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AFK (Altonian Complementary Railways)





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#1 ianathompson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 14:17

After some thought I have decided to post on this website about my main layout which is the AFK. This is a large freelanced continental NG layout in 7mm scale. It is also a double and sometimes triple decked layout. All the equipment is scracthbuilt.

 

This may or may not be of interest to readers on this forum and I already post on another site.

 

My preferred method is to provide detailed coverage on my own website and simply to advise on these forums when the website has been updated. The layout is based upon operation, with trains running to "timetables" and wagons forwarded by consignment notes. Running sessions can last for months as it is a home layout operated purely by myself. These sessions are updated on the website as appropriate.

I have enclosed a few photos here to give some idea of the flavour of the layout.

 

27923577171_7c1cebfc3a_z.jpgP1020386 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

A goods train(formed of SG wagons on transporters) crosses the Kasatritikakamparoj, the plains area of the layout.

 

 

28204092166_85b446c8e7_z.jpg29 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The down morning railcar passes Lamassco, a small conditional halt, trailing the Post vans.

 

38580282531_7a41e0125a_z.jpg3-67 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The main express of the day stands at Relforka, the SG junction. Standing at the right, it is pulled by a 2-6-6-0T. The train at the left is the all stations local to Urteno which follows the express.The SG loco at the far right is on one of the connecting trains.

 

32485472763_a3f6469928_z.jpg2-127 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The same mallet pulls a different train through the Aepto Gorge in the Altingablecautoj, the mountainous area of the layout.

 

28683986706_e8d86bf23d_z.jpg123 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The line terminates in the Square at Fenditavalt. Here a three-phase electric railcar of the CFS provides a connection with the AFK, providing services into the neighbouring canton.

 

28506546136_034238a087_z.jpg91 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Far out in the Gyorsmorabu a rack branch serves Jakarutu. The train is on the moorland section above the rack. The anemometer records the windspeed. If this is too high the service is suspended.

 

The website can be found at http://myafk.net/latest-info

 

This is the update page showing the latest developments on the site. By clicking onto the menu the various other areas can be accessed.

 

If there is an interest I will notify of updates on this site.

Ian T

 


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#2 ianathompson

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 16:00

The latest on the operating session is available at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

As was noted in the first post the railway is based around operating sessions and tries to replicate some of the problems that the real things faced, albeit in a freelanced setting.

 

I hope that you enjoy the full set of photos.

 

38178073464_2395d308f8_z.jpg3-86 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

86. Having been held slightly at Boursson the URT-RFK train runs down the hill towards the Ero bridge at Glissent. There is currently little warning for road traffic and you would not want to be in the way of this thing as it careers out onto the roadway with a train totally formed of SG wagons. The RN424 runs through the arcade of trees in the background. In model terms this is the bottom end of a 35-40 foot piece of open line with only one point in it (at Sojonno). AFK trains get a chance to stretch their legs here.

 

 

 

38178077264_0c4657d1cb_z.jpg3-90 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

90. As has been noted in previous sessions apparently minor decisions can have far reaching consequences on such a complicated system. Train length, you might remember from previous posts, is determined by the tonnage which is tied to the axles. The class III engine is restricted to  a 160T load. The inclusion of a three axle flat in the consist by Relforka (see photo 76) means that the train is effectively limited to 150T. The trajnaĉefo has just realised that he cannot pick up the two vans at Boursson without exceeding this limit and so one will have to be left for a later train. Cue irate phone calls questioning the sanity of the yard foreman, as was sometimes my experience on the real thing!

 

 

38893457041_d328c41ce3_z.jpg3-91 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

91. The late running FDV-RFK goods still waits for the road as the Aspargo spare engine and brake back down from the shed to couple onto the excess wagons that are blocking the yard at Gasafabrikastrato. This decision will also have ramifications.

 

 

 

38893459461_2546592082_z.jpg3-92 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

92. The AFK's base timetable is shown on a train graph protected by plastic, hence the reflection of a fluorescent strip on the photo. Regular passenger trains are shown in red and goods trains in blue. The extra trains are shown in a water soluble pen  which can be erased as necessary. These are the green lines here. The smudges at the bottom of the sheet show the hectic rescheduling of trains to accommodate the late running freight (arriving at Relforka at 12.35). The gap between the down railcar's arrival at 12.22 and the mixto's departure at 12.55 was originally the slot in which the beet extra would have run. This has hurriedly been retimed to reach Glissent (BDG) and leave at 12.15. The extra goods will leave Lacono at 12.33 and will take the afternoon local good's path to reach Relforka. The local will have to run later. The Tippex in the bottom left corner indicates that the freight has been retimed from its old path in any case and the green lines at the top indicate paths for trains to the ski lift at Varden which are in the master timetable but not included on the daily version unless required.

