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AFK A room sized layout that hosts intensive operating sessions.


ianathompson
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 The latest photos are available here.

 

As the session meanders towards its end thoughts are turning to other railway interests.

Work has taken place on one of these and others also demand attention.

 

8-168

 

169. Whatever transpires these two veterans stand side by side as they shuffle wagons into and out of the Fenditavalat train at the north end of the station. The long distance goods will lift as much traffic as possible although this may only be transferring the problem to Urteno. It is a good job that the facilities have been increased because the load probability tables have not been radically altered to produce such traffic. I suppose that it is just one of those days that occur every so often. I think, as well, that I am reaping the results of not using the yard as efficiently as possible. This is something that will have to be looked at in future. Rather irritatingly the pilot’s chimney seems t have taken a slight knock which was picked up by the camera but not really noticeable to the eye. It was straightened after these photos were published but, given its (supposed and real) age, nearly everything is out of true anyway!

 

Ian T

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 Another batch of forty or so photos have been published on the website.

 

8-212

 

212. The mixto returns to ‘civilisation’ having traversed the wild high country. As it runs into Urteno the pilot has already pulled the cut of wagons off the ferry and is waiting so that it can enter the mainline to the north of the station to complete its work. Following previous problems (documented in earlier sessions) the Royal Narnian Railways have been told in no uncertain terms that AFK control is to be informed of the lateness of their connecting train by 19.00 at the very latest. This is just before the mixto arrives at Urteno. The subtle plan is that the mixto will be delayed if the connections are late so that evening freight traffic, such as the KTT local, can take priority. Communications through the Back of the Wardrobe Mountains indicate that it is, magically, smack on time today, just when it would have been convenient for it to be its usual half hour late. You just cannot trust witches, dwarves and speaking animals to get anything right can you! It is usually quicker to travel by centaur than the RNR!

 

Ian T

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13 hours ago, Barry O said:

It is really good to see a layout which has a reason to run trains and gives the operator a bit of a headache sometimes!

 

"today" is supposed to be a quiet day allowing the newly extended yard to bed in.

From experience "tomorrow" is supposed to be a hectic day when the cattle specials run to take the herds to the highlands.

Last time out it was chaotic but that was well before I began documenting the sessions.

 

Ian T

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Posted (edited)

The operating session has now finished.

It has resulted in the most photographs of a single session yet published.

These photos are available on the website.

 

You will have to be patient. This is a big file that takes aminute or so to load.

 

As a taster I have included three photos in this post rather than than usual single offering.

I am more frugal with these postings nowadays as Flickr have imposed a limit after becoming commercialised.

Does anyone have any recommendations for an unlimited free platform?

 

8-236

 

235. The evening railcar forming the last up service of the day, which terminates at Urteno, is photographed by flashlight waiting at platform 3 in Relforka. It looks as though Aslan has been advising the Ferovojoj Thalnia upon the art of train timing in his spare time, because it will be waiting for some time. Nerv control has rung through to say that the connection from Sarip (the capital) is running 45 minutes late. It would be wouldn’t it, given that the Beruna train was on time for once?! For any-one wondering, the lateness is not just plucked out of thin air but is determined by probability tables and dice throws. A 100 sided dice is rolled which, obviously can be finely adjusted to represent percentage probabilities. The evening trains are heavily weighted for lateness as are the morning connections from the overnight SG trains.

 

8-238

 

237. Way out in the wilds the special railcar makes the stop at Ayleha below the snow fences of the Heldya ridge. Darkness fell hours ago and there is no electricity in the homes of this high valley, hanging above the Spelcia. Hopefully, with winter receding, the wolves will not be too hungry tonight, although they are unlikely to target humans as their prey. Should it be necessary wayfarers can take shelter in Our Lady of the Snows, where the door is always left unlocked for such an eventuality.

 

8-265

 

265. The mill train loco is run through the yard and parked beside the ground frame office before the session ends. The fireless will need two bites at the cherry to remove the SG wagons and the return train is scheduled for the small hours of the morning. The loco will probably wait here until the pilot returns before the crew decide whether to take it round to Aspargo. It is well known for arguing with the points there and falling onto the ground more often than a soccer player. This option might therefore be avoided. That café looks to be a good place for a doze!

 

It is hoped to make a few improvements during the shutdown between sessions but the AFK competes for time with other layouts.

