On Monday the postman tried to deliver my Auscision 48 Class locos. Wouldn’t you know it, the wife was out with the kids at the shops. Bummer! That meant that I had to wait another day until I could get my hands on the locos and wife picked up my delivery from the Post Office. I came home from work early on Tuesday and sitting on the bed was my package. I went down to the shed and put them on the track. I read the accompanying notes and the locos were off and running up and down the tracks of Acacia Ridge Yard. I used 'program on the main' on my NCE DCC system to change the addresses one by one to match their individual loco number.
The first thing I realised was that the sound coming from the locos was awfully loud. Don't get me wrong, it sounded very good, but loud. That night I went to our fortnightly Tuesday Nighters meeting and took a loco with me. Everyone agreed that the sound was loud. The loco did a few trips up and down a siding on Lefty and Son's On30 layout, driven by some of the attendees. They were trying out all the sound functions.
So the next day I scanned the net and found a quick start manual for ESU decoders and CV63 was the master volume control. This was changed to 50 in one loco and 60 in the other from the default value of 192 – which was full volume. Apart from that, the locos run well, and sound very nice. I just now need to work out what roster that will take in my timetable. I think one will replace 4894 from Trainorama on a stock train from Grafton to Kyogle Stock Siding and return. I think that 4894 will then end up double heading the other stock train with an 80 Class loco. The other Auscision 48 Class loco will maybe end up replacing an 80 class on a ballast train. I'm just trying to get the best value for money for the sound that these locos have.
On another matter, I have been thinking about my implementation of Rocklea Sidings. You know that is a dangerous thing - me thinking. Initially I was going to put in a dual gauge point and run a standard gauge siding into Rocklea and there would be two tracks here to allow the drop off and collecting of Limestone and Cement wagons. The train will push the wagons from Clapham Yard into the siding and then return either light engine, or with the empties to Clapham Yard.
Now we all know that Rocklea also had some narrow gauge tracks into it as well. Well you guessed it. Planning is underway and there might be a narrow gauge point to the same complex. The trackwork may look very much like the actual trackwork at this location, with one narrow gauge track crossing over the standard gauge track at a location inside the complex just because I can.
I did spend some time on Friday afternoon trying to scratchbuild a set of dual gauge points for the entry into Rocklea Sidings. They did not end up being too good an effort. I did this in order to expedite the creation of the sidings while I await the delivery of a Tillig dual gauge Left hand point.
On Saturday afternoon I went to Bunnings and picked up a sheet of plywood for the baseboard for Rocklea. So later this was cut up. The method of holding the baseboard in place above Acacia Ridge Yard was perfected and it was all systems go. Access to the loops at Acacia Ridge Yard will still be maintained. I then laid out the track for the standard gauge sidings at Rocklea. I found a left hand curve point that will be used to split the two standard gauge sidings at this location. I then planned the track for the narrow gauge track at Rocklea. My first problem is that the third rail was on the wrong side of the track to allow me to just insert a narrow gauge point to form the take off for the narrow gauge sidings. While looking for some stuff on the Friday afternoon, I found a Tilling track to swap the third rail from one side to the other. Hmmm. I can use this. Just 700mm up the road outside Clapham Yard, I had scratch built one of these tracks. If I remove this track here, and run the third rail on the opposite side until the location of the narrow gauge point and then swap it back to the other side with the Tillig track or my scratch built version, all will fit together nicely. I just need one length of dual gauge flex from Tillig, a left hand narrow gauge set of points and a couple of lengths of 12mm flex and the narrow gauge sidings can be started also. I am waiting for a left hand Tillig dual gauge point to arrive and then I can actually install the whole siding complex. I picked up a new NCE QSnap four output point controller yesterday and I have four spare Peco point motors to control the various points. So everything is coming together.
Today I added the final pieces of the Rocklea baseboard and confirmed all the track purchases I need to finish this section off. There will not be any photos posted of this for 2 weeks as that is just after the Tuesday Nighters are at my place. I want to show them in person first. I also tinkered with the troublesome dual gauge point in Fisherman Islands Yard and I now have it working reasonably well. It still takes two pushes of the button on some occasions to fully throw the point, but I think it will get easier to activate through continued use.
The next major job is to run the wires from my control panel which will control Rocklea Sidings. The panel is located against the Acacia Ridge baseboard and the wires need to go about 30 feet to the NCE Mini Panel at Loco Pilly. But now with the few extra sets of points in this location, I need to run a few more wires from the control panel than originally planned. I'm certain that I need to pick up another 25m roll of wire from Jaycar first. Maybe a job for next weekend.
While still on the subject of thinking, while working on the baseboard at Rocklea, I kept looking down at Grafton Yard. It appeared to me that I install a Peco 3-way point where I have a left hand set of point, and deploy that removed set of points, I will be able to add two more short sidings in Grafton Yard. So I will keep my eyes out for a second hand set of Peco 3-way points. One of the tracks will allow me to store my Railbus when it arrives. I'm also thinking of storing a water train for all my fettler camps in one of those tracks as well.