Sunday, December 9, 2018

RMCQ Christmas Modelling Competition


So the week started with a delivery of my Southern Model Railways 2300 Class loco arriving in the mail on Monday.  On the same day I also received an order of ten push buttons from an Ebay seller.  Later during the week I also received another package from the postman for an NCE QSnap that I ordered from Sydney at a very good price.  

On Tuesday night we all went to Lefty’s place for our Tuesday Nighter's meeting and I showed off my 2300.  I had to take my own length of 12mm track (actually it was a Tillig dual gauge piece of track) and two alligator clips so I could power my narrow gauge track from his HO track.  Arthur had also received two 2300’s on Monday and he had posted a couple of photos on his blog on Monday.

I am particularly impressed with the horn on the 2300s.  I think it must be the best horn I have ever heard on a model.

Saturday was the date for our annual modelling competition at the Club.  There was a couple of very nice models in attendance.  There was a fantastic large scale wagon entered that had drop down sides.  The sides even had a locking pin that could be put through the catch.  Absolutely amazing.  There was also a very nice O scale train with advertising on the side.  I believe that the winning entry was the narrow gauge shay on the back of standard gauge wagon.  One member who had quite a few entries in the competition, could not turn up at the last minute.  But all up there was plenty of entries.

Below are a few shots of the entries.
The Innisfail Tramway Guards Van

Narrow gauge Shay

Small Diorama

Weathered NSW ballast wagon with a removable load.

Weathered NSW Paper Van.

Two QR narrow gauge graffitied and weathered coal wagons with removable load.

Weathered Narrow Gauge WHO with a load of wire bar.

Weathered NSW Banana wagon.

Weathered QR tautliner wagon.

Old O Scale Brisbane Tram

N Scale dump track.

58 Class Loco

Diorama with lots of Arduino controlled flashing lights.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

I'm in Trouble


Last Friday I received an email from Australia Post advising that my 2300 class loco from Southern Rail Models is due to arrive on Tuesday this week.  I also was advised that something which was ordered from another shop in Sydney was being posted out.  I ordered that item last Saturday and it was on the way on Friday.  So I can expect the postman to be busy next week at my place.  No official word as yet as to when my RUB set will appear, or my Railbus for that matter.

On Saturday I also attended the Beenleigh Model Railway Exhibition, and while there had a very productive time.  I ran into Simon from my local hobby shop, Simon Says Hobbies and Games.  He had a demo layout brought along to talk about accessory decoder control on the layout.  It created a lot of interest and I know of a few guys who did not know about his shop, will be heading over that way over the next few weeks for a look see.  George from Aurora Trains was also there with his shop.  He advised that the set of Tillig Dual gauge points on back order were on the water coming from overseas and should be here is a couple of weeks.  Hmmm.  Decision time, do I rip out what I had already installed, and relay everything with the Tillig track work.  I might investigate that next weekend when I’m on holidays.

There was also Col with his second hand shop doing what seemed like a roaring trade.  There was also Don from the northside, and Jim from J&J.  However, the main reason I went there was to pick up another 1720 loco and decoder from Adam at Wuiske Models for my 12mm track.  Shhh!  Don’t tell the wife.  I’ll be in the dog house – again.  I thought that I’d been pretty good lately and thought I deserved do give myself a present.  Once home, I took off the shell and installed the decoder.  All in well under 5 minutes.  Gave it a new DCC address and let it do a few runs up and down the track.  While I was in the mood, I took my other 1720 apart and rotated the decoder about in it.  Low and behold, the lights now work.  Some dork, namely me, installed the 8 pin decoder backwards.  At least both 1720 now work with lights and movement.  I just need to save up for next year’s May exhibition and pick up another 1720 class loco from Adam.

Last night I went down to the shed as there was nothing on TV and decided that today I would relay the entry into Rocklea Sidings.  This area was not giving me any confidence that it would continue to operate without issues.  So this morning, I went to the shed, put the Women’s T20 cricket on the TV, turned the fan on and went to work.  The baseboard was extended about 15 inches towards Clapham yard.  The track taken up, and the narrow gauge point into Rocklea Sidings was moved about 500mm towards Clapham Yard.  A Tillig third rail changing track, was installed in lieu of my home built one.  The track was then joined back up and the standard gauge trains tested from Clapham Yard to Rocklea Yard and also through on the mainline and in both directions.  I then tested a narrow gauge train from Clapham Yard to and from the Rocklea Sidings and on the mainline.  Again I just got a feeling that everything was running much better.  Now the point motor controlling entry into the narrow gauge sidings was moved and the wires controlling and powering it were extended.  All seem good with this change. The question still is, do I replace my doctored standard gauge point into Rocklea Siding or use the Tillig one that is on order.  Some more contemplation is required here. 
This shows the entry to Rocklea Sidings.  The left most point is the dual gauge track with a standard gauge entry to the yard.  The point on the right, is the narrow gauge entry to the yard.  Standard gauge and narrow gauge rollingstock is seen in the sidings.

The after shot,  The narrow gauge siding entry was moved about 500mm towards Clapham Yard.  Everything seems to run better through this area now.

After Lunch, I started working on a few tidy up tasks. I added weight to two of the calcium tankers in the standard gauge sidings in Rocklea Sidings.  One also had the traditional AR Kits bogie plug replaced with a screw.  I then found my half finished WOAX open wagon and added some decals to it.  I then added some weight to centre sill of two AR Kits NOCY wagons.  

Next Saturday is the Club’s modelling competition, and I have everything ready to take over to the shed.  I also have a plan to start getting some models to work on ready for my holidays later in December.  I think I’m going to work on the Cassino Station building, but also some Milk containers that I’ve had a couple of years wagons and not done anything with them.  So I need to get stuck into building these milk containers.  I also have a 400 Class railmotor kit, that I need to put together.  This might also get a start.  I intend that I will complete the two NOCY kits over the Christmas Holidays.  So these will be put together and painted and readied for maybe disposal at a Buy and Sell next year, if they can’t fit into my roster somewhere.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sidings and Yards


So Friday produced an early arvo from work, and so I went down to the shed and soldered the missing jumpers onto the rails near the points into the Rocklea Sidings area.  So no issues found, and the narrow gauge and standard gauge trains, ran back and forth good enough over the new track work.  But I must clean the standard gauge point.  I also found that my dual gauge crossing inside Rocklea Sidings was not working for the narrow gauge trains.  So I will put that onto the 'To Do' task list for later in the weekend.  One thing I did do though, was to adjust the height of an SDS Calcium Oxide wagon, which had a rather low coupling at one end.  So that is now fixed.  I also had some issues with the narrow gauge tracks in Acacia Ridge Yard seeming to being dead as well.  Another task for later in the weekend.

