The Woodstock Model Railroad Club invites you to come along with as together we build an empire. Stay tuned for progress updates, tips and techniques. All comments are welcome. Email

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Breaking News

                                     The Pity Train has just derailed
                                             At the intersection of
                                            Suck it up and move on
                                                  And crashed into
                                             We All Have Problems
                                Before coming to a complete stop at
                                              Get the Heck Over It
                                                  Any complaints
                                              About how we operate
                                                Can be forwarded to
                                           This is Dr. Sniffle reporting
                                          Live from The Huff and Puff

                                               Now quit your whinin'

                                                   HAPPY NEW YEAR!

                                      Oh that reminds me its wine time.

Paraphrased from Facebook author unknown.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Another year has passed at the Huff and Puff

The year in review. First our largest project, reworking the Elsewhere yard was completed. I think everyone is happy with the new double ended yards we now have. The programming track was moved to the office at the same time. Together this has reduced the congestion in the main aisle.

In other projects we also created a team track in Springbank and removed a hill under 2 turnouts in Miller, which greatly improved switching there.

To help reduce erratic DCC behavior a whole wack of under size feeders were replaced, but there are still more to do. RF filters were also added at the end of every bus to reduce voltage spikes.

 Installing over center springs in many turnouts has improved there reliably and where there was no other option, some turnouts were replaced.

Our rolling stock has seen continuous improvements through the work of 1 or 2 of our members. This mostly unnoticed work has improved there reliably and our overall enjoyment during running sessions.

Battery power has been shown to work by 1 of or members, and cell phone operations was introduced to us by another.

We even produced a video of the layout, it can be seen on you tube by searching for the Woodstock Model Railroad.

All in all a great year, thanks to everyone and have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Friday, December 7, 2018

More Friday Fun and Fellowship

After talking at Tuesday night's meeting about increased action on Friday afternoon to decrease the pressure of too many trains trying to run on Tuesday nights, we certainly saw some increased action this afternoon. As usual, Tom was patiently waiting when I arrived just a tad late after lunch. With him were Jan and Jim Post and their grandson. Jan had heard my spiel at Learning Unlimited and had suggested she would like to bring her grandson up when he was next in town. Garner is into N scale and has a small layout at home. I gave him a quick lesson about my Digitrax controller, linked him to Mike Lafond's 2-8-0 and to a staged train in Wellington when Don Pearce arrived. So I delegated him to supervise Garner as he set off to switch [Thanks, Don]. Then I gave the Post grand parents  a tour of the layout. As that concluded, Eileen Hammerton arrived with Murray, her son [and a former student] who is undergoing a bone marrow transplant which involves significant pain. Eileen phoned me some time ago about bringing Murray up as she thought it would interest him and take his mind off his condition. She is 90, by the way, and navigates our stairs better than most of us. They both enjoyed their tour immensely. Jim Long came along and had locomotive frustrations which kept him from running. By this time, Tom had Garner running his train [thanks Tom] while Don restaged his train in Elsewhere. [Don says your locomotive operated very well, Mike, which is why I was planning to try it since I did a bit of CV shuffling on it recently]. It turned out Tom and Jim Post worked together at Fisher Control so they had a good jaw over that. Jan Post and Eileen Hammerton know each other so it was like old home week. Tom presented Garner with a thick hard cover ailroad book and he departed with a huge smile and great memories. Eventually, everybody departed except Don Pearce and I when Mayor Trevor Birtch happened along so he got a quick tour and said he'd be back with his kids on a future Friday afternoon.

Now who needs publicity!!!  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Meeting night at the Huff and Puff

After some discussion, which included theft risks, and maximum number of members we can handle,the group decided to hold off on any advertising at this time.

Jim Long is still researching a programming add on to the programming track.

We also floated the idea that if more members attended the Friday session it would easy the congestion on Tuesday night. Although we do not want to see the group divided into two groups. It is important that all members attend meeting night, to keep up to date and have their voice heard.

Dues should be paid as soon as possible so we can pay our  ongoing expenses.