 

 

38006876705_1fe475d9e8_z.jpg3-93 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

93. The relevant "documents" for the re-timed trains are written onto plastic covered post cards. From left to right these are; train 9146 the LAC-RFK extra; train 9323 the RFK-BSN extra sugar beet train; train 2719 the RFK-LAC local goods and train 2116 the FDV-RFK goods. For modellers who just like to run trains as and when this might seem to be an avoidable layer of administration. To me this is the whole point of modelling and replicates the 'scrambling' that would have taken place on the real thing to try to square things up. I remember once reading an article in Railway Magazine (back in the seventies) about how Newcastle control could write the schedule for a mineral lead diagram on the back of a fag packet and provide a day's work for a class 37, brake van and crew without any problem in about 2 minutes. The AFK has not quite reached that casual level of impromptu sophistication at the moment but it is trying!

 

 

38893465981_61e7831fbd_z.jpg3-94 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

93. The 2-8-2T works a trip of empty coal wagons up the Vulpafaŭkangulo (train 6950). The AFK rule book authorises such trips to run without a brake van providing that the tonnage does not exceed 80 tons. The train is passing the (incomplete) Lido with the golf course in the background.It is not quite a von Ryan express (see session 2) but it is definitely another cigarette packet job!

 

 

 

Ian T


Edited by ianathompson, 07 December 2017 - 16:04 .

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#3 ianathompson

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 13:29

More on the operating session is available at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3 

 

38188024345_34ecd86e80_z.jpg3-98 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

97. The trip working is supposed to terminate at Ithilarak, where the banker pushes the empty coal wagons into the steeply graded colliery spur. In a change of orders the loco has been 'advised' to pick up an empty open wagon and then wait for the snow train to arrive before running to Cadsuine-Fanhuidol. Here it will collect a wagon of pit props which should have been picked up earlier.

 

38188025865_edf3e20f1a_z.jpg3-101 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

100. The railcar forming the LAC-URT shuttle is extended to terminate at Varden in the skiing season. This is a view looking down the gorge over the forest track which crosses the line. One day (hopefully not too far into the future!) a signal will be erected here to protect this move.

 

 

39069547051_a913373099_z.jpg3-103 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

102. The carefully (?) choreographed world of the AFK is slowly unravelling again! The Kitson-Meyer has been called to work an extra train over the wilds of the Altingablecaŭtoj to remove a build up of wagons in Rivabordo yard. This is one of many sets of drawers and shelves under the layout. The early indications are that the scheduled freight will be unable to remove them. Train 9464 really will be a "von Ryan's express" as very little is known about it at the moment other than that it will leave Fenditavalat running southwards as soon as possible, hence the clear signals. This eventually happens at 12.33 and the train will take the siding at Ospicio to minimise the delay to the following express as far as possible.

 

27292201849_4362a0b427_z.jpg3-108 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

108. Two of the AFK's veterans pass at Lacono. The pilot, on the right, is shunting Postal vans under clear signals, whilst the RFK-LAC goods engine shunts its train in the yard. The latter diagram includes a conditional path extending this train's run through to Urteno if there is enough traffic. This option will be exercised today hence the 0-4-0TT will not be joining its colleague in a lunch time siesta on Aspargo shed. Having vented my spleen on the uselessness of model sheds I suppose that my idiosyncratic views also extend to the fact that my steam locos all have (removable) "smoke" coming from their chimneys. That of the 0-6-2T is particularly dirty as it is fired by waste oil.

25202912608_b31571500f_z.jpg3-112 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

111. Shortly after 13.00 the 2-8-2T shuffles wagons at Cadsuiane-Fanhuidol. The scenery was deliberately designed to drop away behind the railway here to create a sense of height, which isn't quite so apparent in the photo. The tops of a couple of trees are just visible behind the open wagon loaded with pit props and the background mountains, viewed across the valley, are painted at  around  eye level to help the impression. The pergola outside the station cafe needs painting but it is any-one's guess when I will receive the Preiser tables and chairs that I ordered about 2 years ago.

 

25202914568_37d85c4043_z.jpg3-113 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

112. A further shot of an otherwise unremarkable scene shows the loco standing in the siding. Thereby hangs a tale. With a nod to photos 57 and 58 this is one of the semi-redundant sidings which can sometimes throw up problems due to the infrequency of their use, especially in the context of a large layout.. The express is bearing down on the station at this point and so the loco needs to wait in the siding. (This is the theory because as noted previously a tardis comes in useful in Altonia. In actuality the train has not even been formed yet at Fenditavalat.) This is permissible because the station is a block post, even though there is no loop. It was discovered upon closing the point into the siding that it was wired into the mainline section and that the loco could not therefore be isolated. This is obviously the first time in the dozen or fifteen years since the siding was put in that this facility has been needed! The reasons for this decision have been lost in the mists of time but it was a relatively easy task to put in an isolating section controlled by the switch in the right foreground. I say relatively because this meant digging around in the substructure of the area and trying to extricate wires from places that they were not intended to go! More fun looks to be on the horizon when the  block signals are installed. As an aside it is noticeable how the "enamel" sign on the fascia has faded within a short time. Printer ink obviously is not permanent.