Perhaps the fenland scene wull be revived or the Great North of Scotland might receive attention.

There is also the garden layout, the cricket season approaches and hopefully we will soon be allowed to sing church services again.

It could be a couple of months before another operating session begins.

 

Ian T

Edited by ianathompson
typo
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  • 4 months later...

The new operating session has finally begun after some delay.

For a layout whose main purpose is puportedly operation it has suffered two long closures for "works".

I hope that the next inter session gap is much shorter.

 

There is not much to say about the new session that is not already on the website and the it has not progressed very far at the moment.

It is nice to be back, however!

Given that running has only just begun there is only one photograph here to act as an attention grabber. The session can be found here.

 

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9.04 The retimed cement train rolls into Lacono at 01.12. It will stand here for some time and will be re-crewed. At this stage of the night the passenger facilities double up as freight reception roads and this train is running into platform 3, the main passenger platform. With this arrival all seven through roads are blocked. It is my intention to try to undertake minor work, such as the painting of the factory sign, as the session progresses, although previous attempts at such activities have been thwarted by the need to respond to the problems that inevitably arise when a large layout is in operation. Two ”sprung” point blades have already been found and fixed, even though the session has hardly begun.

 

Hopefully I will make quick progress but there are many other calls on my time.

 

Ian T

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The next batch of pictures is available.

 

Progress has been restricted by numerous sporting commitments.

A small selection is shown below for those who do not use the website link.

 

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9. The crew of the cement train set the road for the Urteno train once they had arrived. When this passed they routed the following down train into the loop and cleared the signals before departing, as seen here. This is the usual AFK procedure outside the station hours. The paper train pulls into Glissent under the “take siding” indication on the four aspect semaphore. Once it is safely in the loop the crew will set the road and pull off the signals for the Fenditavalat goods.

 

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18. Caladonno, which might or might not become Caladonno-Blittiri as displayed on the nameboard, is permanently immured in winter, rather like neighbouring Narnia, when under the control of the Witch Queen. Indeed I am rather taken with the thought of declaring this area to be an exclave of Narnia. Spain has a number of such territories in the Pyrenees across the French border. It is a small price to pay for incorporating a snow scene into the layout, particularly as other alpine areas are modelled in summer. The Lacono shunter has dropped off the two vans of blankets and is about to return to Fenditavalat. The driver is working the frame, which at this remote location is enclosed, to change the points and clear the signals, because it is outside station hours. The snow plough is traversing the country lane leading to Blittiri, a small upland hamlet. Part of the backscene has been finished but this area was simply roughed in and awaits further attention.

 

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24. The crew of the KTT local have misjudged things slightly in their complicated shunting. The loco and two wagons are still on the mainline to the south of the station as the railcar approaches and by the time that they are in the clear the railcar has dropped 6 minutes. The crew will not be asked to explain this delay unless it becomes a regular problem.

 

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30. The heavily laden schools’ railcar crosses the Magasorombo, to use the Marronĝaccan, with a heavy trailing load. The area is known as the Altingablecaŭtoj in Thalnia and translates as the High Reaches. The railcar has struggled with this load but it is necessary this morning as there will be no spare space on the following goods train due to the priority given to the military loads. The railcar is making the stop alongside the chapel at Aleyha to pick up pupils form this remote area.

 

Ian T

 

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A lot more photos have been added to the website.

 

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33. Cattle are already beginning to arrive at Breĉo de Glissent as the branch railcar runs round a couple of grain hoppers that it has fished out of the Co-op siding.  There is not going to be much time for the down local goods to shunt here today as a result of the special train running. The cattle herd is symbolic at around a dozen figures and, although I do not know much about it, I expect that a single drover, rather then the four here, could easily handle that number.

 

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50. Looking over the Gas Works Street wall at Lacono we can see that the URT-RFK goods is pulling in early. The AFK sees no point in running goods trains to time just for the sake of it. The train was ready to leave and there was a slot on the single line so it was put out. The enlarged layout is being used as envisaged in that the shunter is working from the north end, using the loop alongside the arriving train as a headshunt accessed from the double slip. The old layout would have been overwhelmed by the number of wagons currently occupying the sidings

 

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55. As the loco is in Cadsuiane the train is deemed to have arrived. The train is parked on the mainline using a track brake. If it was not restrained it might well run away, although today’s train is not particularly free running. The large loco just clears the station building. This had to be moved a fraction, some time ago, to allow this engine into the yard. The two wagons in the siding are loaded with cord wood going to the paper factory. They will be dropped off at Ospicio for the new local train to pick up. The crew did not read their new timetable yesterday and left them behind causing problems later in the day.

