Sunday, July 7, 2013

Running Day Roundup

Monday evening I spent some time building a lattice web for the top of my Richmond River bridge.  Friday night this week a few guys headed to Geoff’s for a modelling night.  I took along my Pratt Truss bridge to show off and also to build a second lattice web, which I did complete.  That was all I did as we did quite a bit of chatting.  Geoff showed off his photos from his recent trip through NSW and spoke about his trip to the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention last weekend.  Brendan showed off his hew version of the ARHS Signalling DVD.  I have the old CD version which no longer runs on Windows 7 in 64 bit mode – which is a bit of a bugger as I used to use it quite a bit.
On the right are the two lattice web girders that I built this week.  The two on the left are others that I made a few weeks back.  I needed to build copies of the black ones on the top as my prototype bridge has two extra box sections as well as being another 30 feet longer that the kit bridge I am building.

This is where the Pratt Truss bridge is going.  I have four sections of girder on the left (behind the current bridge, and a single section of through truss girder on the right.  I built the bridge piers out of plaster many, many moons ago.

On Tuesday this week I decided I needed a large ‘Y’ point for the southern end of Clapham Yard.  It just happened that Lefty & Son had one on their for sale list and when I visited ‘& Son’ at work on Wednesday, he had the point there ready for me to collect.  On Thursday I started to cut up some code 83 rail so I could lay a third rail through the point, as this point will give access to the second loop for narrow gauge trains in Clapham Yard.  On Friday afternoon I ripped up the track through Clapham and installed a curve point and the new Y point and a narrow gauge point on track 4.  So apart from some cleaning up and fine tuning for narrow gauge trains this area looks pretty much complete and runs standard gauge train quite well.
The southern end of Clapham Yard.  Showing the newly installed point work.  The Yard now has four standard gauge tracks, of which two are dual gauge.
Saturday dawned and I had a few jobs to complete before the crew arrived.  I had to clean the BBQ (I had cleaned out the pergola and washed the chairs on Friday afternoon), I had to code up the address for the Dutton Park point motor in the NCE Mini Panel and soldered three jumper wires to the track at Clapham Yard that I laid on Friday afternoon.  I also cleaned the track in Cassino Yard and at Lismore As I had been doing some scenicing around those areas since I last ran trains through there.
I then had to wait for the crew to arrive.  Today I was going to have two first timers who were ex-North Coast Locomotive Drivers in attendance.  We had Jacko who was an ex-SRA and ex-National Rail driver and Keith who was an Interail driver.  We also had Anthony, whom was a first timer (and VR modeller – no one is perfect – well perhaps us NSW North Coast Modellers are!).  We had our regular crew – PK, Darren, Greg, Peter, Paul and Brendan.  We also had two late withdrawals by Geoff and Darryl.
Darren ran North Coast Control for the entire session.  The session went to pot when a bogie came off one of my 80 foot container wagons when it was traversing the Cougal Spiral.  It took a bit of a limbo dance for Greg to retrieve his train.  The new top deck ran a lot better than last time.  Except for the old Powerline guards van and Lima sleeping cars on my Brisbane Limited Train heading back towards Sydney, which, with their cookie cutter wheels had problems with the dual gauge points – note to self – replace these wheels for next session.
Another incident occurred when the branchline pickup goods, could not pickup its loading in Old Cassino.  Some bugger had parked a ballast train in the yard and blocked off access to the Norco Siding.  Oh that was me!
The northern end of Old Cassino showing the Ballast train in the Yard.  The pickup trains four wagons are in the Norco Siding.  No expense has been spared with the scratch build buildings (aka boxes).
We also had one whole section of headphone sockets not working.  Damn!  That is a job for next weekend to trace that back to a broken wire no doubt.
Before the session and also during the session we had a few laughs as Greg recounted a few stories.  I wanted to ask Greg how South Brisbane was shunted, and he informed me that it was exactly how I was doing it.  The goods train would pull into a track and cut off the locos.  The shunt engine, normally a 73 class would then pull the wagons clear and put them in the other roads so the trapped train locos could either make their way back to Loco Pilly or sit in the platform road until their next train to take back to Park Road and or Clapham etc. was ready.  The stories also advised that Greg drove the last Brisbane Limited south from South Brisbane Interstate station before the track here was severed and railed through to Roma Street.  Greg also ran the last Brisbane Limited south from Roma Street before the XPT took over the traffic.  Greg also had another first on an NR class at Acacia Ridge, but that is all I’ll say about that one.  Greg also talked about a time when he drove two NR class locos and an 81 class from Grafton up north and had it maxing out at about half a kilometre per hour up a grade.  At one loop they stopped and checked the 81 Class loco and found it was actually offline instead of helping.  Once that was fixed, they made good progress and had an uneventful trip for the rest of the way home.  Not bad for hauling over 4000 tonne.  Greg can now relive all those events on my layout.
A photo showing the southern end of the shed.  Here we can see the three levels of track on the left and the top level on the right which has two levels of track of the Cougal Spiral.  Below this location is the track between Old Cassino and Lismore and the Lismore Shell Oil Siding.
The day ended quite early as the guys had to head off home for different reasons.  My wife was heading out with her 3 sisters, a niece-in-law and a sister-in-law to a hen’s night for another niece in town, so I could then concentrate on getting dinner for the kids and then watching some football – I wished I didn’t.  So last night I fixed the bogie on the 80 foot container wagon, and checked out two 45’ container wagons that were removed from trains.  Today I re-added the 80 foot container wagon and a well wagon to a container train and fixed the coupler height on the wagon the well wagon was connected to by removing one 15 thousand of an inch washer.  For the two more 45’ container wagons, I had no idea what train they came from to replace them.  No one recorded that on their timetable cards. I also received so much abuse yesterday about having a 45 class loco lead a 48 class.  That was not allowed in my period.  So today I tested a few 48 class locos out, and added another to the front of that train and made it a 48+45+48 consist for next session.  I had to back up the Stock train that Brendan parked in the Veneer Siding at Kyogle and then drive it to its intended destination of Kyogle Stock Siding, on the other side of the Upper Richmond River.  We will have to publically embarrass him over that incident – Doh! I think I just did.  I also backed up two trains – the oil train and re-ran it from Old Cassino back to Grafton as I saw it giving Greg some trouble through the Cassino back Platform.  It worked fine for me today.  If only someone would bring out a three pack of Shell bogie tankers and I could get rid of my el-cheapo versions.  I then backed up the Banana train to Old Cassino and added the 4 wagons that were left behind there, and drove it back to Grafton Yard.  I will have to check the timetable card for that train as the description of what to do may not be that clear.  But in order to pick up the wagons at that location, while that damn ballast train is in the yard, some special manoeuvring needs to be done.  I also did a bit more pottering about and will spend some time this week, updating the timetable to move the Ballast train out of the way of the pickup goods.  There is plenty of room to do this in the timetable.  But that causes my sequence number to be out of sync, so that involves changing the timetable cards for about 15 trains.
Overall another enjoyable day.  I will be setting some construction goals to have completed before the next Running Session which I expect to be scheduled sometime between Christmas and New Year, either Boxing Day Friday 27th or Saturday 28th.


  1. Hi,

    The layout is coming along nicely...Can't wait for the next instalment regarding the bridge progress.
    Rod Kelly

  2. I thought the stock train was carrying a load of horses...and that the veneer factory needed some glue ;)