2012 March 16

2012 March 16   Friday   (Page 27 of 35)

Storms during the night and drizzled all day long, non stop!
Allan arrived at about 0930, I guess and we got stuck into it again.
When you got a willing helper, lets keep him employed :) 

The first picture is the culmination of our two days work. The top level at the far end has been lifted, straightened and levelled.
The back drops have been cut and fitted into place. This was difficult to do, as the support brackets needed to be removed and replaced. The plaster covered the slots in the vertical steel posts, and new holes had to be drilled after working out how to "see" these slots behind the plaster to drill into metal for the fixings.
The raised top level was found to be really out of shape so it was dissembled and rebuilt properly.
Still the boards were out of shape, So I got a sledge hammer and we persuaded the supporting frame to straighten itself up, by tapping the stubby legs under the low steel deck.
Having straightened the modules we found it a simple thing to level and straighten both top and bottom benches.

 You can get a bit of an idea how we had to drill and fix the angle brackets to the steel posts after fixing the plaster back ground in place.
To avoid this problem with the plaster I fixed 30 x 30 square timber pieces on one side of the upright and designed the plaster sheets to join on these pieces. Clever eh?

The brackets were adjusted and fixed in place. Then removed to apply the plaster. Now one would think that these brackets would simply be placed back on top of the plaster and the attaching screws would find their holes and be tightened back in place.
No idea where the holes ended up, because we could not find them :( But fortunately new holes could be drilled, missing the square slots all along the edge.
The middle steel supports are 1200 apart and we placed legs every 2400 mm We can add more if required.

 I am a little disappointed with the brackets visually. With a white back ground they stand out badly :( I will have to work out how to better disguise them. Perhaps painting them like sky at top and black at bottom. It does seem, though, that a person standing close and looking at the trains operated would not be able to see the brackets at all. Time will tell.

 Dead straight and dead level, what more can one ask for :) Thanks again Allan :)
We ran out of time. But even though it is difficult to tell, the fixing up of errors and previous mistakes took up half our time. I suppose one might think, Oh they fixed the back drops and built a simple frame along the bottom. Yeah we worked to exhaustion almost, and we did do a great job.

 Anyway our project manager seems to agree, we earned our keep today.

Next job is to cut the 5 ply on the floor into 2400 x 580 lengths Frame it with 38 x 19 pine with sufficient cross braces to prevent the sheet from moving. Then lay the panels on top of the new lower frame. Mark out all the track, lay it and then fit all the tortoise motors as well as all wiring. This can be done by sitting the whole module on trestles standing on its side.
When the Wodonga Station area is built, temporarily fit these boards on top of the frame Test and if Happy we can fix the boards to the new frame and eh? run trains ;)

Well I got a head ache, aching back and sore knees. Hay fever is playing up, and nose running full flow.

But I am very happy with what we achieved today.

Thank you Allan Jeeves :D I really appreciate your help. Although I could have done this all my self, your valued advice and good ideas, your companionship all helped us get a huge amount of work done ;) And without a doubt, the errors I made on my own would have been carried across to the new work. you hugely assisted me, to get this bit right :)

Rod Young

2012 March 17  Saturday

Yesterday was   St Patricks day and was spent at the Wodonga Show Grounds during the Wodonga 2012 Show, because we held an open house to show the visitors what we were up too :)2012 March 18   Sunday   

After low clouds blocked out the sun yesterday, this was a perfect blue sky day ;)
Today's jobs :) Yeah well the Formula 1 Race did not help :) Here we have the first module on the Coal Siding "side"

 However I did spend a few hours connecting in droppers and fixing dead spots, so I could run a train or two today. I never got to run that train, because my attention was drawn to the over and under connection to the Wodonga and Coal siding sections.

 Yeah well Sometimes you just cannot see in your mind, before you build something like this, how it will finish up. The table does not have to extend as far as we built the supports :)
At this stage it looks like the two legs will be shortened, and front and side panels removed beyond the the plaster back panel.

 However the track bed (temp) actually sits directly on top of one post, and the lower level misses that post, so....

 So the corner with the spirit level sitting on can be lowered, back down where we had it on Thursday, before we lifted it.. my fault again, Sorry Allan :) This will be needed to support the scenery and the track bed.

