Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Update

This month has seen much more work on my laptop whilst sitting in my armchair following on from last moths commencement on setting up my holistic operating regime.  I won a Roco Crane on eBay, got to Chris's for an ops session and fitted some track power isolation switches in Loco LeMaistre.

Operating Regime

Well last month I indicated that planning had commenced with 1066 lines of data, after finalising the planning of session it has grown to 1210 lines - I wonder how many it will be after I get to the end of session 8?

I have completed the train graph for session 1 and during compilation I had to "move" a few trains in the schedule to ensure smooth running.  Part of the process was to physically run a few trains against the clock to check that the scheduling was within a reasonable margin of error.  Well the ones Peter R ran for me were close enough!

Special thanks must go to Derek who did a significant amount of work cross checking all my data and graphing - his explicit eye for detail uncovered things I had not gotten quite right!

Now I am trying to find a print house that does not charge me a fortune for either A0 or B0 print.

I have produces an operator plan and will need five crews and a controller.

The Session 1 Train Graph is too big to show here so if you are interested in having a look here is a link to a Pdf file.  You will need to zoom in as the print is about 900mm x 1400mm, the following 3 images will assist with interpretation.

Now I need to prepare the job cards for the 39 train movements in the session.


I have finished the data entry in Access to allow the production of the first set of waybills using mail merge in Word.  They have been printed and cut up, they are arranged in car type groups ready for adding to the car cards when the car card boxes are completed.

Roco Crane

I have had a standing search on eBay for about four years and apart from one hit from Greece with a purchase price of about 350 Euros it has drawn a blank.  Finally, one turned up in Australia with a starting bid price of $40.  The catch was "no returns or refunds" and no mention if it was working or not.  I won the auction for $56 delivered.  After following the instructions that I found on the web as none came with it I discovered that the Slewing did not work however the boom and hook worked well.

I enlisted Don's magical fingers that removed the cab and tinkered then bingo it was working as shown in the video below.

The only part missing is the boom rest on the accompanying flat car - I will just have to make one!

Ops Session at Chris's

We had our first ops session for 2018 at Chris's.  Barry, Derek, Don, Rosslyn and I joined Chris.  We had an impromptu run where Chris informed the operations about what needed to be done and we just got on with it.  All operations were by tablet or phone using JMRI and Engine Driver.

I put a short video together, so you get the idea. 

Loco LeMaistre Track Isolation

After bringing all my locos from the workshop to the layout the current draw for my booster was just too much so and during the final operating sessions in 2017 there were several overloads which was embarrassing!

I have decided that there are a few areas where more than 3 locos are stored so I have decided to isolate 7 areas which are:

  1. Diesel Shed track 1
  2. Diesel Shed track 2
  3. Diesel Shed track 3
  4. The Roundhouse (17 tracks)
  5. Arrival/Departure track 1
  6. Arrival/Departure track 2
  7. Arrival/Departure track 3

After installing the switches on the control panel Wayne and Don came over to help me identify any new rail gaps the wiring changes required under the layout.  The result was 3 new gaps at the Diesel sheds, 1 new dropper and the rest were disconnected ready to reconnected to the terminal strip.

Termination Strip

arranging the small loom

Switch terminations

The coloured head pins show dropper locations

Thanks for all the support last year and I am hoping 2018 will be a big year!

Till the end of February.....


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