Wednesday, September 19, 2018

New Programming/Testing Track

Thanks go out to Joseph for taking on the job of moving the programming track from Elsewhere to our office/maintenance office. He used our testing track that was already in the office. By gapping the 2 coupler gauges and wiring it into our mainline in Wellington it can now be used to gauge couplers, measure the length of rolling stock (So they can be properly weighted), test engines, clean engine wheels(the alcohol soaked paper towel method), and programming. Moving the programming track also reduces congestion in the main aisle. Joseph also supplied the following programming procedure. 

Procedure for using the new programming track in the maintenance office.
The track has a three-position switch on it. This switch should always be in the centre, off, position when the track is not in use, or being used to check rolling stock.
For testing a power unit, set the switch to Power. This is a feed from the upper track on the layout, so naturally will only work when the track is powered. You can then test your power unit with your throttle as though it was on the track. When finished, set the toggle switch back to the centre position. (Note, use the switch in the Power setting to clean engine wheels).

For programming a power unit, set the switch to Prog. This takes a feed directly from the command module. On a throttle that can program plug the throttle into the loconet, then press the Program button ONCE, and ONLY once. This enables programming on the programming track. The throttle will display pg (PG?) in the screen. This stands for Page mode programming. If the Program button is pressed more than once, then programming is switched to the main track and all power units on it will be programmed the same. If the screen does not show pg at the start, then don't do any programming unless you are confident that you know what you are doing. When you are finished programming your unit, press the Exit key and set the switch back to the centre position

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Joseph reports that the programming track in the office is up and running.
As running continues on some of the layout so does construction at Elsewhere.  The control box (that turned power on and off to each siding in the old Elsewhere yard) was removed . This led to the discovery that these sidings had been wired with a common red and various colours, from the off on switches, to the other rail, e.g.. blue to 1, green to another etc. So we decided to leave this system in tact, sort of, for the east, turntable  end, yard. A new black and white bus was run and all the various colours of wires were joined to it. The west end yard will have black and red feeders only. About half of the feeders are in place and all the short spacer tracks used to space out the turnout ladders, were soldered to their adjoining tracks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

As some members operated on a truncated layout (missing Elsewhere) 4 or 5 of us continued the reconstruction of Elsewhere. The east yard has all the trackwork installed and as the yard tracks were not touched, all the feeders are intact. The new turnouts will need feeders. The east end ladder of the west yard needed 1 inch spacer tracks added between the turnouts to make room for the throw bars. All of the trackwork is in place at this end of the west yard and has small areas of ballast glued down to hold it all in place. The west end ladder of the west yard is laid out and it's arrangement was approved by the group. All of the west yard will need new feeders.
Once the west yard is in place and glued in place the entire area will be tested by running groups of cars through all the turnouts. Then feeders will be added. When ballasted I hope we can use a different colour on the through track to differentiate it from the yard tracks. We were able to make all of the yard tracks 6 1/2 feet long or longer. This will set our maximum train length. Train consists will remain intact in Elsewhere with their cards. Mainline trains will be broken down in Wellington, Branchline trains will have to be routed to Wellington, as a through train, to exchange their cars, they could switch Herons Landing on their way, or not.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Access Changes at the Layout

Last Tuesday evening when leaving, Jim Long volunteered to go through to the main entrance upon locking the rest of us out at our usual entrance. I was parked between two Voyageur buses near the main entrance, saw a black pickup truck stop at the entrance and heard Jim talking to the driver who turned out to be the black security chap. Jim called me to come over and the security chap advised us that the main entrance door lock would be changed because Voyageur drivers were leaving it open but that he would see that we got a key.

Fast forward to last Friday afternoon when I arrived at 1 pm to find that my key no longer worked the main entrance lock.  At that point, a Voyageur driver was exiting and opened the door for me and I did my usual walk through the lower area to let Tom in and block our usual entrance door open. Some time later, after Jim Long arrived, I left him and Tom and headed for the front office area to see about a key for the new lock. As I entered the Voyageur area, I was stopped by the manager and clearly told it was a no trespass zone as they had rented the area. I countered that we were also renters and had been passing through the area for the better part of 4 years. I said I was headed to see Bill about the matter and she said she would be talking to him as well. I met a chap up front who heard me out and called Bill on the intercom to come meet with me. Very shortly, Mark appeared and traded my key for a "temporary" key to the new main entrance lock. He also said it would be necessary to go up the stairs inside the main entrance and across the second floor to our layout and then go down to our entrance to let people in. He is planning to have a lock put on our entrance in the near future which will make things more convenient than ever for us. I ran into Bill himself as I left on Friday and he confirmed the key in our door plans. He wanted to know how things are going and seemed [acted] surprised when I mentioned the recent rumours. He has just finished rebuilding another Nuffield tractor and had a 1931 Model AA truck underway. 

Since all this affects the keyholder only, continue to show up at our usual door. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff, work night.

Not a lot of members out for work night, but we forged ahead. The bulk of our attention was focused on Elsewhere. Turnouts were positioned so everyone had a chance to comment on there positioning. We did stretch out the shortest yard tracks to 66 inches which equates to 9 cars and a caboose. The program track was removed and the lower yard throat was laid. Not a bad start.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

David 'so inspection truck worked well, found ever piece of dirty track.

Another job for next week
This turnout needs an over center spring. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Newfie Bullet

   Since one of our esteemed members recently visited "the Rock" and sent back a picture and note that he had found the "missing Newfy Bullet", it seemed appropriate to bring all our members up to date on this Canadian railroad legend. Started in the 1800's using 3' 6" narrow gauge trackage 
by private operators, the line ran from St.John's in the east over central highlands to the ferry terminal at Port Aux Basques in the southwest corner of Newfoundland. The passenger train, called the Overland Limited, was
operated by Newfoundland Railway from 1898 to 1949 when the island be- came our 10th province and Canadian National Railways took over. The stamp was issued in 1928 and shows the Overland Limited before it was renamed the Caribou in 1950 by CNR. The nickname, Newfie Bullet, was coined because of the 23 hours that it took the Caribou to traverse the route each way if circumstances were normal. Weather and maintenance problems could quickly increase the time. The Trans Canada Highway opened across the island in 1965, allowing cars to make the trip from the ferry to St.John's in under 12 hours. This competition started to seal the fate of the Bullet since it took a day and a night to make the same trip. By 1967, CN started a bus service that made the trip in 15 hours. However, many fought against the demise of the Bullet  by 
claiming the buses would not be able to 
handle the rough Newfie winters. A train
derailment that winter with passengers transferred to buses in turn derailed their argument somewhat. Still the Bullet con-tinued to run because of CN concerns that buses would not be able to handle the rapidly increasing summer tourist numbers by 1969. However, additional buses allowed CN to stop running the Bullet in July, 1969. Freight service con-
tinued across Newfoundland until the complete abandonment of the unique narrow gauge system in the fall of 1988. CN bus service was sold to private operators in March, 1996.