 

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61. The busses congregate at Fenditavalat, in their five times a day ritual, to feed passengers and post into the morning railcar. This will leave shortly before 09.00 to give connections between the ancient provincial capital, Lacono, its successor, and the Kernregio, the heartlands of Thalnia.

 

Ian T

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  • RMweb Gold

Ian,

 

I have only just "discovered" your thread, it is brilliant and compulsive reading.

 

Yet I am not sure why.  The chosen setting and gauge do not appeal to me; I am normally drawn to LIttle Bytham, Low GIll, Retford and Dent type threads which satisfy my yearning for perfection.  I realise it is work in progress, but nothing seems out of place, including the exposed wiring, angle brackets, bare screw heads, even the cheap ready to plant fir trees!

 

Your thread is totally compelling and fascinating to read. Additionally, I am intrigued as to how to pronounce all the place names.

 

ALLEZ AFK!!!

 

Steve

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5 hours ago, sjp23480 said:

 

 

 Additionally, I am intrigued as to how to pronounce all the place names.

 

ALLEZ AFK!!!

 

Steve

I've stood next to Tommo for many an hour, and I still haven't a clue how any of the places are pronounced, or where they are in the room!

 

Andy G

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22 minutes ago, uax6 said:

I've stood next to Tommo for many an hour, and I still haven't a clue how any of the places are pronounced, or where they are in the room!

 

I'll give you a lesson next time, including the ones named in Marrongacan as well as Thalnian.

 

I might have to consider inventing Narnian if the enclave develops.

There is a dragon on order and a potential centaur conversion.

I am not totally sold on this as it might just be a step too far.

We'll just have to wait and see.

 

Incidentally I have managed to fix the loose wire after half an hour's digging and soldering.

Lord knows how it came loose!

 

5 hours ago, sjp23480 said:

I have only just "discovered" your thread, it is brilliant and compulsive reading.

 

Yet I am not sure why.  The chosen setting and gauge do not appeal to me; I am normally drawn to LIttle Bytham, Low GIll, Retford and Dent type threads which satisfy my yearning for perfection.  I realise it is work in progress, but nothing seems out of place, including the exposed wiring, angle brackets, bare screw heads, even the cheap ready to plant fir trees!

 

Your thread is totally compelling and fascinating to read. Additionally, I am intrigued as to how to pronounce all the place names.

 

Thanks for the complements.

It certainly is not perfection!

 

Each session almost develops as a story, I suppose, which might be part of the attraction.

Most of the tangles reflect the problems that we had in the signal boxes in real life, before I retired.

 

The other important factor is that there is a comprehensive back story for the railway.

 I dislike semi nebulous justifications for fictional railways whether based on "might have beens" or those in a parallel universe.

It can be found here.

 

Hope that you can find time to read it.

It is rather long as it was forty years in the making!

 

Ian T

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Posted (edited)

The Little World seems to have taken on a life of its own recently, what with the prospect of Narnian secession and the antics of the drovers.

Progress is likely to slow over the coming weeks, however, due to cricketing commitments.

The latest missive is now available.

 

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75. There was quite a bit of shunting to be done at the glassworks, which is at some distance from the station. The train is now pulling away from the river crossing slightly behind time. One of the more interesting aspects of a ‘system’ type layout is how the composition of goods trains changes as their journey proceeds. The hopper and the two vans of bottles behind the loco were picked up at Glissent and the train is now running at 140 tons rather than the 120 tons which left Relforka. The loco is rated for 160 tons but Relforka is a bit cagey about sending out trains loaded to the maximum as they can become overloaded along the way causing problems. In any case, as noted, they are short of wagons today and there are always the afternoon trains to mop up any excess.

