This week I received a phone call on Monday that my long awaited 12mm points were in at the hobby shop. So I checked my diary for the afternoon and I had nothing scheduled, so I left early and made my way to the hobby shop before they closed. I picked up my points and when home I placed them at Clapham Yard on top of the layout for splicing in on Saturday. The next night, we ventured over to Arthur’s on Tuesday to watch a variety of trains circulate on his great layout. We also had a great supper and as usual some fantastic interaction.
On Saturday I went down to the shed late in the morning, and inserted the two new 12mm points into Clapham Yard. I also installed some actuating rods back out to the fascia, as these are all manually operated at this location. I also tested out the soldering iron and installed jumpers around the insulated joiners on the points. So they are now operational. I ran a few wagons through the tracks and everything went well.
The new points bottom right. I did some more thinking and I still need some more to complete the narrow gauge yard.
Clapham Yard now has seven tracks. Three standard gauge, one dual gauge and three narrow gauge.
A close up of the southern end of the yard.
A close up of the northern end of the yard.
I then thought about what I could do next. I spent a small amount of time thinking about Fisherman Islands and what types of points I need to buy for there to install some mid yard crossovers. I will try and pick up a couple of RH medium radius Peco point at our Club Exhibiiton in a few weeks.
Next I decided to check the trains for the upcoming Operating Session. My NL1 – Brisbane Limited Express, had the sleeper carriages at the wrong end of the train. So I ran it around the return loop at Grafton and it is now ready for the session. NL3 – The Gold Coast Motorail was facing the correct way however. I then had to run the Branchline (Murwillumbah) Pick Up Goods around the return loop as it was also facing the wrong way as well.
I then had to re-position my ballast train that was currently sitting at Old Cassino back to Grafton Yard in preparation for the Ops Session. However, before I did this, I decided to check the timetable cards that pertained to the ballast train. I made notations on the timetable cards as the train will now be located between runs in a different siding at Old Cassino. The loco from this train doesn't fit in the siding so it will also be staged in the Good Shed Siding. Also before it makes its way back to Grafton, the loco will have to start earlier than originally timetabled and runaround the train before head back to staging.
I also decided to do a trial run of the ballast train on its alternate route from the Cassino Yard siding to the Nammoona Ballast Siding. In fact every operating session so far over the years has had this train propelling back from Cassino Yard to Bonalbo Ballast Siding and then after loading, makes its way around to Old Cassino for stabling before coming back to Grafton Yard at the end of the ops session. This is the A route in the timetable. There is also a B route. This alternate route, has the train heading north from Cassino Yard to Nammoona Ballast Siding. From there, after loading, the train makes its way to Fairy Hill Loop before going to Kyogle, Border Loop and eventually terminating at The Risk and then making its way back to Grafton.
I took some photos of this outing of the B route. The train was about to enter Nammoona Ballast Siding.
The train is about to take the Loop.
Further around the loop, the track gang has to stop work to enable the train to run through.
The next shot shows the loco securely in the Loop, but alas, there was a problem.
Loco is in the loop. I use a dab of yellow paint on the rail to show the clearance points on the track.
But, alas, Houston we have a problem! The train does not fit in the siding. Now that is a problem.
Whoops! So when the back of the train is in the siding, the front is foul by a considerable margin. Bugger!
The rear is now clear, but ...
But the front is left hanging out. Not good on a single track mainline.
We needed to break the train here and send the rest off somewhere else.
So the train timetable card was changed to allow the bits of the train that don’t fit to be sent ahead to stable at Fairy Hill. Loop in the Cattle Loading Siding Then before the train is due to head north, the extra wagons are propelled backwards from Fairy Hill Loop to Nammoona Ballast Siding, via a new timetable card. At Nammoona the wagon that just arrived is then loaded (10 minutes is allowed for this task in the timetable) and then the train resumes its journey north again as was previously timetabled.
I think it was lucky that I did a trial run of that portion of the timetable before it got run at the next session. As that would cause immense stress during the session, and the North Coast Control would not know what to do. Another issue that arose was that when the ballast train went over some newly ballast track just outside Fairy Hill Loop, just south of the Fairy Lane Level crossing, the loco kept derailing. Damn! It turned out that the 80 class loco did not like the unevenness of the track at this point. So I ripped out some ballast and then lifted one side of the track and eventually the loco ran through there smoothly.
The train making its way past Ron and Marg's B&B, just south of Fairy Hill Loop.
The troublesome piece of track. The track was lifted on the outside of the curve and the train then ran through here quite well.
Next stop for the ballast was at Cougal Spiral where more trackwork is underway.
The same train from another angle.
The train then arriving at The Risk. A mud hole can be seen on the Loop at this location just in front of the loco.
Further along the loop at The Risk and another mud hole is quite evident.
Today before heading down to the shed, I jumped onto the computer and updated the timetable cards for the following train numbers - 33A, 34A, 33B, 34B and 35B. I also adjusted the timetable graphs for 34A, 33B, 34B and 35B. I then made my way to the shed and the ballast was worked back to Grafton and later on I took the opportunity to cut up some pictures of Caution boards that I have made, and then installed 10 of these onto the layout, where all the track work locations are or will be. I will make another 10 signs during the week. I also put together two 3 level point frames from an old Uneek white metal kit. These were painted up and will need to be installed around the layout. My only issue is that I think I will need about another 20 of these for the various siding locations on the layout, that need manual point operation.
I still have plenty to do before the Operating Session in August.