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Posted (edited)

For the last couple of days I've been stuck at home, confined to bed with the shakes, raging fever and general crappiness that comes with having the flu. So about the only thing I've been able to do is think about things. One of those things is building layouts.

 

A while back I started a thread about building a simple display/exhibition layout based on Hokoku on the Hakubi line:

 

http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/11777-hokoku-in-180th-scale/

 

I've finished the basic structure and supports, and installed the subroadbed, ballast strips and point motors. And that's as far as I've progressed, because the more I think about it, the more I think I don't want to build 9 feet by 2 feet of steep-sided mountain and try to cover it with dense forest. Apart from the task of making a large number of realistic trees, or at least ones that satisfy me, I'm not happy with the overall composition and/or visual balance that I've so far achieved. The only composition I liked was a long way removed from the actual arrangements there.

 

So my thoughts keep coming back to Mitaki, a small station on the Kabe line in suburban Hiroshima.

 

gallery_22_66_818735.jpg

 

It's an interesting little station with good scenic potential. I'd rather build structures than trees, anyway.

 

I've played around with track and simple structure mock-ups on the Hokoku base, and I think I can get a much better looking composition of the various elements without losing too much of the prototypes features. I know I'm probably not in the right state of mind to be making these sorts of decisions, but I'd be interested in people's opinions.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

Edited by marknewton
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Posted (edited)

http://www.jnsforum....in-180th-scale/

 

I'm glad the link explains this - I thought maybe you'd really gone off the dark end . . . .

 

Edit:  Referring to the link for the earlier post saying it's "in 180th scale".  I momentarily forgot your modeling preferences and the possibility of the forum software deleting relevant punctuation, thinking perhaps you were creating a new scale between N and Z.

 

BTW - the gallery link isn't working for me.

Edited by velotrain

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Interestingly, on checking the background of Mitaki Station, it turns out the current location is not the original one- Mitaki Station was once on the other side of the river, but the Kabe Line was rerouted in 1962 as part of the Ota River drainage route construction.  However, the layout was the same as the current configuration (a single island platform), though of course with a station headhouse.  Another interesting thing is apparently a steam service was run between Furuichi Station and Yokokawa, typically a single coach with a combo brake/parcels wagon hauled by a C11, to handle the local express package business ("chiki") generated in this area.

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Posted (edited)

bb, that's very interesting. I knew that the old line's alignment had changed, but I didn't know about the original station being on the other side of the river. Apparently that station was known as "Oshibakoenguchi" until the line was nationalised in 1936.

 

The use of a C11 on parcels traffic is a useful bit of information too. Explains a photo I found in one of my books.

 

Thanks, and all the best,

 

Mark.

Edited by marknewton

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Posted (edited)

I've found a photo from 1971, which shows that Mitaki was staffed at the time. The photo shows the station master having just collected the token from a departing train. It also shows the signalling at the time - searchlight/single-light colour light - and that the loop had spring switches.

 

The photo in my first post, dated 1984, shows a train with the token hoop clearly visible in the cab window, and what I suspect is the station building/headhouse. That's the structure also visible in this photo:

 

https://blog-001.west.edge.storage-yahoo.jp/res/blog-a9-e0/zz_crown_zz/folder/287331/90/5101490/img_5?1336144630

 

I've also learned that at one stage the line was operated by Kumoha 12 series EMUs, soon to be released in 1/80th scale by Kato. And HobbyModel have 105 series EMUs in their range of kits. So once I'm fully recovered from being crook, I'm going to completely rework the layout base to accomodate my version of Mitaki.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

Edited by marknewton

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kvp   
Posted (edited)

Could you please share the photo with the signal and the switch?

Edited by kvp

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Kiha66   

Love those tiny mixed trains with the C11!  What method of signaling did the line use, I see both a tablet catcher and a signal in that last photo? 

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kvp   

Thanks! That token / signal setup is really interesting. I can't really put together the mode of operation or even just how that signal might have worked. It looks to be dark on the photo so it might be single aspect.

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I'm assuming that the signalling and safeworking arrangements were similar to those we used to have on my railway. On single lines with control by token working, authority to enter a section was possession of the token AND clearing the home starter signal at the entry of the section. The signalling itself was usually manual block.

 

In the photo I linked you can see that the signal is track-circuited, so the operating mode was perhaps similar to one of our industrial branches, where the track circuits controlling the signals were interlocked with the staff instruments. But that's just an educated guess.

 

As for the signal apparently being dark in the photo, I wondered about that too. Perhaps it's approach lit. Or maybe it's like our older searchlight signals, which used a very low-powered bulb - 4 watts from memory - and were so very directional that even sighting them slightly to the side meant that you couldn't tell if the signal was illuminated or not. I don't know the answer to that one...

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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kvp   

As for the signal apparently being dark in the photo, I wondered about that too. Perhaps it's approach lit. Or maybe it's like our older searchlight signals, which used a very low-powered bulb - 4 watts from memory - and were so very directional that even sighting them slightly to the side meant that you couldn't tell if the signal was illuminated or not. I don't know the answer to that one...

This is my big problem. The signal seems to be single color as multicolor single lens signals are something that i've not seen on any old japanese photos so far. The only single color japanese signals i found are fixed aspect signals that are essentially always lit with the same color.

 

The size of the target however is large enough to be a US style mechanical filter changer searchlight. If the latter is true, that means we can use US style signals on old japanese layouts as there was a prototype for it and it would also make the automatic track circuit based system a logical choice for control.

 

Is there anyone here who knows a bit more about old japanse light signals? Especially if US style single lens multicolor searchlights were used in Japan and if yes, which regions/lines and when?

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There were definitely multi-colour, single-lens signals in Japan - I've seen them in numerous photos, and I've got drawings for them as well. Most of the photos are from the period after WW2 until the 1960s. What I don't know is how many lines they were used on.

 

Something else to consider is that the Kabe line was originally a private railway. As such it may have used signalling and safeworking that differed from JNR practice. But then the section of line this photo shows was built by JNR in 1962, so I'd assume it followed then-current JNR standards.

 

Unless I find more information, I'm going to go with 3-aspect single-lens signals on the model.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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kvp   

Thanks! So the standard i'm looking for is JNR's from 1962? Anyone have some pointers, links or keywords i could use?

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Posted (edited)

A prewar picture of a station departure signal at Toyama, similar to the one at Mitaki:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E5%AF%8C%E5%B1%B1%E9%A7%85%E6%A7%8B%E5%86%85%E4%B8%8A%E3%82%8A%E5%87%BA%E7%99%BA%E4%BF%A1%E5%8F%B7%E6%A9%9F.jpg

 

You are going to be hard pressed to find photo records of these types of signal setups, as there was little railway hobby photography done prior to the 1960's, and most of that was on mainlines or in urban areas.  The rural lines were mainly semaphore signaled until they were upgraded to the current style of multiaspect signals.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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