On Saturday of the past weekend I went over to Anthony’s place along with Mark and Iain to attend the now regular 3rd Saturday of the Monthly Running Session. The timetable for the 12 hour period being simulated consists of 26 train movements which were all completed very quickly indeed. It was an extremely early finish. I kept forgetting to take my car cards with me when I picked up a train from staging. Anthony kept noticing but didn’t say much. My job was one of the two train operators. I ran 13 of the trains. I was scheduled to run 11 trains, and I ran one of the jobs allocated to Train Control and one for the other train operator. Most of the jobs were relatively simple ones, however, one was a very complex shunt at Nankiva and a few were runaround movements). These sessions at Anthony’s are just great. Plenty of great company, good humour, friendly banter and some refreshments provided by the host. Anthony has updated his blog https://borderdistrict.wordpress.com/ on Sunday giving the his version of events on his running session. While at Anthony’s Running Session I also had a request for a formal running session at Cassino in the next few weeks time. I have checked the boss's calendar so it looks like it is a goer.
Before I have my session there are still a few maintenance tasks that I need to complete. I still have to attached the control panel located at Fisherman Islands to control the Dutton Park Junction (this saves walking) and wire up the control panel controlling the selection of points at the entry to Fisherman Islands. I also want to install my new NCE QSnap (if it ever arrives) which will control the points at the entry of Fisherman Islands.
For the last couple of weeks, I was contemplating heading down to Sydney to attend the Liverpool Exhibition with some others. However, as the main instigator is now not attending, neither am I so a date for my next Running Session has just opened up.
So on Sunday I decided to head down the shed, and try and progress some more scenery as a break from the trackwork and electrical activities I had been doing of late. So the winner was ... Ballasting Lismore. So I got out my ballasting kit, made up some diluted white glue, moved the 20 or so wagons that were resting in Lismore Yard, cleaned the baseboard around Lismore, and got stuck into ballasting. I thought I would try some different techniques. On one of the storage sidings, I wanted to give the impression of a less than frequently used road. So I have heavily ballasted that track with various colours of tile grout. This has been blended in closer to the entry to the siding with standard ballast. I have also used different colour ballast on the mainline compared to the loop and the other sidings. I think what has been completed has turned out quite well. There is still a fair bit of detail work with the ballasting to complete next weekend. This will include plenty of weeds around the storage sidings.
After being happy to leave the ballast to dry, I also got around to replacing a point that was damaged in Cassino Yard during Friday’s Running Session. At the same time as doing the replacement, I drilled a hole for a new point motor underneath the point. This point was manually controlled but now it runs in tandem with one on the main line. This point allows trains from the Cassino Yard to access the main line without travelling through the Up Yard.
I will provide photos of the point and the ballasting work next weekend.