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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Through Train

I guess the definition of a Through Train would be transferring a group of cars from one yard to another yard, and then sending them on a Freight to be delivered to their destinations.  My use of this train will be to put any oddball loads into it, and not switching them. If we put a track cleaner on this train, it would clean all the main lines as it goes, bonus!
The gondola with the road roller, the gondola with the gravel load, hoppers we have put aside because of their length, and a few others come to mind. Not that you couldn't send them to a certain industry, but there is now way to pick them up, with the train orders we will be using.
We could make this train as long as possible, as it does no switching. It is sent by it's  train order from the Ortona yard to the Elsewhere yard, then from Elsewhere yard to the Wellington yard, and then back to Elsewhere and then Ortona.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Ballast samples were shown to the members. Chick grit which is a ground granite (white with black specks), was chosen for the mainline and a silica sand for the branch line. The granite needs to be ground a little more because it is a little larger than we want. I'm going to try to tone it down with a dark grey wash. The stable bedding sand was rejected.
The branchline to the Lincoln Station was moved and laid down with the new siding to the Lincoln Station added.
We will be adding a turnout on the west end Lincoln passing siding, to connect to the sidings for Buckley Mills (which will be replaced by the large stone building to be named Gay Lea Foods), Allen Lumber and City Services, and La France. This will make them all, needed east bound switching, and move them out of Lincoln proper, reducing switching congestion there. The Piggyback Ramp could not be moved as it would reverse the direction of the cars and the truck on it, so the truck doors would be facing the ramp instead of the front end.
Larry M. Brought in a shelving unit and made a track storage box for the club. It was positioned under and behind the cupboard under Ortona, Rick added a couple lengths of track to it. Mike brought in some lumber to build the branchline benchwork and let's not forget all the plywood Jim F. supplied. Jim L. brought in a pail of plaster of Paris for casting rocks. Thanks to all of you.
Rob counted cars for me. This information is needed to make up our new Train Order cards. Thanks Rob.
Cars were added as needed to their starting locations and several trains were made up, for mainline running. As far as I know, all went smoothly. Three new Train Order cards we reviewed by the membership and a spelling mistake was pointed out to me, I'd like to say I did this on purpose to see if people actually perused them. How come spell check missed that one?
Next week is meeting and work night. What needs to be done?
We could install the plywood for the branch line behind Lincoln and install the ceiling tiles on it.
We could move and install the small turntable from Lincoln to Ortona.
We could attach some branchline feeders.
We could do some ballasting.
We could mount Larry's shelf unit under Lincoln.
We could move the sidings in Lincoln as explained above, and rewire them.
We could start installing some branchline track, when that benchwork is completed.
We could move Schell Industries to where the turntable was removed.
We could move Buckley Mills to the old Schell Industries siding and put Gay Lea where it was. Do we want to rename it as a Cold Storage?
We could discuss if we want to add another siding to Great Lakes Steel, for box cars and coil cars.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lincoln Station

Rob was full of ideas. The Lincoln/branchline station will be moved back to the edge of the benchwork and both the upper mainline and the branchline will pass in front of it. This will make the loop back to Ortona 18 inch radius instead of 16.
You will notice the track to the side door of the station. This could be a new siding for freight from the mainline to the branchline.
As this part of the branchline will have to be moved anyway (to parallel the upper mainline) the turnout could be installed at the same time.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Lincoln sidings.

At the last meeting many members were against moving the Allen Lumber siding and Buckley Mills siding so they were switched from the upper mainline near the station.

Rob came up with the idea of moving the turnout back to the upper mainline passing siding, thus creating a long lead track to these sidings, eliminating mainline interference. We could even remove the short piece of track by the hunk of solder and make all 4 industries west bound switching. This would really help even the east and west bound switching.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Friday afternoon at the Huff and Puff

Above picture is of the Mutual Grain siding. Got all the boosters sorted out and test run over the layout, everything is good. Got all the sidings lengthened, and a lot of the rolling stock put in their starting locations.

New siding to Mutual Grain.

