Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday was Bring a Model Train to Work Day

This week on Wednesday afternoon, I had the exam that I had been cramming for for the last 2 weeks.  It was an absolute nightmare.  I thought I got a reasonable mark in the first part, but I was worried about part 2.   Luckily I passed with a score of 80% averaged for both parts 1 and 2. That was a big relief as I was worried about not passing part 2. So that meant that things are about to get back to normal at work, except for the couple of tenders that I'm working on at work at the moment.  Three actually. Two I am writing and about to release and one I’m responding to. My issue is the other bozos aren't doing much of the work, particularly on the one I'm responding to. With a bit of luck we will still get over the line.

Well last Thursday I took my Powercab, a circle of track and a tsunami equipped 44 Class to work to set up for Friday – which was Bring a Model Train to Work Day. So on Thursday and Friday I ran a few trains at work and showed off the Powercab and my 44 Class.  Most were impressed and lots asked questions.  Quite a few wanted to know how fast would it go.

The 44 Class with headlight on, pulling 2 ballast wagons on the desk at work

The circle of track, the train and the powercab sitting on a spare desk.  I needed to support a section of the track so it could do the full circle.

Today I got down to the shed and pottered around. I fixed the issue with the track levels north of the Cassino Meatworks and into the tunnel in that area, as it transitions to the hidden helix. I packed the track and now there is a smooth vertical transition into the helix.  I ran my container train with the 80' wagons from Grafton yard to that point and went back and forth a few times at various speeds to give it a good test.  I then reversed that train set all the way back to Grafton Yard and the train set ran very well. I then ran the paper train from Grafton Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard and return. That ran well until a bogie came off running through Cassino. As I adjust the wagon heights with KD washers on some of my older wagons, the bite left on the screws holding the bogies in place is getting less and less. So eventually they work their way out and Bang, Scrape, Grind!  The trains gets put into emergency and the fast response crew has to make teh train usable again.  The mobile fitter gets called out, the derailed wagon in question gets jacked up (0-5-0'ed) and the bogie and bogie screw replaced.  The train can then resume its travels.  I added another 3 wagons small lourve vans to the end of this train.  This makes this train quite tight in most crossing loops and probably over length for Kyogle.  I may have to move the points at Kyogle eventually about 4"-6" if this trains ever does any crossings at this location.  As this train ran through Fairy Hill Loop, I saw that the train that was sitting in that loop - the down empty fruit express to Acacia Ridge - left over from the last running session, could also take another two wagons.  So these were also added.  I just hope that when all these trains get back to their starting location, they all fit into their originating sidings.

After the run, I also started building a small table to sit to the right of the North Coast Control desk. This is basically an extension to the desk top.  Under this small table, I intend to fit about 8 (maybe more) of my storage trays on metal runners so I can put a few things that I’m working on, out of harms way when we have a running session. the trays are the ones our Club sells for $2 to members.  The last time we cut up some we did about 120.  But they have now all gone I think.  I have stacks of them at home and still another 5 of these kits to put together.  I will pick up some aluminium angle during the week from the local Bunnings Warehouse.  I use this as draw runners.  It works very well.

Next Saturday I've opened my house to the Club so they can see how I've built my layout - the decks, the helix, the blobs, the peninsula, etc. before they launch into building the HO layout at the Club.  Hopefully a few will turn up and it will give them an idea of one way of doing this.  I expect they will go to at least one other member's home to check out how he does the work as well.
I think I will try and fit a few decoders to a few of Dave's locos during the week.  See ya next week.

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