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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff, January 30, 2018

 A few of the members, including me, spent some quality time discussing our home layouts. Don wanted advice on the correct wiring of a wye, using electro frog turnouts. The recommendation was to insulate all the trailing rails on all 3 turnouts and pick 1section between 2 turnouts to connect to the reversing module. Jim and I talked about modular bench work and the best way to connect sections together. Back on the layout Cliff ran his passenger train while a few freights made their runs. Noticing a pair of piggyback cars on the turntable and an error message on its screen I found that the train had been turned on the lower loop and returned to Wellington. The loops are there to turn passenger trains not normal freights. It was great that this operator knew to turn the piggyback cars, but had missed the posted turntable instructions. This also shows we are not all operating the same way. Need to talk about that. Next Tuesday is meeting and work night.
Cliff's passenger train.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff, Jan. 23, 2018.

Even with the poor weather we had a full house.  I was busy working with a new member so no pictures. That experience highlighted to me how much a new member has to take in. It also showed me problems we need to overcome. We have trackwork problems, bad rolling stock, and operating problems. The fact that we still have these problems indicates our method for correcting problems is not working.  Even so, the Trains keep running, thanks to our great members.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff Jan. 16, 2018

With a couple of guests joining us for the night the layout saw lots of action. In an effort to have everyone operating the same way I decided to join up with another operator, Joseph was the unlucky victim. Our first problem was a covered hopper that kept derailing. It was replaced and put on the bad order rack. After repair it was tried and failed and put back on the bad order rack. Lesson, if bad order cars are removed and repaired operations will improve. During our run another operator was missing a car in his consist, I set up that train, hummmmm, but he did not think that was a problem. This would have had a ripple effect by either not having enough cars on the sidings, or an incorrect consist on a staged train. Please verify your consist before departing, also check that their order is correct. The missing car was replaced. Later on our run we ran into an interesting switching problem, a facing switch. These moves need to be thought out carefully to avoid blocking the mainline for too long. I did see that most operators are not following the rule of waiting until the next town is clear, a rule we all agreed on. This just slows down Switching!  We also have too many trains leaving from Wellington.
New fire hall.

Arrest on First and Main!

New sawdust car.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Operations update.

In the past 6 months several changes have been adopted with a couple more to come. As some members may have missed being at the meeting went they were talked about they will be listed here. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please let me know or bring it up at a meeting.
-Wellington yard tracks sorted into car types. Note we have 11 and only 8 tracks.
-sawdust cars, only go to Wood Mosaic and the Sawmill and are only used with branch line trains.
-gravel hoppers are all brown and loaded with gravel and only go to Oxford Sand and Gravel, Schell Industry, and the gravel dock and are also only moved on branch line trains.
-switching like for like, as in 2 box cars for 2 box cars. This should mean your consist will remain the same from the start to the finish of your run.
-forwarding is simply reusing the cars in your train over and over again. The quantity of cars in a train only needs to equal the highest quantity listed on it's cards for each car type.
-Elsewhere will be divided into 2 equal yards and will be a non switching yard.
-branch line trains are made up in Elsewhere, switching in Herons Landing and the branch line only. They have a combination caboose and passenger car and stop at all stations on their route. The train from Elsewhere is dropped in the Ortona yard with it's cards. Yesterday's train is picked up with it's cards and and switched on it's way to Elsewhere.
-coal train will be run with on a train order with all the switching moves listed. This requires it to be turned on the lower loop and switches in both direction.  If this train order is adopted all the main line hoppers will be stored in sidings, 16 in all and it brings our car types in the Wellington yard down to 8.
Problems, what if you cannot switch like for like. Get the required car from Wellington or don't switch that card?
How do you keep your consist the same if we keep the Lincoln Switcher?  Remember non switching Elsewhere requires a stable consist.  Do we set up a small yard, give the Lincoln  cards from each departing train to the switcher so they can be switched ahead of time, or discontinue the Switcher?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff Jan. 9, 2018

We finished wiring at Northdale and also added some to the upper switch back that had been missed. A test run showed every thing was working fine, so the branch line was reopened. Although I was occupied with the  wiring I heard  Springbank had a major bottleneck. It was also noted that the turnout to the lower loop, in front of ADM is giving problems as the point does not close properly. In the next few weeks I will work with our members to see why the card system is breaking down, as an example we found a stock car at Zorra Cement, there was 7 hoppers at the Power Plant when there should be only 3. We should try to get everyone on the same page.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

First meeting of 2018.

Wow! Almost everyone was there. Great conversation and questions were all part of the mix. Two important subjects came up. First it was decided that the meeting nights would be just that, with work nights being scheduled in advance. I was asked to create a project sign up list. The list should include the team leader, team members, reason for the project, background options and scheduled date. This will help get everyone involved in these upgrades, learning along the way, and gain a greater understanding of our layout and it's operation. Speaking of projects, the Springbank team track wall is installed but wiring needs to be completed.  Northdale is also waiting for the wiring to be finished. The parking lot at Herons Landing station has a new coat of gravel.

Team track in place.

Parking lot