 

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83. The Fenditavalat goods is timed to depart once the railcar has arrived at Ospicio. There is no chance of that today. The loco enters the snow sheds to push the tanks into the goods loop. The ice is melting on the Lagunabianco and the snow is wasting away. The severity of the grade is apparent here and this loco can be ‘balky’ about reversing. This is not the place, on a vicious grade with slippery rails and a heavy load, for it to play up. Aside from the problems of the mechanism, which had to be dismantled from a class 47 and rebuilt, back in the day, another model railwayism is obvious. The loco has to pass the protecting home signal to carry out the shunt. Yet another example of pouring  a quart into a pint pot. The holes in both the home and the distant were drilled to prevent the boards being moved by the wind, althought they would not appear to have been entirely successful in this endeavour. This was a common French practice in exposed locations.

 

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87. The KTT goods stretches its legs on this long section of single line. It is passing the ES (enirasignalo or home signal) for Boursson which is displaying the “proceed at caution” aspect (the yellow diamond) because the train will enter the loop. The less than sophisticated controls are visible in the recess below it. Working trains over the AFK is no easy matter. The loco struggled to get around the notorious “wet leaves curve” with this load but kept going, ‘with the regulator “all the way across” and the gear dropped into the fullest link’. You cannot just set the controller and watch the train run smoothly along on this model railway! The train, having been photographed, refused to restart and needed prodding to get going on the grade. I deemed this as acceptable because the train would not have stopped here otherwise! The shelves below contain an assortment of oddments including the boxes of the relatively few painted figures that make it onto the layout. I must do more in this direction.

 

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91. Beauty and the Beast. The bedraggled tractor that acts as Isuri’s pilot pulls the ceremonial saloon into the Merkatubaxu. The local police keep a beady eye upon the tractor, especially as it sheds its protective bonnet hood during warmer weather, thereby revealing all sorts of dangerous, whirring fan wheels to fascinate the youth of the city. The saloon is placed at the disposal of the Aŭkeratuo de Vallisfissura, nowadays a ceremonial post. Once the Prince-Bishop of Vallisfissura was a person to be feared, and with reason. Enough of the history lesson, except to note that Fenditavalat, modern day Isuritakaharano, was named Vallisfissura by the Romans. Given that the saloon was completed during the recess between sessions, as documented upon one of the narrow gauge web sites, it was almost guaranteed that it would appear in this session, so congratulations if you saw it coming! The Aŭkaratuo is going to to journey to Ospicio d’Helcaraxê to formally welcome the herds as they begin their sojourn in the High Reaches. Thanks are due to David Vannerley, of the 7mm NGA, for inspiring the rationale behind the saloon’s allocation to the ceremonial leader of the province.

 

Ian T

 

Edited by ianathompson
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Just a short update.

After an extensive search of likely and unlikely places the fireman/s bicycle has been found.

It was lying in a hidden part of the network where it had fallen off the loco.

 

Ian T

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So the nannians hadn't gone bananas and pinched it? Good!

Baz

 

Over 60s umpiring finished for now Yorkshire Ridings 1st lost to Somerset. The seconds are off to Somerset having beaten Devon this week.

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Another thirty or so photos have been added to the website.

The file has now reached that stage where the file takes a little time to fully load so you will have to be patient if you want to see them!

 

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96. Yet more woes! The bogie van in the Altingablecaŭtoj goods has a ‘hot axle box’. In reality it derailed a couple of times and when pulled form the layout it was discovered that one wheel set was wobbling as it was eccentric on the axle. A spare was inserted and the original set binned. The solutions were not so simple for the prototype, of course, and so the vehicle had to be cut out of the train. There are dice throws to simulate these problems, although I almost inevitably forget to roll the dice. The marshalling of the train was a bit of a dog’s dinner anyway due to the shenanigans at Urteno. It will now have to be pulled apart and remarshalled.

 

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105. The CFS train pulls into Isuri just before the AFK express arrives. This train is usually a railcar but today it is loco hauled which will cause problems as the loco will need to run round this train. Evidently the CFS are having their own problems but this could cause a perfect storm today, what with the SG van on the express and the need to marshal the saloon into the down train.

 

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117. Speaking of limits the FDV-RFK goods is at the maximum allowance and forms quite a long train for a model railway. The last vehicle is an AFK van behind the brown SG van in the distance. The train is running as closely behind the railcar as the signalling system will allow.

