This week I spent 3 and a half days in Melbourne for a work conference. I had a great time and actual learnt quite a bit. It just means I have more to do when I get back to work on Monday. I travelled down Monday afternoon and came back Thursday night. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to head across the river and visit Hearns Hobbies and the other model railway shop in Swanston Street. I then heard when I got back that the hobby shop in Swanston Street is shutting down due to the premises being compulsorily taken over by the state as an access point for the new Melbourne Metro I think was the reason. How sad!
Due to working on the Brisbane Public Holiday on Wednesday this week in Melbourne, I swapped it for Friday. My son also had the day off school so my time at home was put to good use - doing nothing. I did get down to the shed in the later afternoon and I did a bit of cleaning up. The desk for North Coast Control was cleaned and a few other surfaces around the layout were also similarly treated. I still have plenty to do before next weekend.
On Saturday I spent quite a bit of time moving the train magnets on my North Coast Control Train Control board back to where all the trains are currently positioned in readiness for the Operations session. I found out that I was down about 6 train magnets and a few wagon magnets, so I printed them out today and made up new magnets for all of them. I have cut up the shunting lists and they have been placed ready for North Coast Control to read and the new timetable graphs have been positioned at both North Coast Control and the driver sign in point.
I finally got around to updating the timetable cards yesterday and adjusting the sequence number on about 60 of the cards. This was because of adding a new train to the session, and also adjusting the times of a couple of trains, and thus it put quite a few trains out of order. I also adjusted a few minor things on the cards and so they are all ready to go for next weekend.
I was thinking today about doing a bit more detailing to a number of my corrugated iron 500 and 1000 gallon water tanks that are scattered around the layout. Many photos I have seen have these tanks sitting on a base. I built some sleeper bases for them to be positioned on and then placed about 6 around the layout in various locations. I then decided to do some work on cleaning the track. I ran the steel train that is located in Acacia Ridge Yard track 1 all the way back to Grafton Yard and return. I used it to spread some oil on the tracks along the way. The train was hauled by a Lima 422 + Powerline (original) 48 power combination and it ran really well. I then did some work on my scratchbuilt track cleaning cars that have not been run for quite some time. One need a replacement KD coupler at one end and I also adjusted the other couplers heights. Following this work, the track cleaning train of two track cleaning wagons was hauled by a 44 class loco and ran from Clapham Yard to South Brisbane Interstate Station. The train was run through tracks 1, 2, 4 and 6 as the other tracks had trains positioned on them. The train was then back tracked back to Dutton Park and then it was run to Fisherman Islands, where it run up and down tracks 1, 2 and 4 at that yard. Track 3 has a spare ballast train positioned on it, so that stopped the train from running through that track as well. The track cleaning train was then run back to Clapham Yard and it was then run up and back through tracks 1, 3 and 4. Track 2 has the Railset train locate in it, so I could only run it around either side of this train as well.
This week, I will print the two copies of the timetable cards on my four-part paper and then spent about an hour sorting them into order. I need two copies of the cards, as the train drivers takes one copy and North Coast Control has another, so he can ensure that he relays the correct instructions to the drivers as the cards say what tracks the trains are supposed to take at each crossing loop if the trains are running to time. This helps North Coast Control to ensure smooth running of the session. Let's hope it runs to plan.