Glen's train returning to Wellington.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

We had a meeting focused on what's in the future.
We will run for a while to find any gremlins in the new trackwork, before any scenery is added there.
We will try using train orders instead of our present 1 card per industry. The orders will use the same information but also include train direction, possibly staging track number, possibly 2 sided for east or westbound, what the car is transporting and the consist.
We will flop the yard functions in Wellington with the yard nearest the door being staging, or at least most of it.
We will replace Buckley Mills with Gay Lea Foods (The Hobbermister building). The fate of Buckley Mills is yet to be determined.
In the future, we may put a Cold Storage plant in place of Schell Industries, which may end up on the branchline with Buckley Mills.
We will add City Services either at the end of the Allen Lumber siding or where the turntable is.
Relocating the turnout for Allen Lumber and Buckley Mills was not thought to be a good idea because switching them would block the upper mainline.
The tracks in the Lincoln Station area need to be moved for better alignment.
There seems to be a problem where the the lower loop meets Herons Landing,  and which quad is powering the loop. This will be investigated and our block map updated.
Some of our sidings were lengthened, and a lot of track cleaning was done. Tools are being moved to the cupboard under Ortona.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Things to do tomorrow

Where are we putting Hobbermister Woolens?
Remove unnecessary braces under Lincoln.
Clean track. If you are running, clean track where your engine stalls.
Watch for hesitation while crossing block gaps.
Extend sidings at the coal mine, oil ref. and corral.
Put all tools in cupboard under Ortona.

Things to consider
Move turnouts for Allen Lumber and Buckley Mills. Maybe Piggyback and La France. To get more westbound switching and take pressure off Lincoln?
Do we want to round out Gravel Dock Benchwork?
Move Schell Ind. Maybe in open area behind branchline loop?
Replace Schell ind. With a Cold Stg, more traffic for refers., or wharehouse?
Change coal deliveries to Zorra Cement to either covered hoppers or gravel hoppers?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

WOD Meet in Ingersoll.

Hi Guys:

A WOD meet and part of the NMRA is having a meet in Ingersoll...I am looking after the programs this year...everyone welcome in-case your are interested...George
 Join NMRA-WOD members in Ingersoll on
Saturday, September 28 for this bonanza of three topics. 
The Magic of Rust, A Hands-on Clinic
 Presented by: George Dutka and Don Janes
The NMRA AP Program
Presented by: Gary Shurgold
Rolling Stock Kit-Bashes
Presented by: George Dutka and Peter Mumby

Date:            Saturday, September 28, 2019

Time:            09:00 to 12:00

Location:     Ingersoll Seniors Centre, 250 Ingersoll St S, Ingersoll
Materials to Bring: 
       Magic of Rust, Hands-On Clinic
                **  All acrylic paints and powders will be supplied.
                     Also, a piece of metal roofing will be provided.
will be used for a Spring 2020 "Make and Take"  clinic. 
                      You can bring one of your own 'metal' roofs to work on.
                       Or bring a covered hopper. 
  • Small and medium-sized artist paint brushes
  • Apron (to keep yourself clean)   
        The NMRA AP Program and Rolling Stock Kit-Bashes topics will be
                      Note:  All break refreshments will be provided. Members will be
                                 on their own for lunch after the meeting adjourns.  

Sunday morning crew.

Jim installed the ne transformer, put ends on some bus wires, ran bus wire for Lakeview block 3, and then joined the construction crew. The construction crew, Glen, Lary and myself, put plywood down for Ortona and cut all the plywood for the branch between the sawmill and Lincoln. Then cleaned up the mess. Some track cleaning got done also.

Back to the last post about flipping the yard function in Wellington. There are 7 tracks in the stub end yard to hold trains with 7 cars and a caboose. When leaving staging you would take the industrial passing siding, if you have switching to do in Wellington.  You would also use the passing siding if you are arriving with cars for Wellington industries. There is also the front passing siding, of the Ready Yard, to go to and from the staging yard. This leaves 3 double ended tracks in the Ready Yard plus 3 shorter yard tracks in the staging yard area.

Instead of removing the Buckley siding Glen and I thought we could just move the switch for Buckley Mills and Allen Lumber to the upper main line track, making them both westbound switches. Glen thinks we should put City Services at the end of the Allen Lumber siding, just to keep things interesting.

