Friday, September 28, 2018

September Update

The first week of this month saw me away from home then a few days feeling off colour on two separate occasions coupled with the continuation of family matters has consumed most of the month.  However as usual a few things were achieved.  Metal polish, maintenance, Huntington shunting lessons, refining ops paperwork and Ops at Wayne's.

Metal Polish

After watching Ralph DeBlasi's video on polishing Athearn sintered wheels on his Ralph DeBlasi's Lehigh Valley - Wyoming Division Facebook Group, I ordered some metal polish from Super Cheap Auto. When it arrived in the mail there was an odour clearly emanating from the package which when opened had the contents in the jar inside - the lid was off and the container broken due to very poor packaging - A replacement is being sought.


There were two major issues that needed attention one causing the layout to be non-operational.

No Power to tracks

Last month I reported that we were about three quarters of the way through the session when some power issues emerged and everything died.....  Investigations as to what had failed were undertaken as the fault would not go away until each and every booster was disconnected from the command station.  I removed the command station and replaced it with my one and only spare and all functioned correctly as I added back each of the four boosters.

At first whilst the problem went away the Radio throttles were not working - then I remembered they need to be re-registered on the system - doh!  After the registration process all back to a working state.

The manufacturer of the command stations have discontinued them and there are NO replacement products that work with the expensive WiFi Throttles.  I am hoping that it is not a hardware component failure in the old command station. I will reload the firmware in the problem goes away.  I guess time will tell.

WiFi Fast Clock Master Power

Powering the clock from the same circuit as the Command Station & Boosters was not a good idea.  If a system reset is required for some reason the idea was that the clock could be paused while this happens.

A significant amount of time was lost when the time had to be reset a few times due to the power issues!

The clock is now powered from a different circuit to eliminate the problem.

Shunting Huntington

Some of my paperwork has been streamlined which caused some confusion for a few so I invited a couple of the team to come and have a session to work through how I put the new paperwork together with a view to improvements where required.

The pick-up list

The Set-out list

Both Barry and Chris could easily follow the separate lists but when combined it seemed to make sense apart from one car "SP 401849" as it appears twice.  The car has to be relocated from the Silos to the Siding instead of being placed in the outgoing consist.

I think we had a few "light bulb" moments when discussing "shunting strategy".  Obviously the objectives of minimising movements through combining Set-outs and Pick-ups wherever possible and only "running around" when really necessary as these have a big outcome in the time taken to shunt.  One has to accept that different people will develop the moves differently using those principles.

Barry and Chris practising.

Refining Ops Paperwork

Don and I have been working towards some standard paperwork for my main yard which is controlled by a Yardmaster supported by and industrial shunter.   We have been working on paperwork for session 1 of 8 and it includes mainline train movements into & out of the arrival departure tracks, classification and shunting tasks.

The classification tracks have been labelled In, Out & Hold to streamline movements.

In - is for consists being moved from arrival/departure to classification for onward movements.

Out - is for outgoing movements.

Hold - is for trucks still to be forwarded or consists for future movements.

In Out Hold Labels added to control panel

In Out Hold Labels added to car card boxes

The original information sheet.

The revised paperwork is below.

Each shunting movement is detailed in separate switch lists.

Ops Session at Wayne's

I attended an ops sessions at Wayne's this month with Barry, Chris, Des, Don, Peter J and we enjoyed the session - here are a few pics.

Peter J and Des at Upsen Downe

Barry Wayne and Peter J at Waverly

Chris at Dunkleigh Towers

Barry at Lowood Crossing

Peter J and Des at Mulga Ridge

Chris at Dunkleigh Towers

Wayne - our host

Don at Stokers Siding

Till the end of October.....