March 11, 2013

First Op Session on the Road Show

It was ladies book club night again at the Dolkos House, so Paul discreetly slipped away to my house play trains with me. He brought a bunch of goodies with him, including some trees he built for his previous layout that he no longer needs. They will be used in the deep scene near Accokeek Creek.

He also had a copy of the current Popular Photography magazine where there is an article describing Paul's work as a model railroad photography specialist. That was very cool.

Paul working on the link and pin couplers at the depot track
With the niceties out of the way, I made up a switch list and put Paul to work doing a test session on the road show. It was an abbreviated session as the turntable is not yet in service.

Paul was able to switch seven cars using the battery powered Engine Whiton. It took him a bit of acclimation to get familiar with the link and pin couplers and the Stanton Throttle. But once he got the hang of it things went smoothly. Right at the end of the session car 1142 derailed on a switch. I pulled it off and it looks like one of the wheel sets was sticking. I added some lube and it was back in service. (Note: a day later I did some more testing and decided to swap out the problem truck with a new one. I am redesigning all my trucks to use NWSL wheel sets. Any that cause trouble will be replaced.)

Over all things worked well. Paul is taller than I. The valance is at an inconvenient height for him when he works the layout.  It might be possible to add extensions to the legs to raise it up a few inches. Right now the legs were limited by the need to fold into the benchwork. So the track is about 48 inches high. A few extra inches might help.

He suggested an extension of the shipyard siding onto the adjoining section to make room for another car.  That is a good idea that I thought about too and now plan to add.

We also looked at the configuration of the engine terminal tracks. We discussed adding a third radial track  to expand the capacity and making a two stall engine house. But then we came upon the idea of using just one track to the engine house but making it longer. In this scheme, an engine could be in the house and one on the approach track. This would also leave ample room for the water tank and wood rick between the approach track and the engine house. That seemed like the best solution.

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