Sunday, January 1, 2017

Operating Session 31st of December 2016

The second 12 hour shift of my 24 hour timetable Operating Session was successfully completed on Saturday afternoon with the help of 6 regular operators.  Boy was it hot.  Luckily the aircon was on in the shed when we went down there for an almost on time kick off at 12:48pm.

Generally we had most Trains operating very well.  I fixed the issue at The Risk from the previous session on Tuesday and I heard of no issues with location.  However, I witnessed multiple issues the trackage on both sides of Clapham Yard.  I think I might have some nails protruding just slightly above the rail height at the northern end of Clapham Yard just outside Loco Pilly.  I also identified that I needed to add a few more power droppers to Loco Pilly as some tracks have no power supply at all except through the point and that is not reliable and just not good enough.  I also identified a couple of dead end sidings in Grafton Yard that are in the same boat.

I also had issues with my current Brisbane Limited consist with the train having issues at a couple of locations.  So that will get some more attention before the next session.  I also identified one wagon with what appears to be a low coupler which caused a runaway of the last three wagons from a container train from Clapham Yard down to Acacia Ridge Yard, so that will also draw some attention tomorrow – when it is hopefully cooler in the shed.

So apart from these documented issues, and two slight additions to the timetable cards to fix up some ambiguities, the next session should be even better that what we had over the last week.

Following on from last session Darren had time to look at the Auscison Brisbane Limited cars.  We have a solution and it has been implemented.  A simple test has been run, but I think I might do a more detailed test tomorrow to see if we have fixed the running qualities of these great looking cars.

I had been having trouble with my Raspberry Pi that runs JMRI and connects to my NCE system to allow those guys who don’t have a radio ProCab to operate wirelessly via their smart phone.  Yesterday Greg brought his more powerful Raspberry Pi over and swapped it for mine.  We still had issues.  Greg also read something that one particular JMRI release caused some issues with our model WiFi adaptor.  Bugger.  That may well be the issue we are having.  Additionally, whenever we try and have the Raspberry Pi sync its time from the NCE command station, it was forcing its time of the command station instead of getting the time from the command station.  Well the Raspberry Pi continually overwrote the base station’s time.  I’m glad Greg was in charge of the system when that was occurring, as I thought that had been occurring previously.  Again, maybe there is a further update to the JMRI code that fixes this syncing of the Raspberry Pi with an NCE command station.

Shelton updated his blog with an update of my session.  Go here to read it.

I also have provided a pictorial update of the session.
Shelton's pick up freight from the Branch is heading past the Rocla Sleeper Siding and will soon by stabled in the Grafton Loops.

The banana train from Murwillumbah has arrived in the Loop.  It will pick up the wagons from the Siding and continue onto to Old Cassino to do the same.

The banana Train sitting in Lismore.

The ballast is making its way back past the Rocla Sleeper Siding and towards Grafton Loops.

The Container train handled by Anthony is about to enter Clapham Yard.

The banana Train has made it to Old Cassino and will pick up the two wagons located at the goods shed.  Also visible in this view is the wagon left behind by Shelton in the Norco Siding.  Bad ordered my foot.  He just forgot to add it on.  It was uncoupled by the magnet set into the track and Shelton did not check he had all his wagons.

My Murwillumbah Cement Silo with the now unloaded cement wagons.

The stock train has unloaded at the Kyogle Stock Siding and is now heading back to Grafton Loops for storage.

Here the Gold Coast Motorail is coming into Old Cassino for a quick station stop before head to Cassino and then onto Grafton.

Greg is the driver of the Gold Coast Motorail.

The loaded steel train is heading towards Brisbane, having just crossed a train coming in from the Branch.

The Steel train exiting the yard and heading north.

The Cement train doing a shunt three wagons at a time from the cement siding onto the main.  Once all the wagons are out on the main, the driver will push these back to the platform and then run around this train, before heading back to Grafton Loops.

The sight of Shelton's cross at Glenapp Loop.  Shelton has the container and Barry has the train heading north.  Above at Clapham Yard are the three container wagons to be sent towards Park Road and South Brisbane Interstate for unloading, while the rest of its train went to Fisherman Islands.

Barry surveying his handy work in being able to pull his train up just short of the train entering at the other end of the crossing loop.

Another cross occurring.  The branch container train heading to Murwillumbah is on the main, while the cement train is taking the yard to ensure the track is long enough for the cross to occur.

This shot of Cassino shows the mountain goat in the dock while a stock train sits in the yard awaiting its path further south to Grafton Loops.

The paper train is on the main line, while cement train is coming in from the branch.

A few seconds later the trains are further along the line in their cross.

The cement train has received the staff for the section from Cassino to Rappville and is crossing the Richmond River bridge, heading towards Grafton.

The paper train is crossing another train at Kyogle.  The Rail train is locked away in the siding.

This shot shows a triple header just about to enter Grafton Loops. 

Almost the last train of the day.  A shunt is occurring at South Brisbane Interstate.  The three containers are in the run around road in South Brisbane and the run around is occurring.  Another photographer is taking a shot from the other direction.

The locos have been released and are about to be shunted back onto the containers.  North Coast Control is having a break standing up as all other movements have been completed.

The train will be pulled forward and then shunted back into track 6 where they will be unloaded.


  1. Hi Craig, just a correction to your comment about JMRI and the wifi adapter above. Actually it is the Raspberry Pi OS 'Raspbian' May 2015 release (apparently) that has changed the way that network configuration is done. Your current image should be OK, I'll update JMRI to the latest release and give you my Raspi 2B to test to see if performance, but more importantly, integration with the NCE Command Station is working as expected. Ta, Greg.