Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tidying Up

Today I went down to the shed and cleaned the track around Cassino and its Yard following the recent ballasting that occurred.  I did a check of the ballast and all seems to have stuck quite fast to the baseboard.  So I decided to turn on my NCE DCC system and see if it still works and that I had not caused any issues while ballasting.  I ran a test train from Grafton Yard around to Cassino.  I then proceeded to run the train back and forwards through all the roads to ensure there were no issues.  The train was 42104 and it was hauling a mainline container train with numerous 80’ container wagons and another lot of smaller container wagons interspersed in the consist.  As I was backing up through Cassino platform so I could then run through the Loop line, and as an 80’ container wagon was on the river side of the Cassino overbridge, I could see a bogie become stationary and the train was moving over it.  I hit the anchors and inspected the wagon.  The two KD washer were just next to the bogie, but the bogie screw was found after a search of the track about 10 feet away down near the Cassino signal box.  I replaced the bogie screw with a longer screw and hopefully that fixes the problem.  Next I ran this container train through the two yard lines.  On the one nearer the platform, the 3rd and 4th container wagons were getting coupler lock and derailing.  So I noted this issue down and then tried the train through the 2nd Yard Track.  That ran OK.  I had a slight issue with the point blades on a couple of points not closing completely, so I just cleaned the inside of the stock rail and everything seemed to work so much better.  
I then ran that train back to Grafton and then proceeded to search my collection of KD's for some long shanks.  I found some as well as a couple of packets of KD's that I did not know that I had in the KD draw.  So I replaced the KD's on the two 80' container wagons identified earlier and then checked the coupler tangs.  One had to be adjusted up and then I thought I would also add a long KD’s to the first wagon on the train behind the loco.  That completed, I then thought I would then move to the next item on the layout fix up list.  I had a point motor on the Kyogle Loop line into the Veneer Siding that was not working.  I assumed a broken connection.  I lifted the track and the point in question and found that one control wire had come adrift.  So that was soldered back on, replaced the track and then I tested that point from the control panels and everything was now good.  I also tested the siding before the Veneer Siding and that also was not working.  It was then I remembered that one of the wires had come adrift on the control panel some time earlier.  So that was also soldered on, and the test was again successful.
I then thought about doing some work on Murwillumbah.  I had wanted to replace a left hand curve point at the northern end of the platform where the Mainline and Loop line converge, with a three way point to enable me to install a loco siding behind the platform at the northern end of the station.  So after quite a bit of effort, as this area is at the extent of my reach, it was finally completed.  Now I just need to implement some point control for that new point (Mainline to Storage Siding) and re-install the wire actuator for the Mainline to Loop Line point.  The existing point control is now in the wrong plain to control it properly.  That is a job for maybe a couple of weeks time.  I pushed a train back and forwards through the various tracks in this location and everything seemed to work pretty well.  I think I will stay focused in this area for a couple of weeks as I need to install some more uncoupling magnets particularly in the Loop Line.  Instead of putting a magnet in between the rails, I am thinking of having a hinged magnet that flips up from underneath the track to activate the KD couplers.  This technique is implemented on Anthony's Border District Layout that we have running sessions on and it works quite well.
I will spend some time this week packing everything I need for next weekend at the Brisbane Model Train Show.  I will be on the Structure Building stand.  I also plan to create a shopping list of items to get from the vast number of shops that will be in attendance.  So if you are attending the Exhibition, come by and say G’day.  I will be there on Saturday with Geoff from 'Splitters Swamp' fame and on Sunday with some other mates from our Train Club.  See you next week.

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