Sunday, July 21, 2019

I Have Some Points to Make

This week on Tuesday night we visited Lefty and Son’s place just up the road in the next Suburb.  There was about 8 or 9 of us there if my memory serves me correctly.  PK was supposed to attend, but his car suffered a fit just outside the PA hospital.  Apparently the good folk from the RACQ got him and his old almost 25 year old car home, and an auto electrician was able to do some sort of transplant surgery on the old Camry and the damn thing might still have another 20 years of life left in it.  That is probably how long it will take for him to get around to installing his Clothesline in the back yard, so he can then insulate and line his shed, as a prelude to building his HO and N scale empires inside.

So Lefty has been given some offers of help to install some wall brackets that will allow a roof to be provided to his top deck on the layout.  This will assist in keeping dust and other particulates from the layout and provide a base to mount his overhead LED lights onto.  We await his call to arms to provide assistance.

PK was going to drop off his Fast Tracks dual gauge jig on Tuesday night, so his non-show was jeopardising me building some dual gauge points this weekend.  But PK did come to the rescue when he rocked up at work for a coffee early on Thursday and handed over his fast Tracks jig, so my plans could go ahead.

I was able to sneak over to Austral Modelcraft on Saturday morning before soccer and picked up two lengths of code 83 rail so I could spend this afternoon in the shed making two dual gauge points.  I had already cut the PC board sleepers last weekend.  So today was just cutting the insulation joints on the PC board sleepers between the two rails, then slowly measuring, cutting to length and grinding the various shapes of the rail lengths in the points.  These were then soldered up and various pairs of HO and HOn3 1/2 bogies were run through them.  Once complete I installed a throw bar.  The points seem to work.  Hopefully I will get around to looking at installing this set of points into the entry to Rocklea Sidings next weekend.

So after completing the first sets of points, I then thought about starting the second.  A quick scan of my supply of PC board sleeper strip material revealed that I had one length left in the packet hanging on my workbench.  That was not going to be enough.  I then went to the location where I left my last few point building projects and found another length of PC board strip along with another half a length.  Well that was just enough.

So the PC board sleepers were cut off, the rails cut to lengths, and eventually everything was soldered up and this point also seems to work.  Although the actuating throw bar was giving me some trouble, it has been added and this one set of points also seems to work.  This set of points is due to the lead into Acacia Ridge yard from the Clapham Yard end.  It provides a small HO loco storage siding at this location.

My first task next weekend, will be to put both of these points on a small test track and ensure that they are correctly electrically isolated, before I put them on the layout.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Still Stuffing Round with Rocklea Sidings

I had Friday off work this week and spent some time in the afternoon down the shed.  I ripped up the dual gauge track between Clapham Yard and Rocklea Sidings with the intention of relaying this section.  I had a narrow gauge curve point in this section to allow narrow gauge trains to gain entry to Rocklea Sidings.  This narrow gauge curve point had a third rail laid on the outside to form the standard gauge track in this section.  This was always causing some issues.  The reason was that the third rail on the outside was not exactly 16.5mm from the far rail on the inside of narrow gauge point.

So after lunch I ripped up the track and then took to the baseboard with a Dremel with a sanding disk in it.  This was to take a bit of a bulge out of the baseboard at this location and ensure a smooth base to work from.  This had the desired effect.  I then stole one of the points allocated to Fisherman Islands Yard for a narrow gauge cross over and installed that point in the track narrow gauge main line at Clapham Yard that merges with the standard gauge track from Clapham Yard to form the dual gauge via a Tillig gauge splitter piece of track.  I had to add about an inch onto the baseboard at this location first to allo wteh extra track to co exists with the dual track mainline.  So it made a longer narrow gauge lead into the Rocklea Sidings but this now runs very well.  The dual gauge main line track also runs better until it gets to the current dual gauge point that splits off the standard gauge into the Rocklea Sidings Complex.  I have not reconnected the point motor for the standard gauge sidings so I cannot run trains through it.  I did however, relocate the point motor from the old narrow gauge curve point, by extending the three wires to the Peco point motor to the new location of the point motor.  This relocated point and point motor now works very well.

I am once again contemplating scratch building two new dual gauge points for two locations on the layout to replace two others currently in use.  One is a bastardised Peco HO point, that I ran the third narrow gauge rail through.  I feel I can now build a better version of this point.  I think I will need to purchase a couple of lengths of code 83 rail this coming weekend and have to borrow PK’s dual gauge Fast Tracks point jig.  I’ve had one of his jigs for months, but I need it to use it to build one of these points, and I will need to borrow the other jig to build one point of the other hand, with the third rail on the other side of the point.

Let’s see how I go over the next two weeks or so working on that task.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Trip from Toowoomba to Fisherman Islands

I was extremely fortunate to be offered a cab ride last Monday from Toowoomba to Fisherman Islands on an Aurizon coalie.  It all started at my place when I was picked up and transported to Willowburn Yard to sign in and do a breathalyser test.  Of course I registered 0.00% so I could take my place in the car out to the Harlaxton Ballast Quarry with the crew for a change over.  My crew were great.  They even knew some of the old folks that I know from QR, QR National and Aurizon.

We had a slow trip down the range not exceeding 20km/h, passing many empties on the way back up to the mine.  Our first crossing loop was Rangeview reached at 12:01pm.  At Springbluff we crossed out first empty 9616 with 2305 + 2346 in charge at about 12:42pm.  There were lots of people on the platform, maybe due to school holidays.

We then crossed 2348 + 2350 on 9618 at 1:48pm through Lockyer.  This was followed by 2328 + 2313 on 9620 at 2:00pm at Helidon.  At Helidon the detector told us that we were 692m in length and had 44 Vehicles (of course two were the locos).  

At Gatton we passed 2388 + 2333 on 9624.  We were held outside Ipswich awaiting for an electric to get in front of us, and we passed 2306 + 23?? at Booval.