All in all a productive day, and the Pommy beat the German and our guy come in 4th, the best position he ever reached at an Australian GP ;)


2012 March19  Monday

 Another sunny one :)

Walked into a Super tool store the other day and saw this for >$70, and immediately thought....... Ah!!! That just might solve a problem :)

My imagination said to me Hello :) Do you know how crook you get trying to twist yourself inside out and upside down, laying wiring and point motors underneath the tables? The thing that has held you up for 2 years now??? Well this might very well answer your prayers!!

So I answered myself.. Do you think I should buy it then?

And my imagination took over once again...

When I got home this is what I drew up, and I think it can work. However as I don't weld, and my mate who can, is away for the moment.

So this is what I cam up with. The legs need to be adjustable in height to allow me to work under both levels.

I would love to hear from those who might have done something similar, or have some thoughts on this project

Cheers and thanks for looking

Rod Young


Just looking at the drawing, I can see an improvement straight off :) With the wheels removed, I can build the frame wider than the trolley. Then using the indentations where the wheels were on the trolley I can fix the trolley to a T piece welded to the frame that takes the place of the wheels, and allows the fibre glass / plastic trolley to sit between the frames and further reduce the depth of the piece that needs to hold my head below the base board, and at a height that allows me to bend my elbows and work flat out on my back :lol:
Now how good is that;)  

2012 April 18 Wednesday
Glad to see the site has been restored :) We had a domain name hick-up, all solved now :)

The Railway is now moving on again ever so slowly.
Will add to this later this afternoon after taking some pictures. However trains can now enter No2 road of old Trentham, and wiring is proceeding slowly. connect test disconnect try another route test again....method... like I said slow because I have no idea how the original wiring works :(


2012 May 3       Thursday  2.48pm

Well I'm pleased to announce that the wiring is now fixed on the old Bullarto to Trentham module.
I only need to tidy up some track work, and touch up a few things and this project is as far advanced as I wanted it.

It was not just wiring that got my attention, but the points and other track work had to be fixed as well. The old points had lost check rails, frogs had loosened off as the soldered connections broke down. So a few hours worth of jobs turned into weeks of work. I actually managed to spend at least part of every day since my last post in the Railway room, doing something. Most days were full days a few due to appointments etc were only a couple of hours... Still I seem to be a lot less depressed with things, and am really enjoying each win I create out there.

So lets show you a few pictures ;) 

 I use 22watt car tail light globes to isolate and easily find shorts on the DCC system. Each section has one globe. The globes carry power to the tracks, when everything is working fine, the globes do not light up. (modern DCC engines do not draw enough power to light up the globes.
However if the sections are not separated, a short circuit will stop every train on the layout. The globes isolate the short from the rest of the layout, all other trains operate whilst you locate the short / derailment.

 The brown wire closest, is the DCC return bus. The blue wire furthest away is the opposite wire. Their is another three wires feeding from that return blue wire , one for each through track on the layout at Trentham. The yard feeds are protected with a 22 watt globe, so all droppers are direct wired in (globes not required)

 A short extension to allow trains to run around. This will eventually lead to a grain elevator loop just out of town.

 The afternoon goods arrives, S309 is shut down in the dock, as he will not be needed till the early Morning, when it runs the early morning goods.

(Edit  2013 March)  The globe system was found to be able to still leave enough amperage on line to do some damage. So we upgraded this system later in 2012 and is still ongoing. The new device uses a solid state fuse and a 21 Watt / 5 watt dual element globe.  The 21 watt globe flashes shutting down the fuse whilst letting a little power through to the 5 watt element as a guide to the fault, and not enough current to do much damage

 Most of the problems were caused by the original wiring which needed to be snipped out and replaced by much heavier stuff. However I left the live frog power routing using the home made point machines in place and here lies the problem. Finished up powering the home made point machines from the DCC bus, which improved things a lot, and fingers crossed I should have no further problems. Writing this I remembered that when I cut gaps in for the live frogs, a few rails became loosened. I need to go back and spike these back in gauge. As well I noticed my soldering is looking awful. I will go back and clear some excess solder (sucker) and then I can move on.

