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Dave Ware's Erector Coaling Station

Dave writes: "For over 50 years I have wondered about what the 10½ Electric Train set model of the Coaling Station did. It was in the back of the manual of my brother's 1939 4½ set. Recently, thanks to Bruce Hansen, I received the actual plans for the model. Much to my chagrin, it did almost nothing. A belt with bent cardboard buckets when up and down on one side. Worse, they were unable to hold anything. I figured that coal should go up to the top in the buckets, across to the other side and dump down into one of the chutes. So I set about modifying the model to do that. Here is the result:

The overall Coaling Station looks almost the same as the original from the outside. All the major changes are on the inside. First I had to open up the chute side to allow the buckets to enter that area and remove a platform so that coal could enter the chutes. I changed the belt so that it went up, across, dumped into the chute, went back across and back down. I have removed the roofs to show the innards.

The belt consists of two loops of string that go over pairs of Z flanged wheels with W stacks between them. Strips of cardboard glued a intervals on the string, keep the string properly spaced apart. A bucket is glued to one of the strips. At the bottom, a ball bearing is loaded into the bucket. As the belt moves, the bucket rises to the top.

At the top it changes direction as it goes over a pair of Z's and starts across to the other side. A strip on the bucket and a slightly rising path, keeps the ball from falling out.

When it reaches the other side, it comes to another pair of Z's.

Here it tips over and around dumping the ball into the chute and starts back across.

Upon reaching the other side it comes to 2 separated Z's with no W between them. This is necessary as the bucket must pass between the Z's as they start it going back down and to the beginning. The strips of cardboard are needed here to keep the strings apart so that they stay on the flanges of the Z's. The front part of the chute can be raised with a hand crank to hold the coal and lowered to dump it."