There was a cattle train in the cattle siding at Dinmore hauled by 2365 + 2390.  We had green lights all the way from Ipswich until arrival at the Fuel loading point at Fisherman Islands at 5:16pm.  We left provisioning at 5:46pm and basically my day was then complete. Our train was lead by 2320 and wouldn't you know it, I never got the other 2300's number. 

What a day!  We passed many electrics once we got into the suburban area.  A couple of places you could just look at the track and see that there was a bit of a wobble coming up and then sure enough as we went over that section, we got a good shake.  I got to see some unusual QR signal aspects, and could listen to the various announcements over the radio.  Some were quite interesting when we were in the Brisbane suburban area.

Thank you to those that helped to arrange the days events.  I had an absolute blast.

I think this is leaving Rangeview Loop.

About to enter Springbluff

Through Springbluff platform.

Murphy's Creek and an old water tank.

Cross just short of Lockyer

Another cross near Helidon

Our crew change point.

Through a Tunnel.  There were many.

Entering Brisbane Traffic Control territory.

The NGR homebase.

The signal that we had to wait for outside Ipswich.  Ipswich Railway Workshops are off to the left.

Bundamba and the branch is coming in from the right.

Dinmore passing a cattle train and an electric.


Wacol - just for Bob.

Another shot of Wacol.

And another shot of Wacol.

Just west of Darra.  This is advising us that we are taking the freight bypass track.

Just short of the Springfield junction and our destination is the freight bypass track.

Through Darra on that bypass track.

You are about to loose the overhead if you are an electric.

Corinda, my old stomping ground from 30 years ago.

About to cross over to the main.

Crossing over to the main.

Tennyson just before Yeerongpilly.

Joining the dual gauge at Yeerongpilly.

Up over the flyover at Dutton Park and Park Road

Through Coorparoo.  Another famous layout.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Still Working on the QR WHE Wheat Wagons

Well my 3 week stint at being the A/Director Technology Services at work has come to an end.  OMG!  I am certainly glad that has occurred.  I did enjoy certain bits of it, but it was certainly no easy run.  Anyway, I’m now on holidays for a week to recover.  

Thursday this week I had a pre-arranged day off work, as my daughter had her school formal on that evening.  I had to make myself look presentable in the morning with a visit to Tim’s Barber Shop for a  cut and a natter.  That was followed by washing the car with my son, who was already on school holidays.  The car was the delivery vehicle for the afternoon and evenings activities.  This was followed by a visit to George’s shop to pick up some paint.  While there I found that his daughter was also going to my daughter’s formal as she was the best friend  of another girl in my daughter’s class.  There was only about 4 or 5 boys attending this formal.  I picked up some QR wagon grey colour spray paint and headed back home.  Mid-afternoon, we had to then pick up the daughter’s partner for the night who also attended the same primary school, and take them to the Pre-formal get together, then go to the formal and get some photos with the family and eat a few canapes before retiring and letting the girls and their partners dance the night away.

My first model railway task for the weekend on Saturday was to make use of the can of spray paint that I collected on Thursday when I visited Aurora Trains.  I gave my three scratch built WHE wheat wagons an outside spray. 

It was then time to head out to soccer with my son.  His team was absolutely crunched by the opposition, who were older and bigger.  The score was 8-1.  At least the 1 was scored by my son, with a cracker of a goal from outside the box to the top left of the goal giving the goalkeeper no chance.  He almost had a few more chances, but the bigger opposition, just pushed them around.

So when I got home, I gave the wagons a second coat of QR grey spray paint.  I then completed some work with the Clapham Yard southern end control panel and head phone plug in point.  I moved both so they are more accessible to be under the new extended Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  I finally got around to searching my collection of narrow gauge bogies, and I found out I had 5 pairs of bogies that would be suitable to go under my scratch build WHE wagons.  So maybe I might think about scratch building another 2 wagons.

The next task was to paint the wheels of a PGC WHE wagon I got from Southern Models at the Brisbane Model Train Show.  I then added them to the PGC WHE kit and assembled 7 KD couplers and added two to this wagon.  Later that night I added the wheels and couplers to my scratch built wagons.  So that part of the assembly process it now complete.  I just need to make up a selection of tarpaulin supports for the PGC WHE and my three scratch built ones.

I was tossing up how I will add the tarpaulin for these wagons.  I was going to use two of my teabag tarps.  But I do not like a join or tarps in a wagon.  Today I went to the local Daiso store and picked up a packet of tea bag material for $2.80.  One had 20 tea bags in it and I could cut these out and they would fit my WHE wagons in a single sheet.  So I painted up 4 Daiso tea bag tarps and let them dry.  At that point I started to work on the tarpaulin supports for the wagons.  I remembered that the PGC WHE wagon had an etched brass fret that had 7 tarpaulin supports.  So I cut them out and then drilled 14 x 0.6mm holes with my pin vice drill for the tarp supports to be placed into.  I then cut out 24 tarpaulin supports from 1mm styrene for my scratch built wagons.  These will sit inside the wagon and support the tea bag tarps.  I used the brass fret as a template to draw on my styrene supports, and then I used my cheap Aldi grinding wheel to put the taper on the styrene supports, as per the line I just drew.  

I then double checked the coupler heights on these wagons and how well the wheels rolled on my 4 WHE wagons.  I added some KD washers under the wagons so the wheels did not rub on the underside of the wagon.  I added some lead weight to the inside of the wagons and the seem to track quite well.  I think I will wait until Tuesday to actually give then a run behind a loco from Acacia Ridge Yard to Fisherman Islands Yard.  I’m kind of busy tomorrow.  More on that later this week in another post.

