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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Another plan.

Another way to use Mike's idea.

This plan removes the entire old Lincoln peninsula and uses a double high swing gate to bridge the gap. This would also remove the Wye. Ortona is also saved by adding it to the edge of the new Lincoln. Although the mainline still follows itself, the to and from tracks from Lincoln are at different levels. The coal mine is moved closer to the front, for better access. The logging line has it's own track from the saw mill to the spar tree. The new Branch line is very short, only running from the mainline east of Lincoln, to the new Miller, and because of a short shared track, under the high line, I it also services the saw mill. The long switching leads in Lincoln are maintained as well as a new run around being added between Springbank and Lincoln. Although this plan doesn't increase the length of the mainline as much as plan 1, it does increase the distance travelled to and from Lincoln. The losses include Hay Co., La France, Union Ice, in Lincoln, Mutual Grain in Springbank, all of Northdale (the freight house is relocated in Miller), and the gravel dock in Miller.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Plan one.

Mike's plan in more detail, I hope I got it right.

Double tracking the Wye bridge will be required, as will widening the area between Northdale and the new Lincoln. Benefits include a much longer mainline. More space between Lincoln and Springbank and Jutland. Long passing tracks on the approaches to Lincoln to hold incoming trains. Lincoln business split up between 2 areas. A longer siding up to the spar tree.
Negatives include a lot of downtime and work. Extra crossing on the Wye bridge. Narrower aisles. Loss of Ortona. The mainline follows itself from Jutland through Lincoln and back to Springbank .

Big change to ponder.

This is Mike's idea, not Larry's !
While talking about changing the logging spur as seen in the last post, Glen said 'what about Mike's idea"? Basically (real basically) move Lincoln to where Ortona is, thus lengthening the mainline.
This is Mike's plan simply rendered.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Branch line changes?

Currently the logging spur and the line to Ortona both go through a long mysterious tunnel. Even though this does create some suspense, waiting to see if your train will end up at the tunnel portal or the floor or not at all, we could do much better. The spur to the spar tree has 5% grades, uneven track, and a S scale trestle, in an unrealistic box shaped gulch, which had to be created to hold the trestle and the track underneath. There is also a bottle neck, at Oxford, on this spur, which lacks a needed run around and sufficient length. By using about 4 to 6 inches of aisle space, some or all of these short comings could be corrected. Please review the 2 plans prepared by L.J. Brinker Engineering.

The top plan would take less aisle space but would not improve the realism of the scenery in the S scale trestle area nor replace the long tunnel. Implementation of either of these plans will only effect the line to Ortona minimally. The logging spur would take much longer. Costs would include a few lengths of flex track and 2 turnouts, if we don't already have them. The Cougar Ridge Lumber Co. ( owned by L. Brinker) will supply the lumber and build the trestles, but could use volunteers to help with construction, rock blasting, and wiring.

Flashback, Sept. 2013

Walls going up.
After agreeing to the basic benchwork plan that Don drew up, construction begins. The plan was based on the concept of being able to follow your trains around the layout.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Joseph has taken the lead in researching our erratic electronics. His first logical step was to check the rated power outputs of the quad units. Guess what. The Wellington quad unit has a 5 amp supply, the lower mainline is 4 amps, and the Lincoln supply is only 3 amps. Leaving or entering the Lincoln control area is where we experience a big power change (engine speed).

Replacing the Lincoln quad power supply with a 5 amp supply looks like the best first step. We also have an extra quad unit (I think it is in working order) that we could hook up with the 3 amp unit. This could be used to separate off the branch line from the Lincoln control area, which would reduce it's power load, or maybe a better option would be to separate off the Springbank area. We could also use it to divide 1 or both of the other 2 power areas. This would have to be researched to decide which way to go.

Just to highlight the power load on the Lincoln control area I took the picture below. Three trains are seen in the Lincoln control area, but what it doesn't show is me on the branch line. This adds up to 4 engines pulling power all at the same time. Note to me, can the quads have 2 power supplies?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday open house.

We had our layout open on Sunday in conjunction with the NMRA meet in Ingersoll. The Woodstock Weaver's joined in with a few of their members working on the looms.

We were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Western Ontario Division of the NMRA for being a layout tour host.
It was nice to see the interest and hear all the wonderful comments from all the guests.  A great afternoon.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Meeting night.

Saturday we will be open from 1 to 3 for NMRA tours. A few members have indicated that they will be there to run the layout.

The control problems were also talked about. It was suggested to try running without sound on busy nights. We should check our power supply to the quad units.  Maybe add another quad unit. Even the power draw of older engines was talked about. Checking to see if we have even power to our 3 quad units should be the first step. It was suggested Laptop power units may be a good fix. We need a step by step DCC check list.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Let There Be Light . . . .

Over time, the layout lighting has crept from normal mid-day to mid afternoon to recently looking like early dusk as one after another fluorescent tubes lost their gaseous energy and died. Nobody either realized or vocalized how dark things were becoming until Donald W. asked me recently if he should bring his ladder in some Friday to upgrade vision around the layout. At that point, I realized it wasn't just my eyes so yesterday afternoon was agreed upon to do the replacement chore. While Peter and Tom did their usual running, Donald and friend Richard arrived with that amazing aluminum ladder that unfolds and locks into numerous configurations to meet required needs. A search underneath the layout ensued until 2 cases of replacement fluorescent tubes were found. I don't know how many of you have replaced fluorescent tubes but it can be time consuming and more than a little frustrating in first getting the old tubes rotated out of their sockets and then getting them out of an almost too small sheet metal case. Richard, Tom and I assisted in trading old tubes for new ones with similar frustrations for Donald perched on the ladder getting them located and locked properly in the sockets to have them light up.. Despite a few sparks, things progressed quite well with over a dozen tubes brightening the layout significantly. One case had a piece of paper on it noting a tube replacement in 2001; likely the last time. Then Donald thought the lighting over the stairwell landing needed help. Richard and I both gulped and held our breath as Donald unfolded the ladder to full height and did a Cirque de Soleil maneuvre climbing to the next to top step, swinging a leg over the top and reaching up to unhook and swing down the plastic grill. Then began the long ordeal of removing and replacing the tubes while stretched full out vertically and unable to clearly see if the pins were tracking properly, requiring many trials before hearing the satisfying snap and beholding the tubes come to life.  We owe Donald and Jim Fox our appreciation for doing this difficult chore yesterday and in the past. 

We have agreed to open our layout to NMRA visitors on Saturday. March 9 from 1-3 pm. George Dutka is the headline speaker at the morning session at the Ingersoll Seniors Centre open to all area NMRA members. The better lighting is a bonus. I also informed the Oxford Spinner and Weaver ladies that they are welcome to be in operation at the same time as those touring might find this interesting as well. 

Next Tuesday, March 5 is a meeting night if there are any items to be discussed.  It's probably a good time as well to do some sprucing up of our area before the Saturday tour.