Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of Year Achievements

Yesterday I had a work colleague and one of his son’s visit for a short time to see the layout.  The little fella – Liam got to run a train or two and I think he had some fun.  It was during this running that I had the same situation occur that last occurred on Friday night during the Running Session.  A loco fell from the track and landed mid air within the Cougal Spiral.  Different Loco same place.  I then had a closer examination of this location and there was definitely a kink on the track.  It seems that the heat has potentially caused about two or three sleepers to come away from the track and the track has developed a kink at this location.  This morning I jumped inside my spiral and added a few extra nails to the track and re-aligned the track at this location.  I tested it by running a string of 6 ballast wagons through the spiral by themselves under gravity (at speed) and they ran very nicely without any hiccups.  One of my main outstanding problems had been solved - Whoo Hoo!
Also this morning, once I fixed the track issue at Cougal Spiral, I decided to spend an hour trying to motivate myself towards some progress at solving the Power District 3 and 4 cross connect issue.  I started tracking the power bus for Power District 4.  Upon reflection, I did not have many jumpers from the bus to the track in this district.  So I identified 5 more locations to add jumpers and then I got to the hard to reach locations.  Tomorrow I will identify more locations to locate these additional jumpers and if I don’t have anything else to do, I will then install these jumpers for this entire block - soldering the jumpers to the power bus. I think there is also a small section of track in Border Loop on the main line that I will replace as there are a few kinks in one of the rails.  Better replace it now while I remember. 
It was soon after this point when I drilled the holes for the first few jumpers of the Power District 4 that I came across a location – Kyogle Stock S iding, where I have jumpers from the Main line to the Loop line to ensure that the loop is powered.  I then found another jumper from the Main line to a location within the top level of the Cougal Spiral.  These two locations are about 8 inches apart behind a styrene and plaster view block.  For those wondering, Kyogle Stock Siding is in Power District 3 and Cougal Spiral is in Power District 4.  As one famous TV character says – Bazzinga!  I found my cross connect.  Whooppie!  So out with the snips and the two power districts were now totally isolated from each other.  After a test to confirm that this was the only location - I had now solved my two outstanding major problems.  What a way to end the year!  Tomorrow I will also start adding droppers from the track within Power District 3 to the Power Bus as well.  Once this is completed – potentially next weekend, my track and power related activities, I think, can go into hibernation.
I can then resort to spending some more time finishing off on the plaster work around the Lismore to Murwillumbah area and make the layout look more scenically complete.  There are plenty of other jobs to do scenic wise, and then about 50 structures to build I would guess.  I also have a few more bridges to build around the northern side of Lismore.  I have no problems with building structures, just painting them so they look realistic.  I guess I will have to take some lessons from two excellent modellers (that I am lucky to be able to say are my friends) Jim Hutchinson and Mike Boyde, in the new year on that very topic.
Today I had another two modellers come over for a small running session.  Anthony (whom was a last minute cancellation from Friday night's session) and one of his running crew Mark visited just after 1:00pm.  I gave Mark the initial tour, got him to sign the standard Indemnity Form and we were then able to run trains.  We had some trains that were part way through the running session from last Friday, so we worked them.  Then we started on some others.  Given that these two guys were the only two running trains, there were no crosses occurring.  But we had a couple of incidents with some track cleaning being required in the Old Cassino to Lismore section within the hidden spiral.  This dirty track caused rough running of the loco and we lost the last two wagons within the hidden section.  We did not know until the following train ran into them.  This following train also experienced some rough running in that area.  I will clean that area tomorrow.
Well that is about it for 2013.  Happy New Year to all my crew, to the readers and most of all to my family, especially to the Financial Controller whom allows me to spend time down the shed each weekend and spend a dollar or two on the empire.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Craig,
    Thanks for the opportunity to visit and operate Cassino yesterday. Very impressive but still struggling to come to grips with the size of your layout and just how much ground it covers - Grafton, Cassino, M-Bah and up to Qld and through to Fisherman's Island. Really like your electronic staff control system, it actually helped this first-timer work out where I was. Plus it provides a reminder to check the train card to see what is required at the next location.