Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Running Session 27th December

Tuesday this week was a running day on Cassino.  Some of the usual team turned up, and this included, Greg, PK, Barry and Brendan. We then had four guys who shared a ride down the range from Toowoomba, let's call them the 'B' Team. This includes Brent (Smithy to his mates), Bill, Bazz and Ben. We started with a sausage sizzle and a cold beer or softdrink. I then gave the 'B' Team a quick tour and familiarisation run through, after they read their rules and signed off their indemnity form – however, I don’t think anyone actually signed one. As we are were about to get underway, we had Shelton from our normal crew also show up. For the first session, we had Greg assume North Coast Control and Ben took on the Yard Master role. Smithy and Bazz were not game to run a train for quite some time into the session. They were quite content to take a few snaps of the proceedings.  I better get a copy of those photos guys!

After about 9 hours of fast clock time we stopped the timetable for a quick break. We then resumed, but we had Shelton in the North Coast Control seat and Smithy was the Yard Master.

Shelton at North Coast Control studying the timetable graph.  On his left is the plug-in point for the headset with the black push-to-talk button for his headset, with the party line phone to Grafton and Acacia Ridge Yards.  On the wall is a temporary diagram of the layout.  Shelton has his throttle plugged in so he knows what the fast clock time is.

In this photo we have (L-R) Smithy, Bill, Barry and Greg.  Acacia Ridge Yard on the Top left, and Lismore where Barry is shunting.

Here we have (L-R) Bazza, PK, Ben and Brendan.  Bazza around at Cougal Spiral, and PK and Ben with their trains in Border Loop (top left).  Brendan is probably running something through Cassino (bottom right).  The Risk is top right with a track cleaning train in a short fettler's siding.

Generally, we were running late as usual, and we had a few issues. One passenger coach on the Brisbane Limited Express, lost its bogie. We had a few wagons derail, in particular the sheep and cattle wagons were not so good, as were the life like fuel tankers. Bring on the new models due to arrive in the next few months. I think I need a few locos retired as well, my old Bergs 49 gave a bit of stick. I had two points go bung during the session. These were, 1) the point on the northern end of Rappville Loop – the actuator broke off from the point motor- That will be replaced during this week, and the point 'main to back platform road' at Cassino jammed - it would not respond to its actuator. I’ll also fix that up this week as well. Besides this, one head-set plug-in-point (Old Cassino location) was playing up. You could hear, but they could not hear you talking. Again, this should be simple to check and then fix. The day before the session, I ran a test train and I realised that the Voltmeter on the panel was not working. So I had to get under the layout and work out why. A dry solder joint. Once I fixed this, I saw that the ammeter at the same location was now not working. So back under and I realised that I had also pulled a wire while fixin gthe first, so this was fixed and all was then OK.

We had a few trains, run past their timetabled destination. One Ballast went way past Cassino Yard and ended up on the Murwillumbah branch - part way to Lismore. We had a rail moto,r that was running the Mountain Goat service, went past Border Loop and was seen on the Beaudesert Road level crossing. It backed up and resumed its place before it was due to be taken back to Cassino by the next driver. We had congestion in Old Cassino with either too many trains or trains out of order. I’m not sure hat occurred, but you could not scratch yourself at that location. I know I made it tight, but this was simply stupid. I’ll have to re-look at this in the timetable.

So I will back track things a bit and re-start the timetable at about midday on our next session. This will allow us to perhaps complete the session at next attempt.  We did get all but about 10 trains complete so that was about 33 trains to their destinations, and at least one still in transit.

At  the beginning of the session, when we went to fire up the layout, there must have been a sticking button on my cab, as the horn on one loco - 4416, kept sounding and would not shut off. I turned the horn button on again and this time it turned off. But it took my over a minute to track down the cause of the issue.  It was me as this was the loco dispoaying on my handset.

I think Ben left a screwdriver at my place, So I will have to give it to one of the Toowoomba boys at the next exhibition that I see them at. It seems that Ben has also picked up a second hand NCE radio system for a steal on the net. These tested very well on my layout. We even swapped out my RB02 base system for Ben’s and it worked just as good. He’s got a bargain there!

I think we run into issues, when people put a completed timetable back into the slot that they have just taken a timetable from.  I'll work on that.  Also I need to hand out the wagon cards with each train that needs them.  Maybe once every train has the cards, this will work better - next session I will try and have that working.

I think everyone had a good time.  I certainly did and I was mentally exhausted by the end of the day after I cleaned up. We were also giving Shelton some stick about the cricket score.  Lots of light hearted banter was also occuring throughout the session.  Thanks for everyone for attending and expecially the 'B' Team for travelling over 200km's on the day.


  1. Yeah that's my screw driver. I was looking for it yesterday, thought it might be at your place.

  2. Powering trains with steam made train whistles an ideal sound for alerting people of an approaching air horn train.

  3. Thanks for an enjoyable arvo. I see you got my good side with the above photo ;-)