 

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126. One of the pleasanter aspects of running a large multi-location layout is that the lulls on the prototype can easily be replicated. Whereas it makes sense, on a one station layout, to ‘fast forward’ the clock so that there is not a long pause there is no need for this on a larger layout. The local goods has left Boursson and the stationmistress has put the levers into the frame behind it. Now is the time to catch up with paperwork, telephone traders to inform that that their loads have arrived, unload wagons and maybe grab a quick bite to eat and a nap before the next train arrives. A couple of loads are picked up from the goods shed and an old man cycles up to the station to have a natter and collect a parcel. This figure was home made years ago and if I made another he would be in a much less active pose. The bicycle was bent up from a couple of paper clips.

 

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129. Looking in the other direction we can see the special has not fully cleared the tunnel and that it will have to draw forward to complete the unloading. Cadsuiane stands on the promontory far above the railway. The village was well known for its intransigence in days gone by and stuck to the Julian calendar for years after the adoption of the Gregorian version. Even today, the inhabitants’ stubbornness is legendary, even in truculent Altonia. As for the Marronĝaccan dialect spoken, just don’t contemplate conversing there!

 

Ian T

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Posted (edited)

The session has proceeded at an unusually brisk pace, partly because I have had to self isolate before a hospital appointment.

The latest batch of photos is now available.

 

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137. Caladonno has officially seceded to Narnia, on account of its permanent winter. The maps and the “backstory” have been modified accordingly. The Narnian Nuncio, having been informed that the Aŭkeratuo is aboard the train has dropped in to pay a ceremonial visit and exchange fraternal greetings. Meetings between the pair were somewhat fiery in times past but peace prevails nowadays. The enclave covers a restricted area and has become a retreat for those humans not enamoured by the otherworldliness of their fellow “countrymen”. It is well known for its magical potions and elixirs which ensure its prosperity. There are no customs formalities and by international agreement the AFK has free right of passage across the territory and its employees may come and go on railway business as they please. In a reciprocal gesture Urchyllu, a Narnian centaur, is employed as stationmaster here, something of a break in the tradition of employing the wives of PW gangers to look after the stations. He is giving the ’Right away’ in the traditional flamboyant manner by waving the Narnian streamer to warn passengers to board. Once this is achieved he will blow the hunting horn in his left hand authorising departure. The AFK trajnaĉefo is keeping a wary eye on proceedings from his compartment. It is all a little too NFN;~ Normal for Norfolk Narnia for his liking.

 

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146. The loco is forced to leave two vans standing behind the train on the RT (main through road). Shunting here is difficult because of the steep gradient, as was noted in photo 84, but it is probably more apparent in this side on view. As the ice on the Lagabianco melts and the snow drifts waste away, the two birds fight over a fish. You will have to imagine their screeches and the nip in the air! ‘Summer is y comen in’ but it is short lived in these rarefied alpine pastures and the brutal winter will soon return.

 

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153. Previously the mixto had to arrive in platform 2 but it could not pull forward to the end of the platform as the crossings are used by the incoming railcar. The complicated shunting has allowed the mixto to occupy the full length of the main platform, as befits one of the three main up trains of the day, whilst leaving the crossings clear.

 

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165. The impending problems at Urteno are resolved once the railcar departs. There is no path for the additional banker and its train so it reverses into the coal sidings to wait for one whilst the goods train is shunted into the ‘goods loop’. The original timing for the extra banker “crossed” the path for the goods train. The goods train usually terminates at Lacono but runs forward if there is sufficient traffic to justify it (60 tons minimum). These “air crossings” were common in German timetables into the seventies and eighties and relied upon staff reading their daily notices thoroughly to ascertain which trains were, and which trains were not, running on a particular day. Eventually the inevitable happened and there was a “cornfield meet” where the two trains crashed into one another.

 

Ian T

Edited by ianathompson
typo
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  • 2 weeks later...

It has been a little while since I posted as I had to go into hospital for an unpleasant biopsy.

A period of disillusionmentt then followed and enthusiasm waned.

Following this short interlude activity has continued so here are the latest photos.

 

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193. Time is passing and the evening railcars have pulled into the Basabazaro at Fenditavalat. The loco from the cattle special can now find a path to Rivabordo before the mixto arrives. The AFK railcar will push the CFS trailer up the slope to allow the CFS railcar to get to the front of its train. The AFK railcar provides the schools’ service over the Altingablecaŭtoj for the two Lyceoj.

