Friday, 24 September 2021

Measure Once Cut Twice: That's the Right Way Isn't It?

 It's been one of those days.

Did you hear about the bloke who left the parcel shelf of his car on the roof of the car and drove out of Bunnings? That was me. So that's the caliber of the day and it's not the only thing that went wrong. Why not calm down with your favourite hobby?

The good news is that I think I now have all of the timber to finish the layout.

I wired up my turntable and tested it. It works. It's not as well aligned as I had hoped but the only line coming onto the turntable is curved, so it all works out. 

The line is curved so that my garratt can run across the turntable and into a suitably long track.

That's the plan. The reality is that the siding is at least 2cm too short. It's too short because after planning the loco depot, I put in my marshalling yard. When I did that, I altered the track plan a little bit.

Here's what it is.

The top track is an extra storage siding which can hold 10 BCH length wagons. The right hand point on the left was modified to fit a tight spot about three layouts ago. It still works. It leads to a Repair In Place (RIP) track. I though that it could be fun. The top three sidings are through roads, the bottom three are dead end sidings. The nearest siding from the ladder holds 4 bogie wagons and I am planning on this holding the guards vans. The top siding can hold the longest train from the Bega staging yard and will be the main arrival track. On the old layout we realistically used only one of the five available tracks as an arrival track.

Below is what it needs to look like. It's not what was originally planned, everything was meant to come of the first three way point.

The original idea was to have the ladder start higher but that would make the bottom three sidings shorter.  I can make the change by leaving the bottom 3 way point where it is. The top storage siding will be 1 and a half to 2 BCHs shorter. The RIP track won't really be useful but you could park the shunting engine there. Sidings one and two at the top will be longer by a 48 foot bogie van. The other sidings won't change.

If I move the the top 3 way point back even further, then sidings 1 and 2 will be two wagons longer. Siding 3 will be a little shorter. Siding 4 will be a little longer and sidings 5 and 6 will be shorter. There will also be more work involved. The current siding four effectively holds 10 CH bogie hoppers and a guards van without a loco attached. This is the same length as the two longest sidings in the Bega staging yard. Most trains moving to and from this yard will be 6-8 wagons long therefore the sidings don't need to be longer.

I also nee a little bit of straight track provided by the first point to reduced the hazards and strains of longer wagons going around the reverse curves.

Adjusting this track alignment will make my garratt problem go from this... that.

I reckon though, all that can wait until tomorrow. 

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Alterations for a Turntable


Here's the problem. I want a turntable. The best place for the track plan is directly above this station. Engineering wise, it may not be the best spot. A support for the top level will need to be cut away. It's on a triangular section which doesn't have much support any way .

The solution - and there was a lot of hope for the best - put in these two pillars and move the existing support back a bit. The first could be done. The second can't be. The support has nothing to move back to.

The hole was cut and adjusted in the not so round section. Even without the pillars on the platforms, the 12mm ply has a fair bit of strength. The existing supporting wall was altered and brick paper glued on the new work. To top it off the wires for the turntable will be able to go behind the brick wall.

Now I need to paint the turntable. It wasn't painted before and now I reckon it could do with a lick of paint.

Until next time.

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch?

 I know we've all been told not to do that but while I was waiting for glue to dry, I started mucking around with some buildings in the industrial area. I sort of had a good plan already and I thought that I could check it out. The plan changed several times this week.

First I got the warehouse out. I then thought that maybe I could put the brewery next to the warehouse but use the first of two lines for the wheat silo. That moved everything down one track. When I took the brewery out, I found the dairy from the old layout. That will take the place of the wharehouse.

Every siding, except the warehouse, was coming in off one point and with the magic of a couple three way points, fanning out to the industries. Moving one track down wasn't going to help the geometry of some of the sidings.

Track-wise, the best solution is to add another point from the head shunt. There is a bit of track to pull up and replace for that to happen.

The other thing to consider is access from the aisle. This works. There may be some uncoupling and pushing into the appropriate spot but the points are in reach.

Finally, aesthetics. It's got to look good. I wanted lower industries down the front. 

Here is what I came up with. The image is a bit messy. It's more of a record shot so that I remember what I'm doing later.