It was also decided, because of the trip hazard caused by kids using crates to stand on, that any new members need to be able to operate the layout without using the crates to see, in other words, they need to be able to see the upper level turnouts.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Friday Fun and Fellowship

Friday afternoons are usually pretty quiet with only one or two members showing up to run on the layout versus the usual Tuesday night sessions where multiple trains are running from both Wellington and Elsewhere yards requiring numerous train crew breaks in order to access various yards. 
When train locomotives do not respond as expected to DCC controllers, the first gremlin suspected is usually the 9V battery. You've probably replaced multiple batteries over the past month, resulting in a large collection of such batteries that continues to grow on the left side of the sink area. Tom Smith wondered if those batteries really were the problem so last Friday afternoon he used his multimeter to check them all and, indeed, found many that, according to Digitrax are still useable, ie have more than 7 volts indicated


As well, last Friday afternoon, we had a visitor, no stranger to our layout, when John Wright came through the door shortly after 1 pm and stayed the whole afternoon. As most of the club old-timers know, John is a long distance trucker with a local firm who is currently off with some health concerns. He has a great sense of humour, an easy laugh and a pack of stories that kept Tom, Jim Long and I well entertained. His trucking job has kept him from continuing with our club.   

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

After some running time most of us sat down in the lounge to talk. A few topics came up that will be talked about in the Dec. Meeting .
Rogers has asked about taking a video of the layout .
Dues are due please try to pay at or before this meeting.
Having another running day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Where are all the trains? Oh their in Elsewhere. With only 3 staging tracks in Wellington it soon empties out as people are still getting used to the fact that most of the staged trains are in Elsewhere and this is where the first trains should leave from. I guess we could also stage trains on the Wellington run around and the yard run around, but they would have to be the first to leave from Wellington. There is also the engines that can only handle short trains.

Trying out a newly acquired engine, by the smiles I would say all went well. I'm sure we'll see more of this locomotive in the future .

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

We had a meeting before our session.
After discussing the rent increase it was decided that our dues would stay the same and Don will start collecting them next week.

Congratulations to Mike on his upcoming article in December's issue of Garden Railroads about turning your on wheels.

David displayed a trial run of his laser printed steamshovel he is working on. He will be adding more detail to it as well as separating it into more components.

Tom informed us that a friend wants hard covered  books on Canadian Railroads to sell in his shop. Money will go into our kitty.

Congratulated and thanked Glen on his talk on model railroading to a seniors group and his donation.

Jim told us he has a laptop the club can use if we get a JMRI system to program decoders in the future.

David's steam shovel trial run.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

We had a donation of magazines from Gary, thank you, so the lounge was a buzz with people checking out the new reading material.
Trains were also moving. Glen seemed to be as busy replacing faulty rolling stock for repair as he was running his train. A big thanks for his ongoing efforts to get our rolling stock all up to snuff.
All of the time, planning, thought, and work that went into the Elsewhere changes seem to have paid off. With at least 9 staged trains at the ready when we start a session, trains move out quickly. The simple concept of rerunning trains with the same consists out of Elsewhere and sometimes out of Wellington keeps things moving. Our operators who have been running, all seem to have grasped the effect on our operations that the yard changes in Elsewhere have made, mainly no switching in Elsewhere. I'm sure as we all get familiar with this concept new and better ideas will arise.
Below we see Tom switching in Lincoln and Donald's train running past the harbour cargo yard.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday repairs.

Jim pointed out a turnout in Lincoln was not closing in 1 direction, the over center spring was adjusted. Another turnout in Elsewhere had an over center spring added. The card boxes were also changed. All the Branch line cards are in the left hand, unpainted boxes and the Mainline cards are in the green boxes on the right. Wellington cards were also sorted out and put together in 1 slot. The cards for Zorra Cement Silos were increased to 3 cars as we have an abundance of covered hoppers.

All the yards are staged and ready for Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

With only a few members out, we had lots of room to run. Installed some new card boxes to hold cards for trains staged in Elsewhere and Wellington. Elsewhere has been running without a hitch as far as I know. We may need to reduce the number of staged trains to achieve a correct balance in the yards.

This was before the card boxes were installed, but you can see how Elsewhere is staged.

Mike has run his battery powered engine a couple of times now, he seems to be pleased.

For more information check out his blog, a link to it is on the side bar. Pictured above is Mike's controller and the battery powered engine.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Elsewhere is up and running

Short found and corrected.. The turnout from the new yards to the run around needs a over center spring.
Tom and I ran some trains down to Elsewhere for Tuesday night. There are 3 branchline trains and 3 mainline trains as well as 3 mainline trains set up in Wellington.
After a trial period we will set up a night to ballast the Elsewhere yards, a lighter ballast will be used to highlight the through track.
Thanks for all the patience during the Elsewhere project.

See you Tuesday night .

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Preserving 6069

Jim's article continues with the efforts to preserve 6069.

