Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Top Deck Takes Shape

This week I spent some time over at my mate David’s place trying to get his track running. On Tuesday afternoon, after some troubleshooting we discovered that he had mixed up his track bus for track 1 and track 2 at one point in the layout.  We still coule not get the track running properly.  We simply could not track down the cause of a short. Bit by bit we were disconnecting the track bus on track 1 and test running a loco. We would connect in the next section of track and we would get a short, so we would disconnect both the track and track bus farther along the layout. This allowed us to rule out that section of track as the cause.  This morning I went over again as no progress in tracking down the short on track one had been made. So we eventually narrowed it down to a connector block that joined the track bus for one section to the next. Wouldn't you know it it was the second last section to check.  maybe we should have started working in the other direction. This connector block was screwed to the layout with a screw right through the middle. However, it was over tightened and the screw had caused the plastic insulation to break and the screw was breaching the metal components that the wires were screwed into. Damn annoying! However, we replaced this connector and the loco run perfectly. Following getting the first track running on David’s Layout, he donated three large radius points to me. These were very much appreciated.  I'm sure that is a rather large weight off David's shoulders.  He can now concentrate on his track 2.

Now to the Big Boy's Layout otherwise known as Cassino at my place. Early in the week I went to Bunnings and picked up 5 lengths of 2.4m 42 x 19 pine. I then managed to put my collection of pine to good use and made up as much of the top deck frame as I could, until all the pine was gone. I had to call on the boss to hold a piece of wood at one end, while I drilled and screwed the frame at the other. I must be getting lazy. I normally find a way to do it all by myself. This construction phase has basically allowed me to put the South Brisbane Interstate station baseboard up onto the frame. Completing this area means that I now have a duck under at about 5’ 8” high, in order to get behind the layout. It is probably only myself that goes down there and it is really only a ‘nod under’ instead of a ‘duck under’ due to its height so ’Them’s the Breaks!'

I then added the baseboard for Park Road Sidings and realised that I would have to splice in a 600mm section in the middle as the piece I had cut was too small - well it needed to be longer than 2.4m. I attached the track that leads from Dutton Park (the junction of the line down to Fisherman Islands) and where the track enters Park Road Siding. I attached this to the level below at three places and it seems to be very solid.
In the distance you can see where the new top deck branches on the far left.  The track that comes around to the front left is the Fisherman Islands Branch, while the track to the rear to the right is the main line just about to enter Park Road Sidings.  The under baseboard strengthener has not been added to the new mainline yet.

Yesterday I made another trip to Bunnings and collected another 4 lengths of 2.4m 42 x 19 pine. This will enable me to complete the frame to support the trackwork between Park Road Sidings and South Brisbane Interstate Station. While it took some thought, I managed to design how I would support the track above the helix, and I completed this task yesterday arvo. It seems to look pretty good and my two large curved baseboard sections fit on the frame perfectly – just like a bought one!

The newly constructed frame that will hold the horseshoe curve that goes from Park Road Sidings to South Brisbane Interstate.  I can still stand in the middle of the helix with the frame around me.  The curved baseboard sections are just sitting on the frame with a splice plate also sitting above them.  The previous top deck at the location of Ron and Margaret's B&B is visible through the frame.

Today after returning from David’s place and having some lunch, I went down to the shed and cut out and fitted the missing pieces of baseboard – the middle of Park Road Sidings (about 600mm long) and the section where the large horseshoe curve ended and needed to be joined up with South Brisbane baseboard. Not too hard of a job at all. I then decided to throw a few lengths of track that I had on hand onto the newly constructed top deck of the layout and see how it all would look. Well I was quite amazed.
This shot shows the track laid in for Park Road Sidings in the foreground on the top deck, while in the distance is the flat baseboard for South Brisbane Interstate. The two lower levels are also visible in this shot.

Almost the same shot as above, but it shows some of the frame work supporting the top deck.

Photo taken from the other end looking back in the opposite direction towards the horseshoe curve.

I have installed two sets of points at the southern end of Park Road Sidings and the track is laid to the northern end of this location. I even put my paper train onto the sidings to ensure it will fit. It does just fit. This week I will continue to screw the baseboard to the frame, and install the under baseboard stiffeners that are just sitting on the top of the horseshoe curve at the moment.  These are visible in the above photos.  I might have enough track to have the one track laid all the way into South Brisbane Interstate by the weekend.  I might then have to wire up the track to the track bus on the level below and I might be able to shunt a train in Park Road Sidings!  Woo Hoo!  The top deck is taking shape.

1 comment:

  1. CM, I thought you were having time off to watch the Olympics. It looks as though you are doing more 'shed time'! ;-) GB.

    BTW top deck looking good!