Thursday, March 31, 2011

Preliminary Equipment Design

So I've thought about how to actually model a lunar railroad, and that inevitably brings me to loco design.

The original Model Railroader article that inspired me on this envisioned a small, squat remote loco. Given that I'm starting with an Athearn S-12 chassis, I decided on something a bit larger. The gauge is designed for 6'6"-7' (or about 24.5mm in HO scale). The TransLuna Development Corporation SW series locomotive is shown below.

The locomotive is designed as basically a flatbed with the electronics and such at the front with space for two modular fuel cells at the back. The era I'm modeling (2040-2050) will hopefully have developed the fuel cell to the point of powering a locomotive reliably. That's the premise I'm basing it off of anyway... Solar panels overtop of the fuel cell batteries trickle charge the cells during sunlight exposure.

The SW series is intended for local base work and switching and can be manually driven if necessary, although the control panel and cab are open.

Next up is the HD, or Heavy Duty series.

These locomotives are designed for heavy duty hauling of regolith and other minerals from the farther reaches of the Moon. Depending on three fuel cells and 6 axles, these locos are a force on the Lunar surface. The loco has an independent airlock compartment that the crew's suits latch onto, and the crew exits into the sealed cabin by the backpacks, thereby eliminating dust in the cab.

I also may develop a third rail design, or implement "Charging Stations" along the longer routes sue to the moon being in darkness for 2 weeks at a time.

Rolling stock is also intended to be utilitarian. The premise is all freight cars are based off of a 35' chassis. The hopper bodies below for instance fit onto this chassis design. Other cars as well as passenger cars are possible with this design.

All in all, I like this form of modeling because it allows for more creative freedom in development, as well, it gives me the opportunity to "storytell" a bit, something which I enjoy doing alot.

More to come.

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