Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Progress

A major milestone - ALL track work is now in place!

This month has seen work on: Hornertown, Staging, Remote CCTV, Aux-Box installationLighting, Blacking Out, Flintston, Speed matching locos, Rolling Stock Unpack, Involvement in Model Rail Radio Show #61 & Backdrop work at Sandgate & Southern


Work has progressed in a number of areas which included track work followed by wiring and weathering buildings at Hornertown East, ballasting within Hornertown.

Hornertown East

This area has seen the final industry tracks installed along with the coach yard and shunt lead tracks.

All wiring and commissioning completed.

Weathered track side buildings in the foreground (flour mill in background)


BJ ballasting the main at Hornertown


Last month Roz and I installed the staging tracks under Hornertown and this month we completed the track work underneath and between Hornertown and Flintston, staging under Flintston and the track work connecting to Lewiston Loop, all the wiring and then commissioned the use.

Under Hornertown to Flintston

The 120 degree curve section in place with the threaded rod support to ensure stability.

Under Flintston

Track work was completed "on the bench" before installation underneath.

Whilst fixing the base to the bracket the drywall screw dislodged an knot in the wood which distorted the plank resulting in the end "bending (? due to stress relief?) so the "bucket of sand" has been "hung" in an attempt to gradually realign the plank back to correct alignment over time.

Looking back to the Hornertown end.

Flintston to Lewiston loop

It was nice to "finally connect the tracks"  which represented the last of the track work!

Remote CCTV

I have eight cameras covering areas that cannot be observed from the main control panel area covering the Helix, Picard Junction, and both ends of three staging areas.

IR function used for lower level staging

I do not intend to provide any illumination to staging so the CMOS IR cameras do the job providing black & white pictures which provide sufficient detail to ensure trains are withing the clearance points.

The bottom two monitors show the IR pictures

Upper level cameras

Aux-Box HC

I purchased two Aux-Box HC's from Traintek LLC to individually "switch off" the eight staging tracks, turntable tracks and control some accessories.

The first Aux-Box installed in a central location to service staging tracks.

Adding the switch wire loop to the existing track bus distribution point adjacent to the PSX's at Hornertown.

Installing switch wire loops for Flintston

Terminating the switch wire loops at the Aux-Box

Unfortunately the Roco DCC system I have did not work them!  I have started neogtiation with the manufacturer in an attempt to get the issue resolved.

Upper Level Lighting

My son & I have installed the first four of eight battens upon which the spotlights are mounted.

Blacking Out

Black paint has been applied to areas that will not have scenery applied.  BJ used this method as the eye "ignores" area that are black.

Both Barry and BJ contributed to the work.


The six core feeders to the point motors have been installed and terminated in Flintston

Once again Chris worked under and I worked at the control panel.

Speed Matching Locos

I have made two decisions since I started my speed matching escapades...
  1. The ore train maximum speed should be reduced to 25 mph with much longer acceleration and deceleration times.
  2. The initial acceleration and deceleration rates on all locos were too quick.

These decisions follow from working with Peter's equipment for his Browsville and Ros from Ozs'  Sandgate & Southern using the methodology I previously devised.

So this month I have re-calibrated the F7 A-B-A ore train consist using DecoderPro in order to evaluate their revised performance on the main layout.

The remaining locos will be updated as time permits.

Rolling Stock Unpack

Well I could not resist any longer...  Th first box has been unpacked after being stored for approximately four years.  I have a feeling that many of the old blue box models will need maintenance in the weighting & free rolling department to meet my current expectations on performance.

Model Rail Radio

Following a request from Tom Barbalet I arranged with for BJ - my scenery guru - to appear on the Model Rail Radio podcast recording session.  Click this link to listen to the show.

 Sandgate & Southern Backdrops

You may want to check out BJ's backdrop work at Ros from Oz's  Sandgate & Southern.

Thanks to all that continue to hep me achieve my ambitions..

Till next month.



  1. Wow! It looks like you got a TON of stuff accomplished this month and can start running trains! Very cool. Nice to see all the photos you included.
    Popping the knot out would be the #1 argument against using dimensional lumber as track underlayment. I hope this board straightens out and doesn't give you further grief down the line.
    :) Toni

  2. Wow! That's a productive month. I really like the control panel and that Hornertown scene.