We can extend the coal mine sidings to hold 8 hoppers making the coal train a little longer. We also need to extend the Shell Oil Siding to hold at least 6 tank cars. While we're at it we should rename the refinery so it is not confused with Schell Industries.

Don't know if we can add a wharehouse in the gravel pit area or not. But we could easily add a second siding at the Crane Dock.

The siding at the Corral should be lengthened to hold 3 stock cars which would require moving the road to the right of the Jutland station.

We have been under utilizing several sidings such as Allen Lumber, Buckley Mills, Cullen Mills, ADM, Zorra Silos, Hillside Lumder, McKay Fuels, Stock Yard and the Harbour Crane. This will be addressed with either the Train Orders or the old card system. I have yet to hear any negative comments about the Train Orders.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Train Order Problems

That title is a bit of a misnomer in that we have always had this problem and just didn't know it! Maybe it should be How Train Orders Have Stirred The Pot. Biggest thing that has come up connected to trailing point switching only is the large discrepancy we have with eastbound versus westbound switching. There is currently 23 BOX CARS switched eastbound and only 11 switched westbound. There are 3 more flat cars, 1 more stock car, 4 more covered hoppers, and 2 more piggybacks (actually we have zero switched westbound) switched eastbound. Some of this can be corrected by altering what cars are switched at various industries, but this only means the westbound industries are switched more often.
Possible solutions may include:
 1 put in a wharehouse on 1 siding in the gravel pit area = 4 or more westbound box cars. Could we put Hobbermister (or how ever it is spelled) where Cullen Mill is in Wellington and rework Cullen Mill into a wharehouse?
2 increase the capacity of the Crane dock, maybe another siding, so we can switch more gondolas, box cars and a piggyback?
3 make 1 gondola have a lumber load?
4 lengthen the back (wall side) siding at Zorro Cement and switch covered hoppers there?
5 increase by 1 the covered hoppers to ADM?

Should Schell Industries be moved as it is too close to Oxford Sand and Gravel, possible to replace the Lincoln turntable (putting it fittingly on the Branchline) and put a Cool Storage in its place, creating another destination for refers?
Right now Wellington is ignored! I think we should flip the yard function. Calling the double ended yard the READY YARD, let's make it a double ended storage yard and the storage yard Staging. Then staged trains leaving there with cars for Wellington industries, and beyond, or trains from the east would have to use the industrial passing siding to get in and out of Wellington, making it more of a destination removed from staging. The short yard tracks could be used in conjunction with the double ended yard.
Can we remove the siding to Buckley Mills and move it so that it comes off of the upper mainline, just past the station (switch would have to be accessible from the front) and run 90 degrees to what it is now? This would create another west bound industry.
Some or all of the above changes would benefit train flow whether or not we use Train Orders as it helps balance switching both ways.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday clean up.

Tom, Glen, Larry, Don S. Jim L. and myself, cleaned track, vacuumed, ran a cleaner train, (yes we are short free!), repaired a few problems and had some great discussions. More track cleaning is needed as you can well imagine.
After explaining the Train Orders idea, from the last post, a couple of great ideas came up, even if not necessarily new, I had not thought about folding them into this operating system. First idea from Jim was to have East Bound and a West Bound cards. All the switching would be only on trailing switches, ei. No run arounds. As an example, the Corral in Jutland would only be switched by a train coming from Elsewhere,  or west bound and McKay Fuels would only be switched by a train going to Elsewhere. This would eliminate a lot of bottlenecks! His next idea, with Glenn's added input, was for people who like just switching. If someone wants to do this, a special card would be used to make up and deliver a certain number of cars to Lincoln, the duplicate card would be given to the Switcher(who could use the switching engine stored on the old turntable track) to pull the matching set of cars from the industries as the train of cars is being delivered by someone else. Upon the trains arrival, the cars will be dropped and the cars pulled by the switcher picked up. This delivery train could also do switching at other towns.
It was suggested that we need more wharehouses which can ship and receive anything, even if we just rename some buildings we have on the layout.
Other changes we made include, putting La France where the Freight Station was in Lincoln, moving Union Ice on the back siding on the east end of Lincoln, the Freight Station was placed on the siding in front of it, and this siding will be extended to include Mutual Grain, situated between the mainlines in and out of Lincoln. We discussed moving Shell Industries to the branchline, as it takes gravel loads, and replace it with......(yet to be decided).
The Northdale buildings we set up, see what you think on Tuesday. We could add a Freight Station or team track there, maybe.
All cleaned up!

