2011 June 17

2011 June 17  Friday      (Page 25 of 35)

Well a very productive couple days :)

ANR 931 pulled a test load up the branch into old Bullato today.

Still lots of droppers to connect, but the new section of code 70 is running as hoped. The grade has little effect on the TOR 930 class.

However when setting the brass K Class up for a run, I discovered a broken wire between the tender and loco.
so the steam test was put on hold until I can come up with a fix


2011   June22   Wednesday

Damn it's been cold BRRRRRRRR!!!

Wiring :( Well trains can now run from the Nth wall on the bottom level to the helix and along the top level to the Nth wall, and along that wall to the centre modules. and onto the platform road at Bullarto.
And that is where it will stop as I am heading for a two week holiday in Queensland tomorrow morning :lol:
So no times for trains for a couple weeks
2011 July 13  Saturday

Its warm and sunny :D Tony came a-visiting and we spent part of Friday and Saturday sorting through some problems :shock:

Ha Ha!! Fixed two shorts that have been haunting me for 6 months. The first was caused by a shinohara large curved point. The problem was the link on the moving rails. In the finish I just linked the whole throw rail, lead to frog and frog to a frog juicer (one connection. And problem was solved.
The second point was a Peco code 100 curved point I purchased recently at Albury. It appears that Peco have changed their electro frogs and I either have an original (which I suspect) or a new one which does not like DCC. Again the point shorted when I wired it up for DCC. I had to isolate the frog with two cuts and then solder a wire to the frog (one was not provided on this pair)
I then used a hex frog juicer to power the 5 points Tony set up with Tortoise switch machines. So far so good, a train was able to depart the temporary storage yard for Wanganella, move into the helix, power up to the top, run down to a Bowser (like) junction, move into the branch and climb up into Bullarto on the central boards. Unfortunately we ran out of time, and failed to get this station wired to DCC.
I cannot see how Geoff originally wired Trentham, I can only find droppers at the points feeding the manual point machines, and the live frogs..
All in all a productive few days, and although I needed a prod or two from Tony, to get back into it, I am looking forward to tomorrow and working out how to apply power to Bullarto and on to Trentham.

2011 August 1 Monday

The sun is shining!! The ground is still boggy, but their are signs that Yackandandah is on the improve. Warmer days to come :)

I was a bit late arriving for the re-opening of the branchline :(

The first locomotives had arrived to pick up the first train. This had already been made up using the Hi-Rail Locomotive transported in whilst the line was being refurbished. was able to catch the shiny new T Class Locomotives as they approached Reedy Creek.

 The rear of the train was still departing the yard at Trentham (Lots of renovations required here;)  

I heard the whistle blowing , the guard was aboard and a radio right of way was received (Well if I can have Freight Australia Locomotives in 1980, with obvious satellite gear fitted, I can have a guard with a radio, fair enough?
Note to self...
Must put these two engines on E-Bay or swap them for Blue and Gold ones!

 Headlights on, a pop on the whistle and the train is on the move

 T379 leads T 392 over the trestle at Reedy Creek after a slight hiccup in proceedings. It seems the train was actually brought to a stand when a vehicle 5 from the end became uncoupled. Someone must have forgotten to check the pin had dropped during the shunt, I guess.

 The van finally on the move leaving Trentham yard

 And crossing Reedy Creek!

 Gathering speed and with a Train Order all the way to Bowser Junction the train proceeds around to Bullarto

 Through Bullarto at 40 KPH, still lots of work to be done here if the Passenger service is to resume. The T Class can handle the rough points at the end of the platform, these are to be renovates ASAP.

Alco 931 has arrived and is stabled in the goods platform, awaiting return of the official train after a bar b q luncheon at Trentham.

Beyond Bullarto an onto the new bench work on the 2.5% falling grade.

 Van following nicely behind ( you may have noticed we did a bogie exchange on a Trainorama Van recently purchased because we could... its my railway and I can do what I want says he obviously embarrassed by all the mistakes introduced in this picture story :)  


 Almost at the bottom of the hill entering Bowser sidings, where a Train Order is to be cancelled before entering the main line on a new order.

 Another one of Trainorama's NSW vans sits in the loop

 Approaching the junction.

 Safe Working complete and out onto the main. You will note a three way point and a crossover the SG line which is about all the similarity to the real Bowser this little crossing loop will have. ;) 

Proceeding down the long wall, passing the Silo complex which again needs a crossover the main SG line. Purely fictional but I have bought over 60 of Auscisions grain wagons. I need some where to park them.

The crossing (oops lost power a temporary problem caused by not having a single frog juicer to power the frog. They arrived a few days ago, after departing Canada on May 12!! Fancy that They must be using sailing ships in Canada :( 

If I got off this damn computer some times, I might be able to build those Silos :( 

A series of pictures recording the first train to run from Trentham to Wanganella via the Helix.

Arriving from under the helix and approaching Wanganella. That Tortoise machine laying their reminds me that last weekend Tony K spent a few hours helping me set up some of these motors, and mounting quite a few. I really appreciate the help. 

 safely negotiating the code 75 laid yard and arriving at the end of the head shunt...

...here! Well hope you enjoyed our little trip and can notice that we have moved on a little since last time.

Note to self!!
Organise yourself!! Clean up the mess! Find a home for all those tools and tidy up!

Yep... Yep... tomorrow.....