This engine was left to deteriorate until a group was organized to raise funds to keep it in as good a shape as they could with the dream that someday it might even be refired and brought to operating condition. For the present time their goal is to preserve it as much as possible as a fine example of Canadian Steam and of the craftsmanship of Canadian manufacturing.

Some previous work done to protect the engine has led to problems that need urgent attention. By the photo you may be able to see a heavy rubberized coating on the firebox and smoke box.  This is a thick rubber roofing material that was applied to keep moisture away from these areas but, unfortunately, weather cracking is allowing the exact opposite to happen and the moisture is seeping through and being trapped against the steel.

Vandals have done their worst and caused some irreparable damage.  The bell is cracked, the headlight was smashed, the seats were torn out as well as the usual spray paint work. As well as human damage, mother natures critters have found it to be a wonderful fortress in which to make their homes. The bell can never be repaired to make it sound right.  The glass and the bulb were able to be replaced but the reflector was an infusion of gold and glass that makes the cost prohibitive.  Happily the seats are ready to go back in, all the gauges have been rebuilt, the floor in the cab has been replaced and the removal of rust and paint on the tender is about half done.  The smoke box cover on the front had to be removed and the lower half replaced.  Nests and similar bedding had retained the moisture in there and caused rust perforation of the steel.

A few years back some of the linkage to the smaller cylinders was removed for repair and refurbishing. They were very happy to find that the cylinders moved very freely.  At the same time they discovered a very heavy weld repair on the chassis just by the front of the cylinders.  When they searched the records of this engine they discovered that it had been involved in a collision.  The photos showed heavy damage to the front end of 6069 and it appears that they just cut off the front end and welded on another one.  The weld on the chassis is about 1 1/2 inches wide and 3/8 inches thick.

The work being done is definitely a labour of love by persons who have a love and appreciation of the era of steam locomotives.  If you are in the area it is worth stopping to see a fine example of canadian steam power.

Engine 6069

Jim Long submitted this article which is very appropriate for our club as some of our members have this engine and run them at the club.

While putting in some time in Sarnia, I came across this classic steam locomotive on the edge of Confederation Park down by the river, just short of the Bridge to the USA.  I was fortunate enough to meet a gentleman who was unlocking the gate to go inside to work on the engine. Most model railroaders will recognize this engine from it's brass equivalent and the more common Resident's Choice version that was available a few years back numbered 6060. Although not a precise reproduction it is close enough to assume that it was modelled after this series of Canadian National Engines. Also since the only engines to escape the scrapper's torch are numbered 6069, 6065 in Saskatchewan,  I believe, and good old 6060 in British Columbia.  He believes that 6060 is still operational and was the only unit that was switched from coal to oil. I was invited to come inside the fence for a closer look and learn a little more about this engine and the efforts to preserve it.
Read more in the next post Preserving 6069.

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

As a half dozen operators struggled with the confines of the layout, I was under the layout attaching feeders as Mike soldered them on to the track. Because of space constraints only 2 people could work on the last of the wiring. By the end of the night we were ready for a trial. Glen's engine ran through the yard ladders just fine, but stalled at the switch to the run around. There seems to be a short in this area. I hope to get up there on Friday to investigate this problem.  The club members have decided to try out the new yard before we ballast it, to check for any problems. Hope its not the turnout.


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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.     

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

September 4th WORK NIGHT



Clean track.

Tidy up.

Repair rolling stock.

Start Elsewhere rework. We could have 2 crews work on this.

Joseph will finish wiring new program track.

This turnout needs an over center spring

This gap has moved and needs to be fixed. This would involve putting in solid rail joiners at this spot and gaping the track further to the right at a straight section.  New feeders will be needed.

This turnout has no feeders. It's the 1 that goes to the turntable in Lincoln.
We may find more jobs to do, please bring operating problems to my attention.