Larry move all the construction material from the new "talkers corner" area as Tom vacuumed it up. Don was asking if we need to round out the end of the water area not only cleaning up the look but also make more room for boats.

Train Orders revisited.

Not a new idea as we have Train Orders for the ore train and coal train right now, but this is a different way to use them. This is also the ideal time to institute it with a new start up on the horizon. This would be somewhat like orders produced by programs like Shipit.
Sample train order
MAINLINE FREIGHT A                        A or card colour designates like consist list.
1 FLAT CAR, 1 STOCK CAR, 3 COVE'R HOPPER, 3 BOX CARS.              consist

VALLEYVIEW  ZORRA CEMENT WHAREHOUSE            Lcation & industry

                    1 FLAT CAR           LOADED                                Has to be generic
PICKUP      1 BOX CAR             EMPTY
                    1 FLAT CAR            LOADED

PICKUP       1 BOX CAR             HARDWARE
                       BUCKLEY MILLS                                       2ND INDUSTRY IN LINCOLN
                       STOCK YARD
PICKUP       1 STOCK CAR         EMPTY


                          OVER ?                                        May have to add more to back side

What is the advantage of this over what we have now, you ask.
First, obviously you only have 1 card instead of several, to hold. Second the stops are listed in order, either top to bottom or bottom to top.Third because of the consist list, whoever makes up the train knows exactly what rolling stock is required.
Not so obvious. Before the train leaves a town, the consist can be checked, if incorrect, the TOWN STARTING LIST (to be made out when construction is complete), can be used to see where the missing or extra car should be, and corrections made. Now EVERYONE is responsible to keep everything correct, instead of 1 or 2 people. Switching is enhanced because you are now aware of what you are shipping and picking up and how commodities move around the layout instead of just swapping cars. The Friday crew could still make up and dismantle trains from the Wellington yard, as long as the swapping rules are followed. New cards can always be made.

Disadvantages, if an industry is moved several cards may have to be remade, but not unlike we have to do now. It would be nice if the open flat car and gondola loads could be standardized to have at least their LOADS identified, maybe 1 way would be the flat car in the Team Track in Lincoln is loaded with pipes and be replaced with a different load of pipes. We could also designate a load as machinery, which would allow for many types of machinery from a tractor to a large gear or transformer. Although oddball loads like say a transformer more complicated to fit into the train orders. There is a limitation as to how much information can be on a Train Order card.

Logistics. Using the above example we could make multiple train orders using this consist but change the switching, say the 2 BOXCARS switched at Zorra Cement could instead go to Bingham the Mover, the flat car for the Team Track could go to Allen Lumber, etc. Creating completely different switching lists. Cards with the same consist could be designated say A or the card could be a colour say red or yellow.
Then we make cards for 8 or more different consists, with cards of different  colours. We now have a minimum of 24 switching options, plus the ore and oil trains.

How does this play out? A train with a yellow consist card switching list, leaving Wellington would switch it's way to Elsewhere were it would be staged on an open track and the train order would be hung on the appropriate nail, as now done. A train leaving Elsewhere would switch it's way to Wellington and either be broken down in the yard or staged on an open track. The card would be hung on the appropriate nail or swapped with the next card of the same colour/consist. Defore dropping a train the consist should be verified against the Train Order,and corrected if necessary, keeping everything in order. This spreads the job of correcting switching errors to everyone not just a few, as a the information needed is right in front of the operator on a single card. JUST CHECK THE CONSIST LIST. Another check will be to verify the STARTING LOCATION LISTS posted at each town. If we end up running 2 man crews, this could also be done at each stop by 1 crew member, eventually covering every industry. Maybe a bit of over kill, but it would help everyone become more familiar on how our railroad works and why. This fundamental understanding will benifit all of us and help keep operation problems to a minimum, thus improving the enjoyment for everyone.

