April 6, 2019

The Butterfly Effect

A switch stand, a switch stand, my kingdom for a switch stand

Jeff learning the Stanton throttle 
Herba nd Bill work Falmouth
John goes solo on PoLA
Meet at Brooke
A happy Steve switching Aquia Landing

I hosted Op session number 20 on the Aquia Line and number 25 on PoLA today. John Swanson ran PoLA solo, while Steve King, Herb Biegel, Bill Mims, and Jeff Mutter ran the Aquia Line. The op sessions went well. We started at 0900, so we ran trains 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the Aquia Line. The session ended about 1230, whereupon we walked to the Italian Restaurant around the corner for lunch.  I think I like this paradigm of hosting a morning operating session rather than hosting the afternoon session, as it leaves a good part of the day open for other activities.

The session went well and the crews did a good job. The Stanton throttles did not run out of battery. That tells me I have a bad USB hub or cable, vice worn-out batteries in the throttles.

There was a problem left over from the last session that I chose not to fix, that was the broken switch stand for the double slip switch at Falmouth.

That switch was one of the earliest I have built. I made the switch stand with laser cut acrylic and brass parts. After ten years, the acrylic housing just wore out, and then the brass rod snapped in my ham fisted attempt to quickly fix it. At first, I thought it would be simple matter to swap out the broken switch stand with one of my photo etched new versions. But, then I realized that it wouldn't be that simple. The repair would require my pulling the point rails and building new bridles, as well as re-gauging the switch. Since the switch was functional, as long as the brakeman/conductor help the points off center, I decided not to fix it.

There is also another switch stand in this area that is close to failing. This is a Precision Scale cast brass harp-style stand.  It also dates to the start of the layout.

These issues have me seriously thinking about moving up the rebuild date on Falmouth.  Why spend a good amount of time on repair, when I plan to relocate Falmouth as part of the expansion before the end of the year?

At the same time,  my wife and buddies are lobbying me to keep the full scope crew lounge. They argue it allows me to have space for my guests and grand kids (if and when they are born, I hope that happens before I am gone), allows me a space to set up a game table and also build modules and other projects as the mood fits.  Their  lobbying is working. I am now leaning that way too.

This means an expansion that looks a lot like Plan 21, but  it would add the bean pole trestle.  So this is a new plan, 30b in the sequence of things. 30b provides a big space for the crew lounge without having to rebuild Aquia Landing.  See track plan 30b below.

Note, Plan 30B also has a slight addition at Burnsides wharf where I would trim the wharf and extend the water a bit to allow for a ship in the foreground. The ship would due reposition-able for op sessions.
Track Plan 30b

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Simple, linear, full office space, plenty of crew swinging room. puuuuuurfect!