My only concern now is that the tarpaulin material after it has been painted and allowed to dry, is quite thin and could potentially be seen through.  It kind of defeats the purpose of having a tarpaulin that you can see through over a wheat load – doesn’t it?  So I might have to use two tarps one over the other, or even give it another spray of paint from the other side.  So another job for Tuesday.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Punching Out Some WHE Wagons

This week we visited Dr Peter’s place on Tuesday night for our fortnightly Tuesday Nighter's get together.  I think there was about 10 of us checking out the start of changes on his fantastically detailed layout.  Basically he removed his old loco area, in particular his old turntable and engine roundhouse and built a mountain where underneath it, two tracks are hidden for two coal trains.  Maybe a loads and empties arrangement.  The changes are coming along very nicely.  

My next episode of model trains for the week, was basically yesterday checking out the hundred of photos and posts from the Diesel Era Modelling Facebook Group’s get together yesterday in Sydney.  It was a bit far and expensive for me to travel to this get together, to just run a train, but in the future I hope to get to one of these sessions, as do a few of my Queensland mates.

Today the modelling juices were sufficiently flowing to prompt me to do some further work on three scratch built WHE wagons.  So at the moment I continued to add the stamped ‘X’ panel shape on all the side panels and doors.  I did two complete wagons and more than three quarters to finish off the third wagon which I started back in early May.  I tried doing this modelling work on the kitchen table, but the lighting there was not sufficient for me to see what I was doing with these styrene 'X's.  So I took my portable worktop down to the shed and sat at my modelling desk down there, put the radio on and turned on my LED light above the workbench.  Now I could see.   So once this ‘X’ work was done, I packed up and went up stairs and had a beer.  

My next plan is to head off to a hobby shop next weekend and maybe get some paint for these wagons.  I may be able to spray them next Sunday.  One thing I have not checked out as yet is if I have any suitable bogies available.  I must get them out and check what I have.  It has just dawned on me that I have Thursday off next week.  Maybe after I get my hair cut, I might be able to nick off down to the hobby shop then.  That leaves my Saturday free for other activities soccer related - between goal setup, soccer game, and goal put down, it is already pretty busy.

Go Queensland!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Doing Some Maintenance

Well this weekend was a nice relaxing one in terms of not spending the weekend doing anything work related.  Although I had about a 20-30 SMS exchange with one of my new staff members from work yesterday, but that was associated with any stress.  Yesterday we again attended two soccer games.  The first for school, ended well.  Kyle scored the first and third goals in the first half and set up one other in the first half with a nice back heel and another in the second half with a great cross.  So the school soccer season is now ended with that 7-3 result.  The afternoon Club game was against a team of rough country bumpkins who were about 30cm taller than our guys.  They were the top team and had been blowing everyone off the park.  The score was 2-0.  Our keeper played like superman.  It was a fantastic game.  Maybe the corner has now been turned and they will start to be more competitive for the second sound of games.  I’m sure they will have a win or two in the rest of the season.

So onto the topic of what this Blog is all about.  Today I went to the shed in the later morning to run my steel train sequence.  That was 6 trains in order. 

Sequence  Train  Train name                     Depart   Arrive   Departs            Arrives
No.               No.                                            Time    Time
5                    8      Up Steel Train                  1:20    5:10    Acacia Ridge    Grafton 
16                 65     Dn Rocklea Steel Shunt   4:00    4:15    Acacia Ridge    Rocklea 
33                 66     Up Rocklea Steel Shunt   8:00    8:15    Rocklea            Acacia Ridge 
83                  7       Down Steel Train            17:00   17:50  Grafton             Cassino 
90                  7A    Down Steel train              19:00   21:00  Cassino            Acacia Ridge
102              70      Acacia Ridge Steel Shunt 22:00  22:45  Acacia Ridge        

So I started off running my empty steel train back toward Grafton Yard, it was evident that the first issue was that the train could not leave the Acacia Ridge Yard.  One set of points was against the train.  It turned out that the wire on the Acacia Ridge Control Panel for track two (where the steel train was) had come adrift.  Thus I could not throw that point.  Sure, I can call up the address of each point motor individually and throw them, but I could not find my manual list of point addresses.  So I can fix that loose wire pretty easily.  Once past that location, the locos stopped dead trying to exit the yard towards Glenapp Loop.  So the next problem solving action revealed that the new baseboard for the Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard extension from the last few weeks, has impacted on a Peco point motor using a Peco baseplate.  So the point would not throw in one direction, thus no power was provided up to the points that fan out for the yard exit tracks.  So I cut about 2mm of wood away from where the point motor base was, and the point was now able to go back into its position and it could then throw in both directions just like a bought one.  So the steel train could finally depart south.  However, the steel train was having running issues.  Three couplers on various wagons were playing up.  The train was continually separating.  I’d couple it back up and it would then separate at another location in the train.  Very frustrating.  So one by one, the troublesome wagons were removed, taken to the workbench and checked out.  One KD on one wagon had lost its KD spring and its jaws were not shutting.  A new spring was adder and that was not working.  Another troublesome coupler came good after a few manipulations of the jaws.  I think some sort of dust or dirt had got into the spring.  So that was removed and it was all OK as well.  The third wagon had recently had a bogie screw replaced.  But not too well.  The wagon was now too high at one end.  So I removed a couple of KD washers from under the bogie and it is now back to normal and not too high.  So normal services soon resumed.

The train ran quite well from that point on.  I did have some issues with the entry into Rocklea Sidings for the Steel Shunt Train, but after some slight adjustments and packing, everything was then working well again. 

All this occurred while it started to rain outside the shed, and a storm came over.  Not good weekend weather, but I didn’t get wet.

This week is Tuesday Nighters and I have no idea where we are meeting.  Maybe I need to pay more attention at the meetings.  I’m sure someone will tell me before Tuesday Night.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Head Down Backside Up

This week we had the pleasure of visiting Barnacle Bob's house and his layout Mosquito Creek.  This was our regular Tuesday Nighter's get together.  That layout is fantastic.  PK posted quite a few photos on his Facebook account on Wednesday of the visit.  So I stole them and added them to this post.  Thanks PK!

