Monday, February 13, 2012

I've been busy....

Well, the lack of posts has been related to a comment I made prior to having holiday leave at Christmas. I said that I would try to make the six more points needed to complete the Cassilis yard and I didn’t; no surprise there.

Recently, while reading the Day of the Goods Train book I noticed that there was a plan of a stock race and I realised that I hadn’t allowed enough room for the race on Cassilis, it would run into the backscene about half way down the ramp before it got to the front fencing; now this would look silly, so I had a careful look at the track layout and decided top move the stock siding to the other end of the goods yard off the same goods loop, simple enough. However, the crossover that would have allowed direct access into the stock siding was now at the wrong end of the goods loop. I had always wanted the classic two direction staggered crossover arrangement of a NSWGR goods yard but after careful study and realising that it would have reduced the available good loop storage capability I decide to leave it out. This will of course require any goods vehicles in the goods loop to be moved out of the way when the stock siding is shunted and then replaced afterwards an aspect that might be a little annoying but which would add to the time taken to shunt the yard and which would have happened in real life anyway.

I also recently bought a Eureka CPH and had built a fitters/storage shed from a CV on a short turntable track at Wollar loco depot for a service track for the CPH (planning to buy the CPH at that stage). Now I had a carriage shed/loco storage track off the turntable road in the original Cassilis yard track diagram for this purpose so it also was deleted from the yard. For those who have been counting, my six points to build had now shrunk to three, a number I felt more like attempting.

About three weeks ago Australia Day was on a Thursday so by talking Friday as holiday leave I got a four day break intending to finally have a go at those points.

So, for the last two and a half weeks I have been a good boy and have kept pushing myself towards getting trains running into Cassilis. I must mention too that Chris has been very understanding in allowing me to use all my spare time including that we normally allocate to each other. I should have a train running by this weekend.

I decided to make Cassilis a manual station in so far as the points would be manually thrown using Blue Point Turnout Controllers and the Uneek 60’ Sellars Turntable would be manually turned. I also decided on having Kadee under track uncoupling magnets that would be mounted on hinges so that could be manually raised and lowered for shunting.

The turntable gave me some worries until I worked out how to install it. I had to do some cutting into the existing baseboard and careful placement of more supporting framework. While doing this I realised that I would not have been able to fit the carriage shed track into the area anyway as the change in level required for the turntable would have left no space.

I laid the trackwork in an unusual way this time by installing the points first into the yard diagram drawn on the baseboard and then connecting them with the track (more on this later). I built the points using Micro Engineering Code 70 rail and did not hinge the point blades but allowed them to eliminate a potential power loss situation but in doing so I needed to replace the supplied steel wire of the Blue Point controls with heavier 0.045" (45 thousandths of an inch) steel wire. I also marked out the Blue Point placement on the top of the baseboard and used an old vertical drill to drill through the baseboard. This meant that it was relatively easy to screw the Blue Point controls in place under the baseboard. It was for this reason that I didn’t lay the track then the points as the track would have got in the way of the drill stand.

When I originally built the station benchwork I decided to leave the four inner supporting cross members underneath the baseboard floating, that is not screwed to the outside frame but still supporting the baseboard above. I did this so that I would have freedom in the placement of the Blue Point controls and the under track magnets. I finally screwed the cross members in place last night prior to drilling holes through them for the wiring to pass through.

Here are a few photos taken along the way and sorry for the poor quality, I used a cheap camera as I didn’t want to take the time to set up my usual Nikon on a tripod, etc.:

At this stage I still have to wire the track including wiring the point frogs to the double pole double throw switch built into the Blue Point control, add operating rods to the Blue Point controls and more operating rods to the under track magnets for raising and lowering them.

If all goes right then I should be able to finish by the weekend and keep my marriage intact.

Here is an overall photo showing the yard trackwork and the turntable.

I hope you all forgive me for the lack of posts and realise that if I had stopped to do a post or two I would likely have stopped for another long time.

I can’t wait to run the first train into Cassilis.

Now will it be the CPH or a goods train?