This week I have not had much time to work on the layout. I spent about an hour or so down the shed on Friday afternoon/evening and again this morning I spend about 90 minutes down there before heading off to a Soccer Breakup Party and I finally headed back down to the shed for another 90 minutes later this arvo following the party and before dinner.
On Friday work included installing the location holes in the turntable wall to make the turntable stop at those track locations. I installed the 6 tracks on the bottom side of the photo leading to the turntable – see below. When manually rotating the turntable, there is a small locator arrangement that locks the turntable into that track location unless the push button on the control panel is pressed. This disabled the locator mechanism until the push button is released. Thus far the tracks line up quite well when manually aligned.
The 75' turntable located at Cassino. So far 14 tracks have locator positions verified. I have 9 more to go, 8 into the loco shed and one next to it. I think I might add just a couple of tracks to the bottom right as well, most will be small run off tracks, like the three at the bottom of the turntable but some will be quite long. I understand that there was a railmotor shed to the bottom right of the turntable. I might have to build one!
This morning I bit the bullet and connected up an AC power supply to the turntable to see how it worked. I was also considering using a DCC decoder to control the speed and direction of the turntable movement. I attached the small control box and hit the start button and the turntable actually moved after some slight persuasion. However, its movements are fairly inconsistent. It seems if it is not getting a good connection somewhere. Maybe the connections into the control box that comes off the turntable mechanism need to be cleaned. Checking a sticker on the turntable, I think I purchased it about 6 years ago. I think if I can sort out the rather inconsistent movement, it will be a great addition to the layout.
This afternoon I spent time installing more tracks on the opposite (far) side of the turntable. I added tracks to the three tracks opposite the three drive on tracks on the bottom side of the turntable. I then added the two tracks that head up towards the Hotham Street level crossing and behind the coal stage. I then added three of the tracks opposite the tracks on the bottom side. Subsequently I added two small run off tracks opposite the tracks leading to Hotham Street. I have also located the next run off track opposite road 9 – the outside road of the loco shed. I have 8 tracks inside the loco shed to add as part of the loco shed project.
While I have not yet installed power to the turntable rails and run a loco on and off the table, I had run a number of wagons and a loco using digital power (I pushed them on and off) and they seem to align up very well and I may not have many problems when I operate the layout in the future. I will try and add power to all the tracks over the next few weekends. Next weekend is out as it is the NMRA convention on the Gold Coast.
Over the next few months I will undertake some planning on how I will remove the existing partly build loco shed from the layout and work out how I will reconstruct it so it is more removable from the layout. I will install quite a number of pits into the floor of the building. The building will also have internal lighting and the wood beam will all be stained. I also plan to add detail inside the loco shed, but it will be difficult to see given the turntable’s location on the layout. I hope to add the standard arc welding scene as well. I think that this rebuilding project will run for at least 9 to 12 months. It will certainly keep me out of trouble for a while or until the money runs out. There is certainly going to be a sheet or two of corrugated iron required in this project.
Given that I have now installed the 75’ turntable at Cassino and it is sort of operational (when it wants to operate), I might be on the lookout for a 60 foot turntable for Murwillumbah. Hopefully some WD40 or similar product might provide a better electrical connection and cause the turntable to run more consistently. Well it has sat there unused on the layout for about 5 years.
I did not get around to doing any plaster work around the Cassino loco area this week, so that will be delayed for a couple of weeks as well.
I have tomorrow off from work, so who knows what I might talk myself into doing tomorrow for a few hours before I have to go to school. We also have Tuesday Nighters at Shelton’s place this week and then the NRMA convention next weekend. It will be good to see what Shelton has done over the last few months since out last visit.