Sunday, November 27, 2016

Epic Fail!

I did not get around to completing a huge number of tasks that I had set myself for completion this week - so I give myself a big fail.  The week started off with our fortnightly Tuesday Nighter’s meeting at Peter’s place.  My next foray into Model Railways was today.  I had a wedding to go to yesterday so that event bit into my spare time over the weekend.  On Thursday I was able to go to a vendor presentation at work for a number of hours, and I was lucky enough to sit next to a fellow Model Railway enthusiast.  If I was to suffer through a few hours of presentations, I might as well do it with someone like minded.

This morning when I did get down to the shed for a couple of hours, I was able to check out last week’s ballasting.  My straight ballasting sections were very well set.  My dirt based ballast sections needed another flooding of diluted white glue.  Once this was done, I was able to lay another 1m of ballast within the Rocla Sleeper Siding, and I was able to complete the Lismore Shell Oil Siding with dirt based ballast and also complete another 50cm of dirt based ballast in the Lismore Loco Siding.  So this is all I got around to doing on the layout this week.
The bottom track is where the ballasting starts and also where Grafton Yard begins.  The scene also shows the second loop around the spiral and Rocla Sleeper Siding above.  A couple of the famous Kerrie Hayes Jacaranda trees are visible in this photo.

A close up shot of the tracks around the upper spiral.  The Main line in on the left and Rocla Sleeper Siding inside that.  Yes the gates into the siding operate manually.

The southern end of the Rocla Sleeper Siding.  The track exits the tunnel and there is still about 30cm of track to be ballasted here.  The next section of track, has just been laid but not glued down.  You can tell by the slightly lighter ballast colour.

The track just south of Lismore Station.  This area is again blooming with Jacaranda trees made by Kerrie.

A closer up shot showing the Lismore Loco Siding on the left.  This is mostly dirt with very few pieces of rock ballast used here.  The mainline is in the middle and is yet to be ballasted.  The track on the right is the Lismore Shell Oil Siding.  The industrial fence is yet to be finished around the Oil Siding and the two road entry gates are yet to be fitted.  Again all gates will be manually operable.

The southern end of the Lismore Shell Oil Siding.  Again working gates and the start of ballasting at this location as well.

This arvo I was invited over to Shelton’s place to run some Victorian Blue and Gold era trains on his layout.  I ran quite a few trains and at times struggled to comply with all the rules that are not documented and not articulated until after I have breached them.  Also with varying degrees of momentum on some locos and the inability to stop them in anything resembling like a realistic distance, the session is quite stressful and mentally challenging.  The ballistic speed on the Powercab throttle has been adjusted and it takes about 20 turns of the centre dial thumb wheel to go from a speed step of about 60 to speed step 0.  I did not try and see if his Option key has been set to speed step zero, which I think it is set by default of most NCE Procab throttles.  This method of control of using the thumb wheel is almost unusable.  Like most layouts that I visit, it takes time to get to know what locations are in what direction and what track is what.  But this session was certainly enjoyable, but I think it could be more enjoyable with another crew member, and even two crew members.  This timetable of Shelton’s will no doubt be tweaked and improved for the next running.  An overview of the first part of the Operating Session is located here :-

I have made up a to do list for my activities for next week.  Let’s see how good I am at trying to stick to what I need to do this time.

With my next Operating Session approaching, I should try and find some time, to give the complete layout a run and fine tune the bits of track that I have adjusted since the last mid-year Operating Session.


  1. Craig, I'm always impressed with what you get through each week, don't be too hard on yourself mate. Nice to see Shelton starting some running sessions as well. Also great to see some interest from outside of the hobby in your Uber will be commenting as well!

  2. Looking good Craig, I'm particularly looking forward to following the progress of your Murwillumbah cement train in the coming months. Keep up the good work!