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ian last won the day on June 23 2010

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    The People's Republic of Telford

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  1. Wednesday The morning's work starts with collecting the empty wagon from the goods shed and then the empty van from the brewery. Rather than run around the wagon tying up one of the platform lines the crew put it on the goods shed line and then will run around the short loop and push the train onto it. Three wagons come back from the junction, an empty stake truck to be loaded with logs at Gipfeldorf, an empty beer van for the brewery to fill and another van of bottles for them to empty. The return working from Gipfeldorf is a single empty so that's it for the day. Thursday The brewery siding is emptied as usual and the morning train is ready for its run down to Neustadt. Today there were five wagons for the branch, so one had to be left behind. There are two empties for the brewery and one each of beer and general merchandise for Gipfeldorf. The Gipfeldorf wagons have to come up on this train. The stake wagon has been loaded (only just by the look of the lorry on the hard-standing) so that is swapped for the two incoming wagons. No early finish for the crew today as not only is there a load to go down to the junction but another one to come up as well. The loco returns from the junction with some coal for the coaling stage. Friday Bright and early there is beer and an empty coal wagon ready to roll down to the junction. And again there is a cornucopia of stock for the return. Beer and fruit for Gipfeldorf, coal and bottles for the brewery. That's Gipfeldorf stocked up for the weekend! And finally after a canter down to the junction with the Gipfeldorf empties the crew return with two loads for the Schonblick goods shed. In the course of the week 19 loads (and the equivalent empties) were worked up or down the branch with varying traffic levels from day to day. The system could do with a little tweaking but I was very pleased with the first run.
  2. But pragmatic. We have many dice, all with the games to which they belong, but retrieving same, clearing space on the desk then about 40 rolls and returning dice to their home...
  3. To celebrate the arrival of the new branch guard's van the crew decided to run a whole week's worth of freight. This gave me an opportunity to test a load generating system. Apart from the eye-candy of the main line I have always intended that the layout should be capable of being operated with freight trains running for a purpose and wagons delivering loads to customers. There are two basic philosphies that can be used here - one is to give each wagon a pattern that it follows (e.g. North Fiddle Yard - Station A Goods Shed - South Fiddle Yard - Station B Factory - North Fiddle Yard and repeat), the other is to allocate wagons to carry loads that are generated somehow (dice throws, computer program, drawing cards). For this experiment I used dice throws (well, actually a computer simulation of dice throws - it was quicker than finding some dice). First I generated a list of traffic and allocated values that would determine if there was a load to be carried. Each siding had one or more traffics allocated. This is one of the entries for Schonblick brewery (the other two are coal in for the boiler and beer out) Bottles/Kegs/Crates (Empty bottles, kegs or crates from the manufacturers) Loads in/Empties out F/M 1-4 (Friday load in/Monday empty out) Load if dice shows 1,2,3 or 4) M/Tu 1-2 (Monday load in/Tuesday empty out) Load if dice shows 1 or 2) Tu/W 1-3 W/Th 1-4 Th/F <never> (No load in on Thursday or emply out on Friday) The full list of traffic for Schonblick is: Brewery (2 wagon capacity): Coal - in, Bottles/Crates/Kegs - in, Beer - out Goods shed (2 wagon capacity): General Merchandise - in Loco shed (1 wagon capacity): Coal - in Whilst for Gipfeldorf it is: Hard standing: (1 wagon capacity): Timber - out Loading platform/goods shed: (3 wagon capacity): General merchandise - in, Beer -in Gipfeldorf is a popular tourist spot, hence the need for large quantities of booze. Train lengths are limited to 4 wagons up to Schonblick and then 3 on to Gipfeldorf. The routine is for the run to start from Schonblick, run down to the junction, pick up wagons for the branch, work up to Schonblick, then Gipfeldorf, work back down to the junction and then return to Schonblick. Anyway, enough theory - what happened on the layout? Monday. Start of play at Schonblick the goods shed houses an empty van that brough general merchandise up on Friday whilst the brewery has two empties - a coal wagon and a van that delivered some bottles. Gipfeldorf just has a beer wagon. The Carlsberg van belongs to the Danish State Railways so has to work back empty. If it was a German van it could be used for an outward load from the brewery. The empties have been collected up at Schonblick with the new guard's accomadation bringing up the rear. There wasn't much for the branch at the junction. Just some fruit and a consignment of loco coal. The fruit is gently shunted to the goods shed. Then the loco coal can be propelled alongside the coaling stage. As there is no point in going on to Gipfeldorf just to pick up an empty the van is left on the coaling stage road and the loco can go to bed early. Let's hope that traffic picks up later in the week. Tuesday A new day, a new collection of empties. This time there were three wagons waiting at the junction. More bottles for the brewery, a load of coal to go to the goods shed and an insulated van for Gipfeldorf. The bottles are on their way to the brewery. The drasine is cowering by the buffer stop on its siding - it is convinced that one day it is going to be crushed to death by a careless shunt. Okay, it should be general merchandise, not coal - but I didn't have a spare van or a convincing load for a low-sided wagon. And now for Gipfeldorf... ...where the wagons are swapped... ...and we terminate at Schonblick early again. There is no point in wasting a journey down to the junction so that the beer wagon can sit there all night instead of here.