On Saturday I ordered another QSnap to allow me to power up the future narrow gauge points in Fisherman Islands Yard that I will install over my Christmas holidays.  I also ordered some push buttons and SPDT switches on evil bay for the control panels for these sets of points.  I realised that I need another Peco point motor to be purchased firstly, before I install the two extra narrow gauge sidings.  I was contemplating making the two narrow gauge sidings about 4 to 5 foot longer.  So that will require another 2 or 3 lengths of narrow gauge flex track to be put onto the shopping list as well.  I have already cut some extra ply lengths for the baseboard.  Again a task for the future.

I then had a bit of a clean up of my modelling desk and then installed a working incinerator onto my diorama module for the upcoming modelling competition in 2 weeks time at the Club.  A bit of extra vegetation will probably be installed next week to finalise this module.

Today I went down to the shed and sorted out the power feeds into Acacia Ridge Yard.  It seems that a lot of the power into this area, is via jumpers from track to track.  These are not fed via the track bus.  I had a track joiner feeding one rail and then the rest of the tracks in the yard fed off the first rail.  Not a very clever situation.  I will eventually rectify this, but I did fix up the dodge track fishplate and now power has been restored.  

Just before a small storm hit this arvo, I added the extra wood to the baseboard to allow lengthening of the two future narrow gauge sidings.  I also started installing the new control panel for the southern end of Fisherman Islands Yard that will control the new narrow gauge tracks.  The northern end of this yard, will be added to an existing panel a few meters up the peninsular.  

I will soon start printing out the photos that I have taken and collected of the Casino Station building, so my Cassino Station building can be kit based from three AMRI NSW station buildings.  I am hoping that these dismantled kits and some standard brick sheets will be enough to build a near enough replica.  I hope to really get stuck in over the Christmas break.  But I think it will take me most of the upcoming year to complete this model.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dual Gauge Point


This weekend we had a family Christmas Party complete with Santa arriving on a motorbike with presents on the Saturday afternoon/evening.  It was a great evening.  But before then I was able to get down to the shed and started putting my modelling competition entries together for 3 weeks time.  I found a few more items that I could enter into the competition.  The models I am entering are all sitting on the front two tracks of Acacia Ridge Yard.  I might do some little bits of titivating over the next two weekends as I await the get together at the Club.  I did do a few bits of weathering yesterday to enhance the models slightly.  I did a couple more bits again today, by adding some more weathering, this time to the roofs of the models.

I was also starting to think that I might have to start scratchbuilding a dual gauge point that I need for my standard gauge entry into Rocklea Sidings, as there seems to be no news about when the importer can source a left hand standard gauge point from Tillig.  This is very frustrating.  Either the Importer is incompetent or Tillig must be winding down their business.  It has been about 3 months now.  So yesterday I drew up some rough sketches of the dual gauge point I need, with the third rail on either side of the standard gauge through line.

I then went searching through my many bits and pieces of offcut points that I have in my scrap box.  I did find a couple of suitable samples that could be used for a basis of kitbashing these into a dual gauge point for Rocklea Sidings.

So today after lunch when I was just about to wander down to the shed and started looking at the dual gauge point, I searched another location in the study where I have some point building stuff stashed.  I found a broken left hand Peco medium radius point.  Hmmmm?  So I fixed this one up with styrene glue but mounting it on a styrene base, and then used super glue to keep the rails in the chairs.  I can't believe I still keep finding sets of points around - although partly broken.

Not more than one hour later, and I had a reasonable dual gauge point., and narrow gauge and standard gauge bogies ran through without problems.  So I then jumped up onto the top deck of the layout and removed the track and found out that the kitbashed point fitted in beautifully into the geometry.  So I then joined the track up to the standard gauge sidings.  I pushed three wagons through the trackwork quite a few times, and there were many issues.  So as I removed the old track, I think I moved the geometry into the existing narrow gauge sidings.  I then connected up the main line towards Acacia Ridge Yard and did a bit more testing on that route as well.  But after a lot more trial and error, and pushing various wagons through the trackwork, it now looks like the mainline works well for both narrow and standard gauge movements in both directions, and the two tracks into Rocklea Siding, the narrow gauge track and the standard gauge track also both work well.  

Well, I think I now no longer need the dual gauge point from Tillig.  So that is over $80 saved in my budget.  So that might bring forward the installation of the first extra siding in Fisherman Islands.  This will cost over $90 for the required track to install, and another $90 for more track for the second siding.  This could be a good job for the Christmas break.

However, next weekend, I will re-solder the feeders back on to the track around Rocklea Siding, after I removed four of them when removing the old trackwork, and then I will run both standard gauge and narrow gauge trains on the mainline in both directions via DCC, and then run trains into and out of the sidings.  I also have to install the point motor on the dual gauge point, and then that whole section of track will be complete.  Just 12 months ago, that section was not even a figment of my imagination.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Inspiration and Then Weathering and Loads


On Tuesday night this week, we ventured over to Bob’s place for our regular meeting.  It was a good turn up and we were treated to some fantastic progress on Mosquito Creek.  This layout already had a very nice terminus section with some perway sidings and other industries already installed.  Last time we visited we got to see the fantastically scratch built bridge that spans over Mosquito Creek.  This bridge just looks like a typical Queensland Railways bridge that spans a flood plain where the bridge dips down in the middle.  When Bob runs a loco over it, even a very light QR Silver bullet (2000 class) Railmotor you can even hear the creaks and groans of the old timber beams under the weight of the train.

This visit was no exception with even more progress.  Holy Crap!  I have never seen mangroves modelled before.  The creek that leads past the wharf area, and which will be the main town location (most probably started on our next visit), then runs off into a small creek.  The mangroves along the banks of the creek were fantastic.  I could even small the mud at low tide.  I'm sure a saw a crab or two out of the corner of my eye.  It was one of the model brilliant modelling efforts of any sort of water way that I have ever seen.  I think all in attendance that night were just blown away.  Further up the creek, there is boat ramp and a small camping ground.  The detail is just phenomenal.  I think people were having night mares when thinking of the quality of Bob’s work.

I viewed this layout just when I could not get motivated to do anything down in the train shed except sit down and vegetate or maybe just walk around with a can of cold ale.  This inspirations visit to Bob's place, followed by hearing that I have an article in the next AMRM along with another Tuesday Nighter, and that started to get the modelling juices flowing again.  We then found out that Arthur had sent down an article about loads for open wagons and we have seen his finished product, that he is talking about.  More inspirations!

This Friday afternoon, I went down to the shed and decided to glue some coal dust onto three more styrene loads.  That was completed and that was it.  I think that was the sum of my modelling efforts for the whole week that I had a home following some surgery on Monday evening to remove a few BCCs around my face.  I did look like some horror movie character with the bandages on my face for a few days.  Now you can hardly see where the dissolvable stitches were placed.

