Friday, October 20, 2017

Backdrop buildings

As we had received a few free buildings and no one wanted them, I took 4 of them home. After they were disassembled, I put the first 2 back together as flats for Elsewhere. The first picture shows how they may look when they are all done, creating a row of buildings over 6 feet long.  The next picture shows a shed reassemble into the Woodstock  Firestone plant in profile.  The last picture was a brick warehouse made into a factory I labelled as the old Massey Harris plant that was in Woodstock making the Cub tractor. None of these buildings will be served by the railroad.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff, 10,17,2017

New car cards added with quantities of 1 to help with forwarding, which seems to be working well. Gathered up items to sell at the train show on Sunday in Woodstock. Viewing the layout I found a new piggyback ramp in Springbank. A new turnout will be installed to separate off the team track section. A stock yard will also be installed near Ortona on the branch line. The question was asked if we could build the new yard for Elsewhere and then swap it out, probably in sections 8 feet long. Thinking about this the turntable is on its own section, and the turnouts could be used on other parts of the layout. Even doing it that way there would still be a few days of interruption to install it, but this idea has merit.
The box cars are sitting on the team track section 

New piggyback ramp in Springbank 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff, 10,10,17

Actually the day started out with a visit to see Rock's garden railroad. During this last run of the season, rick ran a lash up of F units and a 2-6-0. See pictures below.

Later at the Huff and Puff,  when we arrived someone had left a box of oils, glues, and electrical parts for us at the door, my neighbor had given us some rolling stock, and Jim brought in boxes of stuff and bundles of milled wood. After sorting through all of these treasures we got down to operations. 
With a new set of cards sorted into car types we set up some trains using our car forwarding logic. It became apparent very quickly that we needed more cards with smaller quantities, back to the printer I go. This system worked well for the Trains were had set up. To explain the forwarding logic let's look at a train of just 3 box cars leaving Elsewhere.  The first switch is at Johnson Transfer were we drop off a box car and pick up 1, so we still have 3 box cars, at Jutland we again leave 2 box cars at McKay Fuels and retrieve 2. At Lincoln we swap 3 box cars at Hay Co. leaving Lincoln with 3 box cars we head for Springbank. There we spot a box car at Mutual Grain after picking 1 up. Three box cars are dropped at Zorra Cement Warehouse and 3 are removed. At Wellington we remove and leave a box car at Cullen Mill before dropping our train at the yard with, you guessed it, 3 box cars being spotted there. With all that work completed we best top up our water and coal. The beauty of this system is that we made 6 switching moves, with 6 cards and only 3 box cars. The bad thing is that you are always just swapping cars. Also the cards can get mixed up in the racks. How this will work when we have a switcher at Lincoln is yet to be seen.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Meeting night at the Huff and Puff October 3, 2017

The topic of discussion was the forwarding system we have been working on. A division point system was talked about. An example would be the switcher at Lincoln would control traffic in and out. That person would also supply forwarding cards to outbound trains. May have to make new cards for each division. It was agreed that each card will only have 1 type of rolling stock to be delivered so new cards will have to be made to fix that. We will also try only picking up what you deliver that is if you deliver 2 flat cars you only pick up 2 flat cars. Another idea was to sort cards into rolling stock types ignoring the day of the week. This would make looking for forwarding cards much easier. Projects for the new year will be reworking Elsewhere, (moving the turntable and cutting the yard into 2 yards),replacing or repairing troublesome turnouts, and repairing rolling stock. A new shelf under Valleyview will also be installed to hold all our casting material and clean up the office area.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Items for sale

Ralph's items for sale. The  following items are new and in  original packages . I can be contacted nightly at 519 421 9097 should anyone be interested

Circuitron DT-2 Logic Grade Crossing  Detector
Circuitron FL-2 Alternating Flasher
N.J.International Inc. #1161 Highway Crossing Gate HO
Keystone HO- 104 Barnhart Log Loader
GHQ Roadmaster HO - 1940 D8-8R Dozer
GHQ Roadmaster IT18F Log Loader
GRS Electronic Light House Beacon
Atlas GP7 HO  CP (Ontario Great Lakes) Diesel DCC no sound 2 units #8411 & #8414
Tichy HO  Boom Car 2 units
Tichy  HO  120 Ton Steam  Wrecking Crane
Kadee HO Disconnected Log Car
Fin Scale Miniatures # 110  The Depot ( Two Story Wooden Structure ) HO''

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff 09,19,17

With only a few operators available all the set up done by the Friday crew did not get a proper test.  I tried setting up a train but found it very difficult to get just the right match of cards, especially for the forwarding part. This could possibly be corrected by adding more cards. The 2 biggest objections to this system are the time needed for the initial set up and all the cards sitting on the layout. Solutions suggested included card racks for each siding, all cards for only 1 car (you could still take multiple cards to switch 2 or 3 cars at 1 siding, only have multiple switching at sidings which hold 3 cars like Coastal Oil to the refinery. Other thoughts include, a storage rack for excess cars, located in the office, only switch exactly what you deliver say box car for a box car, leave the flat car, add more cards to make set up easier, ignore the day part of the card, have card racks for forward switched cards which might include tank cars, stock cars, coal and limestone hoppers, refers, and covered hoppers.
You can bet more ideas will surface. The most important thing is that we make the system more interesting without making it too complicated.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Friday Set-up Time @ the Layout

Most Friday afternoons from 1 - 4 pm are nice quiet times to run trains and sharpen switching skills. But it also serves as a time to set up trains around the layout to get Tuesday night running sessions into operation quickly. Recently, club members agreed to indulge in a slightly more complex switching method called car forwarding. Larry has already provided details covering how this should work in a recent blog. A trial on the first Tuesday night revealed several glitches and the through train will be cancelled for the time being. Here Jim is placing individual cards against appropriate rail cars in an outbound train from Lincoln that indicate a forwarding industrial location for that car rather than bringing all those switched cars back to Wellington or Elsewhere as before. The cars switched out at the forwarded locations will be brought back or reforwarded to another location if they have a card indicating such and so on and so on.

In the photo to the right, the cars and caboose represent an outbound train from Lincoln that would normally have been brought back to Else-where or Wellington yard. Now, you add the cards indicating those rail cars to be forwarded and switch them at the appropriate locations on the way back to the yard. There can also be forwarding cards leaning against cars already in industrial locations. This means, once picked up either by switcher or regular loco, those cars carry on to their new lo-cation.
Feel free to join the fun on any Friday afternoon if you have the time.  Call Glen before Friday at 519-539-2403 to ensure that someone with a key will be there or drop in if you see our cars parked in the usual spots.

P.S. Just in case you're wondering, the yellow card lying on the shelf is a Train Order authorizing the use of a switcher at Lincoln Yard. If no switcher is in operation [depending on bodies available on any Tuesday night], you are responsible for switching any Lincoln cars you are dropping off and for adding the switched out cars to your train. As above, you switch any forwarded cars as you carry on.