Tuesday this week, we went to Bob’s place and got a look at his layout progress. The scenery that has already been completed is a credit to his abilities. His bridge across an old almost dried up creek is fabulous. Some attendees were absolutely raving about the bridge – hey Cliff?
Wednesday this week was a public holiday in Brisbane for the EKKA. It also happened to be my son’s school sports day. If the student attend the sports day, they get the next two days off school. So early in the day I went to the sports day with my son and gate crashed my niece’s marquee. The boss and daughter came out later. After a great day watching the kids having fun in the various events spread around the oval, we made our way home. I mowed the lawn when I got home and then decided to head down to the shed, and completed the ballasting around Kyogle, except for two points.
I also took Thursday off and after doing a few things in the morning, I went back to the shed and ballasted around these two remaining points in Kyogle.
A photo of Kyogle from above.
Kyogle from the aisle looking at the newly laid ballast.
So that now leaves the following places left to Ballast. All of Murwillumbah Yard, all of Rappville Loop, a few sidings around the rear of Lismore and a few inches around some of the level crossings on the layout in Old Cassino, Cassino and Rappville.
Later in the day, I went back down and hoped that the ballasting had now dried. I decided that I was to have my own Operating Session. I ended up running about 15 trains. I found some issues, with ballast in between point blades. These issues were remedied one by one. I realised that I needed to install an additional uncoupling magnet in Murwillumbah. I will work on this installation over the next few weeks. I plan on using a push pull actuator to position the uncoupler under the track in which it is work under. I am yet to see if the magnet will work through the thickness of the baseboard.
The reason for the uncoupler is when the X200 shunts the motorail wagon out onto the main, it needs to be disconnected, before another loco puts the wagon on the end of the train.
On Friday after seeing off a mate into retirement after lunch, I came home and went down to the shed for an hour and a half. I found a spring missing off a KD coupler and fixed this. I also ran about 5 more trains in the timetable. When doing so I realised that I needed to add some weight to one of my 80’ container wagons. I also decided that I needed to rip up a section of track about 30cm long and replace it in The Risk. This section has a small kink in the track and the rails are lifting from the sleepers. I will action this next weekend.
The new section of track ready to be installed. The track at the rear is the main and has the kink in it.
Saturday was the date of the local NMRA meeting, and it was at Darren’s place. So I went over and said G’Day to a few friends and enjoyed the sight of three more mates running Darren’s layout for the visitors. After a fantastic lunch put on by Darren and his family, I made my way home and slipped past the boss and made my way down to the shed. Once there I decided to glue together three NOAF/NOEF/NOHF wagons kits – I think. I was quite impressed by two BD wagons that Darren had on his layout. I initially thought that the three wagons I had in kit form were BD’s, but that were the ones listed above. My only issue was I missing one end. I intend to manufacture one out of styrene tonight. One had has wheels fitted and is sitting in the oil siding at South Brisbane Interstate. The second will get wheels, as soon as I can find some screws for the bogies. I also decided to add some weight to one end of a 80’ container wagon. I placed a small amount of lead over the front bogie, underneath a 40’ container.
I then decided to complete some track changes in Grafton Yard. As I was short one 3-way point, I decided to bite the bullet and rob Peter to pay Paul. I stole a 3 way point from the rarely used yard section at Acacia Ridge and moved it to Grafton Yard so I could install 2 more sidings. So that is now laid. I just need to add power jumpers to those two tracks.
Today I continued on the track work agenda. A few weeks back I installed a new Oil siding in South Brisbane Interstate Yard. But if you look at the original yard diagram, and then look at mine, you will realise that I have one track too few. When not anymore! I had room to add track number 9, so I did. I had a curve point to allow track 9 to fit into the spare space. Now I have moved the wagons that I was storing in track 8 out. Some spare ones went to track 9. Others which were a breakdown train and a few guards vans went to track 7. This means that track 8 is now free and I can use this as the track for the container train to have its containers unloaded on.
South Brisbane Interstate showing the oil siding on the far right (now track 10) and the new track to its left - track 9.
After that I continued on the trackwork agenda. I bit the bullet again and started laying the track for Rocklea Yard. Bit by bit it was joined up and then I worked out that I really needed a left hand point to complete the standard gauge sidings for the Limestone wagons. I had a right hand one instead. Damn! I then looked at Grafton Yard, right near where I installed the 3-way point yesterday. There was a left hand point, and I could swap it over for a right hand point with little effort, and no consequences. So I did that. The sidings at Acacia Ridge were changed over. But I did have a bit of a Doh moment. I removed the left hand point, then got distracted and put a point back into where it came out of and I thought that was easy. I then went install the point into Rocklea, and I realised that it was the wrong hand. I had re-installed the left hand one back into Grafton Yard. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone – I think I’m going senile. So I removed left hand point again, this time installing the right hand point back into Grafton Yard where the left hand point was. The left hand point was installed into Rocklea, so all the track work is now complete, except for the standard gauge point which will allow entry into the standard gauge tracks off the main line. No shop has one of these Tillig points. I just have to wait. I then wired up the power to the tracks, with quite a few jumpers around the eletrofrog points. I even installed a manual polarity (reversing) switch for the Tillig dual gauge crossover.
Rocklea Sidings. With a few wagons already in there to assist with testing.
I then powered up the layout – and no shorts were observed. However, when I ran a narrow gauge train into the sidings, it stopped. I must have a dry solder joint in the jumper for one of the rails. But given the time, I decided to call it a day and tackle that job next weekend, when I will also try and fix the kink in The Risk on the mainline. I will get out by trusty multi-meter and try and work out what is going wrong with Rocklea.
A few wagons now reside in Clapham Yard, which makes it interesting for trains to do their things in an Operating Session. More will eventually grace this yard.
Loco Pilly, has three locos _ a double header and single shunt loco, a CPH with its trailer and a breakdown van with stuff in it.