Saturday was RMCQ meeting day.  I had a good time talking to my mates over there.  I have decided to run a modelling session in maybe February next year at the Club, where we will make various removable loads for either coal wagons or ballast wagons.  We could even do some wood chip wagons for the US modellers if they are interested.  Maybe we can do some Iron Ore loads, as I saw quite a few of these wagons running around on the Club layout yesterday.  I will call for expressions of interest and numbers of each type of wagon.  I will source all the products required and we will put them together on the day and attendees will pay just a couple of dollars for the expendables used for each wagon load.  We don’t care if the wagons are HO or N scale.  We will try and get the members into doing some actual modelling.  At the Club meeting, it was resolved that the Annual RMCQ Modelling competition will be on the Saturday in December.  While the RMCQ Christmas party will be on the Sunday.  So what this means is that I need to create a few items for the modelling competition.  So last night I started to make a list of potential items that I can create over the next month for the modelling competition.

So this arvo I went down to the shed and did some weathering.  Firstly I added some graffiti decals to two of my four narrow gauge coal wagons.  I then weathered all four narrow gauge coal wagons.  While at it, I decided to weather another four narrow gauge wagons.  I did this to one WHO open wagon, two taughtliners and one QLX louvre van.  I think they came up pretty well.  The next task for me was to try and make some 4x4 weathered timbers for stowing in my WHO wagons.  While at it, I decided to try and make some wire reo-bar loads for my open wagons.  I had a coil of 0.9mm galvanised wire in the shed, and then was laid out and pulled tight, and then wrapped around a couple of screws and then cut off into 5 bundles of 10 lengths of wire.  These were then bound with some other very fine wire that I had lying around.  They look quite nice sitting in two of my WHO wagons.

So I doesn’t take an Einstein to work out that I might be presenting a graffitied loaded coal wagon or two, a few more weathered narrow gauge wagons, maybe another wagon with a load of reo-bar in it.  Still plenty to do to complete these models.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Still Talking Clothes Lines


On Thursday the call went out that there was a modelling night at Simon’s Shop on Friday night, and as Geoff was going as well as Darren, I mad it a trio.  It was good to catch up with the regulars and Simon on Friday night.  My night was also productive.  During the night, I put together 10 HO model clothes lines.  Well almost, I was missing a length of 1.6mm styrene rod.  That was picked up on Saturday morning and then cut up in the arvo.  The poles were glued together, winders added and then set aside and allowed to dry and then the spray can was used to paint the 10 clothes lines, as well as the four others that I already had assembled.  The rest of the afternoon, was spent getting out the items I was wishing to sell today at our Club's Buy and Sell and packing the car.

Also during the week, there was much talk (maybe more correctly termed friendly banter) online with PK and of course the opportunity was not lost on stirring him about his lack of action in installing his outdoor clothes line, so he can vacate his shed, so it can then be lined, and then become his train shed.  At the moment the Shed is just a big enclosed dryer with his clothes line inside it.  Come on PK, get a move in.  At least his washing will always dry and never get wet when it rains outside.

Today I rocked up at Dave’s place early, and we made our way to the Clubrooms for set up at the Buy and Sell.  I had pre-booked my table and I was next to Darryl, and down the road from past member Peter and Patty.  The selling was very slow, but I did end up quite a bit in the bank by pack up time.  However, I just cannot get anyone interested in my NSW rollingstock, - ballast wagons, sleeper carrying wagons, wheat wagons, open wagons, cement wagons and louvres, as well as the odd loco, XPT and various other bits and pieces.

One of the reasons I went to the club besides trying to sell some stuff, was to do a transaction on buying an old 12mm double slip.  I picked it up for a good price but upon closer inspection, someone removed the Peco springs.  Bugger!  But on the way home, I stopped in at David’s, ventured to his shed and did some consulting services.  After that I asked if he had any broken points with springs still in them.  Well he had some points, and when I got home, I removed the springs and eventually got the springs back into the 12mm double slips.  The point was then installed into Acacia Ridge yard and it works just like a bought one.

So that was another item ticked off my to do list.

It seems that the Club Christmas Party Meeting is now scheduled for a Sunday and I have other plans so I can’t make it (or so I'm told).  Another Bugger.  So that means that I will not have anything in the modelling comp this year.  I have a couple of items ready, and was planning on making something else, but it looks like I don’t have to now.

Earlier on in the week, we went to my daughter’s School Awards Night.  She picked up 5 subject awards for top marks in those subjects, a couple of perpetual trophies and then rounded it off my being announced as Co-School Captain for next year.  Not a bad night and of course we are very proud of her achievements.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Slow Weekend Again


Well today I spent the day at a family Christening.  It was nice to catch up with the family.  Today would also have been my mother’s 100th Birthday, if she was still alive, so what better day to have a family catchup.

Yesterday I decided to sit at the kitchen table while the wife was off doing stuff like attending a linen party and then taking my daughter to a Halloween Party.  I revisited my 7 coal loads that I made the Friday a week ago.  I decided to build a shaped top on the load to help them look more like the modern coal loads that are nicely manicured to ensure that the wind over the top of the wagon does not dislodge the load that much.  So I made various shapes of load tops out of styrene and then glued these to the top of the existing load.  These were shaped with a bastard file.  The next step was to paint the loads with a spray can of matt black - a one minute job.

I also painted the two ballast loads inserts a matt black base colour as well.  While this was still wet, I sprinkled some Ardglen ballast onto the top of the loads and then wet this with some wet water.  I then dosed the wagon load tops with a mixture of diluted white glue and allowed it to set.

Late this afternoon I went down to the shed and observed that the two ballast loads look great.  The load is well set and the load can be inserted and extracted from the ballast wagons very easily with a magnet.  I just need to put these two wagons onto the layout somewhere.  I then decided that I would pour some glue onto three of the coal loads and then sprinkled some coal onto the tops to form the loads.  More glue was dropped onto the tops and then more coal.  These have now been set aside to dry.  On my next trip to the shed during the week they will be inspected and tested as well.  I will then do the same to the remaining four coal load bases.

I tried to take some photos today but the camera battery was flat.  So it is on charge, as my daughter's awards night is on this week, so I need to make sure I can grab some photos at that event.  We find out who out of her friends are going to fill the 10 leadership positions at the school for next year.  Finger's crossed for my daughter and her preferred position.

