Friday, May 28, 2010

June through to November (2007).....

On the days when he wasn’t working Raymond spent his time soldering feeder wires to the Bus Wire. He discovered that the insulating sections we had selected weren’t going to work so much of his time was spent in pulling up sections of track and modifying the location of insulated rail joiners.

We travelled down to Christmas Everyday at Labrador on the Gold Coast in the hope that Rob might have the new Redfern Models Puffing Billy coaches. No, they weren’t available yet. Raymond purchased two more Redfern Models Puffing Billy NQR open wagons and a DigitTrax plug’n’play DCC decoder for one of his Climax locos.

We then went to Austral Modelcraft where Raymond purchased his second LokSound DCC/sound decoder for one of his Shay locos.

I (reluctantly) kept my hands in my pockets again at both shops.

Raymond tested more of his wiring with a locomotive only to find more problem areas requiring insulating rail joiners. I am concerned we are going to lose track of where we put the damned things!

Work continued on the wiring through most of June particularly whenever Raymond was not at work. Raymond spent one day wiring the rest of the station yard and when I arrived home at 4.30 pm he was happily trialling various locomotives through all the loops, crossovers, pointwork and sidings. Everything was running smoothly.

Raymond decided to leave the locos he had been testing being one each of his Bachmann 2-8-0’s and a Forney, together with the C-16 and 2 X Davenport 0-4-0DM locos in the loco shed sidings rather than putting them back in the box as was increasing the risk of breaking wires between engine & tender. We had to remember to keep the garage doors closed whenever we weren’t in the garage. We didn’t want anyone coming in off the street to nick a $500 plus loco or two.
Bachmann 2-8-0 sits in the loco shed road

The lighting in the garage is poor, so the sooner we can get the extra fluoro lights put in above the layout the sooner we will be able to work on the layout at night and also to have operating sessions. There is also a power point to shift so we don’t have to keep unplugging the washing machine.

We have been discussing and planning what buildings and scenery we could start doing as well and these construction jobs are definitely a night time task.

I am keen to continue the baseboard construction so we have somewhere to run to. I need to organise a utility to pick up the long lengths of 4” X 1” and 2” X 1” needed as well as the legs. We have enough of the shorter lengths of these. I have abandoned the idea of a branch line to a station in the back corner of the laundry. Instead, the branch will only go to an area currently within the layout boundary where it will terminate in a couple of mine sidings or such like to be worked by the smaller locos.

On Sunday, 17 June, Raymond and I built a 400 mm baseboard extension for the yard to give our marshalling yard sidings a bit more capacity.

By the time I got home from work the following day, Raymond had finished off the sidings by laying the additional lengths of track and had tested the yard layout. Everything runs fine over the whole of the yard network.

The Yard Extension

It was now some weeks since we have managed to find time to do any more work on the layout as we had been working most weekends and other issues kept intervening.

I had to take a week’s holiday to use up some of my leave so this was a good opportunity to do some more work. There was also the added incentive of an impending visit from the Tuesday Nighters the informal get together of a group of fellow model railway enthusiasts. At their previous meeting on Tuesday 17 July we had foolishly suggested that we could host the next get together. This was to be their first time at our place, due Tuesday evening, 31 July and we wanted to make a good impression.

The week commencing Monday, 23 July 2007 proved to be very busy and fruitful.
Raymond and I had decided to make the framework for the next section of baseboard. We already had one section of “L” girder 2400 mm long from the 1977 aborted layout. This would fit in nicely on the right-hand side of the garage wall. We did some measuring and put my car in place to see what sort of clearances we would need. This section was (is) intended to carry two tracks (at different heights) so we decided the width should be 250 mm. It was also decided that it should be supported on four legs so we went and purchased four 1200 mm lengths of 42 X 42 from Bunnings.

On Tuesday, 24th an electrician came and do the electrical work installing the extra lighting we had been planning for some time. This work was a much needed job to be done before the Tuesday Nighters descended on us.

The electrician installed five extra fluorescent lights above the layout area, installed a new double power point and relocated the light switches.

We went to Ray Nunn’s on Saturday morning where Raymond bought a 3 amp Booster Pack for the NCE System. I then went down to Bunnings at Browns Plains and purchased a 3 metre length of 42 X 20 for the front fascia of the proposed new extension.

We spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon assembling this framework and standing it on the legs we had purchased. We still spend much time discussing about how best to go about things but we must be getting better as we seem to have less dramas than previously. We have yet to fix the risers and track bed in place which we will do before fitting the fascia board. The Tuesday Nighters were coming the following Tuesday.

The Tuesday Nighters came over and were very encouraging even though most of them are New South Wales modellers (eehhwww!!). The guys seemed to enjoy running the On30 trains however, as well as enjoying the light refreshments provided. They made some suggestions to progress the layout. Little did we know at the time that this On30 layout would not progress any further.
The Tuesday Nighters


Raymond and I then discussed the fabrication of the next major section of the baseboard. This will require us to make two new L-Girder sections – the first we have had to build for this layout as all other sections had originated from the 1977 layout. The next section of baseboard is to be about 3000 mm long and 500 to 600 mm wide. It is located in the centre of the garage to the left of my car space.

I purchased the necessary timber but little has happened in the construction since that date.

It is now November, 2007 and we have been very slack as we have not done any more work on the layout even though I had purchased the timber to build the main section remaining to be built which will only leave the removable sections across the front of the garage and the lift-up section in the centre of the garage.

One problem preventing the work has been the storage of my youngest daughter’s furniture which filled every nook & cranny in the garage temporarily as she moved between rental houses. The furniture was finally moved out on Saturday 3rd November. Now the garage has emptied out again we can finish cleaning it up and recommence work on the final sections of baseboard.

A disastrous (almost) event was soon to intervene that would cause any more extensions being made to the On30 layout in the garage to be abandoned.

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