  4. The replacement building is now ready for installation - mind you that could be a while hence. Before you get any funny ideas a Reformhaus is a sort of cross between a health food shop and a grocer that sells additive free and organic products.
  5. A friend suggested using the vinyl applicators' trick of wetting the surface before applying the cobbles. It certainly makes them more co-operative but what the long term effects on the adhesive are is a moot point. @MichaelE - I like your roads. Fortunately I don't have much room for such fripperies - it is all needed for track! @Paul H Vigor - that;s mit not avec! Meanwhile, in a garage not too far away,,, After a little bit of a struggle (okay, a full-out battle) the street behind Schȍnblick station is now in place. The idea of making it as a unit seemed good at the time, and the base fitted easily into position but add buildings, wires and terminal blocks and not only is it less manoeuvrable but also doesn't fit through the gap between the station building and the shelf above. Much bad language was expended in the course of operations. But enough of that, let's have some photos. The chemist always seems to attract a group of locals playing the ever popular game 'ill-health top trumps'. Swinging to the left we can see the apartment block, Alfredo's pizzeria and Herr Doktor Munding's dental surgery. A bit further to the left and you can see part of the hairdressers' salon that is opposite the station entrance. Moving to an elevated viewpoint (by climbing one of the lighting towers at the carriage siding) we can see the hobbit house tacked on the end (as a temporary measure) and the railway admin block. You can also see some bare baseboard but if you would be so good as to ignore that for now I'm sure that it will get covered later. The temporary platform end is on the list of things to do as well. Changing viewpoint shows just what an abomination the hobbit house is. It has got to go. Night fell quickly whilst we walked back along the station. The cafe is open until the early hours. The locals are still comparing ailments. That is probably the last train down to Neustadt for the day. There is a feed for lighting but the hobbit house isn't connected to it. The brewery has been placed roughly in position. I had to lop a bit off the chimney - it was either that or have it disappearing through a hole in the shelf above in a surrealist manner. For some reason the operating department aren't happy about the current arrangenents at the current end of the line. It looks like the Neustadt baseboards are now a priority. The hobbit house and its replacement. This antediluvian Faller kit consists of two shops of the same pattern but in different colours designed to go back-to-back. One shop just happens to be roughly the same footprint as the hobbit house. See - and as it has one less storey it will fit in far better.
  6. The new traction tyres arrived so it was time to break out the secret weapon. Marklin being Marklin you can buy a toolkit. It is a somewhat expensive way to buy the selection of tools therein but it has a couple of advantages. Firstly - they are the right size and type for the various routine jobs that you might do. Secondly - they are all kept together in a case so there is no hunting around for that particular size of nut spinner. This is the first time that I have used it since purchasing it and it saved a huge amount of time that would normally have been wasted playing hide and seek with the tools.
  7. Sometimes it is just too nice to be inside working on the layout.
  8. Walking the dog yesterday.
  9. The opening sequence put my in mind of the Railway Series story where Edward's guard oversleeps and has to rush to the station where everyone is waiting for him.
  10. It appears that there is no direct equivalent. The nearest they have is the train number which, as I guessed, is even one way and odd the other. East-West/South-North - Even numbers (sometimes called 'von' (from)) West-East/North - Odd (sometimes called 'nach' (to))
  11. At least it would all be the same colour...
  12. They are still available from Marklin dealers so proper replacements are on the way.
  13. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It seems that branch line goods trains normally had a van attached where the guard and shunters could carry their equipment, have lunch and do their paperwork. Marklin had a suitable vehicle in their range (4600) so, before deciding to buy a decent example, I exhumed an exceedingly tatty specimen from the sales box to see what impact it would have on the branch. Trains from Schȍnblick to Gipfeldorf are limited to three wagons - the van does mean that it won't fit in the goods loop at Schȍnblick but it nearly fits! (I told you it was a tatty specimen - this is its GOOD side). Testing the extreme scenario today we have three in and three out at Gipfeldorf. Six wagons and a van to play with. The whole shooting match can fit in the sidings to let the midday railcar run. It is a tight squeeze though. Having stations this close together does require you to concentrate your attention on the station that you are operating. This is the train after it has pulled everything out and got the deliveries at the right end. And this is the scene at Schȍnblick. Fortunately you don't see this when you are looking at Gipfeldorf. The out-going train was formed without too much bad language. Disaster struck as the train pulled into Schȍnblick. The iron horse lost a shoe. Needless to say the stores don't have any of the correct size tyre. The local distribution centre doesn't either so the loco will have to be stopped until the parts are on hand. Operating a model railway needs continual work to keep it in fine fettle. This point at Gipfeldorf was failing to respond to the control. The lantern flipped, but not the blades. A liberal dose of track magic on the pivot and sliding surfaces along with some wiggling restored normal operation. (That screw isn't fully home either - it is amazing what you notice in photographs that you miss in life.)
  14. How do the Germans distinguish between trains travelling in different directions on a stretch of line? In the UK we have Up and Down, the US tends to use Northbound/Southbound or Westbound/Eastbound but I haven't found any indication of what is used in Germany. I suspect it is something very logical, like odd and even train numbers - but I am sure that someone on here will know the correct answer....
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