This coming Sunday is our Club’s Buy and Sell at our Clubrooms.  I hope to be taking some HO scale NSW rollingstock that is excess to my needs over there in the hope of selling. it  I will also have a few styrene detail parts like clotheslines, container flats, and generators on 20' container bases for refrigerator containers on trains for sale.  You never know your luck in a big city.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Recovery Weekend


This week I was invited over to Brendan’s place for a Friday Night Modelling group BBQ.  It was very nice to catch up with Brendan, Darren and Geoff.  We also had Jeff visit as well.  Basically it was a night of discussions about Brendan’s new VR layout which is starting to come along very well.  We then adjourned to the modelling table.  Last Sunday I visited Bunnings and picked up a packet of steel washers.  I superglue two of these  washer to what becomes the underside of a sheet of styrene which is the basis of a load that I am putting together for two more NSW ballast wagons and 4 QR coal wagons.  I have so far made 7 bases for coal wagons.  While one of the coal wagon bases is basically finished so that the load can nestle into the wagon among the various ribs on the inside of the wagons, the other 6 have been just cut to length and width.  The cut outs for the ribs will occur most probably next weekend.  To remove the loads, I just hold a magnet over the washer and whole load gets extracted from the wagon.  The reason for this is so I can run loaded and full wagons on the layout as part of my operations.  The crew just load or unload the wagon at the appropriate locations on the layout.

This weekend, I spent quite a lot of time sitting in front of the TV just watching the V8 racing.  Not really doing any modelling on Saturday or Sunday.

In two weeks time, I will pick up the next piece of track I need for Acacia Ridge Yard – a 12mm double slip.  I noticed that the local hobby shop had one on Saturday when I visited.  Two weeks ago he did not have any.  Mine however will be second hand and at a fair price.  While at the Hobby Shop, I picked up a spare paint display rack, that he was disposing of.  Wouldn’t you know it, following assembly yesterday and stocking it up today, mine is now almost full.  It is amazing how much stuff one collects over time.  Now to clear some bench space so I can install it on top of one of my kitchen benches in the Shed.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention 2018


Yesterday was the 2018 Modelling the Railways of QLD Convention, held at the Beenleigh Events Centre.  While this facility was not cheap to hire, I think it provided a nice dry location to bring together about 80 modellers together to listen, chat, learn, and hopefully buy some models or detail items from the various trade stands in attendance.

I rocked up pretty early as I was one of the organising committee and shared an exhibition table with PK.  We soon blew out to two tables.  PK had 6 dioramas to show off and I had two with a third under wraps until just before my presentation.  PK’s dioramas show how to create the layers of ply, foam or other items like chicken wire, fly screen or cardboard to then cover with plaster or other similar items.  These are then painted and completed with dirts and scatters to then be super detailed.  The dioramas are meant for the attendees to see on a small scale what they can do on their layouts  on a much larger scale.

I did a session later in the day about “Bringing a Layout to Life”.  I provided some of my tricks and techniques as well as to an insight into what I try to achieve on my layout to bring it to life.

Throughout the day, there were some very good presentations.  I went to Anthony and Mark’s session on “Adding Purpose to Your Layout”.  It basically covered making your feel you were back in the era that railway was designed for and you were doing that work.  It was great.  I also listened to the session by Anthony Veness on his Dagun layout.  Again a very nice session.  Of course Arthur Hayes did a great session on the O wagons of Queensland Rail.  The day was completed with Marty talking about Animations. This too was very interesting and has prompted me to do some more research into Arduinos and how I can use them for a couple of tasks on my layout.

The feedback so far has been extremely positive.
Here are a few photos of my detailed diorama.

A few sheep have wandered into this shot.  Maybe they are on the lookout for a mutton bird in one of the trees.

This photo shows the small rock filled creek.  There is water in it which is keeping the small weeping willows alive in a rather barren scene.

Today, all I have done is unpack the car and put everything away.  I spent some time working out what the next project is and it will be making some loads for a mixture of wagons on the layout.  This will include 12mm QR Coal wagons and a couple of NSW ballast wagons.  Of course these loads will be built on a styrene base with a couple of washers superglued underneath so that the loads can be removed with a magnet in ones hands.  However, I don’t think I have any coal dust to use for the coal wagon loads.

The next major project will be to start building the station building for the Cassino platform.  I think this will be a mammoth task and take me well into next year to complete.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Layout Tidy Up and Convention Preparation


With Monday being a public holiday, I spent most of the day in the Shed.  Most of that time was spent wiring jumpers to sections of the track and continuing the feeding of 10 wires from Clapham Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard.  These wires are for the Rocklea Sidings control panel and continue all the way back to an NCE Mini Panel underneath Loco Pilly.

The Mini Panel was coded up with the various commands to throw the particular points when the various switches on the panel were pushed, and it all works well.  I am still waiting for a Tillig LH Standard Gauge point to be brought into the country.  This piece of track is currently unavailable worldwide.  When this track segment arrives, I will then wire up a point motor to that set of points, and then also spend some time with one set of points where the point motor catches when it is thrown in one direction.  I think I have to replace the point motor base.  It only works in one direction at the moment.

The dual gauge sections of track in Clapham Yard that were added over the last weekend, had wire jumpers added around the Peco points and a few nails inserted into the track to align everything.  Both a standard gauge loco and narrow gauge loco run quite well over the new trackwork.  I also added two wire jumpers to Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  These two new sidings work well.  However, I have had a catastrophic failure of the rest of the dead end sidings.  I think I may have had a wire come loose under the layout.  But as yet, I have not stuck my head underneath to investigate.

This phot is of Clapham Yard.  This yard is a mixture of 16.5mm and 12mm track and includes a crossover of gauges and a section of dual gauge.

This scene shows the work done last weekend to provide a few more sidings in the narrow gauge yard at Acacia Ridge.  The 1720 is sitting on the loco siding, which will allow trains to move from the runaround sidings on the left to the deadend sidings on the right.

This photo shows the new standard gauge points between the 4th track from the left (the dual gauge) to the third track from the left.

This is Fisherman Islands Yard.  The baseboard has been extended at the rear to allow two more narrow gauge loops to be installed.  These will be short compared to the length of the sidings in the existing yard.

This weekend has been spent working on my notes for the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention next weekend.  These notes were started some time ago, and now they have finally been completed.  The last task was to supplement the notes with photographic examples from my layout to demonstrate my presentation.  My Powerpoint presentation was also sent off to the conference convenor yesterday although it has been basically completed for the last two weeks.   All that is left to do is to pack up my models for my presentation and have fun next weekend.  

I did find some time on Saturday to head over to Aurora Trains and picked up a three pack on SDS NPAX calcium wagons.  Two are for me and one for a mate, well it was PK.  I should be also paying for a 4 wagon set of Coal Wagons on Tuesday Night thanks to PK. The other thing that I did today was watch the Bathurst race.  Unfortunately Tricky Dickie’s team only came 3rd.  That was at least a podium finish.

I think over the next week I will try and make another half a dozen clotheslines so I will have some available next weekend in case some of the Convention attendees are after one. 

