Australia Day brings with it the beginning of the new school year - this always happens in this week in Queensland. Also associated with this date is the beginning of the school cricket season. Last Tuesday was the first day of cricket training for my son so I took an early mark from work to drive him there and back home again. Wednesday was the first day of school for both my kids, so I took the day off work, and drove the kids to school with their heavy book filled school bags and then went and had coffee and snack with the boss.
Model Railway activities during the week were few and far between, except that Tuesday night I went over to Arthur's place for a meeting of the Modelling the Railways of Queensland Committee. This event continues to evolve thanks to the work of Arthur and more information will be available soon. As Friday was the Australia Day public holiday, I was able to make my way to the shed and do some basic work. I installed a new train onto the recently created 8A staging track in Grafton Yard. I then repaired an old set of Peco right hand medium points, so I could then place two right hand points into a cross over within Fisherman Islands between track 1 and track 2. The location of the points was causing some concern, as I wanted to make them usable so I could start locating another train on the first or second tracks in that location, and the container trains that terminate in the Fisherman Islands can fit between the cross over and the entry ladder. These new cross over points will have multiple benefits. Firstly, there is then somewhere to store some of my excess rollingstock, and secondly I can then store some additional wagons, that can be incorporated into various shunting moves, so I can make up, break up, and swap over wagons on some trains in the timetable. I also gave a few locos a test run, as they had not been driven for probably well over 12 months.
So we had a school cricket trial for my son on Saturday down at Shorncliffe in the afternoon. My son took 1 wicket for 5 runs from his two overs, and had another stumping disallowed as the umpire was obscured by a fielder. The wicket keeper was most distraught at the non-decision, as he said he was further out than the first stumping. Later on I was scoring when our team was batting, and gave my son out for a third ball duck, when after a few more balls I realised that he was still out there, and smacking the ball around to all corners of the ground for singles. He made 10 from 14 balls (he faced quite a few wides as well) when the game was called off with his team chasing down the opposition’s 101 all out from 23 overs with their 5/183 from 21 overs with 3 batsmen retired, and two more still to bat. A good day’s work for the trial. I just hate it when every batsman in the team wears a green helmet and they are all the same size. I can’t wear my distance sunglasses when scoring as I can’t see the scorebook. What a mistake – marking your own son as out when he was at the other end and yet to face a ball. It all comes down to two new batsmen starting at the same time (one ball apart) and one batsmen going to the wrong end and causing all sorts of issues in the trial. That is why I mixed the guys up. It was even my son. How bad am I?
Anyway today was another cricket match. An Old Boys XI played the First XI, and the 7As played the 8As, and the 9As played the 10As. The Second XI was supposed to play a teachers team in the afternoon, but they called it off as being too wet. So I went out early in the morning and again around lunch time, to see who was in the First XI and Second XI teams that I might know, as some of the boys were the same age and went to school with my daughter. It turned out one young boy was in the Second XI team.
But in the arvo I was able to get down to the shed and have some more fun. I installed the cross over between track 1 and track 2 in Fisherman Islands Yard. That just means that I only need two left hand medium radium points to complete the crossover arrangement in Fisherman Islands Yard for the standard gauge track. I am hoping to pick up a couple of second hand points at an upcoming Buy and Sell next weekend at one of the local clubs.
After this, I positioned the Ballast train that I store down at Fisherman Islands in the first part of track 2. That still allows the Container trains to terminate in track 1. I will consider locating another three container wagons in the second part of track 1. What will become the second part of track 3 when I get the next two points will have a spare loco located in it and maybe another wagon or two.
I also started looking at the reason why the dual gauge track at Acacia Ridge was causing a short when the points were switched to crossover from track 1 for standard gauge trains. I just insulated the dual gauge track against the point rail and all is now good. I even ran a 45 class loco back and forth around that area to confirm all is now good. What I also need to do, is investigate if I connected up the small cross over panel to control this point from track 1 to dual gauge or straight through for track 1 in Acacia Ridge Yard. I test it today and it did not work, and I'm not sure if I ever connected up the push button back to the NCE Mini Panel, or even coded up the point throw commands in the NCE Mini Panel. I also not sure if I ever purchased a stationary decoder to power the point motors on the cross over. I do know that the points for the crossover have a point motor installed. Well I guess that is a task for next weekend. Who knows what I might find at next weekend's Buy and Sell.
Another task, is to find out why the whole power district 6 will not power up. Again a task for next week.
Note for young players. Do not place soldering iron on the track in Acacia Ridge Yard in preparation for use and power up the layout and then wonder why there is short in power district 4. It is relatively easy to solve though - again a note for young players - Just remove the soldering iron!