The oil loading platform fits the bill there. The tall wheat silos are up the back. I was going to buy an extension kit for this. The wheat trains are long so up the back of the area is perfect. They will need to be split into two as they will block the view of the brewery. I found the factory building that used to be next to the brewery. That's going back next to it. This pushed the wheat silos further back and there won't be any room for an extension of the silos. Each siding for the wheat silos can hold up to 6 hoppers. Perfect for my 8 wagon train.

In front of the wheat silos will be two tracks for container wagons. I need two long lines for my gantry to pretend to work on. Enough for 10 GME wagons. Perfect for my 6 wagons which will be captured with on layout traffic.

In front of the container sidings will be a steel works made from a Peco train shed. Its place is held by the brick walled brewery base. It's the same width.

Next to that with the silos and unloading shed in place will be the cement works. It is a tall structure near the front but from the operator's view that shouldn't matter. If it was closer to the wheat siding, it would create a narrow canyon.

I'm hoping that when every thing goes in for real that all my chickens hatch and I can really fit it all in.

I know that this sort of thing isn't everyones cup of tea but I just want to move wagons around and have a reason to break up and shunt trains.

Until next time.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Before I do that...

 I thought that I would run some trains last Monday. I started with the V-set. It derailed on the curve on the lower incline. The track needed propping up on one side. By Tuesday it was working. I ran the HUB set. The 44 class which needs new gears (I have some replacement wheel sets but I think I will need some more gears. Let me know if you know where to get some.) keeps coming off on one spot. I propped it up and reduced the incidents by 50%. I later found out that the leading axel doesn't roll straight. The latter fix caused every car on the HUB set to come off.

It had all worked perfectly before! There was more surgery to the track and to the HUB set. There was no flexibility with the bogies rolling up and down. A couple of cars that I have had no problems with were now causing me issues int he weirdest spots.

It was frustrating but it was all fixed on Wednesday and the HUB set ran behind an 85 class that I have out for a freight train. I have and Auscisions B class with has no tolerance for dodgy track. It ran through the problem section with ease. I reckon the problem is solved.

On Saturday I figured the best thing to do would be to put the platforms at Bega together so that I could start cutting the turntable hole.

Normally I put the timber down and cover the whole lot with a cardboard/paper top, leaving no screws. Not this time, the screws are visible. I just have to cover them up. Here are some images. The stuff is not permanent and I've already put them away. This station is down the front and will be one of the last things finished but I need the platforms done to cut the right size timber to hold up the upper baseboard top.

Until next time.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Running Again

The good news is that I have trains running again.

When I say trains, I really mean my Powerline 48 class loco. After laying the tracks and fixing a couple of spots the layout, the new track was wired up to the DCC bus . Next the layout room was cleared and the vacuum cleaner brought in.

I've been building layouts for years so I shouldn't be surprised that everything works but there is still that fist pump into the air when there are no problems. 

The Powerline 48 does a great job. It came DCC fitted and with a working fan. You had to take the body off and void warranty to switch it over the DCC. The fan was disconnected before the body was put back on. Bits are falling off it and it picks up track pins left to close to the tracks but it performs a sterling service on my track cleaning train.

During the week I started with the incline to the terminus. I'm using the Woodlands Scenics 2% incline set. I have found on the previous layout that you can put two tracks onto it. I use matte board (the cardboard used when framing pictures) as a road base on top of the incline. I found that this time on the incline from the bottom level that I wasn't quite perfect enough and needed to brace the side on the curves. 

For this incline I figured that I would have to brace it again so I am doing that before I put the track on. The inner track will be Hornby double fourth radius track with suitably spaced Peco flex on the outer. The reason for using the set track pieces is that I am not good at laying curves. I'm getting better but these cause me less headaches and make the parallel curves easier to lay.

I also had a look at the industrial area inside the balloon loops if the incline and decline. I reckon that I can get six industries in the space: an oil terminal (I've always tried to have this somewhere), steelworks (for my steel train to have a reason to stop somewhere), container siding (I had one on the last layout and I was given a Brawa gantry) cement works (once again I have some stock) wheat silos (from the old layout) and warehouses (built for my old layout when I was on the coast). The latter could be substituted for a brewery - I'm still thinking about things.

Before I start that, I really need to finish the incline, otherwise I am kneeling on track and that hurts the knees. While I'm working on the incline and waiting for some glue to dry I could start on the marshalling yard.

In the meantime here is an image of trains waiting to run from the Bega staging yard, underneath where most of the work was done this week.

See you next time.