 

There do not seem to have been too many views or replies on this forum. Is there any interest in this thread?

 

Ian T


Edited by ianathompson, 15 December 2017 - 13:35 .

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#4 ianathompson

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 13:32

The latest on the session can be found at at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

39217224821_ee13d01f3e_z.jpg3-115 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

114. Lacono's pilot shuffles wagons in the sidings. There is often "time" pressure to get things done due to the "click-clocks" used on the layout. These manoeuvres will have to be left unfinished as the pilot must attach the slide wall van next to it onto the soon to arrive mixto. This vehicle is used for shuttling empty milk containers between Fenditavalat dairy and the chocolate factory. Despite its size most of the layout's operation is shunting moves rather then train running moves.

 

39217227201_04109c0eaa_z.jpg3-118 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

117. Control is up to its usual tricks (see session 2). With Urteno's banker now marooned in a siding 20 kms away number 101 has been seconded for pilot duty at Urteno. Here it attaches the ambulance to the down railcar. More problematically, with the mixto now approaching Lacono it would seem likely that 101 will be asked to bank this train up the Vulpafaŭkangulo which will result in knock on effects for the timing of the mixto and the local goods that 101 is scheduled to take later this afternoon.

 

39217230311_2eff72e072_z.jpg3-124 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

123. The imminent arrival of the extra goods has led to the Jakarutu branch service being pulled as far up the PFT as possible so that the goods can run in behind it. It is standing just short of the rack section. In a short time there will be four trains in the station once the mixto and the banker's trip working have also arrived.

 

39189255672_0c88c34078_z.jpg3-127 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

126. Once the wagons have been reversed the shunter can retire to the Station Bar for a little relaxation with the locals. Perhaps a quick game of table football would be in order if he can persuade the fellow in the leather jacket to remove himself from the table! This is one of those old fashioned open topped ones with metal figures that they use on the continent so that the ball can shoot out onto the pavement (or into your face) if it takes a ricochet, although they seem to use a much heavier ball in my limited experience! One team have been repainted by the proprietor into black and white of VFF, the Fenditavalat side, even though they do not usually play in the 2-5-3 formation!

 

39189257292_10335d0ab9_z.jpg3-130 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

129. the afternoon railcars serving the schoolchildren at the Lyceo have run into Fenditavalat's square. As was observed in photo 62 the CFS railcar does not m.u. with its trailer and has to run round. The trailer is pushed up the hill by the AFK railcar which then pulls down the loop to allow the electric railcar to run in front of it. The brakes are then released and the trailer rolls down onto the railcar. Assiduous readers, if there are any (!), will remember that this process was shown in photo 165 in session 1. Then it was held by a peg which was a temporary expedient for a track brake. This brake has now been inserted into the road although.....

 

39217235821_19aa8f2e6d_z.jpg3-131 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

130. .... actually fitting it was a ticklish process. The brake is sited directly above the (delicate) lifting bridge across the Spegulalaguno. A wooden block holding a crank was attached onto the main baseboard above and then a recessed alcove was drilled with a hole saw for the operating handle. This could not be left proud of the board as the aisle is too narrow and it is nearly at eye level. The resulting mess was then cleared away by opening up the bridge. The story of the bridge's construction was told in Narrow Lines issue 190.

 

Ian T


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#5 Barry O

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 13:41

Ian,

Keep up the good work on here.
It must be fun driving trains on the layout.
As an aside how much stock does the layout need to operate it to its full potential?

Baz

#6 ianathompson

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 13:24

Baz,

 

Sorry for the delay, but I was visiting relatives over Christmas.

 

Admin has never ever been my strong point so the simple answer to your question would be that I have no idea!

 

Slightly more seriously the current session calls for locos and railcars to fill 18 regular diagrams. Two snow plough specials have been annulled but two additional freight trains are, or have been, out and about.

This would suggest that 22 locos were required but one of the snow plough engines is running a freight "today".

This is probably slightly more than in an average session.

 

Re carriage stock;  this currently stands at about thirty, although the AFK uses some carriages with brake compartments on freight trains to provide accommodation for local travel.

There is a large amount of spare capacity to allow for the running of special trains. Trains are also strengthened as required.

 

On the freight stock side there are about 120 NG wagons I would guess, but these are supplemented by about 50 SG wagons for use on transporters.

There are currently 18 transporters with the parts in the drawer for around a dozen more.

 

Most of this stock is incomplete at the moment but it is available for use in running sessions.

I made a decision a long time ago to built basic locos, wagons and carriages with a view to upgrading/finishing them at a later date.

