Monday, October 16, 2017

Focus, focus!

The other day I was working on the signal logic for Wollar using the Simple Signal Logic part of JMRI and having all sorts of trouble getting it right. This was for the signals at the Down end of Wollar station yard that have been quietly waiting for me to get back to them for the past two and a half years, those who know me will also know why the layout has stalled over that period.

After a couple of hours I went and had a coffee then returned to the layout room.

Anyway, as part of working things out (still not right) I decided to check which parts of the main line had NCE BD20 track detectors installed and reporting to JMRI. I decided to run a train from the Muswellbrook staging yard over the whole main line to the upper Gulgong staging.

I was focused on watching the layout schematic on the PC monitor with occasional glances to confirm where the train was as it traversed the main line. It came to Wollar on the upper level which was where I was particularly interested and it passed by me and headed for the Down end of the yard when I heard a noise that I had heard once before in my modelling life, it was the sound of a locomotive taking a 1430 mm high dive to the concrete floor.

I had forgotten to put down the two layout drawbridges when I came back after my coffee!

The locomotive was a Trainorama 48 Class and here is the result.

Luckily although it hit the concrete it then bounced onto a mat which stopped any further damage.

It appears to have hit on the drivers side end of the front buffing plate breaking it. The front bogie also disconnected internally from the clip on the top of the bogie that retains the bogie in the chassis. The front square bearing of the upper gear tower fell out, one brake cylinder came off the bogie, a pipe from that brake cylinder to the other one still on the bogie came off (not in picture) and one of the air tanks on the fuel tank also came off. All up the damage wasn't too bad.

I re-installed the bogie including the bearing, pushed the brake cylinder in place, added the brake pipe and also the air tank.

I had to take the body off to push the shaft of the buffing plate back out from where it had been jammed into the buffer body. I then glued the round end of the buffing plate to the rest of the buffing plate and waited 24 hours for that to dry/set. Finally I swung the buffing plate down to align with the shaft and glued that.

After waiting another 24 hours I placed it on the layout and it started and ran without a problem, well made Trainorama!

Now I just need to touch up some silver paint on lower front drivers side corner of the 'cowcatcher'. Is that what it is called on a diesel?

Of course I suppose I should explain the first instance as well.

Back in the late 1980's I had received a birthday present from my wife Christine which was an AR Kits 45 Class diesel that Chris had organised Terry Flynn to get for her so that I didn't know.

I was testing the slow running of it with my back to the door of the then layout room at our house in Helensburgh when I heard a similar sound. Sure enough and with the layout being DC back then a locomotive and train had been quietly creeping along the main line behind me and the locomotive took the dive to the concrete. Luckily the passenger cars didn't follow and the first one was still hanging half off the layout where the removable door crossing was supposed to be.

The locomotive was a Lima 44 Class that I had done a fair bit of work on including adding extra weight in the form of a large mass of lead. Now this piece of lead simply sheared off the plastic posts that held it in place and smashed its way out the front of the 44 class. The result was about 44 body pieces instead of a 44 Class. I think I might still have all the bits some where in a box in the layout room.

So as I said, focus, focus!