Jump to content
 
  • entries
    30
  • comments
    56
  • views
    15,481

Shunting the yard


brightspark

462 views

In my last entry I mentioned that we had a few problems with Swaynton at the Tring show.

 

The desire of the group that we should make an effort to run 100% to period.

So far due to the lack of stock we have run trains of various regions and periods. We have always tried to keep each train within it's own period, i.e. Southern (1930) engine with 1930 Southern stock etc.

However we were aware that this confused the public and really didn't present a good example of a finer scale layout that we thought that we should be striving for. Even if Richards LSWR stock was supurb.

 

The last big jump was to convert from the LSWR 1912 period trains to 1960 stock and as these trains get shunted we had to have a fair amount of it. So the push was on to get all of our stock ready.

All of the shuntable stock is fitted with AJ (Alex Jackson) couplings. Some of the members are not to keen on this as it has to be set up correctly, however we managed to scrape together sufficent wagons.

But at the show we found that the electro-uncoupler was not strong enough to uncouple our new stock. At first I thought that it was just my stock affected, due to my usual inattention. However that turned to be untrue as nearly every bit of new stock remained firmly coupled after passing over it. No matter how many times we jabbed the button, the little drop links would only move part way.

 

We fixed the problem in two ways. The first was to but a big hand magnet onto the electro-Magnet, underneath the layout, when we wanted to uncouple.

The second, and I thought rather neat, was to modify a tea stirrer by cutting off the end to make an inverted V shape. This was a suggestion from the public side. Well done sir who ever you are.

 

Now we have had a few thoughts about shunting the yard and at the end of the day we found that there was few more.

 

So I invite you to add your thoughts and views to these questions, remembering that it is a layout on show at exhibitions;

 

The main reason why we shunt the yard, is to keep something moving between trains. Do you think that we need to do this? And if so how much?

 

We noticed that quite often the same train that arrives at the yard is the same train that leaves. Basically the shunter has just rearranged the wagons in the consist. I have noticed this happening on other layouts as well. Does this matter?

 

If it does then we are thinking of giving the shunter proper instructions. Full coal wagons in and empty out using detachable loads seems easy enough. But what about other wagons how do we direct that they are for Swaynton Goods and how do we know when they are unloaded? Does anybody else do this and how? (Cards?)

 

To use the electro-magnet to uncouple means moving the whole train into the headshunt or yard throat. We think this to be little unprototypical and found the hand uncouplers gave more freedom. But what should we show the public? Do you feel offended when you see the hand from the sky appear? And we can also talk about three link couplings here.

3 Comments


Recommended Comments

>> The main reason why we shunt the yard, is to keep something moving between trains. Do you think that we need to do this? And if so how much?

 

Yes I do. I think a basic rule of thumb is that something should be moving all of the time, with a small 10-15 second gap at most. When that is not a through train then move something in the yard. Not exactly prototypical - but much more entertaining for the viewers.

 

>> We noticed that quite often the same train that arrives at the yard is the same train that leaves. Basically the shunter has just rearranged the wagons in the consist. I have noticed this happening on other layouts as well. Does this matter?

 

Not critical IMHO, but better if you can shuffle two consists or more.

 

>>If it does then we are thinking of giving the shunter proper instructions. Full coal wagons in and empty out using detachable loads seems easy enough. But what about other wagons how do we direct that they are for Swaynton Goods and how do we know when they are unloaded? Does anybody else do this and how? (Cards?)

 

Cards are a great idea, and the 'shunter' needs to practice until he/she can do it without the cards. And then equip with a dice and randomise it (let the public see that too!). Detachable loads are only worth it if you hide the detach from viewers, otherwise it's more 'hand of God' which IMHO spoils the illusion.

 

>>To use the electro-magnet to uncouple means moving the whole train into the headshunt or yard throat. We think this to be little unprototypical and found the hand uncouplers gave more freedom. But what should we show the public? Do you feel offended when you see the hand from the sky appear? And we can also talk about three link couplings here.

 

I feel that hand uncoupling is only slightly better than no uncoupling, it completely shatters the illusion. More uncouplers I say!

Link to comment

>>The main reason why we shunt the yard, is to keep something moving between trains. Do you think that we need to do this? And if so how much?<<

 

Un-necessary. Taking my layout out, I was paranoid about breaks in movement, necessary now and again to change ends in the fiddle yard. Generally though, Joe Public is content to wait a minute or two - particularly so if there's a train left for inspection, in my case waiting "for the single line section clearing".

 

>>We noticed that quite often the same train that arrives at the yard is the same train that leaves. Basically the shunter has just rearranged the wagons in the consist. I have noticed this happening on other layouts as well. Does this matter?<<

 

Yes, I think it'd look pointless to the viewer and feel pointless to the operator. Is there not a case of swapping vehicles over, ie. two new vans replace two already-present vans, three minerals replace the minerals already there etc..? Simple, but appears to have purpose?

 

>>To use the electro-magnet to uncouple means moving the whole train into the headshunt or yard throat. We think this to be little unprototypical and found the hand uncouplers gave more freedom. But what should we show the public? Do you feel offended when you see the hand from the sky appear? And we can also talk about three link couplings here.<<

 

Hand from the sky doesn't bother me at all. Alternatively add more magnets? Three links are nice, functional, generally reliable too but even in the flush of youth (!) my eyes can't handle them under show conditions.

Link to comment

Interesting comments.

We moved away from three link couplings because they were so fiddly (for the more senior members) and were also a pain in the Fiddle Yards.

 

A couple of points of information for those not familiar with Swaynton (and lets face it, it don't get out much)

It represents a station on a two track main line (End to End at the moment)

We work to a sequence that takes around an hour to complete and move 30 trains through the layout.

That is 15 trains despatched from each end.

The train for the yard arrives on 1 UP and departs on 13 UP so effectivly giving the shunter 45 minutes to do his thing.

However we only have two sidings.

There are some videos of Swaynton on youtube.

This the best one taken at Tolworth (from 1:00 onwards) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezbx2fSa_8Q

 

The unloading (removing the coal loads) is done at the end of the sequence.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...