This is happening but progress is slow.

 

Hope that this helps.

 

Ian T



#7 Northroader

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 14:20

Enjoying this thread, it is different, with some good touches, and I’m learning a lot about this Altonia place, even if I can’t speak the language, and I admire your efforts at operating in a proper way. There seems to be several items running roofless?

#8 ianathompson

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 16:15

Northroader (sorry don't know your name!)

 

The vehicles are running roofless because of the decision to press ahead with stock construction rather than trying to complete individual items of stock.

The original reasons were explained in Narrow Lines 182 in "Ghost trains on the AFK". 

 

All the vehicles have scratchbuilt bodies on extensively modified proprietary chassis.

Basically I faced the dilemma of whether to keep the finished stock and the amount of track in rough balance as construction proceeded. 

I felt that this would have held back construction so I went ahead and completed all the benchwork in one blast and followed this with a prolonged bout of track building.

Rather than then swap the few completed wagons about between trains by hand I decided to finish wagons to a basic unpainted standard so that they could be used in operating sessions.

Train running is the main reason for the layout so I decided that I could temporarily overlook these eyesores.

 

In NL 169 I presented an analysis which showed that a basic wagon took roughly 2 hours to construct (although this included hand scribing the styrene).

The main time consumers from thereon were my home-brewed coupling system, detailing (handrails, brakes etc.) and painting.

Obviously wagons need couplings to take part in sessions but the other details were left for later.

All the wagons and all the couplings were batch built.

 

Most vans have now received roofs. This is easy to arrange because they are all arc roofs. The coaching stock has proved to be more of a problem which explains the lack of roofs.

Many of the coaches need compound curved roofs which are made from laminated styrene which is the sandpapered to shape.

The arc roof coaches now have roofs attached but the others are still waiting.

Coaches obviously need an interior or they look silly in O scale. The last "big blast" was to provide crude and simple interiors for all coaches.

Fortunately, working in a signalbox at the time, this mind numbing job could be undertaken between trains.

 

Having now retired I have yet to find the time (and mental fortitude) to complete the job, although stocks of styrene have been bought for this purpose!

Attaching these roofs has proved problematic as well but it is intended to try to complete this process as quickly as possible.

As an aside you might notice that many coaches lack details and have had a simple daub of paint to cover their sins.

 

Ian T


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#9 ianathompson

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 14:26

After an absence for Christmas and illness the latest photos are available on the website at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

25646905128_60c86bacea_z.jpg3-132 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

131. The small tender tank pushes valiantly on the rear of the mixto as it traverses the lower part of the Aepto gorge. Quite how much assistance is being given is, however, another issue. The Urteno bankers are often accused of coming along for the ride and this could be a genuine case. (In reality the actual loco performed better than expected.) The shelf for the rack branch is visible at the top of the unedited photo. It could have been edited out but sometimes it helps to see what is really there. The gradient is supposed to be 1 in 30 but given my carpentry skills that is an approximation!

 

38808852934_fb08aae8a3_z.jpg3-135 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

134. The new loco on test is proving to be rather like a sheep in wolf's clothing. The train is loaded to its 160 ton maximum (16 axles plus the crew van), the sort of load that this loco is expected to bully on the AFK's gradients, despite there being 2 SG wagons in the consist. The 0-8-0 refused to take the little rise in the road at Breĉo de Glissent  before slipping to a halt. Close inspection revealed that the heavy Brawa stake wagon's transporter was fouling the platform accounting for part of the problem. This was solved by scratching away the ground with a screwdriver blade until the transporter rolled freely past the offending section. When everything was cleaned up the loco still refused the rise resulting in the extra lead being added to the tender. These problems are one reason why this and the partner turn are used for running in. This particular spot in the track always was a blackspot that needed three of four rebuilds before the it performed properly. As has been noted elsewhere the turnout beneath the hay wagon drops across the cant and dips sharply into the yard. Passage across it is often used to test vehicle's suitability for use on the layout.

 

38621614395_cacfdcda8c_z.jpg3-140 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

 

139. One of the problems with a large layout operated by one person is to keep everything roughly synchronised (see photo 147). The bottom half of the layout has fallen somewhat behind the upper part. This would not perhaps matter in an ideal world. The AFK reflects reality which means that late running trains have knock-on effects on the single line, often in two or three hours time. Having run the local and express into Relforka (last seen in photos 127 and 113) the local goods crosses the Kasatritikakamparoj. This journey has not been without a few more minor problems but once out on the main there was no problem pulling the train (apart from the supposedly trimmed vegetation's interventions). The method of supporting Cadsuiane-Fanhuidol is clearly visible in the background, which it is intended will be hidden with a curved backdrop.

