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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Always good to get another opinion.......

Evening all, my previous post was as a result of getting some excellent feedback. Many thanks Shelton.

After having constructed all the formwork for the branch and feeling pretty happy with myself I commenced laying track. I too had concerns with the curving nature of the alignment so stopped work and moved onto (hence the subject of my previous post) something else while I pondered fate.

original plan without the piece of ply clamped in position

The plan was to have some hills and valleys, in which the branch deviates from the mainline through, before reaching the ballast siding and then onto the openess and remainder of the branch.

I tend to think things through for far to long which can cause periods of inactivity or I will just move onto something else.

The weather has been great of late with pleasant days and I rather enjoy being outside than in. I am currently adding an extension on the side of the shed. This 3.6m by 12m extension will give me somewhere to park the horse float, trailers and tractor but more importantly will shelter the side of the trainroom from the afternoon sun, but I digress, sorry Bill.

With this shift in layout construction times to evenings and the roadbed alignment drama I moved onto planning the station area. This is where the branchline junctions from the main. Originally this was to be a "beyond the basment" part of the layout but with further investigation it would lead to another operational aspect.

The concept now for those just tunning in is that trains come from staging into the station and then shunt the various sidings and others are made up and then take the branch, others might commence there journey and then return.

There was no point making one up in my head and I thought it would be easier to modify the prototype for my location. Below are so planning ideas.

I use paper templates and place various items around to get a feel, then leave it for a while.

Although the benchwork appears quite narrow there is enough room to allow for easy acess to rollingstock.
The results are in!!!! 

As can be seen the end result is different to the planning. Even as we speak the double slip has been removed.

Every section of track has a length of wire soldered to it and the bus, a tedious job but one that will pay off in years to come.
I only strip the bus wire and wrap the dropper around it then solder

I have had the chance to test all the trackwork in dc mode and am happy with my results. The Procab was next tested while this area of trackwork was still isolated and it too preformed well.

All the trackwork is now in place including the staging. There is now only about 3 metres of track that needs to be laid.

Ahhh why stop there, it will be a while before I get a chance to fight with Blogger again.

Yes, I came to the conclusion that there were too many curves and decided to straighten them out.

The end result with the old roadbed still inplace but track to the new alignment. The turnout leads to the ballast siding.

The golden spike ceremony is only days away. All the branch will be laid with only a few sidings to complete as customers sign up there agreements.

I can feel a few beers and a sausage sizzle coming on!!!!!!

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Generating the reasons for movement

I have been giving a lot of thought to how I plan to generate the consists of trains that arrive from staging to the main station area and are then shunted to the various industries or "made up" marshalled into a branchline train and then go about there journey.
 X2010 that travelled with the train to its destination

Having shunted trains myself 13 odd years ago to various lists and made up trains and completed X2010 forms, it is easy to make up a train that "someone else " has already generated.

 shunters receive this fax requesting wagons

We would then use lists complied by the last shift to collect the empty and in some cases reloaded wagons to form the train, in this case BW4.

shunters made lists to be done and also where wagons were in their yard

Trains that arrived were then shunted out using the details on the X2010.

computer generated X2010 and marked up ready to shunt the consist

The requirement of the X2010 seems to have changed little over time from the research I have done.
memo sent to operational staff

The above forms are from various time frames and taken from my huge collection of actual paperwork that was used in day to day train running operations.
As you can see there is plenty of paperwork in those 4 pages to generate traffic flow. It will be fairly simple to make the first list but will then become harder and harder to create variety. Or will it!!!!!

My question is, I am interested to find out what systems those of you with an operational layout use to generate train lists but also shunting lists (switch lists). I am not interested in car cards like I referred to a few blogs ago, although cards are placed on wagons for the number taker, I think I will just go with a X2010.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, your thoughts please.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Earth works are complete

Well January has passed and it has been very hot up here in sunny Queensland so I have been using my time avoiding the heat (and waiting for rain) by working on the benchwork and roadbed. 

It has been 3 years (Jan 2010) since I first cut the timber to commence construction on this 30 years in the dreaming project. Framing above the work bench showed up my lack of planning, for when I went to match the current benchwork I found that there was no commercial size timber available and I had to rip my own. 

The shot below shows the 11 x 28 and 19 x 28 glued and screwed together and bolted to the pelmet of my work bench.
The level sits on the temp bench work to check the heights

Here is the finished shot with frames in place and ready to screw the ply

Fixing the plywood was like normal although I had to be more accurate as I only had 11mm to attach the ply to in some places. This area of the layout is staging and represents heading to Newcastle or Sydney. I attached a small backdrop just to neat'in things up.
I still wanted to maintain a large curve in the staging area (min as on the layout) and this proved to eat in to the storage area so I just added a little more on the end as can be seen in the bottom right hand corner of the photo below. 
Ply on and staging trackwork in the planning

The trackwork in the staging area is anything that I had trackwork wize that would make a few holding roads. The shot below (sorry for those with a crook neck) is the entry to staging. I have to clean my work bench!!!!
 Benchwork finished and trackwork taking shape

I had previously constructed the layout from right to left and after the last running (testing) session the need was expressed to me for more staging or a place to hold your train.

This prompted me to start over the workbench and give some thought as to what would be down this side of the room.
Trackwork and benchwork together can be a receipt for diaster, yes the air conditioner is still there but I am working around it 

 Yes and there you have it benchwork almost finished

 Job done, all the dozers and scrapers are gone.
The roadbed on the left is the branch snaking through the hills around to the mainline junction station on the right.

 The dozers and scrapers are gone from this end of the layout too and the perway gangs have commenced their work in the staging.

 I need to settle on a station layout that represents a prototypical design. I have found that in the 3 years of planning and construction, the "branch" has changed somewhat and really has nothing to do with Nimmitabel (as some of you have already guessed) but has still needed to follow prototypicial design.

My need to construct a branchline has and is what I have done. Trains will be "made up" from loading that has arrived from Sydney, Newcastle (staging) and then make there way on to the branch and likewise loading will return from the branch and then be marshalled into trains for destinations in the big smoke.

Well enough of my ramblings, this was only going to be a few photos for show and tell. Until next time!!