The locations around the layout are actual QR locations.

This shot shows the wharf.  On the right of the photo is the navigational buoys to help the local traffic get to and from the wharf.  A bus load of oldies from the local bowls club are arriving at the wharf so they can board a small cutter for tour up and down the creek.  I heard it was 75 year old Dafney's birthday and the old ducks have hired the boat and will be into their shandies before you know it.  They will not be able to wait until the stripper called Stumpy shows up later on in the cruise.  Boy will they be disappointed.

Just up the creek from the wharf, is where the fisheries inspectors like to hang around and count the number of fish in the local fisherman's catch to ensure they are not taking more than their bag limits.  They also count the number of crabs they have taken as well.  I was intending to try and make some crab pots for Barnacle Bob to have at this location hidden in the mangroves.

This shot shows those creek side industries taken from the road.  Rumour also has it that Weedy Will frequents this locations.  I think his car is the blue one on the left.  Weedy Will, is 6' 8' and the size of a small brick outhouse.  His name does not come from his build.

The branch line to Mosquito creek has a small industrial branch coming off of it.  This location has industries to the left and right and a small station halt also to the right, just out of view in this shot.

If you are anywhere near this location, I must advise that you need mosquito repellent.  People wonder why the location gets its name.  Spent 5 minutes checking out this fantastic bridge, just like the guy in this shot and you are eaten alive by mosquitos.  You can even hear a frog croaking somewhere under the bridge.

Apart from Tuesday night, my week has been spent trying to conclude a consultancy for a customer, and I’ve been burning the midnight oil on.  Before work, after work, all this weekend, and I was actually doing it all week at work as well.  Hopefully that will be completed by Tuesday.  I was looking forward to that, so I could recharge my batteries so as to speak.  However, following Thursday at work, I now think I am going from the frying pan into the fire.  Who needs enemies when I have friends like these – so on Thursday I found out I have a new job at work for the next 3 weeks starting tomorrow.  We all laugh and say that our mate Rod has the worst job in the organisation.  We are always happy that it is him and not any of us.  Well, without me knowing or being involved in the planning and getting approvals by the Deputy Director General, I have been ‘volentold’ that while Rod is an Executive Director for the next 3 weeks, I am him.  Bugger!  Thanks Mate!  I'm not even in his Division!  I must have upset a GM and an ED or two to get this 'reward'.  Now I'm boss of close to 100 or more staff.  I like my old job – boss of me and that's all!  At least that guy is not that hard to handle and normally does what I tell myself to do.  Well at least sometimes.  So my modelling time might be just as scarce over the next three weeks, as it has been this week.

Any downtime that I had yesterday was taken up with my son's 2 games of soccer – both losses, one for school 3-2 (and Kyle scored one), and 3-0 for the Club where they were almost as good as the other team.  I have not been able to get to the shed at all.  Well I lie, I did nick down to get a beer out of the fridge and come back up stairs.  No rest for the wicked.

Maybe next week I can do some shed time.  Also maybe I might be able to destress during the week with some modelling activities.  I actually have a growing list of things on my To Do list.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

NSWGR RUB Set and Completing Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard

I had plans during this week for working on some N scale butter box containers.  I lost motivation because when I got home from work on Monday, I was greeted with the news that the wife was out when my RUB set was trying to be delivered.  Bugger!  That is always the case.  I had no forewarning RUB set was in transit, only a few people on the various Facebook groups advising that they had received their sets.  So I came home a little bit earlier on Tuesday to head off to the local post office but the boss had already picked up the RUB set from the post office.  I unpacked it and set it up in Acacia Ridge Yard.  I noticed the wires on the PHS and the terminal car.  I got my NR class loco out from Grafton Yard and took the RUB set for a run from Acacia Ridge Yard to South Brisbane Interstate.  I had various derailments along the way, with an odd wagon here and there popping off the tracks.  To me I think it was some sort of locking of the inter-car connections, or bogie swing limited by the hanging down bits underneath the wagons.  I noticed that there were no screws to loosen for the bogies as they must be some form of press fit.  On Tuesday afternoon I left the train in the platform at South Brisbane Interstate Station, and made plans on how I was going to tune the carriages up.

I had Friday off and started by building another 4 gen sets.  When that was finished I went down to the shed and completed the track laying in Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  This was mostly adding a third rail next to three narrow gauge points on the dual gauge trackage and adding a few nails to keep the track in geometry.  I ran a series of wagons both narrow gauge and standard gauge through the track and everything went well.  I then looked at my RUB set again.

I was running it in and out of South Brisbane Interstate station, and it kept coming off the track going into platform 1.  The wheels do not give it enough movement to stay on the track if the track transitions from flat to super elevated around curves.  The wheels do not want to stay on the track.  So I packed under one of my points and it ran a lot better.  I added a long shank coupler at one end of each wagon and checked the gauge of all the wheels.  I thought that most of the wheelsets were a fraction of a mm under gauge for my liking.  I fixed that and set everything aside again.

Friday afternoon after letting my daughter drive home from school and meeting my son at the bus stop, I went back down to the shed.  I decided to relay the track into the platform at South Brisbane Interstate station.  I had some very old track in that location and maybe some of the track was under gauge.  So after replacement the train now runs much better through there – read no derailments.  I then started the train back off towards Grafton Yard after running the loco around.  As it was travelling past Park Road Sidings towards Dutton Park, the train derailed.  Again it looked like some under gauge old track as well as some level changes to the trackage.  I then made the decision to stop off at Austral Modelcraft on Saturday morning and pick up a length of Peco flex track to replace this section of track.  