 

24649714087_2a75bf94e1_z.jpg3-141 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

140. From the train watcher's point of view, three to four in the afternoon is a slack point for seeing any action at Lacono on a 'normal' day. The time is now 15.51 and the pilot has been in constant motion shuffling wagons since the RFK-FDV goods left (photo 136). Once again it is necessary to keep the state of the yard in synch with the rest of the layout. It will soon be time to consider going over to the Post Office to remove the van that travels behind the next Urteno shuttle, something that I often forget to do and which sometimes magically descends from the sky at Urteno. The seasonal and daily variations inbuilt into the traffic generator mitigate against any two days being similar so 'normal' is a relative term.

 

Ian T


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#10 ianathompson

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 13:56

Apologies that little has been posted recently but flu and a minor operation have left me struggling just to get out of bed recently.

 

Hopefully I am now on the mend, although I think it might be a week or so before I can resume running! 

 

The latest photos are available as usual at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

39855367561_0fab1b226e_z.jpg3-142 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

141. The Autumnora jam and pickles factory at Sojonno has acquired a new shunting tractor as the old one could not cope with the gradients and the size of  the railway vehicles. Anything that deals with AFK equipment has to be large and robust. It has been a while since a SG wagon was left in the siding but the works tractor is expected to deal with these also.

 

25981945318_44cafded20_z.jpg3-146 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

144. In what is proving to be one of the worst performances by a new engine the 0-8-0 fails again. It has only just been returned to the layout after a session fiddling with various aspects of its current collection. Now it slips to a halt on the grade. Yet more lead is added before sufficient weight allows the wheels to grip. Fitting all this weight into the tender could be a concern but without it the loco will join a long list of failures deemed inadequate to work on the AFK. This is one reason why only a basic shell was provided. As a side issue it is apparent that the loco is now sandwiched into the middle of the train as it looks to propel the SG van into the loop. Although it is quite common to see this on US layouts British modellers seem to avoid this situation at all costs.

 

25981947848_c63050ddf3_z.jpg3-147 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

146. The CFS schools' railcar looks to depart Fenditavalat having made its connection with the mixto. A set of instructions were once issued about how these trains and vans should be arranged, although this seems to have disappeared into the ether at the moment. It might seem unnecessary to go to these lengths but the turn around of the mixto is tight and the two sets of vans need swapping with the minimum of fuss. Unfortunately the presence of the railcar complicates things and one of the problems of ad hoc working is apparent here. The clearance out of the middle loop is tight and the railcar perhaps should have moved into the near loop or alternately the shunter should possibly have removed the vans. I suppose it is time to search for the instructions more thoroughly or to issue new ones in a condensed form that don't become lost.

 

25981951328_ff1b64c190_z.jpg3-153 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

152. The railcar drops down from Varden as the complex shunting continues. By now the extra is made up (behind the railcar) and is ready to go forward. In some respects the railcar could have been held if necessary as it is only ferrying skiers back to Lacono. Whilst a number of those staying in the Urteno hotels avail themselves of the service the town's tramway system also has a line out to the foot of the slopes as well.

 

Ian T


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#11 robertc

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:51

Thanks for showing your work Ian.

The models are in styrene?

Your approach has avoided the bane of my life, having to build mechanisms.

Certainly original.

cheers

 Bob



#12 ianathompson

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 12:54

Bob

 

You are correct in that all the bodies are styrene. The locos all use commercial mechanisms, although some of the diesels have had their bits turned into kits.

 

There is an extensive review of the loco fleet on the website which gives some basic details of their construction.

 

Ian T



#13 ianathompson

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 18:12

More doings from the little world of Altonia are available at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

There are about twenty new photos of which a selection is shown here.

 

 

28209994359_238b2cc79b_z.jpg3-155 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

154. The third beet special of the day is held outside Boursson to allow the local goods to depart early whist the large SG bogie open lists on its transporters in an alarming fashion. Once the local has cleared the station the enirosignal will swing "off" into the clear position and the train will then proceed into the station to pick up the last beet loads of the day. The depiction of special traffic surges such as this was a motivating factor in designing the layout. 

25118602417_1e76156f02_z.jpg3-158 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

157. Eromarbordo is noted for its complex trackwork but this is necessary to allow for reasonably easy shunting. Even so, as has been noted before, it is not too difficult to tie the station into knots. The local arrived with just two vans and will leave with a single SG refrigerator yet a number of convoluted moves were required to reposition empty equipment for loading. Two vans are being pushed onto the Town Staithe for loading with seaweed fertiliser or smoked fish, as required. The vans were actually uncoupled here and ran down the grade onto the quayside before smashing into the substantial wooden bump post just short of the creek. What Elf and Safety would make of this procedure is open to speculation!

 

25118605747_652bf97645_z.jpg3-163 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

162. At 18.24 the LAC-RFK goods loco stands next to the yard office ###### groundframe waiting for the ground signal to clear. The 0-8-0 has dropped down to the ground signal in the mainline which resolutely shows blue (for stop). Knowing what loco crews are like they will probably be on the phone to the signalman asking why they are being held. I was always tempted to reply along the lines of you have seen greens and yellows all the way from London so I thought that red would make a nice change ~ but I never did!