2011 August 04   Thursday. ( It is true! The weather has broken temp on the rise :lol: )

I have spent some of each day for the last few weeks in the train studio. But life keeps getting in the way. One must go to Wodonga and shop. The caravan requires renovations before the next trip. Visitors drop in etc etc.

In the last few days I have been working on the wiring, and in particular Bullarto yard. Their are major problems here, and I am trying to get things working without ripping out the track and relaying it. After all what would have been the use of using it here, if I did all that. The wiring problems were self inflicted. By joining the rails over the old baseboard seams, I made the layout DCC unfriendly. The layout was originally built DC of course.The gaps actually helped the live frogs to function via slider type switches rigged into the hand cranks.
Evidently the old DC wiring did not allow trains to arrive into Bullarto on different roads from opposite ends at the same time. because trying to do this created a dead section for each train after it passed the middle section insulators. Still working on this, and perhaps all it will require is a few new gaps and a hex frog juicer :)

I have no 3 road at Bullarto operating correctly. So I can now arrive a train from Wanganella via Bowser and run through No3 road and reach Trentham via Reedy Creek trestle. The rewire of Trentham appears to be an easier job, but as yet something for the future.
The platform road at Bullarto is workable but the points ex platform on the up (dead end) are defective and will not allow 6 wheel bogies safe passage. The 930 and the B being used as construction locomotives both fail to negotiate this point. Hopefully it is only a small issue. The original builder used N scale code 88 hand laid points. This is not an option for me and trying to replace any damaged points with code 75 is going to be a perilous job, and will detract from the "old branch line" charm that Bullarto presents in its present form. Work and work rounds to proceed.
Another point from the Trentham end is missing guard rails. Hopefully an easier repair can be successful there.
I ran a train of 4 wheelers around the layout today behind the K Class. This introduced some new dramas. A wire between the tender and engine had been pried loose and needed to be repaired. The locomotive chuffed along very nicely after that :) But hauling the 4 wheelers up the helix was a difficult experience with many derailments of the little 4 wheelers mainly on rail joints. Bogie vehicles have always run this line well, but fixed wheelbase vehicles climb the gaps in the continuously curved rails. Hopefully the glue will allow repairs, or maybe a strong spike will force the rail joint into line to fix this problem. I guess at the worst, I could put a guard rail in :) The K Class is very limited pulling up the grade into Trentham.
I also got the Steam Era R Class running but it suffers badly from lack of pick ups, as I try to get the wheels clear of paint. It runs freely but the can motors grumbles and it stalls a lot. Touch it and off it goes once more for a few inches etc. Looks magnificent, however I hope it pulls better than it appears to today.

So it seems that I have got the bug again, for which I am thankful, and hope to spend a few days more getting Bullarto and Trentham finished, before laying the bottom level bench work in place so that I can get a temporary reversing loop in, to get some trains running for a coming open day.


2011 August 07    Sunday   Wet and miserably cold :)

Got sick of wiring up Bullarto and spotted this Alco Models walker 153 Well it was complete with trailer when I saw it first. However as it had not been converted to DCC, and because it ran badly on a DC test track, I decided to pull it down, and see how difficult it might be to convert.


Well here it is knocked down. The bearings were dry and the pick up wipers were almost non existent, but the motor appears to be in good condition.

 The motor assembly is in 6 pieces. The box is brass and clips together. The bogie side frames are brass castings and screw to the saddle over top of the box, and the plain bearings hold the axle gears in alignment with the small open frame motor that is a tight fit inside the box.

 one brush is allowed to short to the inside of the box and connects with the wheel on the return side via just this one wiper. The main connection must be via the wheels and frame etc?

 This wiper is soldered to the brush which is accessed via a hole cut in the box adjacent the brush holder.

 The motor assembly then attaches to the frame where I presume it can get pick up from the trailing wheel set.
A wiper is mounted on the insulated wheels and connected to the motor as well.

The open frame motor is simply a push fit inside the box. The wheels are fitted with bearings, however I have no idea how they protect the axles from being cut by the edges of the box ?? the axles float in towards the gear and leave the axles exposed.

 The bottom cover plate which also retains grease from the gear train. It is clamped up tight when the side frames are attached to the saddle that clamps down from the top.

 Brass side frames with simple oiled bearings to hold wheels in place for correct gear mesh.

 The motor pressed out of the box, shows the brush that shorts out on the box body. This needs to be insulated so that it can be run to the decoder and then return to the pick ups on the wheels. Note the hole in the box which allows the second brush to be accessed without shorting the box.

 I need to replicate this hole on the opposite side to bring that brush out without earthing on the box.

 The new hole cut and cleaned

So the wheels are insulated one side only, and that means I will have to construct 4 new new wipers to direct track power to and from the decoder. Connect the motor direct to the decoder.

I intend to hook up the marker lights separately from the headlights, front and reverse headlights.
The trailer will have its own pick ups and will show white markers forward and red markers rearwards.
A miniature two wire plug will be unplugged from the motor and then feed between motor and trailer which will disconnect the rear markers on the motor and turn on the markers on the trailer. This will mean the trailer markers will turn off and on from the decoder. The rear headlight will also be disconnected when the trailer is connected.

So I guess that's the easy part :) Knowing what I want to do. The difficult part will be fitting it up without making it all look messy. Hiding the wipers when the room is at a minimum and I am open to suggestions?
The bogie is very small and room is at a premium
If someone has already done this conversion, I would love to know how you did it




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