Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Top Deck

On Thursday I finally received my long awaited serial cable from overseas. It only took 7 weeks. All that for $3.99. I suppose I shouldn't complain.  This will connect my NCE PowerPro to an old PC that I have put in the Train She.  I will eventually get around to connecting them up and testing the JMRI connection.

I was intending to go out to the Gabba on Friday afternoon to watch the Shield Final for a few hours, but I found it was streaming on the net, so I just came home and watched the motor racing on the TV and the cricket live on the tablet. Isn't technology grand?

Yesterday I wired up the new control panel at Cassino and programmed the NCE mini panel using the default values of the point motors 1 through 4.  I did not have my spreadsheet that has the actual numbers recorded in it with me, that I had previously allocated to these accessories.  So I left the 4 points connected to the Digitrax DS64 at their default values.  I was watching the F1 GP practice on the TV in the Shed, followed by the V8's racing and then I listened to the Cricket (Shield Final) at the Gabba on the Tablet and listening on the radio until rain intervened.  This was followed by cleaning the track near where I had undertaken the last lot of scenery around The Risk.

I then decided to investigate twisting a bit of wire together to see if I could make some tree armitures.  I was trying to make some weeping willows for the Running Creek area.  I made up 4 armitures but I still need to do some soldering, followed by application of 'No More Gaps' and then some paint.  The trees will then be treated with white glue and have green scatter sprinkled on them, followed by bending up.  I think I will need at least another 10 or so Weeping Willows for the banks of Running Creek.  This will give the local naturalists some shade and protection from the local photographer (or should I say PK).

Today I got down to the shed for another couple of hours and ran 6 trains (the empty cement, a loaded stock train, an empty ballast, a Down branch line container, the loaded paper train and an UP mainline container) from their current locations to their respective destinations.  So now the timetable has again been reset back to its starting time.  I then remembered that there were 5 wagons left behind at Old Cassino in the Dairy Siding during the previous running session that need to be put back into their starting train.  I will fix up some issues with at least two train timetable sheets still directing trains back to the wrong starting tracks.  But this is actually the first time that I have run all the trains through in a timetable fashion.

So with Tuesday Night being a gathering of the crew at my place I thought I better put some photos up so the guys can see what I have done.
You can see three levels of track in this photo.  On the left (on the top deck) is Clapham Yard with the future track to the right heading towards Dutton Park.  In the corner is where Loco Pilly will be situated.

This shows the three decks with the track on the new top deck gaining height towards Dutton Park on the right.  The top deck is currently held in place with wooden props.

An overview showing the top deck heading towards the front of the layout (on the right) and the basic scenery cover around The Risk on the next level down.  Still nothing on the bottom level at Cassino.

This is where Dutton Park will be located.  This will be where the mainline towards South Brisbane Interstate will branch to the right.  Plenty of work to do before the baseboard and track extends further north towards Park Road Siding and South Brisbane gets built.

Looking North towards Fisherman's Island.  On the deck below a rail set train can be seen in a siding at Kyogle.

This is where the Fisherman's Island terminus will be located.  Look it already has it's first train.

I am eagerly awaiting feedback from the guys about this further extension to the layout.


  1. The upper deck is looking fantastic Craig - very well thought out.


  2. I'm so very pleased to see the outstanding triangular wood support technique used so well in the helix has been revived and expanded to fit the upper deck. Truly Craig you have Mastered the woodworking skills long lost in the mist of time. There is a whole legion of untapped fans in a woodworking blog, just begging to be written. I'm in awe...absolute awe!

    All jokes aside Craig, it does look good, looking forward to Toosdy!