 

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195. The schools’ railcar is one of only two timetabled crossings at Caladonno. Originally there were none. The loop was a late addition to the layout plans, designed to accommodate wagons shed from trains too long to enter the short loop at Fenditavalat. The train is, of course in Narnia here, but the Thalnian authorities have struck an agreement to provide education for any Narnian children resident within the enclave on the strict understanding that Talking Mice, Centaurs, Unicorns and other outlandish creatures are not included within this remit. This is supposed to be an enclave for normal people and the stationmaster is encouraged not to come onto the platform too often for fear of upsetting nervous travellers (photo 137).

 

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196. The Kasatritikakamparoj goods crosses the fields in the valley bottom as the afternoon wears on. Relforka have added a load of bricks onto the tail of the train, which are bound for Lacono. This is a common practice as train loading limits on the lower part of the line struggle to accommodate the traffic on offer, but it is not too popular with the train crews. The “creature” (from the Black Lagoon) is quite elderly now and the crew are worried that it may struggle on the restart from Sojonno stop. In actuality the train had to be reversed to take a run at “wet leaves” curve although it is well below the load limit set for the loco. I did consider “sanding” the track (i.e. adding a big piece of lead onto the loco, rather crude but effective) but this loco’ mechanism already screams under load and seems inclined to disengage the gears under duress. I suppose that it owes me nothing. It is around forty years old now and was crudely hacked about for another project all those years ago. The remnants of that disaster were assembled into this loco, creating an idiosyncratic character. The creature was given its head, charged the curve and had to be reined in on the straight as it galloped away towards Boursson.

 

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202. Control has called a relief train, running as 9802, to take some extra refrigerator vans down to the coast. This train is now timetabled to cross the early running branch goods at Breĉo de Glissent. The train is also carrying a load of fuel for the fleet’s bunkers. The layout’s supply of standard gauge wagons could easily equip a moderate sized SG layout, although they would need attention to their couplings and, in some cases, running gear. It is one of the advantages of having followed the same theme for a number of years. Most were acquired piecemeal from second hand stalls or E-Bay, although there are one or two expensive examples in and amongst. The entry of Brawa and Lenz into the O gauge market has broadened the scope but they are relatively heavy and expensive models and form a minority of the available stock. A couple of scratchbuilds round out the choice.

 

That's all for now folks!

 

Ian T

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  • 2 weeks later...

The latest batch of photos is now available to view on the website.

The Imgur hosting platform has for some reason known only to itself decided to hide all my images.

It also has blocked the "Post to Community" button.

 

I am fed up to the back teeth with the Technogeek cretins that run these hosting platforms.

Thankfully the images on the website are beyond their reach.

 

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212. The “creature” is shunting the afternoon goods at Boursson. This is a complex job, as per usual, and gives an insight into the problems faced by train crews at wayside stations on an everyday basis. This train, which arrived with 5 vehicles, has to make two drop offs and one pick up. It is also requested by the station mistress, on Control’s orders, to place two empties at the bottom of the goods shed siding, so that they can be collected by the down goods and to transfer the SG van to the canning factory. The two running lines are now blocked and, just to add to the complications, the evening schools’ railcar is now approaching.

 

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220. The cuckoo in the nest! Here is where the fun starts. The SG van was supposed to be moved from the goods loop to the factory. The railcar and the down train’s arrival have all prevented this and the van is now buried deep within the train. In a similar situation to that outlined in photo 207 this might not be a problem on a station to fiddleyard layout where the station is the sole centre of attention. On a system like the AFK Boursson is “just another place” and problems there do not dominate operating decisions. Of more concern to control is purloining the motive power from this train to power the possible von Ryan referred to in photo 207 and the need for the down train to keep out of the way of the mixto which will be hot on its heels when it departs. The van in the wrong place at the wrong time is a minor concern. The anguished phone calls from the station mistress are met with the casual response of, “Bring it into Lacono, We’ll drop it off later this evening!” A nice 24 kilometres trip to move it a couple of hundred metres! Welcome to the bizarre Little World of the AFK.

 

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238. The driver of the mixto climbs down from the cab to consult with the trajnaĉefo at Urteno. Lacono control has rung through to advise that the Talking Mouse in the Royal Narnian Railways Beruna Control Office has indeed come up trumps, letting them off the hook. The connection across the Dorsadelavestejamontoj (Back of the Wardrobe Mountains) is running over 30 minutes late tonight so the 12 minute delay generated by the AFK  pales into insignificance. One or two liberties might be taken as the train now has twenty minutes plus  in hand.

