Posted 04 November 2011 - 11:24
There are quite a few possibilities in running with this fiddleyard but Eastbound freight to Derby is a no no. There is no easy way to get a train from the Derby lines across to the Eastbound storage roads. It would be possible to do a shuffle by running from the Derby roads out onto the Westbound line and then reversing into the shared roads, going forward to the Eastbound road and then back into an Eastbound storage road but that seems a bit contorted. It would only require the installation and wiring of one more point motor but at the moment I'm not convinced.
I'm waiting on the delivery of a couple more point motors and plugs and sockets so I may have to divert to do some other stuff for a couple of days.
Posted 07 November 2011 - 20:54
Why not replace a couple of the fiddle yard lines with long cassettes, then you could lift the train from one area to the other...
Thought about that Stu and it was my original plan but have you ever tried lifting a 5ft long N gauge train on a cassette? I struggle to keep the stupidly small wheels on the track when they are in fixed rakes. It seemed the obvious solution once upon a time but the more I fiddle with these small wheels the more I don't want to touch them! Some of the stock is so light...
I have concluded that the only way to keep my own (and my operators) sanity is to use fixed rakes and not rail, re-rail, lift or do anything with the little beasts once they are on the track. N gauge is great but...
Mind you it may be down to the competence of the operators I get. What do you get for nothing?
Posted 27 November 2011 - 14:28
Here's the layout up and ready to roll after the Friday set-up.
My old buddy Phil is a blur in the backgound as he flips switches at a frantic pace. Some of them were the right switches as well!
Being the first proper outing and also the first time some parts of the fiddleyard complex had been used there were one or two niggles. A couple of the Conrad point motors decide to stick occasionally and one of the spring points in the Derby yard was tripping up part of the HST set. The odd poke with the MK I digit and a few mods with a soldering iron sorted these for the most part.
We also had a tiebar come adrift on the scenic section which had to be re-soldered. Not an uncommon problem with handbuilt track I'm afraid.
Biggest issue of the day was when the 12v DC power supply failed. As all the power feeds on the scenic section and all the point motors are driven through 12v relays nothing worked! Luckily I was able to jury-rig in my 45 year old Triang transformer (taken for just such problems) and we were back up and running in less than 10 minutes.
I suspect the load from the numerous point motors and relays was simply too much for the 1 amp supply in my Morley controller. Luckily losing the 12v DC didn't affect either of the track feed circuits. Phew! I think it is time to butcher an old PC power supply to give me a 12v supply with more oomph.
All in all a successful if not entirely stress free day. We even had trains running!
The layout is now packed away and stashed in a corner of the shed until my enthusiasm returns.
Posted 23 March 2012 - 20:51
There's a snagging list from the outing in October which should be cleared up first. Yeah right! All that stuff is to do with tricky electrickery and mechanical nonsense. Best plan is to ignore it and get on with some scenic titivation.
The scenic break at the Eastern end on the Leicester line didn't get completed inside the challenge deadline and the layout went to both the RMWeb open day and the Portsmouth bash with a ghostly white mock-up bridge in place. Time to sort it. Here's a pic of the start of construction showing where it sits:
It's a crude card construction covered in Scalescenes brick paper with a few custom texture details. Not sure it's in any way prototypical but it's based on what I can make out from Google Earth of a bridge to the East of Water Orton. Lots of work to do yet but I'm enthused again!
Posted 01 April 2012 - 17:03
... Hope your not replicating Saltley PSB's habit of holding the homeward bound Bescot men wanting access to the Sutton park line
Hi Dave, good to see you in these parts. Sometimes you just have to hold something in the Eastbound goods relief to provide interest for the punters so...
Posted 05 April 2012 - 18:31
The last one highlights a few bits that need repairing/improving on the station building!
Now I must get on and tackle that snagging list. Or maybe do some more scenic tinkering...
Posted 24 April 2012 - 16:27
I've been doing more work on the road bridge at the righthand end to try and disguise the exit to the fiddleyard. Cliched or what? No bus on the bridge (yet!).
Quite a lot of greenery has been added in terms of trees and bushes to break things up a bit. Not sure whether I like it yet though. The fencing on the bridge is bits of brass wire soldered up and the road and pavement surfaces are from Scalescenes.
This is actually quite a tricky corner to sort out as the original challenge plan has left me with some nasty tight corners to hide. I could go mad and rip up the track and re-lay it as with the fiddleyard boards there is scope for exiting at a much straighter angle on the Leicester route. Not a job to tackle 5 weeks from a show though.
I also managed to knock a couple of electrical gremlins on the head today so I seem to be making progress!
Posted 11 May 2012 - 13:37
A Voyager passes Westbound through Waton platform 1.
Empty and full GBrF coal trains passing.
EWS seem to be repositioning some of their loco stock!
A long view of the station looking from the West.
The driver of a vintage Morris Minor van struggles to find anyone to ask for directions.
Oliver Cromwell hauls a steam special en route to Birminghan New Street holding up the freight workings.
Posted 27 May 2012 - 16:57
Dave (Slightly worried of Winchester)
Posted 27 May 2012 - 18:03
Just wanted to say nice article in the BRM on the layout...I was surprised it mentioned only in small print you won the RMweb competition...you should have made more of that as it was well deserved...
Sorry I can't help at the coming show...unless you can put my flight ticket on your exhibition expenses
Edited by bcnPete, 27 May 2012 - 18:04 .
Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:02
Prep work for DEMU Showcase in Burton on Trent this coming weekend has involved giving operators some clues as to how to drive the fiddleyards. Hence the rather colourful paintwork. It's part of a colour-coding scheme to try and help folks differentiate between the different areas/uses for the fiddleyard and to ease finding the right road. With 15 parallel(ish) tracks and no markings it was a bit of a challenge.
The control panel now has graphics (of a sort) that match the colours. The 4 green roads on the left represent Derby, the blue area holds trains that only travel Westwards from Leicester towards Birmingham/Walsall, the red area holds passenger multiple units that can go anywhere East or West (in theory) while the yellow area on the extreme right holds 3 trains that only travel Eastwards from Birmingham towards Leicester.
There are one or two little features that don't quite fit the simple model just to cause a challenge or two. The righthand green line can only be used in a Westbound direction so usually holds a freight of some kind while the righthand blue line is used to receive trains travelling to Walsall which have to traverse part of the Eastbound (yellow) area and part of the shared (red) area. Simple innit?
Hopefully this will help folks to get a grip quickly as I am short of operators and will have to impose on the goodwill of show organisers etc. to "spell" me this coming Sunday.