Sunday, May 24, 2015

Getting Stuck In Again!

On the way back from my son's Soccer game on Saturday morning I stopped in at Austral Modelcraft and picked up a number of decoders for the Club Shop and while there picked up a few 12mm points, lengths of 12mm flex and two lengths of code 83 rail.  I also picked up a length of 1.2mm piano wire to be used to manually operate a point.  Upon visiting the shed in the arvo, I laid the points and flex and worked out where my home made dual gauge flex made from standard HO flex with a third rail soldered to one side by PC board sleepers.  What I did forget to get was some atlas metal rail joiners and some insulated types.  Whoops! 
So I’ll be back there next Saturday to pick them up.  I might also pick up some more lengths of code 83 rail which I think I’ll need another 5 or 6 lengths of to complete the dual gauge track in Fisherman Islands.  The rail joiners will allow me to lay most of the standard gauge track in Fisherman Islands.  I then have to buy a few more right hand curve points and a dual gauge point, a few lengths of 12mm flex and that should allow me to complete the track at Fisherman Islands.
Today I went down to the shed just before lunch and decided to attack the list of tasks that need completion before the next running session.  First task was to install the cattle grid around Fairy Lane level crossing.  I picked up a great model from Austral Modelcraft last year but never got around to installing it.  So now it is installed and I even ballast about 100mm of track either side of the level crossing.  I tested a few wagons through the section and everything seems to work well.  I then went around to Murwillumbah with the aim of working there, but got distracted by Cassino.  I decided to lay the last approximate 1.2m of ballast around the back platform road at Cassino and the carriage siding.  That was quickly accomplished, both the ballast laying and the glue application.
So now I could concentrate of Murwillumbah.  I've been putting off doing a number of jobs in Murwillumbah for some time.  So drilled two holes in the facia and rerouted one of the point actuators on the new 3-way point at the northern end of the platform.  The previous actuator was not at right angles and was intermittent in throwing the point correctly.  I then installed the second actuator for the point next to it.  It was not too bad trying to insert the wire up through the point from under the layout.  I then tested the container train I had at Murwillumbah running through the 3-way point and it kept derailing on the route to the Loop line.  So I took the point up.  I then swapped the 3-way point at Murwillumbah with the last one I purchased and installed in Grafton Loco.  That was quickly done, actuators re-connected at Murwillumbah and it worked just like a bought one.  Now it was time to install the two remaining uncoupling magnets in Murwillumbah Yard.  One is at the northern end of the Loop line and the other is located in the motorail siding.  Speaking of Motorail!  Auscision has finally announced the upcoming release of motorail wagons.  I will be getting 2 of the wagons for the North Coast Motorail train and perhaps 3 or 4 for general Clapham bound freight use. Of course the Auscision XPT will be handling the Brisbane bound train.  I think I will arrange a few packets of Motorail wagons with the Tuesday Nighters so we can get a few each.  I am of course after 4 letter codes only.
On Friday night a few of us visited Darren’s place for a BBQ, and some modelling.  I just turned up for a talk and perhaps a run if the others were interested, but that did not eventuate.  We all had a great time.  I had to head off  just before 10:oopm while the others slept in the train room.  Darren had an SDS Shell tanker for sale, so I bought that off of him.  He bought that off Grover at the May show.  Grover wanted some more Caltex wagons.  I picked up one of these at the May show.  So I will sell my Caltex tanker to him.  Also we are going to swap another one of my Caltex tankers for his Ampol tanker.  High finance and a rather complicated circular transaction.
Next week, I will consider installing Snubbers on a few of my power district bus lines.  I will then have a small test run of the layout and run the last half a dozen trains back to their starting points in the timetable.  Following all trains being back in their sidings, I will print off a new set of timetable cards for the running session.  I think I have made all the improvements to the cards from the last session.  I also have a plan to do a bit of terra forming work around the headshunt at Murwillumbah.  I will be building up the scenery for a road that crosses the headshunt and actually leads towards the Shell Siding at Lismore.  Maybe that will also occur.  I will also have to stock the fridge and ensure there are a few snags available for the BBQ.

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