Muskoka & Simcoe County Model Layout Tour

15th ANNUAL:
SEPTEMBER 29th. 2019 10.00am to 6.00pm

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Completed wiring all of block 7. The bus still needs to be hooked to the quad. Next week we will test out the system and start running. Alot of clean up was completed and general stuff was removed from the top of the layout.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Impromptu Wiring, Sunday Morning

I called Jim about some wiring and we decided to just go to the club and do it. He wired in a plug for power to the Lincoln Booster and Quad unit as I put in the holders and bus wires for the lower mainline #7. Jim also had to make a long communication cable to check out the quad. Having forgot his crimper and not being able to locate the communication cable we called Joseph. Coming to our rescue, Joseph showed up with his crimper and the location of the spool of cable.
Potential problems identified, the unit under Herons Landing seems to have connection problems, some of the communication cables seem to be wire different.
Good news, after hooking up Lincoln #8, the Quad unit was powered up and voila, no shorts.
The last piece of the lower mainline was put in and small spots of ballast were glued down. A little clean up included locating and throwing out all the small finishing nails I could find. Why? When these are used as track nails, their large heads deform the ties which could result in out of gauge track. Then we called it a day.
On Tuesday night we can solder in the feeders and test run the mainline.
We also found enough braided white wire to use with the black and white wire to make the bus wires for the new part of the branchline.

Pictures of the new lower mainline above shows it all laid down and in place. Great job everyone! The improvements made with this new arrangement include, but are not limited to, more aisle space (everyone likes this new, large, open area) , a passing siding on both approaches to Lincoln, a longer run from the spar tree to the sawmill, a better location for the coal mine, with it's own passing siding and easily reached turnouts. Can't wait for operations to resume.
Now we have to decide if we will run 3 of every 4 weeks and work on the 4th week, or some other schedule. Maybe some Sunday morning work days? The part of the branchline behind Lincoln can be worked on while operating the mainline, maybe even the Lakeview and sawmill area. During the branchline construction,  the section of it through Lincoln will not be powered, especially when wiring on it, is taking place.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Meeting night

Up coming trains shows were discussed, Woodstock's is Oct 20th. Update on the ongoing construction was presented, however we were 1 length of track short of competing the lower mainline, as projected. Next week we should be able to solder in the feeders and may get to do some testing. A break from construction to run the mainline for a few weeks,will allow us to tweak any problems. Work on the Ortona area which would not interfere with mainline running, could also continue.

Monday, September 2, 2019

To Do List

-Install lower mainline between Jutland and Lincoln. Turnout connecting the branchline to lower mainline needs to be part of this installation, don't forget it needs a gap on the diverging track and the branch line. The turnout to the gravel dock needs to be installed also.
-push test cars through new track work.
- add feeders and bus wires to new track work.
- make sure the turnouts connecting the branchline back to the mainline in front of Hillcrest Packers are gapped.
-Make sure feeders on the branchline where it loops around Lincoln are disconnected from the mainline bus for Lincoln.
-power up the system to check for shorts and that the boosters are wired correctly.
- drop all the curtains.
-test run some trains.
- Replace buildings on the mainline and any sidings to them, e.g.. La France and Union Ice.
- add scenery and ballast where needed.

                                 WHATS NEXT?
-do we have enough 2 x 4s for the branchline tables?
- add background behind coal mine.
-plywood for the track to the gravel dock needs to be cut out and raised.
- the corner in this area needs to be prepared for the fascia.
-level the plywood in the sawmill area and cut out the log pond.
-If we have leftover backgrounds, should we replace Elsewhere's?
-figure out the location for the ore mine, possibly before the curve into Ortona, freeing up Ortona for a good sized yard, and more flexibility in branchline operations.
- should we build a turntable at the end of Ortona like, but smaller than the 1 in Elsewhere?
- put in a new plywood top at Ortona.
- build new benchwork between Ortona and Lincoln and between Lincoln and Lakeview.
-locate the stream course from the spar tree.
-continue design and installation of the new branchline.