Monday, August 22, 2016

Ripping up Clapham Yard

I had been thinking of doing some surgery to Clapham Yard for quite some time.  Well last Friday week I did exactly that.  The yard was originally to have four tracks.  But when I added the dual gauge some years ago, it grew to 5 tracks.  Two tracks were standard gauge, two were dual gauge and one was narrow gauge.  I originally thought that was going to provide enough options or train movements.  But as the timetable developed, I knew that I did not have enough tracks available. 

Well after being basically ripped up on last Friday, the yard grew again to 6 tracks wide.  A piece of 68 x 19 pine was added to the front of the yard.  This made the yard level of the layout the same width as the level below – Glenapp Loop.  The yard is now three standard gauge tracks, one dual gauge and 2 narrow gauge tracks.  There is also the opportunity to add a couple of sidings to the narrow gauge side. 

So here are the before photos.
The southern end of the old Clapham Yard.  The front and the third track are the dual gauge lines.  The back two tracks are standard gauge and the second from the front is narrow gauge.

The Northern end of Clapham Yard.  In the distance is Loco Pilly.  This is where various locos and railmotors bide their time between uses on the top deck.

So basically last Monday and Tuesday I completed relaying the southern entry to the Yard.  On Sunday on the weekend just gone, I managed to relay the northern end of the yard.  I have run a few wagon consists through the various points - especially the dual gauge ones that I have recently made and all seem to work almost flawlessly except for one at the northern end of the yard.  Today I started building another one to replace this one- to see if I can do a better job.  I hope to complete this tonight. 

Here are the after photos.
The new southern entry to Clapham Yard.  Three standard gauge tracks on the right, a dual gauge track and two narrow gauge tracks.  There is also a dead end narrow gauge siding visible.

The middle of the Yard shows some narrow gauge points to allow for shunting to occur on the narrow gauge railway.  On the third track is a set of scratch built ore wagons given to me from an old mate who has now left this world.  This was my test train.

The northern end of the yard.  An old point with a point motor still connected is still sitting on the layout.   I will have to rewire most of the point motors at this end of the layout.  Two points have been converted to wire in tube operation from the back of the layout.  One siding in Loco Pilly was cut short by about 4 inches to fit the two point motors.

This is where the narrow gauge separates from the dual gauge track from Dutton Park.  This point is the dodgy one.

I also installed a new diversion track in Fisherman Islands Yard and it also seems to work well.  I forgot to get a photo of that one.

There is plenty of work still to be done to complete the work.  I have not reconnected any power droppers and I have not tested the point motors.  I think I will need to reprogram the NCE mini-panels and rebuild the various control panels for each end of the yard.  But there are plenty more weekends up my sleeve to do that work.

While copying photos up, I decided to add an extra one that shows the ballast train sitting in Bonalbo Ballast Siding with all wagons loaded with the removable loads that I made up.  They have a washer underneath and can be lift out with the help of a magnet and a bit of persuasion.
The loco locked away in the siding with the 10 ballast wagons.

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