 The point machines work very well! They are simply made up by mounting a large good quality slide switch into a short piece of aluminium angle. by cutting out a rectangular hole long enough for the plastic head of the slide switch to move back and forwards. The top row of contacts is connected middle to the frog, and then the outer pins are connected to track power, careful to maintain polarity.The plastic head has been drilled out to hold a rigid wire which extends to the edge of the baseboard and actuates the points. The slide switch holds the points hard against the rail via a piano wire attached to the switch which passes through the bottom of the point above. This wire moves the blade when the switch is moved side to side. This created a problem for me. My pull wire was made of bronze and I simply could not solder piano wire to the bronze. Replacing it with coat hanger wire made the pull wire bend, and the only way I could fix the piano wire was to tightly wrap the wires together with single strand copper and solder the binding on, which appears to have worked ok. Probably next time I would use model aircraft control wire. This slides inside a plastic casing and can have universals or swivels and various angle brackets to direct or change the direction of travel. The piano wire can then be attached to an angle and simply rocked from side to side to operate the points and the slide switch can be mounted on the fascia and be operated directly by your finger, if you can see what I mean? :( 

Hand made points and track. Could not find any gaps anywhere. Power routing was via the home made point machines. Power only went where the points were laying, other routes were all dead.

 The track looks rather nice and it is hand laid code 88 nickel silver. It is very old bullhead (like) rail which I believe Peco made in the 70's. This makes it difficult to solder (my wire was too heavy) and I need to clean up the resulting mess with the dremel or the solder sucker.

 The end of Day 1 A bit of a mess, but most droppers are in place :)


 Day 15... Well I started the current project fixing the wiring, on the 18/04. I cannot believe how much time it has taken to overcome all the shorts and have every section of track with power! The final short was found and fixed this morning. It took a lot of time cleaning and vacuum the modules and finally I got to run trains without a hiccup! Hooray!! Hip Hip........... :)
T324 arrives Trentham with horn blasting and a flashing of headlights, after an absence of about 17 years! Yes as you can see the station buildings and the other infrastructure need replacing, but if the track is left in place a miracle can happen.

Driver Rod Young, who has come out of retirement to return this route to working order
, was happily shunting the all "new" fully restored rolling stock around the yard, making sure that everything was up to scratch. T324 looked pretty original as well, after being purchased from a private company near Geelong and restored for return to service by Bendigo Rail Workshops. 

 K153 sits under the water syphon, unfortunately we had to call the fire brigade as the water tower had not been filled. The coal stage will be restored, however for now, the loader will service coal requirements.

 Pristine? Well much to clean for a working railway ;) Lets see how she looks after a bit of weathering. 153 had a lot of trouble climbing up into Bullarto. It was decided not to use her for the opening (re opening) train. We found out that somehow the tender appears to be mounted incorrectly and weight is being transferred via the coupling and onto the front truck of the tender. This imbalance causes the rear tender truck to derail, and reduces the engines traction. Management is hoping that repairs will quickly alleviate the problem. Otherwise it will be "roaded" back to Seymour for repairs

 Shame on the track welder :(
The water facilities are yet to be connected. However the restoration work has been finished.

 The cameraman still needs to learn how to shoot models :( As we wanted to run guards vans on this section, and most modern steel vans have been lost to us, we were fortunate to locate this AN 8300 van on a farm hear Murray Bridge. This train made up of vans was freshly outsourced by Auscision. We can use them here, as box car loads are part of our revival in this area

 The first down passenger train is hauled by S309 an AE BE and CE 

 The signal already returned to stop, as the driver on T413 is ready to jump as soon as the Pass arrives and the necessary order is issued to Trentham.

 I did not see the track on the platform :( Hope any passengers can negotiate the failed clean up ;p

 bah!! Humbug!! blurred again :(
But this is the load T413 lifted into Bullarto and on to Trentham. The grade into Bullarto is 1.5% curving for about 7 meters. The BRM out-shopped T's are very good :)

Thanks for taking interest in our little railway :)

Perhaps a day or two running trains, and tidying up the problems mentioned above, then construct the new track down to the end of the island and temporarily swing the track back onto the main and back to Bowser creating a reverse loop. Operationally it should allow me to run some distance trains if you get what I mean.

After that I need to build base boards and track into Wodonga and Coal sidings on the lower deck of the Island. Again this will temporarily form a loop back on itself whilst I get some scenery down and work out how to include South Grafton into the layout.

Cheers for now