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Maligned switches turnout not to be the problem. (love this pun)

Joseph was having trouble with his engine stalling on both of these turnouts. So we took his 6 axle diesel off and put my 4 axle diesel on the track. It ran through them just fine, must be the 6 axle diesel causing a short, Right?  Bring in Jim  to investigate the problem. The 6 axle diesel was set on the track and as Jim watched, it ran through with no stalling (who says there are no railroad gremlins). Well maybe with the cut of rolling stock attached, the drag might effect it, Sure!  OK it Stalled!  Our group does not like metal wheels, especially when mounted on metal trucks (we are working to remove all the metal trucks and wheels, if you have any spares bring them in.). As it happens the cut of rolling stock had 3 combinations of these. All 3 were removed and the smaller train rolled right through. Adding them back in to the consist 1 at a time isolated a gondola with metal wheels and trucks. As Jim rolled it through the turnouts, it shorted out the system, in fact you could see sparks flying (that's why I call him Sparky) Further investigation also showed the wheels had too small of a diameter causing the bottom part of the truck frames to periodically touch the rail head, into the repair shop it goes. I wounder how many times this car has caused shorting problems that were blamed on turnouts, in the Past?
If we take the time to investigate problems like this maybe we can chase the gremlins away.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Crews looked forward to  enjoying operating on a light night, but look what happened.

3 operators in this aisle

Nobody Hear? 
3 operators in this corner

Where is the dispatcher, oh on Holidays!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Meeting night at the Huff and Puff

With a good attendance we got down to business. The comming closure of Just Train Crazy was discussed, they have everything at 20% off, so I've been told.
Next it was decided that we will try having meeting and work nights only when needed. Anyone can call a meeting.
The first Tuesday in September will be a work night. We should all work together to identify areas that need attention. These may include finishing up the new program track that Joseph has been working on. Then the old program track can be removed. Dead track areas need to be investigated and repaired, the extension of the tank cars track in Springbank needs to be ballasted, we should discuss the viability of moving the turnout to the mine sidings back to make these sidings longer. We should check the mainline for "teeter totter" track with a level (this would identify high spots that cause uncoupling) and level the grade in these areas.
The Elsewhere project will be scheduled sometime this fall. There may be a way of doing it in stages. When the program track is removed, maybe we can rework the first switching throat that would lengthen that end of the yard. Then we could cut in the turnouts in the middle of the yard, which would finish the bottom yard, and then add the tail end (escape) turnouts for the upper yard. Or we could shut down Elsewhere and do all the changes at once.
 I forgot to mention the "dot" system for identifying problem rolling stock. This involves using stick on dots, of different colours, to indicate how many times a car has been repaired. We could each colour for a certain problem or use different colours until late we get to red, the next time it has a problem that car would be removed.
After the meeting some did some operating while others continued the lounge conversations.

Friday, July 13, 2018

This Week at the Layout

Larry was not available on Tuesday evening with a grand daughter's birthday party at his house. That's a higher priority for a grand dad. It was a fairly busy evening and we had a visitor; semi retired Dr.Neal who inherited some O gauge equipment from his late brother who was a model railroader. We toured him around the layout and answered questions that showed he knew more than a little bit about railroading in general. He chatted with Don S. about sharing a table and selling his equipment at the next train show. Jim F. and Ralph T.
appeared carrying the big bridge from Don P's former layout and stowing it underneath the layout. For those who never saw Don's layout, this is the bridge taken from one end.  Very impressive indeed!!  We would have to do major surgery to fit
it into our layout but never say never. Dave H. arrived, sure that he had his engine ready to go this time but the gremlins continued to plague. 
Friday operations continued despite heat and humidity. Actually, it wasn't too bad with a nice breeze thanks to the open back door and windows. Tom S and trainee Tyler appeared with Don P. in tow and a quiet afternoon of running was had by all. No one is saying anything but at one point a multi-unit O & W consist dropped the lead engine into the turntable pit while the engineer was on break. Jim L. is in Grimsby, trying to spur on some engine mods and Cliff is busy with another big auto demolition deal over near Breslau. 
Don P. is still trying to decide on another layout and mused today about doing a shelf switching operation in O gauge. I came across the following article recently comparing the most common model railroad gauges so thought I would include it here. It runs from G scale like Rick O. has through to Z scale suitable for a coffee table layout. There are numerous additional gauges not shown here like Don S's HoN3 and TT smaller than Z scale. 



Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Meeting night.