 

25118610177_7086ef3200_z.jpg3-174 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

173. As was anticipated the Meyer's performance is giving rise to concern. It has stalled just in front of the golf course (which is theoretically supposed to be a mile or so away from Urteno) with a cut of four vans and the ferry reach wagon. It runs fine until it has to pull anything, which is not a tremendous recommendation for an AFK loco. One wonders quite what its Italian designers thoughts were, if any, when it was on the drawing board. I suppose that running up a 1 in 30 on a two foot radius curve was not on their minds but the other locos manage easily enough (except, significantly, the big sister Rivarossi mallet).

 

25118621997_d74cacd42e_z.jpg3-167 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

166. The FDV-RFK goods has picked up a couple of loads at Urteno and is loaded almost to capacity. The train will leave early and will in all probability be held outside Lacono until a road has been cleared in the goods yard to accept the train.

 

39989056361_f15e50909f_z.jpg3-169 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

168. The 2-8-2T detaches at Ospicio to wait the later arrival of the plough train. I have to be honest and state that I am not sure how many hours a steam loco could remain in service without dropping the fire. I suspect that I am pushing the limits here. The goods is standing on the loop (PFT) and the mixto has pulled onto the main (RT). The goods, as usual has no work here in the winter but will wait for the 'snow' train to arrive.

 

25118613407_cc95ebd266_z.jpg3-177 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

176. The Eromarbordo goods is directed to pick up the sugar beet traffic at Boursson as it has time and spare capacity. The beet loads were made from pearl barley ages ago, although the one in the unfinished wagon is similarly unfinished and required attention to allow it to fit in the wagon. There are now about ten loads but inevitably they often do not fit whatever wagon is at hand. I suppose I will have to follow a policy of swapping wagons, as is used for some of the loaded vans with opening doors. The first van is one of these, being loaded with cattle. It will be exchanged with another van when a cattle load is needed and the doors will be opened. Whist swapping is allowed there must be a van on site to exchange with and if there is not then the loaded van will be worked in as an empty. The watering crane leans alarmingly.

 

Apologies that this preview seems a little numerically confused. I hope that you enjoy the full set on the website!

Ian t


Edited by ianathompson, 30 January 2018 - 18:19 .

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#14 ianathompson

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:55

Another two dozen photos are available at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

40114744951_7b19b2966e_z.jpg3-178 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

177. Just before 19.00 the early running FDV-RFK goods pulls into the tunnel below the Terramazim, at the south end of Lacono, to rearrange its train. This will result in the engine remaining in the tunnel throughout these procedures which, with a large Mallet repeatedly restarting on a stiff grade, will make footplate conditions unpleasant to say the least. The tunnel has a large bore, however, to take the SG wagons, so conditions are not quite as bad as they might be. The model's bore was forcibly enlarged with a knife, hammer and chisel when it was discovered that a German Großraumwagen would not run through it. This accounts for the current short lining which was once longer. Something else to attend to!

 

40114748511_cdd976dfe4_z.jpg3-181 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

180. The few patrons of the snow train have had an exciting ride. Firstly one of the low loaders derailed, catapulting a lorry into the frozen lake, then its mate tried to demolish the snow shed! The problem, as ever was clearances. As noted in photo 34 these large vehicles were built after the infrastructure was in place. The viaduct parapet has now been pared back and the snow shed has been slightly relocated, although this is the sort of work that I try to avoid during an operating session. Ospicio's backscene and foreground can easily be removed to allow access to the site and the pointwork at this northern end needed a lot of attention in the early days. The snowshed was once square but it now leans rather alarmingly. This is not too apparent when the backscene is replaced and for most of the time it is barely visible unless one deliberately looks for it. You probably did not even realise that it was there!

 

40114749931_b91f6e2a22_z.jpg3-182 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

181. The snow train eventually negotiates the scene successfully and is about to enter the very small part of Ospicio, the lake with the melting ice, (on the flap across the doorway) that has been completed. [A better photo of the lake can be found by going to the Opiciod'Helcaraxë section of a journey along the line. It does not seem to have featured prominently in Operating sessions.] The two trains at Boursson, visible in the gloom at the bottom right, have been in suspended animation for some time as has the railcar last seen in photo 165. This is a common practice on the layout. It is a one man band and currently there are supposedly eight trains 'in motion' over a 75kms mainline with another two or three scheduled to begin their runs shortly. There are also two pilots active as well. One aspect of the compromises necessary is that the loco for the beet train has been brought into the station and the goods pulled forward to foul the points at the entry. This is necessary to clear the circuit (which can be switched between Boursson or Lacono as necessary) for shunting to take place at Lacono. No DCC here and there never will be! It would be possible to insert a cut into the rails but given the likely derailment issues that would occur on such a curve this also remains an unlikely solution.