 

I was going to post more photos than this but you will have to go to the website if you want to see them.

This posting is including picture sizes at random and there seems to be no way of controlling what is being posted.

 

 

I have now wasted around one hout of my time trying to sort these technical problems out.

My experience of attemtpting to contact the technocretins is that it is a waste of time.

They are not interested in your problems.

 

This brings us to an interesting question.

How many of you are attracted to the post by the pictures?

Would readers just go straight to the website if I posted that it had been updated.

I am beginning to be sorely tempted by the simplicity of "some more photos are available" type post.

 

All views gratefully received.

 

Ian T

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4 hours ago, ianathompson said:

This brings us to an interesting question.

How many of you are attracted to the post by the pictures?

Would readers just go straight to the website if I posted that it had been updated.

I am beginning to be sorely tempted by the simplicity of "some more photos are available" type post.

 

I for one. Updates are eagerly awaited and cause to sit down in a comfy chair with a cup of tea for an enjoyable trip far away.

Edited by ian
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Ian,

 

I also eagerly await your updates of the trials and tribulations of the AFK.

 

Personally, I like to see a couple of photos in the post.  Perhaps they can be billed as a taster with a link to your site to see more?

 

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

The session has now finished and the last few photos are available here.

 

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260. The von Ryan heads through the Lower Aepto Gorge in the darkness. This will be the last train up the vulpafaŭkangulo today. The leading wagon is the CFS van returning home with a load of grain. The incline obviously has a large influence upon AFK operations and any train climbing it is usually loaded to the maximum allowance as far as possible (see photo 71). The CFS van is travelling on what I think of as the “underground railway” in that is making an unconventional journey stopping at many places. It went from Glissent to Lacono on one train, then travelled by another to Urteno and now is in its third train for the journey to Ithilarak. It will probably complete its journey behind the schools’ railcar tomorrow, along with the two other vans left behind at Urteno. The railcar is restricted to a trailing load equivalent to two wagons up the hill, hence the need to fill out the load on the special and take this van up the bank. Note to self; clean the wagon roofs before the next session. I don’t mind the dust that accumulates; it is the finger marks that jar.

 

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272. The railcar arrives at Breĉo de Glissent to receive an adverse aspect from the home signal. This is showing an “orangey red” as did the early prototypes because the light is shining through the yellow and red spectacle plates as the arms are on the same spindle. A simple device was invented which moved the yellow out of the way in this situation but pulled it into place when required. The AFK engineers have no intentions of replicating such a device in 7mm scale! The train is standing here because the late running up train is running into the station and there is no run-off to allow a train in the opposite direction to safely enter.

 

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280. The station pilot runs into the goods yard some time later to transfer a cut of vans to a more convenient place for the down goods to collect. This is the first time that this pointwork has been used “today” and almost inevitably there were some teething problems, particularly with the crossing microswitch. These were quickly resolved. The barriers often do not drop to quite the horizontal position but this was not an uncommon feature of continental minor railway crossings and there are more pressing concerns than this.

 

The layout will now be closed for a while whilst more development takes place.

 

Ian T

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Unexpectely the inter session development has focussed upon Ospicio d'Helcaraxe, the summit of the line.

This was previously a vast swathe of undeveloped baseboards and backscene, reminiscent of the fabled "Plywood & Pacific" of American modelling legend.

 

A number of photos have been taken of developments which can be found here.

 

a couple of these are included here.

 

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This is a view of the entire scene taken from the far aisle, looking over the backscenes there. The embryonic station building bears little resemblance to the place holder.

 

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What, you may well wonder, is that?! It is a water crane protected from the cold by straw. This was quite a common technique in France whereas British practice favoured ‘fire devils’. A long search of likely candidates for other countries’ approach revealed no heating apparatus at all. A quick thumb through a Finnish NG book (in Finnish ~ that’s fun) Swedish books, German and Swiss books reveals nothing, although it was noted that few photos were taken in the snow! Any information or photos of heating arrangements would be gratefully received, although the conclusion that I draw was that water was supplied from heated tanks protected from the weather. This was the US method in areas of cold climate. It was intended to place this and another crane between the running lines but this has not proved possible because the ‘insulation’ fouls the loading gauge. This location looks likely to become the permanent home of the southern end version.

 

Ian T

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