Saturday was Soccer Day.  First game was for school and it was scheduled for a 7:30am start about 30km away.  Yes you have to be there 30 minutes before and the motorway was shut so we detoured and got there finally at 7:05am.  The score ended up either a 14-1 or 16-1 win.  I lost count of the goals.  I thought it was 14.  But a tally of who scored how many after the game, had the score coming to 16.  After five minutes, our coach took one of our plyers off the field and we played with 10 men after the score was 3-0.  Although you would not think it from the score, the opposition goalkeeper had a blinder.  He must have stopped or deflected more than a dozen serious shots on goal.  He continually drew praise from the sideline for his efforts.  If he wasn’t man of the match for his team, I had no idea who would have been.  We stayed around a bit to watch some of the other teams in his age group play their games.  No other team in his year won.  On my way back from the morning game, I stopped off at Austral Modelcraft and picked up a single length of Peco flex track.  No sooner had we got home and had something to eat, we were out again.  The second match was at 1:00pm with his Club team photos from 12:15pm just before kickoff.  That game ended up a 2-2 draw.  This was his Club team's first points for the year.  Also the opposition’s first points for the year as well.  Kyle scored 3 goals in the morning game and 1 goal in the afternoon game.

When I got home from the afternoon game, I went to the shed and painted my last 4 gen sets.  I could not get motivated to replace the track near Dutton Park.  I then decided to affix some additional under-layout bracing for Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard and then cut some curtain rod to help provide stable support up from the level below.  Next job was to drill holes for track power droppers at the far end of the yard and cut up and install all the dropper for one side of the track.  These were soldered together and to the track.  For the other side's power feeds, I cut all the droppers, and then I lost interest.  So it was tools down for the day.

On Sunday just before lunchtime I shot off to Jaycar to get a few meters of power bus wire.  This was then installed at the far end of Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard to tie all the feeders together.  I completed the rest of the feeders from yesterday and then I fired up the old NCE 5 Amp system and ran a 1720 loco through all the tracks I had just powered up.  A few issues, with two power feeder wires coming off and a couple of track nails not being driven in far enough.  But after these were fixed, the new trackage seems to operate quite well.  Oh yes, I must install a protective sheet of clear Perspex around this area to protect the floor from my locos and wagons, or vice versa.  You know what I mean.

So that still leaves me with the track replacement project for Dutton Park to complete and then some more work in Fisherman Islands Yard.  This will involve the installation of a few track power feeds around the new point work.  Yes I need to save up some money for 3 more sets of narrow gauge points for Fisherman Islands and some more money for another 1720 class loco.  That might be my last for quite some time, unless Wuiske brings out a QR DH loco.  I will have to get one of these if they come out.  

I was greeted with some bad news on Friday night when Wuiske Models advised that a particular loco (Bronco 1743 with blue air-conditioned) had been sold out in HOn3½ gauge.  I was planning on buying that loco in August at our Club Exhibition in Strathpine.  Bugger!  I suppose I could just get another Bronco colour scheme loco.  But I did want that particular one.
The far end of Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  Both dead end tracks are dual gauge.  This allows a run around facility for narrow gauge trains within the operations session.

Another view of Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge yard, this time from above.  You can see the tracks coming together.  I also added a narrow gauge siding to the left for some more interest.

The other end of Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard.  One track is for my coal train, and another is reserved for my Grain train.  The other tracks are for general freight.

This view of Fisherman Islands Yard shows the recently added two small looks on the top left.  There will be two sets of crossover installed between loop 1 and the main track and between the main track and the dual gauge track.  A siding will also be added at the end of loop 2, the left most track.

This photo is of South Brisbane Interstate Yard.  The recently replaced trackage is on the far left on entry to the platform.  This yard now has 8 tracks and a loco siding to the left of the candy loco in track 9.  Track 10 is to the right of that loco and is for oil and bitumen wagons.  In the distance is Park Road Sidings with wagons in the two sidings here and the RUB set on the main awaiting the track in front of it to be replaced with a new length of Peco flex track - at a time in the future.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

No Time To Relax Yet

This week I have been flat out.  It started with 9 people coming over to Tuesday Night for our fortnightly get other.  PK came bearing gifts as he does occasionally, and in return he took away a HO scale generator set on a 20’ container.

Most of the time this week I was constructing lots of styrene models.  I have completed and painted 7 generator sets and 7 x 20' container flats.  I still need to build three more gen sets to go on existing container flats, then I think I can put that project to rest.  My next project is constructing about 6 or maybe 10 N scale butterbox containers.  I have not constructed these models for quite some time, so I am a bit rusty in how they go together.  I'm not sure if I have the particular Styrene in my collection for the container sides.  But I will get around to looking before next weekend.

On Friday afternoon, I went over to Aurora Trains and picked up another length of dual gauge Tillig flex track for the finishing off of Acacia Ridge Narrow Gauge Yard. I also picked up some more styrene. 

The weekend has been vary busy.  Saturday started off with a trip to Ashgrove for an 8:30am school soccer game for my son.  Four minutes before the scheduled kickoff time and we only have 5 players.  For the previous half an hour, the whole opposition was warming up, going through a series of drills.  They must have thought that they were going to get a forfeit, or at least play a reduced team and go through them like a hot knife through butter.  Then two more guys turned up.  They said there were two more coming just behind them.  Sure enough in another minute there was 2 more and that made nine.  Just as they arrived, I could see player number 10 walking across the field.  The whistle blew and number 11 rocked up and ran onto the field.  Another minute later and our first and only reserve also appeared.  The opposition must have thought they there were in the box seat, with no warm up for most of out team.  Well not really, although my son and his attacking partner could not hit the side of a barn from 10 paces.  They missed wide, they went over the cross bar and then they both with no one to beat except the goal keeper they both kicked it straight to him.  Then the flood gates opened after the first goal.  The biggest guy on the team, playing as a mid fielder scored a hattrick and by half time it was 4-0.  he was great.  He player in the goal for the second half.  Second half was just the same.  Again my son, just kicked to the goalkeeper and either he caught them, or they were deflected wide.  But they finally won 7-0 and Kyle was back playing soccer after a fractured arm kept him out for a few weeks.  In another incident, Kyle was sent flying in the air in the first half, when someone took both his legs out from under him in the penalty box.  But the ref did not give it.  He landed on his arm, and he came off saying it did not hurt.  So that was good news.

