said:

A black bear committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at Kuwabara.

 

I read the name as 'Kumabara' at first glace and thought it to be an extremely cruel case of irony. 

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