Tuesday night this week is at Dr. Peter’s place.  It has been a while since we have been there and I understand that he has done quite a bit of work lately.  So I’m looking forward to that.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Still Working on the Narrow Gauge


On Friday evening I went down to the shed and did some thinking.  Well actually I ran a train.  I progressed one train (the Brisbane Limited) two staff sections and it is now sitting in Acacia Ridge Yard.  I then checked the next 3 timetable cards to take, and they all started at 8:55am or 9:00am.  The three trains on the layout were all at their 9:00 or 9:05 location, so the timetable is ready to be restarted at 9:00am.

Then I returned to this thinking thing.  I was considering how I could incorporate a 12mm loco siding into Acacia Ridge Yard.  After a few minutes I thought I would extend the baseboard by a small piece of wood about 100mm x 350mm to fill in a section.  By doing this I could put a siding in.  I thought some more and then I came to the conclusion, if I put a double slip in where a set of points already exists, I’d have more flexibility and two tracks will have direct access to this new loco siding.  I then worked out that if I replaced another set of points at the dead end section of the yard at Acacia Ridge, with another set of Double slip points, then I could continue the trackage from the first double slip to this new one.  This also has the advantage that I can replace a rather dodgy 12mm set of points - unknown brand.  This points have no inbuilt spring like the Peco points.

So on Saturday I hit the loco hobby shops.  I picked up a set of double slip points from Ray's Austral Modelcraft and installed it when I got home.  I also cut the extra bit of baseboard for Acacia Ridge Yard.  I then cut off two strip of 100mm baseboard that were joined length wise and this has been added onto the back of Fisherman Islands Yard.  This will allow two small loops to be added at this location, increasing the number of 12mm tracks.  

So I think I now have my list of 12mm track that I need to procure to complete my track laying process on Cassino.  It is still about four hundred dollars worth but next year around the May exhibition in Brisbane will be when I buy the final purchase of the track.  The Monday of that weekend will be a long weekend, and as such that will be the day that it will all be laid.  I just need to save up.

During the week, I had a bit of success.  It turned out that PK was willing to part with 4 QR coal wagons, so this transaction will be the start of my narrow gauge coal train.  I just need another 4 wagons and this train will be complete.  I then need about 6-8 grain wagons for my grain train and then at least another 3 WHO wagons for open wagons.  Then I think my whole 12mm rollingstock collection will be complete except for two more 1720 locos that I want to buy and, yes, the soon to be delivered 2300/2400 locos.

Monday this week was a day off for me, as my layout was open for visiting as part of the 2018 NMRA convention on the Gold Coast.  I had about 10 people come through.  I was ably helped by Lefty on the day.  This same day I added three extra QLink Tautliners to my layout as I bought them off John.  So I think I have a nice number of wagons now.  Who knows what else will come onto the market that will mean that I need to buy some more, but I’m happy at the moment.

Today I hot the shed while I had the TV on for the Women's Grant Final and the InTrust Interstate match.  I decided to run two trains that were not run during the open days last weekend.  This was numbers 19 and 19A, a local train from Grafton Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard and then Clapham Yard and then onto South Brisbane Interstate Yard.  I then worked out that while the timetable had two shunt trains in it, my timetable cards were missing two shunt trains from Clapham Yard to Rocklea Siding.  I will fix that this week.  But while thinking about working this train Number 68 and Number 69, I worked out that I needed another set of points from my dual gauge track in Clapham Yard to the standard gauge track 3.  So I found two left hand small radius points and installed then.   One was bit-bashed into a dual gauge point, with the narrow gauge going straight through only.  I still have to make one more Dremel cut in one rail and then wire these up tracks back up, as I'm sure I have disruptive the various power circuits with the various insulated joiners I have installed.  I will get stuck into this tomorrow, as well as test powered locos through these newly modified sections of track.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

NMRA Gold Coast Convention


Friday 21st September was the first day of Layout tours associated with the NMRA Convention being staged at Helensvale on the Gold Coast on the 22nd and 23rd September.  I had arranged for four mates from my model railway Club and regular members of my operations roster to come over and help me operate the layout.  As well as being an open layout, I was also operating a timetable operations session from 10:00am until 1:00pm.  Basically the guys started rolling up from 9:00am.  I think by about 10:30am everyone was in attendance.  I had PK, Darryl, Darren and Greg.  Darryl assisted by bringing over quite a few of his 12mm locos, and about 3 dozen pieces of 12mm rollingstock.  His collection dwarfs mine.  So along with my meagre menagerie this made up the 12mm roster for the day.  Darryl set about inspecting the track and following a test run on the 12mm found quite a few blobs of solder that when attacked with a file, not only removed the blob, but also the wires providing power.  So out with the soldering iron and about 3 or 4 wires were replaced.  The 12mm gave us some trouble, with low cow catchers on some of the longer wheelbase 90 tonne QR locos seeming to hit every piece of track that transitioned from code 100 to code 75.  Hmmm.  I really need to taper these track joins.

Anyway the Operating Session eventually got under way and things settled down, after quite a few early hiccups.  However, if there was not an issue, the crew would feel strange as I think they need to be able to stir me about some fact or 20.  We did get one of our nominated visitors for the Ops Session arrive and it turned out that he had run into PK and Darryl at our Club on Wednesday and he remembered them from when our Club exhibits at his Club’s exhibition in Bundaberg in March each year.  So he was shown a throttle and helped complete the shunting of the Cement Train at Murwillumbah, and he then took the Brisbane Limited and ran it from Grafton Yard to Kyogle.  Apparently he had not used NCE before and was using it after about 10 seconds.

While this was happening, four more people turned up having previously been at Arthur’s place inspecting over there.  Arthur had rung to see if I could fit another four in the shed and of course the answer was always going to be yes.

So bit by bit issues were fixed up with the layout and trains continued to run the rails and next time we looked it was way after 1:00pm and it was time for me to temporarily shut down the layout so I could feed my crew.  Two of the visitors stayed and had their lunch at the same time my crew had their BBQ snags on a piece of bread.  Of course we also had cheese and onion and a variety of sauces to complement the snags.  We may have also had a beer or two or in my case four.  

So I did notice that we had a few runaways of wagons in sidings.  So on Saturday morning I added quite a few more tooth brush bristles to the Nammoona Ballast Siding and to Clapham Yard in the dual gauge and in one of the narrow gauge tracks, and two narrow gauge sidings.  So upon testing these tracks in the afternoon, I think I have now fixed the current issues, but I will lay quite a few more tooth brush bristles in other areas in the coming weeks.

On Saturday afternoon, I resumed my task of completing the second diorama module for the upcoming Modelling the Railways of QLD Convention in Beenleigh in 3 weeks time.  So I completed one small road bridge and substantially completed a second bridge built from scratch and also erected quite a few fences.  Today I completed the bridge laid some transoms and then laid the track and added a few trees, etc..  There is still some detail items yet to be added.   That just leaves me with next week to complete my notes for my session.  I have started that, but it still has a fair way to go.

