Sunday, December 20, 2015

Operating Sessions (Just Completed and Final Planning)

As the year draws to a close, so do the various Operating Sessions for the year that I either attended or hosted.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of travelling over to Anthony’s Border District for his last Operating Session for the year.  He has run 11 this year, the start of a regular session each month.  I have been able to attend 8 of those sessions.  These have been great.  Since I have been attending this sessions, I have met some great Victorian/South Australian modellers.  I have seen some great modelling and I have learnt quite a bit our those mexican railways and I have had a ball.  Yesterday I was Train Control (a job I have had more times than not) while 3 others were dedicated drivers and two were working Tatiara Downs yard.  Train Control’s job is to liaise with the Station Master at Tatiara Downs for traffic from Border Junction and other locations further east, as well as locations west of Tatiara Downs; setting the various points and signals etc.  I also had the opportunity to run 5 trains.  One of those trains was the stonie.  While no one was watching, I almost put the van and half of an aggregate wagon almost into the sedimentary pond next to the aggregate loader.  Luckily, there were no cameras around and the driver just put the train in forward and everything just ran back onto the rails.  No proof whatsoever!

I also got the blame for not setting a point correctly, and sending a train into the yard at Nankiva and causing it to derail.  The true story outlined in the internal report revealed it was one of the regular recalcitrant photographers, in order to get a good video or still shot, keeps leaning on point actuators and then setting weird routes.  So I was absolved of any blame.

A really great day.  I am looking forward to next year’s sessions.

Today I got down to the shed after lunch and completed the last few tasks in preparation for my own Operating Session in a weeks time.  I still have some fine tuning of a couple of new shunt trains that I have added to the timetable and that leaves this week to complete that.  So this arvo I spent a bit of time fine tuning my two passenger train consists.  One gave Greg a wretched time last session.  One ran from Grafton to South Brisbane and return, while the other ran from Grafton to Murwillumbah and return.  One buffet wagons was sent packing from the Brisbane Limited and replaced with a different wagon.  I adjusted both motorail wagons bogie heights at one end by a very small margin.  So hopefully those operators that get those trains in the Op Session will not need to pull their hair out.  I also tested about 6 new wagons and adjusted their bogies as they were screwed in way too tight.  These wagons are relatively recent purchases and have now been swapped for some older wagons in some of my freight train consists.  I was also doing some shunting in Clapham Yard adding some wagons onto the rear of one container train and I found one 80’ container wagon that had developed a slight bow at one end.  This has also been swapped out, but I can’t find any more 80 footers, so I’ve swapped it with a 63 footer.

I also spent some time adjusting the track in Clapham Yard, as next year I plan to add a 5th track in this confined space.  This will be a new narrow gauge only track.  So I have had to slew the tracks closer together, to make room.  I also adjusted one track at a set of points as most wagons were derailing at the track joint.  So that is now correct.  I have also found one set of Peco points that the spring is not working correctly.  I think this might need to be removed and replaced.  Unfortunately, it is a point where I have added a dual gauge line on one of the routes.  So I might need to find another LH curve point and make the same changes to that point.

I have also tasked PK into trialling building a dual gauge point from his Fast Tracks jig.  These one by one, will gradually replace my dual gauge enhanced Peco points.  Who knows I might even be able to borrow one of his jigs and build one myself over the Christmas break.
Next week's blog update will have an update on my last Operations Session for the year.  Hopefully I will have plenty of time to take photos and maybe some video.  I heard that the recalcitrant photographer will be making a visit up north and we might see some of his photos online soon after the session.  I also hope to hold another Operating Session in January around the Australia Day weekend, so I hope to fix any issues that pop up at this one for the next one, in the very few weeks in between.  I also expect that in the session around Easter, That I will also introduce some narrow gauge trains to the session.  Who knows I might hold a narrow gauge only session.  Can’t imagine that it will be two enthralling as I only have three wagons and, by then, one loco.  I might have to call in favours from Darryl and PK.

I hope all my readers have a great long weekend coming up with their family and friends, celebrating the spirit of Christmas.  Merry Christmas everyone. 

No comments:

Post a Comment