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.