Following that game, we had to go to Bridgeman Downs for a club game at 11:20am.  That started off badly, being down 2 – 0 at half time, but they showed promise.  But in the second half, they came back and it was 2-1 and they had many shots at goal.  It ended 3-1 and they played their best game of the year.  Next week, they might break their winning drought.  No sooner had we got home from soccer and (of course the hobby shop – Austral Model craft for some more styrene) and we were off into town for the weekend.  My niece was turned 40 along with her husband, and they had hired a place in town for a great party.  It was great to catch up with the nieces and nephews and their friends.  So finally arriving home today, just 11:00am and then having to mowing the grass.  This afternoon I completed the Gensets and painted everything.

I never got down to the shed to complete the track work, or start the wiring as I had planned.  That has been pushed back to next weekend.  That is also the weekend for the Toowoomba Exhibition.  I will have two more games of soccer next Saturday to travel to and maybe an afternoon of track laying.  But I also need to do some work on the N scale butter box containers.  I also have further plans for putting together some HO scale outhouse kits as saleable models.  That way I can clean out some containers of styrene at home.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Where Did That Week Go?

Another week has come and gone, but I feel that it just flew past and I did absolutely nothing.  But on reflection, I did quite a bit of modelling.  I think I started the week off by painting 7 of the 20’ container flats that I constructed at the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition 2 weeks ago.  I then on Friday afternoon/evening constructed 5 generator sets for the 20’ container flats.  

Early on Saturday morning I was able to visit a local hobby shop and pick up a length of 12mm flex for Acacia Ridge Yard and two lengths of Tillig Dual gauge flex track, also for Acacia Ridge Yard.   I ran into Grover and his daughter at the Hobby Shop.  The rest of the day was spent watching many soccer games and rugby games including the First XI and First XV games of my son's school.  I had a great time.  However, before I left in the morning, I spray painted the generator sets.  Later on in the evening I glued the now dry generator sets to the container flats.  I think later this week I will continue constructing the last few container flats, and then I’ll jump into building another 5 generator sets.

This morning was an early start as I ventured over to our Club for the semi annual Buy and Sell.  There were about 30 tables of sellers and quite a consistent stream of buyers.  I actually sold some stuff and made enough money to pay for a few items that tickled my fancy.  I even had some cash left over.  That generally does not happen that often.  At least I know that there are two people that read my blog.  One was my mate Shelton.  He was the smart aleck who posted about me building a fourth level.  Ho, Ho, Ho that was so funny - Not!  It must have been funny for a VR modeller, so we will excuse him for that.  So at the Buy and Sell, another comedian came up (Hey Mark) and mentioned am I going home to build the fourth level?  Well I suppose, he did not know much better, as he was an American N scale modeller – mind you a good one at that.  So that must be both of the people that read the blog.

When I finally got home and unpacked, I ventured down to the shed and the first thing was to distribute my newly purchased loot around the layout. Next was to get motivated to lay some new narrow gauge and dual gauge track in Acacia Ridge Yard.  So this is actually the third level not the fourth.  The fourth level already exists as it is the track at Rocklea Sidings and around to Clapham Yard.  As always happens there was a change of plans.  I realised that if I redeployed a couple of 12mm points, I could add another 12mm siding in Acacia Ridge Yard and also make another 2 narrow gauge run around sidings within the Yard.  So I robbed these points from Fisherman Islands.  So that means that I need to buy some more points to allow completion of Fisherman Islands Yard, but I will delay that until our model railway exhibition in August, when I save up some more money for track.  This new plan will allow me to store a couple more 12mm wagons around the layout.  I must also get back onto the task of scratchbuilding my 12mm grain wagons.

So I have some tasks scheduled for this week, and some more track laying for Acacia Ridge Yard next Saturday.  Then I will have to spend some time, probably all of Sunday and the following weekend completing the wiring of this new track.

Another brainwave I had at the Buy and Sell, was to potentially keep about 4 old style NSW grain wagons that I was trying to sell today.  I may consider keeping them to be part of a local shunt train from Grafton to South Brisbane Interstate, or maybe even Clapham Yard.  There was, and still is, a rather large Grain Silo facility on the western side of Clapham Yard.  I assume that many years ago, train loads of grain were delivered by new railways to this facility.  I guess someone will confirm this to me.  I could use one of the dual gauge sidings in Clapham Yard for the grain wagon spotting location.  

This Tuesday is also Tuesday Nighters, and the crew are visiting my place.  So early Tuesday afternoon, I need to come home early and just do a quick tidy up of the shed, and get the tea and coffee gear out.  We should then get an update from Darren about the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention held yesterday in Sydney.  I’m looking forward to Tuesday.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Early Disillusionment followed by Modelling Success and the Layout Progress

Following a successful weekend of model railway activities at the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition last Saturday and Sunday, I was poised for a great Monday public holiday being spent in the shed continuing down the model railway path.  My enthusiasm was soon tempered when I found out that I did not have enough rail joiners both metal and insulated to allow installation of my newly purchased points in Fisherman Islands Yard.  I was further disillusioned when taking my daughter for an early morning driving lesson and I noticed that the local hardware was closed due to the public holiday.  Bugger!  Well that certainly smacked me in the face and deflated my enthusiasm quite severely.  However, I decided that on Monday evening I was to break out the styrene and commence making some QR grain wagons that could be fitted with a tarpaulin – or three – let’s not be too greedy.  So by Monday night, I had three styrene boxes with a base created, that were going to form the basis for the tarpaulin covered grain wagons.