Also on Saturday afternoon, I decided to revisit a dual gauge point that is in the dual gauge lead into Acacia Ridge Yard.  This allows a HO scale (16.5mm) shunt engine to be located here.  However, all the trains were stalling going throw this set of points.  So I identified that it was all the result of the point blade not making sufficient contact with the stock rail.  So that was fix and I have now successfully run a 12mm loco through this point in two directions very slowly and it no longer stalls.  I have also run the 16.5mm shunt loco through and it also no longer stalls.  I did also use my razor saw to smooth the narrow gauge wheel path where it crosses over the diverging point rail from the standard gauge.  So I must admit, that while all the rollingstock does rock and roll through the points, nothing derails.  So this work can be described as very successful.

Today I went down and reprogrammed my NCE Mini Panel located at Loco Pilly and added the throwing of a standard gauge set of points fitted with a relay to ensure that when my narrow gauge track 2 is set, the relay ensures that the frog has the correct polarity.  That has been tested and works well.  While I had the NCE Mini Panel accessible, I decided to connect up the 9 wires and a common wire that will eventually be connected to the new Rocklea Control Panel which has been built, but not wired up and installed as yet.  Maybe next weekend's task.

On Monday there is another open layout tour, which I am taking part in.  I have arranged my retired mate, Lefty, from up the road (next suburb) to come over, drink beer and run train while another at least four Convention attendees (and a few other mates) to pop over for a visit.

I also had a bit of a win on Saturday while at the local train shop.  I picked up a set of 3 Wuiske louvre vans as a birthday present and on Monday I should also be getting another three tautliner wagons off a mate.  So from those two transactions, my number of 12mm wagons had almost increased by 50%. Seven wagons will become 13 wagons.  By Christmas next year, I might have most of my roster completed, that is if I can get the various 12mm wagons that I'm after from the shops.  Maybe a rerun of the various coal and grain wagons may be needed.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Narrow Gauge Timetable Undergoes Fine Tuning


I spent quite a considerable amount of time this week working on the narrow gauge part of my  operating timetable.  So far there are 12 trains in this section of the timetable.  But with a very small amount of rolling stock on hand, 2 locos and 7 wagons, it is difficult planning what runs where and what gets picked up and returned by the various trains.  I have another loco on order (due soon) and 3 more wagons soon to be acquired when I catch up with a mate selling three curtain sided wagons.  But that is still not enough rollingstock.

I do have plans for another 2 locos and then two unit trains of 6 to 8 wagon consists of coal and grain wagons.  Luckily when I do run the narrow gauge section of the timetable, I usually have a mate who has plenty of narrow gauge wagons come along and populate the various sidings with more locos and trains.

As part of this mini solo ops session on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, I have found about 4 power jumper wires that needed to be soldered back up, and I also improved the running of trains through the Dutton Park dual gauge point.  There were two sections of dual gauge track where the third rail had come adrift and was under gauge, thus causing problems.  So I also soldered these back up and everything seems to be running better.  I also found a dual gauge set of splitter points where the standard gauge goes in one direction and the narrow gauge goes in the other direction, that I was powering the frog from a set of points, and when I threw a set of narrow gauge points, I did not throw another set of points that would have protected the narrow gauge movement, from a standard gauge train and also powered the frog of the splitter points for the narrow gauge movement.  I was wondering why a train was not moving across the points and just creating a short.  That was easily identified and I now have the solution, I just need to get access to the NCE mini panel located in Loco Pilly and plug my Procab controller into it to make a change to one input by adding another point to throw.  So the switch for the power routing will then work for the narrow gauge.

Another outcome of the two mini operations sessions I had with myself, is that I think I still need to make a couple more minor changes to the track plans for Fisherman Islands, Clapham Yard and also Acacia Ridge Yard.  Who knows it might be another 12 months, but I think the track laying will finally be complete.

So I have made quite a few changes to make for all of the narrow gauge timetable cards for the next operating session.  I will update them all tonight and print them out during the week, and put them into train sequence order.

This Friday and the following Monday my layout is available for attendees of the 2018 NMRA Convention to stop by for a layout visit.  I think there is about 17 or so layouts available for the attendees to check out and take a few photos or videos of.  I have a crew of regulars some retired and some not, coming over on the Friday to assist with the running of the layout.  We are also having an operating sessions on Monday and Friday, so it will be interesting as I will not have a full crew, so there will be many out of sequence trains in operation, and given the smallness of the crew, I will probably not run with North Coast Control.  I will perform that role while roaming around the shed, talking to operators, showing other visitors around and running my own trains.

So if you are attending the NMRA Convention, just give us a call and pop in.  You are all most welcome.  I will have tea and coffee available all day and also a cold drink in the fridge.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Updating the Timetable


All this week, I’ve been doing work on my Operating Session timetable.  I have added 4 railbus movements in preparation on receiving one of these models from Auscision.  I have also added 1 extra freight coming from Grafton to Cassino, and then another from Cassino to South Brisbane Interstate. Then of course this traffic needs to go back south, so that makes a total of 3 extra freights.  I have added shunt train from Acacia Ridge Yard to Rocklea Siding and then of course its return working.  This will be a steal shunt just like happens in early morning Brisbane now.  I then have a shunt train from Clapham Yard back to Rocklea Sidings and return.  This is for taking the Limestone wagons from the new freight.  I have also added an extra shunt on the narrow gauge from Clapham Yard to Rocklea Sidings and return to Clapham.  There is also an extra shunt train from Fisherman Islands Yard to Acacia Ridge Yard and return.  So last night, the timetable cards were finally created for all these extra movements.  I now just need to update the sequence numbers on all the timetable cards so they can be easily assembled into correct order before the session.  There are now over 100 possible movements in the timetable.  The next task is then to print a new timetable graph for the next Operations Session.  As I normally call my operations Sessions “Organised Chaos”, I’m sure the first time this timetable is operated, it will be just that.  I may have to split the timetable over 3 days now to ensure that I can get it completed.  I may even have to slightly slow down the fast clock especially if I do not get enough crew showing.  I would hate to think how many trains are now running at the busiest point in the timetable.  It used to be 13, I’m sure now it could be 15 or even 16.  North Coast Control really needs to ensure that crosses are going to occur at the correct locations, as there are now a number of three way crosses.  These can only occur at locations where there are three tracks, like Cassino, Fairy Hill and of course the main traffic generating points on the layout - Acacia Ridge Yard, Clapham Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard.