 

40114754141_50f1f1bab8_z.jpg3-190 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

188. The shunting continues at Urteno and the ferry has received a full load of wagons to take to Karamspur. The last vehicle, an open, contains barrels of Marronĝaco, a spirit named for the area. These will be used in the blending process. The unpainted van is, despite appearances, a grain hopper which has been converted from a normal van and fitted with a permanent chute inside. The other vans are empties as the brewery is now short of wagons. Any road vehicles wanting to use the ferry at this time of evening either have a long wait or a lengthy drive around the shore of the lake. The incoming wagons removed from the ferry include a van of beer for Eromarbordo. Experience has shown that attaching this to the last railcar of the day is the easiest way to get the beer to its destination.

 

40114756291_9eefd92cb1_z.jpg3-193 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

191. The mixto is not hanging about and reaches Boursson only slightly behind time. The beet train is waiting in the loop. In some ways this epitomises the NG layout that I always dreamt about building from being a primary school kid. Big locos, large rolling stock, long trains, signals and (relatively) fast running. It is not everyone's cup of tea but for me personally it beats four coupled tank engines pottering around shunting minute wagons carrying four milk churns or two spadefuls of coal!

 

40114757691_aec1a505c8_z.jpg3-195 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

193. The late evening goods (RFK-URT), loaded with Großraumwagen, stands in Relforka's platforms waiting for the road. It will stand for some time as the mixto will take priority. AFK's control has more pressing problems. Nerv, the junction of the Ruritania/Narnia lines on the FT (Thalnian Railways) has rung through to say that the last train will be 45 minutes late, a not uncommon event as the train has a long journey from Sarip, the capital. The knock-on effect will be that the connecting railcar will not reach Urteno until well after midnight. One problem with a multi deck layout shows up here. It is difficult to avoid dark spots in the gaps between the fluorescent lights, as is evident on the two vans at the left. The camera accentuates this as the brain 'airbrushes' out the problem. It is a bit academic in any case as I usually operate Relforka without lights as it is simply a fiddle yard that has been dressed up.

 

Ian T

 

 

 


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#15 ianathompson

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 15:21

The operating session has now finished and the final set of photos can be found at http://myafk.net/operating-session-3

 

In response to frequently asked questions about the layout's operation I have begun a series of articles on the website.

Hopefully when these are eventually finished they will provide a useful archive for anyone interested in NG operations.

 

Whist I intend to do some maintenance of the layout and carry out further work I would like to give my GNSR layout some attention.

It can be found in the boondocks of this site as Auchintoul.

 

Spring is also approaching and I have a partially completed raising of my ground level garden layout to consider as well!

As you can imagine it may be some time before I post in this thread again!

 

40237578652_92c67f00c7_z.jpg3-204 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

202. The beet train is already in section and could easily overtake the local goods as it shunts. The main consideration, however, is that the RFK-URT goods is now clear after the mixto's arrival at Relforka and so it is given priority. Glissent has a long loop so it will be quite easy to pull the beet train into it behind the wagons of the local goods. The train has been halted by signals (yet to be built) outside the station so that shunting can continue without interruption.

 

26410349458_540bf54012_z.jpg3-211 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

209. The SudKasatritikakamparoj Co-op siding is filled to capacity with grain hoppers. The wagons have had to be pushed into the overgrown siding by hand and the central buffer of the furthest one is actually hanging out over the fast flowing waters of the Ero! There is no buffer stop on the siding but two clamps prevent the wheels from over running the end of it. The scotch, locked by a key kept by the Co-op foreman, is visible in the left foreground. The road sign at the left is also removable as it has to lean away from the track to let trains through yet in this position it blocks the siding. The gradient to the crown of the bridge is also evident, although the Co-op siding slopes down towards the river in contrast.

 

26410351448_b5ce80cc20_z.jpg3-215 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

213. The RFK-URT railcar has been further delayed at Glissent by having to wait for the URT-ERO railcar and then having to work the instruments at Sojonno. Iti s now running about 45 minutes late and will accrue a further delay as it makes the compulsory 'out of hours' stop at Boursson's home signal. As with the previous shot the AFK's term 'railcar' is a little loose. The I-B-I and two six wheelers are deputising for the standard railcar, there is a strengthening carriage as far as Lacono and two Post vans bring up the rear.

 

26410353188_f0b20fd450_z.jpg3-219 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

 

217. The last train of the day, which serves the cement works at Lydattyl on the CFS, leaves Relforka having had to wait for the down goods (last seen in photo 195) to arrive. It usually has a long wait at Breĉo de Glissent to cross the down goods from Urteno, which is running late, so it will probably make up time.