On Tuesday evening, I shot out to Bunnings and purchased the ply sheet I needed for the extended baseboard for Acacia Ridge narrow gauge yard.  This was followed by a get together with most of the Tuesday Nighter boys at Peter’s Place where we again discussed the previous weekend's model railway exhibition and solved plenty of the world's problems - as we normally do.

Over the rest of the week I cut out some underfloor centre sills for the grain wagons, and on Friday and Saturday nights I constructed the wagon doors on both sides of the three wagons.  Yesterday on the way to my son’s Club Soccer game, I stopped off at Austral Modelcraft and picked up some metal and plastic rail joiners and a packet of 0.020” x 0.040” styrene that I needed to complete the last pair of doors on the last grain wagon.  This morning, I cut up many small pieces of 0.010” x 0.030” styrene while waiting for the boss to be ready to head out to the Mother-in-law’s place, I started affixing the bottom part of the styrene that will look like the press fitted shape in each of the wagon panel sides provided to add strength to the wagon side panels.  I am only doing the bottom part of this shape for two reasons.  The first is that the wagon will have a strategically fitted tarpaulin that will cover up top half of the ‘X’ pressed shape in the panel side.  The second reason is that the whole ‘X’ shape is too hard and fiddly to accurately make in styrene.  Maybe it could be 3D printed in bulk for each wagon though?  Maybe there is an opportunity out there for someone to mass produce some 3D printed pressed ‘X’s for QR wagon sides to be glued to QR wagon sides – Who knows?  I am most impressed with how the scratch built grain wagons are coming together.

Anyway this afternoon, I made my way down to the shed and cut out the ply shape for the extended narrow gauge yard for Acacia Ridge Yard.  The track has been just placed about where each siding will go and it now looks like quite good.  The next issue is that I think I need a couple more lengths of Tillig dual gauge flex track and maybe one more length of 12mm flex to complete the track.  I think I will not bother making any more curved sections of dual gauge track like I had previously done - I will just buy it this time.  I had some done testing and it looks like track 1 will easily take a 12 wagon coal train with two locos, and track 2 will take a 12 wagon grain train with two locos on the end.  It also appears that the run around points at the far end of Acacia Ridge narrow gauge Yard will easily be accessible from the operating aisle at the Clapham Yard end of Acacia Ridge.  Most of the new baseboard has been screwed together and fixed to the layout frame.  

Next Friday afternoon I might be able to pick up a couple of lengths of Tillig track at Aurora Trains which will allow me to continue on the track laying activities in Acacia Ridge Yard and Fisherman Islands Yard on next Sunday.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2019 Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition

The Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition has found its way back to the May long weekend in Brisbane at the Brisbane Exhibition grounds.  However, it on now only a 2 day show.  For quite a number of years, the show had moved to the second weekend in May in lieu of the long weekend, as they had moved venues.  It had been held at Doomben Racecourse and the Big Marquee at the RNA showgrounds.  But we are now back at both the show grounds and the original weekend - the long weekend in Brisbane.  The exhibition hall had a flat concrete floor, the toilets were inside, the aisles were wide enough and the attendance to look at some great exhibits was good.  Access was also good.

I went in early on Friday and took two tables, 3 chairs and a few boxes of stuff and was back out inside 30 minutes.  I had other things to do.  Andrew Matt dropped in from Townsville, in the afternoon and had a more in depth tour of Cassino than occurred at his previous visit.  His last visit was when the layout was an open layout at a previous Modelling the Railways of Qld Convention about 3 years back, if I remember correctly.  This time Andrew got a private tour of each location with a few scenery features pointed out.  We also went through the electricals.  He picked up an NCE radio throttle and ran the Brisbane Limited from Grafton Yard to South Brisbane Interstate Station.  Along the way, he set points and took and returned staffs for the various sections travelled through.  At South Brisbane he ran around his train and then cut off the motor rail wagon and his express fruit wagon from the passenger consist.  The trains locos then hauled the passenger consist into track 4.  The train locos then ran to Park Road Siding.  Normally in the normal timetable, the locos would run all the way to Loco Pilly.  The shunt loco (7304) at South Brisbane then travelled to the end of the platform and pushed the motorail wagon to the end of the track and the fruit wagon was moved to track 5 and then the loco moved back to the Loco siding at South Brisbane where it started from.  A few minutes later, the shunt loco went back to the end of the platform road, but this time via road two and collected the motor rail wagon.  It then added the motorail wagon to the front of the express fruit wagon in track 5 and then moved both to the front of the passenger consist in track 4.  The 73 class shunt loco moved back to the Loco siding.  The train locos then ventured back from Park Road Sidings and joined onto the train in track 4.  They then moved the train back into the platform road and then departed south towards Grafton Yard where they terminated.  Soon after Andrew left to go watching trains down at Acacia Ridge in 1:1 scale.  Just as I was writing this, I forgot that the consist needed to be reversed at Grafton Yard.  I forgot!  It is difficult to get good help sometimes.  I will seriously chastise myself tomorrow when I fix up this issue.

On Saturday morning I picked up my partner in crime – Arthur Hayes MMR and we inhabited the Structure Building Stand (No. 52 in the program) under the NMRA banner.  OMG!  We did not stop talking all day and did very little actual work.  People asked questions and we caught up with lots of old friends.  We had quite a few enquiries about the NMRA and also just modelling in general.  I was dry as a dead dingo's ....  Today, was just a little bit less busy.  But we did exactly the same as yesterday.  Now my Mastercard is currently in shock. The wife will be when she see how much is on it when the bill comes in too.  Maybe I may have purchased another 1720 class loco and of course an ESU chip for it – no not sound as I’m not made of money.  I may have purchased another 8 sets of 12mm points and three lengths of 12mm flex track, so I can now complete Fisherman Islands Yard along with another extra dead end siding – maybe a loco siding, and two intermediate cross overs.  The rest of the points are for Acacia Ridge Yard and an idea of adding a head shunt and making the four narrow gauge tracks all connect at the other end - thus allowing run around movements.  So all my track for the layout should now be purchased.  I think I have said that statement before.  But I'm much closer to being correct this time.  I just have to lay it now – maybe tomorrow.

