Tuesday, 11 October 2016

At last!! Another operating session on the GC.

After two aborted attempts, today, I was finally able to hold a second operating session for the year.  Even this session came close to being cancelled due to the storms that hit Victoria over the weekend, leaving us without power from 2:30pm on Sunday until 11:00am yesterday.  Although I was able to clean the track, I didn't have time to clean the loco wheels, and I was more than a little apprehensive as to how the locos would run.  I needn't have worried though as, except for a couple of exceptions, the locos ran fine.

A big thanks to the guys who came over: Bill, Rod, John C, Dennis, Peter and Graham.  I had planned to run the full timetable, which requires a fairly intense 3 hours of operation using a 6:1 fast clock.  We didn't quite make it, but we came very close and the guys maintained their good humor throughout the session. Well done, and thanks to you all.

Here are some photos from the session. Sorry about the poor resolution - I used my DSLR instead of my phone camera (which has much better depth of field.)

Peter, running the northbound "Ranger" is laughing because the session has barely started and Graham (running the Ardmore local) has already been found guilty of blocking the main ahead of an approaching superior train.

Dennis is concentrating as he drives Train 40 (a northbound Fast Freight) through Wynnewood.

John C took his usual (favourite?) job as yard operator at Pauls Valley. The yard's starting to look a bit crowded there, John.

Due to some poorly detailed instructions from the dispatcher (that would be me), Peter has ended up with a grossly overweight (and overlong) train to switch at Wynnewood. But he managed to get it sorted out nevertheless.

Dennis's Train 40 prepares to depart Pauls Valley to continue its journey northwards.

The Ardmore local has arrived at Doughty, where Bill is swapping his empty gons for loaded cars before returning to Gainesville (staging) via Ardmore.

Extra 203 South, with grain-loaded box cars passes the Dolese Bros. quarry at Big Canyon. (I'm not sure what Dennis is doing.)

Bill, with the southbound Ardmore local has just finished setting out some cars at Ardmore before continuing south to Gainesville with the loaded gravel gons.

Peter is bringing the northbound Livestock Extra into Davis where he will set out some livestock cars for loading, before continuing on to Pauls Valley.

Graham is running southbound Fast Freight Train 39 through Dougherty.

Peter is making up the SL-SF local (in the background) so it can return to Hugo with cars it has collected from the Frisco's interchange with the GC&SF at Ardmore.

Graham is cutting some cars out of Train 39 at Ardmore, while the yard operator (me) was adding cars to the rear of the train.

Here's Rod with the afternoon Ardmore local, returning the gravel that was collected by the morning Ardmore local to the quarries. I could say that the gravel was rejected because it failed QC, but the fact is that I forgot to remove the loads from the cars during the lunch break. Rod looks like he's having too much fun...

Stay focused, Rod! Railroading is serious business!  (Sometimes I think that Digitrax Duplex Radio has more in common with black-magic than real science.)

Dennis is building the afternoon Pauls Valley local freight at Davis.

Rod is switching cars at Dougherty.  It looks like he has decided to use a different form of digital operation, after his throttle let him down.

Graham has the southbound "Ranger" stopped at Davis for passengers to board.

Peter is taking a trainload of empty 40' box cars up north for grain loading. I'm not sure why he is using the passenger depot track instead of the mainline as he passes through Pauls Valley, but John looks a bit surprised.

Nice job of getting that yard cleared John!

Despite the lack of wheel-cleaning, the layout operated very well. But the relatively inexperienced operators did find a couple of problems with my written instructions that I will address before the next session.

Gents - once again, thanks for coming over. I had a lot of fun and I hope to have another session in November.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Graham's Mexican layout

Last week I finally got to run trains on Graham's Mexico-themed layout. For one reason or another I've missed all my previous opportunities to do that.

I was so busy running trains and taking photos that I didn't take note of the town names. In fact, I don't even know whether Graham has a name for his layout!

Here are some photos from the session.

Some very nice rock formations. I think Peter (that's him in the photo above) did this for Graham. I'm trying to talk him into coming to my place to do the rock face on my Washita River scene.

I heard Graham say that because of the nature of the industries in the area he's modelling he will have to scratch-build many of the larger ones.

For some reason I can remember the name of the town that this modern office building is located at. It's .. erm

I operated this local freight, hauled by a pair of KCS locos:

Although it's not visible in the photos above and below, Graham has placed a mirror against the backdrop at the far end of the ravine. When viewed from the aisle, it looks like the ravine extends through the backdrop to the other side of the peninsula.  The illusion is so effective that guests have walked to the other side of the peninsula to see the other end of the canyon. (I'm not saying I did; but I'm not saying I didn't either.)

I love the placement of the jetty and shed in this photo.

As shown in the photo above, Graham uses push-rods to operate most of his turnouts. The layout uses Digitrax DCC, and a CC&WB system.

My thanks go to Graham for hosting a very enjoyable session. I love running trains on layouts like this, that have been designed with switching in mind.

Thanks for looking in.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Darren's "VR Cann River" layout

While deleting unwanted junk from the memory card on my phone I found a bunch of photos that I took when I visited Darren's N scale Cann River layout last August.  Darren's layout depicts a fictitious Victorian Railways branch line from Orbost, Vic. to Cann River and Noorinbee, Vic.

The photos are grainy, but I think they still show the very high standard of Darren's modelling.

When I last saw Darren he showed me a photo of a layout extension he's working on. I can't wait for my next visit.