We had our meeting and then went right to operating. Topics included, financial report, push button turnouts are causing problems, a fix will be discussed later. Topics not discussed, rolling stock being left on a siding derailed, during the next meeting deciding when to have a work night and what work will be done, after a car is worked on put a stick on dot on the bottom of it so we know if it has been worked on before and how many times and if the bottom is full of dots it's time to get rid of it. Donald did prep some feeder wires for the nextwork night.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Trains were all set up for the nights enjoyment. I was assigned the Lincoln special. As my train left Wellington it all fell apart, I had missed aligning a turnout. The 5 finger crane swiftly moved in and I was on my way again.  As the Special move along the high line, I greeted other operators as they made their switching moves. Lincoln has a few questionable turnouts which seem to cause derailing. With light traffic in the area I took the opportunity to carefully watch as derailments happened. Pushing 2 refers through the diverging track the lead truck would ride up over the guard rail, everything.  Upon inspection it was found that the trucks were a bit tight and after the screws were loosened slightly they moved through the turnout without a problem. There was another derailment for which no problem could be found. Interesting night. Next Tuesday is work night.
Some of the staged freights.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

With lower attendance during the summer, the Friday crew had more than enough trains ready to run. There was a switching job at Lincoln, the coal train, the ore train the logging run, a passenger train, a train waiting at Springbank, to be finished, freights staged in Wellington and Elsewhere and a branch line freight. Lots of choice and diversity even the dispatcher ran an extra to Elsewhere. A Gab session concluded the session. As you can see from the last post I have added some links to other blogs. Lots of interesting reading to get your creative juices flowing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Other blogs.

Added a link to Mike Lafond's blog Big Stacks Little Locomotives, George Dutka's White River Division, and to mine, Grants Pass railroad. Mikes blog takes you on a different and interesting trip into the world of cad design, machining and lazer cutting parts for model  railroading. He also takes you outside with his garden railroad. George's blogs detail historical New England railroading and their is other links there to various railroad blogs including  his Modeling Maine in Narrow Gauge, the Carrabassett and Quebec Ry.  My blog is about my own railroad. Hope you find them interesting. May add more links to other blogs later.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Meeting night. The general discussion continued for some time, guess everyone was in the mood to talk. First trials of a cell phone interface went well. The slide throttle took some practice, but it was generally easy-to-use.   Work on the new program track continued as did wiring in filters. Areas that may need feeders were identified for the next work night. Rolling stock wheel sets got a reeming.  To explain, if a car did not roll freely, the journals were reemed,  usually the improvement was quite remarkable. This job will continue.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Nice to see Gary and Andy come for a visit. As I tried out a Climax I thought the trip on the logging line should be documented.  This engine rankings very well and very slow. My main concern was it's pulling power which was soon relived as it climbed the grade and curves up to the logging camp, very pleased.  Pictures below in reverse order. Next week is meeting and work night.
Arriving at the log dump

Water stop

Made the S curve  and grade through the tunnel 

Climbing the grade up to the tunnel.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

The affine now has a new calendar and track gauge thanks to 2 of our members, thanks. After a boisterous discussion and research in the digitrax manual it was found that a person programming would have to push the program but tomorrow 4 times to program on the mainline,  possible but no likel. So the new program track will have a DPDT,  center off switch to select power from the program feed or the mainline feed. This is so the programmer can test the engine after programming it.
The nights session set up. First trains ran were the log Train,  on the branch line and a mainline Passenger Train. A Lincoln only freight then left Wellington.  Next a branch line mixed freight and a Herons Landing only freight left Elsewhere.  Other trains at the ready were a covered hopper unit train, a first I think and another Lincoln only freight, to be dispatched after the  first one is completed.  These staged trains are trials to test out ideas to relieve mainline congestion.

Staged trains in Elsewhere and Wellington.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff May 15, 2018

Nice weather takes a toll on attendance but that makes for less congestion on the layout. Jim was back from his holidays imparting knowledge gained while running with a different train club. Of note was the problems in countered using phones to control trains. This club is experiencing a high rate of loosing control of trains. We will have to think twice about this as we still have problems of our own.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff May 1, 2018

After a financial report several projects were worked on.  We received a mounted steam train poster which was hung in our lounge. RF filters were installed at the end of each bus wire which are supposed to reduce voltage spikes. The branch line turntable was worked on, it will be tested soon. Mounting tape was applied to the city backdrop in Wellington. Power wires were run into the office to relocate our programming track, some more equipment is needed to complete this job.
RF filter

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff April 24, 2018.

With a smaller group of members in attendance there was lots of room to switch. The new passenger cars made their maiden run with great results. Two things that came out of this run were, we need signal lights to show how the turnouts are thrown under the highway bridge near the Wellington passenger station and the turnout, through the tunnel  to the upper loop. There also seems to be some contact problem in the turnouts leaving the passenger yard in Wellington.
Before the session, the starting location of rolling stock list was checked which resulted in about a 50% fail rate. I guess operators are not always following the one for one rule, or not fixing these problems as they encounter them. It's a simple fix just go get the missing rolling stock from the yards.
Meanwhile the wires needed to move the program track were separated from a cable bundle and Joseph took them home to put the proper twist on them. Speaking of this, next week is work night!