This weekend started with a trip over to the Clubrooms for our AGM.  Turn out was pretty good with quite a lot of members present.  Basically the same committee was re-elected.  At the end of June this year, our Treasurer of the last about 20 years retired due to personal circumstances, and the temporary Treasurer who filled in, was re-elected to continue in his job.  The main go forward theme this year is fiscal management, as we have many new layouts under construction and an ever reducing amount of money to spend on them.

Today I got stuck into building the two dioramas I require for the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention.  Basically the first one has been completed.  I just need to do a bit of ballasting and a bit more scenicing.  However, the second diorama requires a lot more details to be added.  This week will be spend building quite a lot of items required for this diorama.

We also have Tuesday Nighters at David place, so it will be good to see what he has done since last weekend.  He may even have one or two of his power district sections wired up and have trains able to run back and forth in those areas.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Layout All Reset for Operations Session.


Model railway activity this included a visit to Cliff’s place for our fortnightly meeting and we checked out his layout in his garage.  I was quite impressed with a few of Cliff's wagons.  I am also inspired by his layout plans that are hanging above his shunting layout.  Those future plans will make a very nice layout when he finally moves back home after finishing working in Brisbane.  We then adjourned to his lounge for a very nice supper and a great talk about all things trains.

On Saturday I resumed my train running activities on the layout.  I ended up running 16 trains to complete the reset of the timetable to put it back to the start for the next Operations Session to kick back off.  That night I changed a few of the timetable cards with more information that had been annotated from the last Operations Session, so an updated version will be available for the next session.  I am also looking at how I can add a few more trains into the mix.  I am about to embark on possibly adding a couple more narrow gauge trains as the first step.  Perhaps one from Clapham Yard into Rocklea Siding for some added shunting.  

I have some NSW paybus runs that I also want to add to the timetable, as the timetable is always set on a pay day.  While I had a paybus, I am waiting for the model from Auscision.  I also need an extra train from Grafton to South Brisbane Interstate, with car carriers, limestone wagons and oil/bitumen tankers, with its complementary return working also being added.  This working will allow another shunt working from Clapham Yard back into Rocklea Siding for the standard gauge, as well as a return to Clapham Yard.  I am also considering another shunt from Acacia Ridge Yard to Rocklea Siding with a few steel wagons.  Having both in that yard would be interesting for the two drivers, as they would have to fight to get over the dual gauge section as well as the mixed gauge crossover where narrow gauge crosses over standard gauge.  I am also looking at adding a water train from Cassino up the North Coast line to Glenapp or maybe The Risk to allow the topping up all the water tanks for the various fettler settlements alongside the railway line.  I am not sure I can add all these into the timetable.  It currently seems busier than Central Station in peak hour.  Additionally, it means that I need more operators to run more trains simultaneously.

Today I started off by picking up my mate David and we headed over to a local buy and sell.  I picked up the two things I was most after.  A Peco 3 way point to replace the one I moved out of Acacia Ridge Yard, and a couple of Peco point motors.  This arvo, I installed the point motor on a set of points in Rocklea Sidings.  I then transferred the crossover points from my Snap-It with my previously purchased NCE QSnap.  The QSnap was screwed to the fascia, and I wired up the last two points in Rocklea Yard to it.  These point outputs all work except for one standard gauge point that exhibits tendencies of sticking when being thrown.  I will eventually get around to looking at this.  I then noticed that one of the points of the crossover that I moved from the Snap-It to the QSnap was not working.  The point was getting power, but not enough to overcome the friction as it was not moving.  Again a job for another day.

I then did some more electrical work.  I also added some power jumpers to the relatively new tracks 14 and 15 in Grafton Yard and also a power jumper to one rail of the dual gauge track in Rocklea Sidings.  I also ran my narrow gauge trains through the dual gauge trackage and that all works well.  I have not yet run the standard gauge trains through dual gauge.  A job for another time.  I found a couple of power jumpers that have come adrift from the track and these were re-soldered as well.

So in the next few weeks, I will tidy up the shed a bit, before the Open Day for the Gold Coast NMRA Convention.  My layout is one of the open layouts on the Friday and Monday either side of the Convention.  So far I have no RSVPs from the exhibition attendees, but that will probably change over the next 3 weeks.

I have also come to the reality that I now need to get stuck into the preparing for my Presentation at the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention which I need to have completed by the end of the month.  I also have to complete two diorama modules by the end of the month as well.  No rest for the wicked.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Work on Rocklea Sidings Continues


Last Sunday night, I got the styrene out and tried to manufacture my missing end to an NOAF(?) wagon.  I was kind of happy with what was produced.  On Monday night I popped down to the shed and tried to fathom out what could be causing the lack of electrons in the Rocklea Yard.  I found the main jumper for the yard had a cold solder joint on its pickup.  This was as I had assumed last weekend.

So on Saturday afternoon this week, I resoldered that wire and low and behold, my 1720 class loco was now running along the narrow gauge track.  To get the rest of the sidings working, I still had to add jumpers to some other tracks in the yard, and I wired up 2 jumpers yesterday and completed the task with 3 more today.  The wiring has been successful on all the narrow gauge track.  

Last Monday night, I was checking out the wiring on the point control underneath South Brisbane Interstate.  I found a spare point motor on the layout and I installed it under the new point that splits the track which leads to tracks 6-8 to track 9-10.  This was wired back to a spare connection on one Digitrax DS64 point controller that I had at South Brisbane Interstate.  This was wired up, and I also had to add a new push button to the South Brisbane Intestate control panel and wire this wire back to the South Brisbane NCE Mini Panel.  I had to re-write 3 inputs, and add a link to set of common points as now I had 5 points in the diagram that needed to be thrown for three track routes.  By default you only can have 4 commands on each input on the Mini Panel.  So the new coding was done, and the changes also made.  It was tested and it worked first time.  Amazing!

Earlier on Saturday, I went via the local hobby shop and picked up another NCE QSnap point controller.  I will use this to control the two extra points I will connect up in Rocklea Yard, and I will also move a pair of points (currently controlled by a n NCESnap-It) that allow a standard gauge train to go from track 1 in Acacia Ridge Yard to the dual gauge track.  But by moving this function to my new QSnap, this gets more utilised and I then end up with a spare Snap-It, which I am sure I will eventually use somewhere else on the layout.

Today I wired up two point motors in Rocklea Yard back to my existing NCE QSnap, and started on pre-laying wires for the next two point motors (to the just purchased NCE QSnap) when I get some more point motors.   I then cut out the troublesome piece of track in The Risk loop on the mainline, and relayed it with a new piece.  A few trains have now gone through this area and it looks like it is now running well.  I then resumed running trains on the layout, to reset the trains back to the beginning of the timetable.

