Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Heat Wave

Last summer ('08/09) we had a few days where the mercury went over 40c, this caused the rail to buckle in the Mudgee area cause I apparently did not leave enough of a gap for rail expansion. When I got around to doing something about this the rail had contracted back to 'normal' and I thought I'd wait for another hot one to come along so I could then mark what tracks gave me problems. Guess what - no more hot days came until this summer - so what happened - nothing - I did nothing on the layout to any great degree until earlier this summer when we had a few more hot one's just before Christmas, this time I marked which tracks had buckled, took them apart and cut about 1mm of the end of the tracks in question - I had to make about 4 cuts in the Mudgee area, some more in the lower portion of the layout - Mudgee is now running OK & I'm progressing on the others. I've included a couple of photos of the track after it was taken apart but before I cut it back - you can see the track overlaps the point rails by about .5mm, hopefully the bit I have cut off the ends will have solved this problem - time will tell.

I also had a short devlop in the same area. I think that was something to do with the gaps in the points (which I cut with a razor saw) closing up and thus shorting out. I've re-cut the gaps and glued a piece of 10thou styrene in the gaps and then trimmed the styrene back to be level with the rails. Hopefully that will be it - the trains certainly seem to run OK with no shorts in this area now.

I'm hoping for another hot day or too just to see how it all hangs together. Ahh the joys of building a layout in an attic - and yes the roof space is insulated as are the walls.

Was just about ready to post this when well - we had a few more hot ones - was 40' a little while ago followed by a 38 day - no sign of any more buckling in the Mudgee area so I'm hoping all will be OK for the future - Now to finish the other areas that have experienced track buckling.

That's it for now...

long time between drinks

Well it's been a long time between drinks & I'm getting thirsty.

The layout itself has not progressed too much - too many other things to do around the house & other modelling projects.

So what has been achieved so far.

The layout now has a Walthers 90' turntable :

it's in place but not yet hooked up - but I'm about to pull it out so I can detail it to be more NSW like in appearance - I'll start by painting the pit walls white and the base more a concrete colour rather than the radial weathering the pit comes with. I'm basing this on Orange and will need to scratch up the coal stage & sand house - the barracks are too big for the space I have available but I'll figure something out. You might also notice the end of an inspection pit on the left hand side of the photo - a better photo is as below:

This is a Peco inspection/ash pit which I have modified the floor by placing 2 * 40thou pieces of styrene over the existing floor, the top piece is slightly narrower then the bottom piece and glued to it, when the glue dried I then filed the sides of the top piece to merge with the bottom piece to give a rounded off finish to the sides, I then glued this to the existing Peco floor. I hope the photo explains it a whole lot better then I have (well I have only used 80 odd words & they say a picture is worth a 1,000 words).

I've also cut the slots/gaps for the inpection pits in the roundhouse roads - used a circular saw to do that with - was a bit of fun - not very tidy bit they should be ok - thankfully they will be mainly hidden in the confines of the roundhouse - whenever that is built.

How lucky can one be - I had to go to Galong for work last November & took advantage of being down there & went to the Wagga Wagga Exhibition, from there I came home via Orange & guess what - the sand shed is still there - unfortunately my Camera's battery had died before I got there but my Phone had a good enough camera to take a few photos with - unfortunately I did not have a tape so could not take any measurements but I think I can guesstimate the sizes, ( I think the planks are about 8" wide & the vertical supports appear to be about 6" square) unless someone has the measurements that they could email me with :-)

The Mudgee portion now has all it's point motors installed in the main & goods area, the loco area will probably use the wire in tube method to actuate the points - quite like it after seeing it in operation on Rowan (Main South Line) & his dad Sam (Buff Point) layouts - probably a bit cheaper & easier to set up than the point motors.

The lower main line station ( a mix of Wallerawang and Wyong) has abut 80% of it's main line points motorised and I've almost finished making the next batch of point motors to power the remaining points in this station as well as the points in the other main line station, all things being equal this should be done by March / April, not sure what year though.

Well that's it for now.