I did have the aim today of starting to collecting wagons for my narrow gauge grain train.  So I now have a 1720 class loco.  Ideally, I would like double headed 2300 class locos, but as I said before – I am not made of money.  I did pick up a PGC HWE grain wagon.  I was after some QGA (I think) grain wagons also sold by PGC, but they did not have any when I visited the stand today.  My partner in crime Arthur, was scratch building some 12mm wheat wagons at our display stand.  So I will probably go down that path as well.  I also hope to pick up maybe 1 or 2 packs of Southern Rail Models ready to run grain wagons with lids when they do their next run of these wagons.  Now one of the down sides of sitting next to one of the two most knowledgeable QR person walking on this earth, and by the way, the other one visited our stand yesterday hey – Arthur (also called Arthur) is that you learns lots of stuff.  Some of it you just don't want to hear!  Now Fisherman Islands is a bottom discharge grain handling facility.  However, some of the wagons that I will be building the HWE kit and similar ones that Arthur is scratch building – they are tippler wagons.  Arthur, just knows how to drive that stake right into your heart.  Oh well!  In my Fisherman Islands time period, it had both.  Tongue is now extended out of mouth and various sounds like Thhhhffffttttt are being emitted.  Refer Rule Number 1.  It is my layout and I will do as I want to.  

I also picked up some other items, like ballast from Matt’s Ballast, few Road Rager Ford cars at a nice price, and a HO medium point for Acacia Ridge Yard to replace one I stole to put somewhere else some months ago.  Now, I do have one dream.  My dream is to install a set of point sin Fisherman Islands Yard and create a return loop directly above Cougal Spiral - following the layouts support posts and having the track come back onto Fisherman Islands Yard again.  So I have not done much thinking about this, like if it would be 12mm, 16.5mm or both.  We will see maybe next May what develops.  I should have paid off my debt by then and be out of the wheel chair after the boss finds out what I spent.

I was most impressed with a couple of layouts at the  Brisbane show.  Walloon a QR 12mm layout from the Love family and an S scale  shunting layout.  I must admit I did not get enough time to see everything at the show.   So the venue is great.  Pack up was a bit of a pain, only because I had tones of rubbish with me.  Arthur and I took all the gear out the front of the hall and then across the road to a loading zone.  And in less then 2 minutes I drove up, we packed the car and we were off home.  I was home by around 5:00pm.

Bring on tomorrow when I start to install the new trackage.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Long Weekend

On Thursday I went down to the Shed after the ANZAC Day March on TV had completed and tried to replace some wheels in my Trainorama 44 Class Locos.  I worked out how to pull apart the first two 44 Class locos and replaced 6 wheels across both of these locos.  In the end this was quite a quick process using a small set of plyers and a flat bladed screw driver.  These two upgraded 44 class locos now sound like a normal loco without the thump-thump-thump as they make their way around the track.  Before I tested them, I turned on the track power, and you guessed it, another short but this time in Power district number 5.  That is Clapham Yard until South Brisbane Interstate.  A quick inspection of the three yards in that section, Clapham, South Brisbane Interstate and then Park Road Siding, revealed that the locos on the paper train were on the set of points in the siding and the layout start up point threw the points to track 2 and this caused a short.  A manual change of that point, and everything is back to normal.  These track shorts are just doing my head in.  I also moved the locos of the paper train back off the sets of points to prevent further issues on the next start up.

I also found a bad power connector in track 10 in Grafton Yard and fixed that pretty quick as well.

On Friday I started getting my items together for next weekend’s Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition – Saturday and Sunday only.  I did a bit more of this yesterday afternoon.  Today I went down to the shed and did even more scratching around.  My tools are basically packed and I will have a few of my excess wagons for sale behind my stand.  I will also have a few samples of wagon loads for sale as well as a few small detail items.  Over next weekend I will be putting together a few small detail items to be made out of styrene.  These will also be available to exhibition attendees if they ask.

While in the shed today, I thought I would try and test my theory about extending the length of three narrow gauge sidings in Acacia Ridge Yard.  Well upon first thoughts, it may well be possible.  I will just need about three lengths of flex track and three sets of 12mm points, a Left Hand set and two Right Hand sets.  First of all I need to do some baseboard changes.  That will require a visit to Bunnings but that could be Monday week on the long weekend up here.   I finally got around to running the last train in last weekend’s timetable.  It was here that I figured one of my Jumbos headlights were not operating properly.  I put it on the programming track and read back the settings of CV21 and CV22.  They were correct, but the loco was definitely not responding to the commands I had configured by these CV’s.  So I re-wrote them and tested again and the loco was not setting these correctly.  Very interesting.  

I have made up my shopping list for next weekend and I am also considering ordering a DEB set from Auscision.  I am not aware of one being in service on the North Coast, but I believe there was at least on that ran an ARHS tour at one time.  So maybe.  I could then alternate my ARHS CPH Tour with a DEB set.  I could also run the DEB set on my mountain goat service.  Just when I think I am nearing the end of my track purchases, I find reasons to buy more.  However, I do need more locations to store more wagons – particularly narrow gauge ones.  These extra points will also allow me to run around some of the trains in the narrow gauge yards.

If you are attending the Brisbane Model Railway Exhibition next weekend, stop by the Structure Building Stand and say hello.  This year my partner in crime is Arthur Hayes MMR and he will have some absolutely brilliant narrow gauge wagons on display with scratch built loads – much, much better than my unique loads.  You will be in absolute awe.