This week I’ve done a few tasks in preparation for this yesterday’s Operations Session. The last Ops session was in April this year. A very big break. On Monday evening I cut up the various timetable cards that I printed. On Christmas eve, I cut up the various shunt lists for the standard gauge trains. I also went through the timetable cards and removed the unnecessary ones, i.e. the 'A' version of the ballast train, the afternoon Cassino Meatworks shunt, the 'A' version of the Gold Coast Motorrail and its return train and the extra narrow gauge trains.
On Christmas afternoon after the boss cooked a very nice dinner for the family, I added couplings to 6 narrow gauge wagons, and bogies to two of these wagons. I added containers to three container flats, and also slipped a container into a FJS wagon. I have no idea if these wagons ever carried a container, but the container slipped into the wagon, so I thought I’d try it. I forgot to find out on Saturday when Arthur, Mr QR prototype and loads, was present. I don't know if it is prototypical or not. I had to adjust the bogie bolster height to ensure that the couplers were the correct height on two wagons.
On Christmas night when I superglued two tarps to two HWE grain wagons. I then also started applying tie down ropes to another tarp – this time for a HJS wagon. This reminds me I still have the other side to complete. On Thursday morning I spent 2 hours in the shed and ran my cleaning car train over all the mainline trackage from Grafton Yard to Cassino and through to South Brisbane Interstate. Then I went back to Dutton Park and then went for a trip to Fisherman Islands. From there we back tracked to Cassino again and then went for a trip along the branch line to Murwillumbah. Then back to Grafton Yard. I went out on the mainline and came back via all the loops. While at South Brisbane Interstate I went up and down all the vacant sidings. I found one cold solder joint that prevented trains from running in track 4. That was fixed and everything was good again. I also went up and down all the tracks in Cassino, Old Cassino, Lismore, and Murwillumbah.
I had planned that on Friday I was going to test the narrow gauge with the running of my largest narrow gauge train ever. This was to positioned all the 12mm wagons in their start locations. I never did the running. I just carried the wagons to their start locations. I thought I would just suck it and see on Saturday. I did however, double check the standard gauge wagons and ensured that the wagons were in their correct order on the various trains – well except for the oil train. That came back to haunt us on Saturday.
Saturday rolled around and 10 crew and myself turned up to run some trains. I was expecting a larger gathering. So again it was organised chaos. Trains broke away. Some locos were DOA. Some just stopped after a bit of a short. I resurecte dthem on teh programming track with my Powercab. My steel train kept parting between the second and third wagons. This train has run for years. It caused all sorts of delays as it was late starting and got later. That train was attended to last last night after the session. That train also had an AOOX wagon causing issues. I also adjusted that wagion today - and ran that from Grafton Yard to Acacia Ridge and back again as a test.
Yesterday we ran about 31 trains to completion in the session and there are at least three on the layout awaiting completion. We ran the fast clock for about 12 hours from 00:40 am and some trains are only at their locations they were supposed to be at 9:00am – or close to it. So we are just over about a third of the way through the session. But that was because of the issues, and most I caused. I only drove one train after it was so troublesome. I then just roved around attending to issues as they arose.
Most of the issues were ones that I was causing and holding up mainline traffic. So there was a lot of single file of trains around various incidents. Arthur did a great job at North Coast Control. We had everyone enjoying themselves, I had feedback on about 8 trains on the timetable cards. So these have all been addressed, either last night or today. That is the reason we have timetable cards, so crew can write on them about the issues they encountered and then I can fix them up. Issues could be about track, the timetable card, headsets, staff machines or the train.
The session caused me to have some issues with three narrow gauge dead end sidings being too short. But only on one end! Also two narrow gauge loops were also too short. I will address the length of the three dead end sidings, and then adjust what wagons run to the narrow gauge loops. But 14 of my narrow gauge wagons did not exist at the last session. They were all scratch built since then. I only had one issue with a coupler spring missing on one of the wagons. I knew about that before the session, but I could not find the wagon in the lead up to the session. Luckily someone did and that is also now fixed.
Today I had a visit from model railway royalty. Bob Gallagher popped in for a tour. He was up here on holidays. We spent a couple of hours talking and walking around the layout.
I will spend a bit of time in the shed over the next few days and next weekend, and who knows, I might run a few trains by myself to progress the timetable. I can even run multiple trains at the same time, but no more than two. I can now concentrate on some scenic progress on the layout before the next operations session.
Thanks for turning up guys and Happy New Year to all my followers.
This shot by PK, shows some work at the level crossing on Fairy Lane.
Another shot by PK. He was running the rail paybus heading towards South Brisbane Interstate. It is seen here passing Nammoona Ballast Siding, which also leads cattle.
The rail paybus was again captured by PK (and driven by him as well) as it passes Ron and Marg's B&B near Fairy Hill Crossing Loop. Apparently PK regularly stay at the B&B and rents the particular room with a view of the railway track. You can see him through the window getting up to no good.
Most of the Crew in this shot. Three were missing, Arthur in North Coast Control, Mark shunting Clapham Yard behind me and who knows were Darren was.
A shunt train has arrived at Clapham Yard 48 class. It will drop some wagons off and then head to South Brisbane Interstate with the last two wagons. The car carriers stay in Clapham Yard, while the three loaded limestone hopper wagons at the rear of the train are shunted by a 73 Class loco back to Rocklea Siding for swapping three empty wagons at that location.
Darren is captured here running a train through Clapham Yard. He might be driving the Brisbane Limited on track 2 through the yard. There are three container wagons on each of track 1 and track 3 with a shunt loco ready to add the wagons on track 3 to the end of the next south bound container train on track 2 which will arrive after the Limited passes Dutton Park and frees the staff section. The shunt loco will then take the three container wagons on track 1 to Park Road and South Brisbane Interstate. There is also the shunt train still on track 4. The narrow gauge yard also has some train activity visible as well.
Here the Brisbane Limited has teh staff for the section Clapham Yard to Dutton park and is heading towards South Brisbane. The narrow gauge shunt is doing its work. This photo shows that I might need some toothbrush bristles in the track to stop the wagons from running away while the loco is detached and wagons are run around.