New passenger cars at the Wellington station were purchased from the defunct Ontario Western, preserving the memory of this great railroad.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Woodstock model railroad show

Great time at the train show this weekend. The Huff and Puff made some great purchases. These include a Trip Pin Bending Pliers, 5 tank cars and 5 passenger cars.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff April 17, 2018

The Friday group did a great job setting up trains for us, so the dispatcher had an easy night. But the staged trains roll out quickly, so its back to work. Having did this job and few times 1 thing is evident, Wellington needs more yard space, who designed this any Way? It also seems to me that the returning  trains, especially in Elsewhere,  could be used as is because someone else will switch it next, especially if it is a busy night. It could also just have the cards switched out. The session did run well, below is some of the action.
Miller sawmill being switched 

A string of ore cars awaiting delivery 

The nights Lincoln job has just been completed 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff April 10, 2018

Upon arriving at the layout I was told I would be the dispatcher for the night. After being familiarized with the Trains already staged in Wellington and Elsewhere the Boss also assigned me with the Wellington switch. As we only operate for about 2 hours, there is some urgency on behalf of the operators to get there train underway. The first half an hour or so saw a passenger train a branch line freight, a coal train and 5 mainline freights running at the same time, and without any real bottlenecks. A testament to the thought that went into setting up the staged trains by the Boss. Basically he set up some of the Trains to switch the 3 major cities and a couple to switch the smaller towns, a system that I also followed. At the end of the session operators expressed how smooth it went. Meanwhile I was busy setting up a couple of freights in Wellington but as I turned my attention to the 18 foot long yard in Elsewhere only had a handful of cars in it. The next train out of Wellington was a through freight to Elsewhere with 2 of each type of rolling stock we have, to replenish the yard. Oh No!  Now several trains arrive in Elsewhere and I have all this rolling stock coming. A little 5 finger switching saved the day. Yes the dispatcher received a great deal of light hearted ribbing.  Thoughts about this experience. It seems like the 1 town trains have merit, but the dispatcher needs an update when the switching is done, so another 1 can be set up. We need to have the ore train and the logging train run to take pressure off the mainline. Maybe the first few trains should have 2 operators. We need to split the Elsewhere yard which will increase it's capacity. I noticed consist changes in returning trains indicating missing rolling stock on the industrial sidings. We need a rolling stock starting list that is checked either on Friday or before starting on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friday Fun at the Layout - April 6

The regular Tuesday night sessions can be more than a little frustrating as multiple trains circulate the layout switching according to the car cards for each train. Not to say that the evenings aren't enjoyable as social events as much as operating sessions. A fair bit of learning takes place as members interact with each other and offer tips or suggestions with switching challenges [whether always appreciated or not].  But Friday afternoons offer a more leisurely opportunity to work out switching moves without another train or two interrupting thought trains [no pun intended]. Here Peter, a new member, is spending the afternoon switching in Lincoln yard and getting to know the industries there and which cars need to be pulled out of sidings and which cars to replace them with. These are excellent learning opportunities for those who are available on Fridays, usually from two to four members weekly for
1 - 4 pm.

Tom and Don are two members who took a break from "big train" watching activities to enjoy some runnin' at the layout Friday afternoon. You can see in this picture how spread out the railroading is with Tom working Oxford Sand and Gravel at one end of the aisle and Don doing some switching in the Heron's Landing yard at the other end.

Meanwhile, over on the branchline, Glen's CNR EMD9 #1720 brings a string of log cars downgrade through the switchbacks and tunnel from the logging camp up on top. They will eventually end up at the sawmill in Miller at the other end of the branchline.           

Ortona Yard is situated at the end of the branchline which serves as a transportation link for the ore mine located at the left of this picture and the logging camp referred to in the picture caption above. This Friday afternoon, it's unusually busy with #1720 switching the two strings of ore cars, having brought in the string of empties [use your imagination]on the left siding beside the ore mine and switching out the full string on the right hand siding to go to the steel mill near Jutland on the main layout later in the afternoon.  #1720 will take the logging cars in between the two strings of ore cars to the Miller sawmill and bring back a string of empties to go up to the logging camp as soon as the boxcar is located. After the ore cars are spotted at the steel mill, #1720 can trundle back to its engine shed in Lincoln and relax until the next operating session.