 

26410355348_ea1af9135e_z.jpg3-220 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

218. To add insult to injury the late running railcar is checked for shunting on its arrival and has to stand on the lifting bridge over the Spegulalaguno. The crew will not be phoning any-one here about being held (photo 162). There is no walkway and so the crew will be taking a dip in the icy cold lake just before midnight! The design principle was based on the Southwold Railway's swing bridge over the Blythe. I have always been intrigued about how the track on this was maintained. Presumably a couple of planks were placed over the girders that held the sides together and the gangers worked above the tidal race.

 

If there are any glitches with the website please contact me on here. The site has been slightly reconfigured so there might be problems.

 

Ian T


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#16 ianathompson

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 17:15

Things are quiet on the AFK and I have chosen to get on with modelling rather than posting on websites.

I have (perhaps stupidly) decided that I am fed up of seeing half completed locos running around and so have taken in four steam and three diesels with a view to finishing them before starting another session.

In the unlikely event that this idea is successful I will then be able to begin work on three other ones.

Meanwhile it has been snowing at Calodonno so here are a couple of photos.

 

26973621988_d792d2b53c_z.jpgops decant 003 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

Calodonno's home emerges from the snow.It will eventually have high level wires to operate it.

 

40134946344_cfb9fce654_z.jpgops decant 001 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The track and one hillside are now smothered. The chairlift pylon waits attention.

 

I am preparing a series of articles about operating the AFK which will shortly be uploaded to the website all being well.

 

Ian T


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#17 ianathompson

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 15:32

Another picture of the snow scene taken from the top of the snow sheds.

 

40171421914_5ef87d5b2e_z.jpgops decant 005 by Ian Thompson, on Flickr

 

The 2-10-2T runs through the snow under its own power because the rails have now been cleaned and the flangeways dug out.

 

As has already been noted on another forum the chairlift made the scene too cluttered and has already gone, hopefully to be used at Ithilarak colliery as an aerial tramway.

 

It is still my intention to give Auchintoul (my GNoSR layout) some attention so further progress here will be slow. 

 

Ian T



#18 eastwestdivide

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 16:22

Some of the place names look Esperanto-inspired, but other look a bit Hungarian. Sounds like it must be in one of those linguistically ambiguous areas like South Tyrol or SE Switzerland!



#19 ianathompson

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Posted 19 March 2018 - 22:48

Ermm..!

 

Just about to post on this on the website.

 

Thalnain is basically Esperanto but a lot lot sci-fi/fantasy names have been 'stolen'. 

A couple of minutes with an Esperanto dictionary will reveal that Fenditavalat translates as Rivendell and the Spegulalaguno as Mirrrormere. Wonder where they came from!

 

Many years ago, however, I decided that the upland areas needed a totally different indigenous language to emphasise the cultural dichotomy between themselves and the lowland areas.

Enter Marrongacan, best described as an unholy mix of my imagination, Hungarian, Basque and Icelandic, as translated by Google.

 

I am impressed that any-one could pick out the origins of the place names!

 

Ian T


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#20 eastwestdivide

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 09:13

It's surprising how quickly you can pick up the "look" of various languages without speaking a single word of them. 



#21 ianathompson

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 13:33

Whether any-one can pick up Marrongacan, including myself, is perhaps open to debate!

 

Two new sections have been added to the website covering the history of the AFK as a model and the construction of the current layout.

 

They are part of the series being developed to look at the layout's operation. 

 

They can be found at http://myafk.net/2-t...s-model-history

 

Ian T



#22 ianathompson

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:13

Things are very quiet on the AFK front as work continues on the N gauge layout.

The website has been updated with a couple of articles about operation.

These are basically a reprise of a series published in Narrow Lines.

 

They can be found at http://myafk.net/ope...al-factors-home

 

This site has now become very complex.

I try to check it before publishing updates but if there are problems please report them here.

Thanks

Ian T


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#23 Northroader

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 20:35

I followed the link this evening and had a very enjoyable time reading about what you’re doing. Really fascinating, good luck with the progress of it all. Very complex is an understatement. Then I just spotted in your post a reference to Ngauge layout, —there’s more??

Edited by Northroader, 16 April 2018 - 20:36 .


#24 ianathompson

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 21:11

Erm yes!

 

I am currently taking a sabbatical from the AFK and developing my GNoSR N gauge layout.

This can be found under the Aberlour tag in Layout Topics.

 

I've always been fascinated by the area since watching Highland League football there in the seventies and seeing the line into Macduff..

 

Ian T


Edited by ianathompson, 16 April 2018 - 21:12 .


#25 ianathompson

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:58

The final articles about the operation of the layout have now been placed upon the web.

 

They can be found at http://myafk.net/latest-info

 

Work on the layout has been stopped for some time as other interests take precedence.

 

It will doubtlessly restart sometime in the future!

 

Ian T


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