St Raphael Hospital Tramway

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by michael mott, 29 November 2020.

  1. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

    I have been posting about this layout on the what's on your workbench but really it is a small layout. The idea for building this tramway actually started back in 2010. I had read an article about this tramway in the hospital in Montreal Canada. It was quite extensive and many of the pictures that were on the web back then seem to have disappeared. this one is in the public domain so I feel secure in posting it.


    Many of the others that were posted showed a wooden floor in the corridors. I have searched for more information about the locos, there were a few of them all with the same basic configuration but with minor detail changes, but with no luck. A few of the earlier web pictures like this one show terrazzo or stone type flooring. From a modeling point of view I felt that I would be able to render the wooden floors a little more convincingly than the terrazzo ones.

    The corridors appear to be approx 8 feet wide perhaps a little wider with basically plain walls and with soft corners and a curved cove to paneled ceilings. Some of the earlier hand tinted pictures showed the flooring to be a blonde coloured wood, and this is what I will be building. My first experiments were using 16.5mm track and some printed flooring.

    This was encouraging but did not go much further than a few weeks of experimenting and got put away perhaps to be resurrected at some future date.



    Recently I was inspired to see what I could do with this hospital concept because of a layout competition proposed by Chris Stockdale on a Facebook page for 7/8ths and larger scales. but it could be no more than 4 square feet of layout. It seemed like an interesting gauntlet.

    I wanted to be able to include a number of different photo opportunities with different corridors since there were a couple of different types and the details that were apparent could be done with some detail in such a large scale. One of the criteria was that it be operational and not just a diorama.

    Without any firm information about the gauge of the tramway I deduced that it was somewhere between 18 and 20 inches. If I wanted to use a commercial gauge then 32mm or 1.25" seemed pretty close to 18 inches at 7/8ths or .875" = 1 foot. I began planning the layout and came up with a loop with three open sides and one closed corridor and the interesting "Y" intersections that were at some of the corners in the hospital. her is a rough sketch of the layout with only 4 square feet of layout space.

    dark hospital layout for competitionx1024.jpg

    After a lot of experimenting I have done the basic layout baseboard structures and am closing in on completing the flooring, after which I will do some work on the patterns and molds for the tin ceiling panels.

    I will continue the updates now here in the layout progress rather than the workbench because it is a layout and is not really on the workbench. this is the progress to date on the track and flooring I have had the loco do complete loops in both directions around the layout using the "Y" .

    The three switches will be manually operated from the front fascia via a push pull button the track in not wired and the loco operates with 2 AA batteries. Lack of any real concrete data about this tramway without going to Montreal and physically going through historic archives of the hospital means that this layout is more of an artistic rendition of what was once an interesting operation at the turn of the last century.

    Jon Nazareth, David B, Geoff and 18 others like this.
  2. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hello Michael
    It looks like an interesting project; railways get everywhere, apparently! I wish you well with it.


  3. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

    After a few days rest from flooring I have managed to complete the floor boards on the outside of the rails and begun working on the inside part. The boards within the "Y" were done individually and it took a lot of effort to keep them aligned. so I have begun gluing 5 boards together in sections that can be worked in larger sections on the curves.

    These are much easier to fit into the curves.
    Once the rest are fitted I can work on the final sanding of the boards before applying the floor stain, and varnish.


    One of the experimental grills for the sides to cover the wheels, it is some expanded alunimium used for sculpture. I stretched it open a little more to create a more square opening and wrapped the single wires around the brass frame.


    I can see the light at the end of the hallway now.

    Jon Nazareth, David B, Geoff and 13 others like this.
  4. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

    Laid the last floor board this morning then a sanding before a wipe with some honey maple gel stain.





    Next task is to fill in the gap between the rails.

    Jon Nazareth, David B, Giles and 16 others like this.
  5. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    That’s a phenomenal bit of work, Michael. I can almost smell the corridor based on that flooring choice (my junior school, and secondary school, both built in the late ‘30s had floors like that and the acoustic and smell of wood and varnish was very distinctive).

    michael mott and Geoff like this.
  6. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

  7. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

    Here is a test of the hospital tram going round both directions using the Y to reverse directions, apologies for the noisy loco. I am looking into the drive train which is a steel worm on a brass gear. Also perhaps stuffing some foam into the baseboard boxes.

    Jon Nazareth, Neil, David B and 4 others like this.
  8. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

    Have been away from the model room for a while, here is a little painting of Bow lake I did a while back.
    christmas 2020 bow lake.jpg

    And a Prosperous and Healthy New Year