I ran about 13 trains day.  One container train with lots of 80 foot containers on it was giving me trouble entering Clapham Yard.  I checked one wagon to see if was bogie swing and realised that it had a huge scale build up on the wheels.  I then checked the rest of the wagons on that train and they were just as bad as the first.  So I spent quite a bit of time, cleaning each wheel of each carriage on this train with a track rubber.  I then reran this train back into Clapham Yard and it did not give me any more trouble.  I have done this before, but it has really been a long time between drinks for this wheel cleaning service.  This is the only train that I end up having to do this process to.  I don’t know if it something wrong with the wagons and the wheels on this train?

Next week I will move into writing my session notes for the upcoming Modelling the Railways of Queensland Convention.  I’ve received an email tonight from the head guru advising that they need to be completed by the end of next month.  I also have to make two dioramas.  I better get my finger out.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Getting Stuck In - Trains and Trackwork


Tuesday this week, we went to Bob’s place and got a look at his layout progress.  The scenery that has already been completed is a credit to his abilities.  His bridge across an old almost dried up creek is fabulous.  Some attendees were absolutely raving about the bridge – hey Cliff?

Wednesday this week was a public holiday in Brisbane for the EKKA.  It also happened to be my son’s school sports day.  If the student attend the sports day, they get the next two days off school.  So early in the day I went to the sports day with my son and gate crashed my niece’s marquee.  The boss and daughter came out later.  After a great day watching the kids having fun in the various events spread around the oval, we made our way home.  I mowed the lawn when I got home and then decided to head down to the shed, and completed the ballasting around Kyogle, except for two points.  

I also took Thursday off and after doing a few things in the morning, I went back to the shed and ballasted around these two remaining points in Kyogle.
A photo of Kyogle from above.

Kyogle from the aisle looking at the newly laid ballast.

So that now leaves the following places left to Ballast.  All of Murwillumbah Yard, all of Rappville Loop, a few sidings around the rear of Lismore and a few inches around some of the level crossings on the layout in Old Cassino, Cassino and Rappville.

Later in the day, I went back down and hoped that the ballasting had now dried.  I decided that I was to have my own Operating Session.  I ended up running about 15 trains.  I found some issues, with ballast in between point blades.  These issues were remedied one by one.  I realised that I needed to install an additional uncoupling magnet in Murwillumbah.  I will work on this installation over the next few weeks.  I plan on using a push pull actuator to position the uncoupler under the track in which it is work under.  I am yet to see if the magnet will work through the thickness of the baseboard.  
The reason for the uncoupler is when the X200 shunts the motorail wagon out onto the main, it needs to be disconnected, before another loco puts the wagon on the end of the train.

On Friday after seeing off a mate into retirement after lunch, I came home and went down to the shed for an hour and a half.  I found a spring missing off a KD coupler and fixed this.  I also ran about 5 more trains in the timetable.  When doing so I realised that I needed to add some weight to one of my 80’ container wagons.  I also decided that I needed to rip up a section of track about 30cm long and replace it in The Risk.  This section has a small kink in the track and the rails are lifting from the sleepers.  I will action this next weekend.
The new section of track ready to be installed.  The track at the rear is the main and has the kink in it.

Saturday was the date of the local NMRA meeting, and it was at Darren’s place.  So I went over and said G’Day to a few friends and enjoyed the sight of three more mates running Darren’s layout for the visitors.  After a fantastic lunch put on by Darren and his family, I made my way home and slipped past the boss and made my way down to the shed.  Once there I decided to glue together three NOAF/NOEF/NOHF wagons kits – I think.  I was quite impressed by two BD wagons that Darren had on his layout.  I initially thought that the three wagons I had in kit form were BD’s, but that were the ones listed above.  My only issue was I missing one end.  I intend to manufacture one out of styrene tonight.  One had has wheels fitted and is sitting in the oil siding at South Brisbane Interstate.  The second will get wheels, as soon as I can find some screws for the bogies.  I also decided to add some weight to one end of a 80’ container wagon.  I placed a small amount of lead over the front bogie, underneath  a 40’ container.

I then decided to complete some track changes in Grafton Yard.  As I was short one 3-way point, I decided to bite the bullet and rob Peter to pay Paul.  I stole a 3 way point from the rarely used yard section at Acacia Ridge and moved it to Grafton Yard so I could install 2 more sidings.  So that is now laid.  I just need to add power jumpers to those two tracks.

Today I continued on the track work agenda.  A few weeks back I installed a new Oil siding in South Brisbane Interstate Yard.  But if you look at the original yard diagram, and then look at mine, you will realise that I have one track too few.  When not anymore!  I had room to add track number 9, so I did.  I had a curve point to allow track 9 to fit into the spare space.  Now I have moved the wagons that I was storing in track 8 out.  Some spare ones went to track 9.  Others which were a breakdown train and a few guards vans went to track 7.  This means that track 8 is now free and I can use this as the track for the container train to have its containers unloaded on.
South Brisbane Interstate showing the oil siding on the far right (now track 10) and the new track to its left - track 9.

After that I continued on the trackwork agenda.  I bit the bullet again and started laying the track for Rocklea Yard.  Bit by bit it was joined up and then I worked out that I really needed a left hand point to complete the standard gauge sidings for the Limestone wagons.  I had a right hand one instead.  Damn!  I then looked at Grafton Yard, right near where I installed the 3-way point yesterday.  There was a left hand point, and I could swap it over for a right hand point with little effort, and no consequences.  So I did that.  The sidings at Acacia Ridge were changed over.  But I did have a bit of a Doh moment.  I removed the left hand point, then got distracted and put a point back into where it came out of and I thought that was easy.  I then went install the point into Rocklea, and I realised that it was the wrong hand.  I had re-installed the left hand one back into Grafton Yard.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell anyone – I think I’m going senile.  So I removed left hand point again, this time installing the right hand point back into Grafton Yard where the left hand point was.  The left hand point was installed into Rocklea, so all the track work is now complete, except for the standard gauge point which will allow entry into the standard gauge tracks off the main line.  No shop has one of these Tillig points.  I just have to wait.  I then wired up the power to the tracks, with quite a few jumpers around the eletrofrog points.  I even installed a manual polarity (reversing) switch for the Tillig dual gauge crossover.
Rocklea Sidings.  With a few wagons already in there to assist with testing.

I then powered up the layout – and no shorts were observed.  However, when I ran a narrow gauge train into the sidings, it stopped.  I must have a dry solder joint in the jumper for one of the rails.  But given the time, I decided to call it a day and tackle that job next weekend, when I will also try and fix the kink in The Risk on the mainline.  I will get out by trusty multi-meter and try and work out what is going wrong with Rocklea.
A few wagons now reside in Clapham Yard, which makes it interesting for trains to do their things in an Operating Session.  More will eventually grace this yard.

Loco Pilly, has three locos _ a double header and single shunt loco, a CPH with its trailer and a breakdown van with stuff in it.