Favourite Photos...

Favourite Photos...
Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Monday, 25 August 2014

JL&T Layout Expansion of 2014...

Today marks the first day of the JL&T Layout Expansion, the shed that houses the layout will be getting a 4m x 4m (13' x 13') section added onto the east side.

This thread shows the expansion plan...

The expansion is to store the contents of our garage that is incorporated in our home.  The garage is being converted into a therapy/playroom for our eldest son Lachlan who is autistic & intellectually disabled.

There has been an agreement struck that I can extend the layout into the new shed extension so long as I manage (with no exceptions) to get all the contents of the existing garage into the shed extension, comfortably and with no effort to remove any of it if needed.

No worries...

The first stage is the levelling of the site, and the pouring of the concrete slab.

And the slab done...

More to follow soon.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lift Out Bridge - Update...

Well today ended up being a very productive day for the rebuild of the lift out bridge.  I managed to finish off levelling the bridge and grading the track through the cut onto the bridge, I also installed the cork roadbed on both sides of the track this morning.

While waiting for the caulk to setup for the roadbed I setup and cut out the bridge canyon through the bridge, at this stage I have only opened up the top and have not cut the sides until I install some more bracing.

One thing I learn't from building the first version of the lift out bridge (LOB) was to make sure that you secured the LOB with screws first so that it is in its final position and then lay the cork roadbed and track first.  This way when you make the cuts through the track and ties the alignment should be spot on.

I also had to insert some styrene shims into the southern approach track to ensure the #8 turnout and trackwork was level horizontally and remove any dips.  The track grade is quite steep (in prototypical terms) but it adds a nice little visual break to the mainly flat landscape.

When the roadbed caulk has cured and I have secured the track to the LOB and the approaches I will drill holes through the bridge and into the cleats and insert the guide dowels to ensure the correct alignment of the LOB and the track on the layout.

Lastly I ran a consist across the section several times to test the radius and the trackwork, it had two SD40-2, two 89' TOFC's and two 74' Centre Beam Flat Cars too, all traversed the track without issue at slow and fast speeds.

Next step is to finish the river canyon, install the additional bracing, place braces under the bridge ends and to finish them as concrete piers.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Progress on the lift bridge rebuild...

Well last night I managed to start the cut through the cork & plaster for the downhill grade towards the bridge.  The grade also incorporates the turnout from the new staging area.
The plaster sub roadbed was a good choice and allows the sculpting into various landforms easily.  I have to add cork underlay again and shape that into the finished grade, the path that the new line is taking flows much better than previous and adds a nice little scenic detail with the cut.
Once the cut has been finished I'll be adding the landform base using masking tape and a coat of drywall sealer.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Re-visiting the lift out bridge...

Today I finally decided to tackle something that has been bothering me for awhile.  The lift out bridge that connects the centre peninsula to the northern side of the layout has been not quite right since it was converted from a swing up to a lift out.

When I constructed the centre peninsula I made a little mistake and it ended up being about 10mm higher than the northern deck.  So the track coming across the bridge was on a downward grade with two curves that didn't really flow to well.

Due to the expansion of the layout shed, and the addition of the staging on the south side of the extension there was an opportunity to fix up the bridge and add the turnout that connects the staging to the layout.

Also the construction of the lift out bridge had two extensions coming out off the layout and protruding into the walkway that held the bridge up, so I wanted to get rid of these so that it was easier to walk along the walkway without obstructions in it.

The new lift out bridge is constructed purely from pine to keep the weight down, the previous version was hardwood for stability.  The new version now spans the entire width of the walkway and secures to the layout frame with a 19mm cleat.

As can be seen below the new section flows much better, the previous alignment had two bends that had the whole section come out more towards the roller door.  The new alignment has one bend (which is 28" R) from the crossing with a short tangent track before the bridge.  The opposite side (southern side) comes out straight into a #6 LH turnout that will feed into the new staging area.

The existing southern section will have a short curved section into the existing turnout underneath the backdrop wall.  There is a slight grade from the turnout to the new staging turnout which needed to be installed as I have lowered the bridge to match the existing northern deck.  This new section will be cut into the existing cork & drywall sub roadbeds and will be modelled as a cutting, this will add some visual difference to area instead of being completely flat.

The next step is to cut the sub roadbed out and get the grade right between the existing turnout under the backdrop to the location of the new staging turnout before the bridge.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

New Broadway Limited - EMD SW1500 - RDG #2761 & #2762

Well this week I finally received my two BLI - EMD SW1500 switchers in RDG paint scheme.

I have been waiting for these for about 2 - 3 years now, whilst on back order.

The units are equipped with BLI's Paragon 2 - DC/DCC dual mode decoders and factory installed sound. The paint is crisp & sharp and is fairly close to the correct RDG colour scheme.

The details are good quality as far as SW1500 models go, but as far as prototypical features for RDG SW1500 go they are average.  A lot of the details are incorrect and/or not even installed, for myself this is not an issue because I am glad to have some more RDG switchers to the fleet.  Im sure for the pure aficionado these will leave them wanting and would be a deal breaker for purchasing.

The units have a vast amount of functions and sounds that can be played through the unit.  The initial sound level coming from the unit is set to 100% and needs to be halved straight away to be at an acceptable level.  The unit is equipped some real interesting sound features, two being manual notching and automatic sound coupled to load placed on the motor.

There is one slight problem that I have already had with both my units, they both seem to be having issues with power pickup.  I've noticed on two section of tracks both units are having issues with power and are either partly stalling or completely stopping over these.

I have tried both my Athearn SW1500's & Atlas Silver/Gold Series MP15's with sound over these sections and had no issues with these.  I will have to do some trouble shooting over the next few nights to see if I can isolate the problem.

The units are great slow speed runners and this is seems to be the worst place for the above problem to surface.  Ive noticed the slightest lifting of the walls or non contact wight he track causes the units to partially restart or fully stop and requiring moving to get the correct contact.

Hopefully I can resolve the issues with what looks like a power pick up issue, when I can get this fixed I'll post a video of them running and some of the cool features incorporated in them.