Thursday, 8 October 2020

Little bits

 Well as the title suggests, I have only been doing little bits down the shed. There are a few distractions around at the moment but moving closer to resuming an expanded work hours at the coal face.

I am constantly ducking in and out of the shed to obtain work tools that are either scattered around the shed or found in the logical place - the cardboard box tool box. They are easily obtained, I have many on hand. But each visit gets me itching to get back into working on the layout.

On one such visit I was looking at Pambula, the highest station on the layout and nearly completed. All that is missing is a building for the siding, a mallee shed for the passengers and a backdrop to enhance the scene. On a forum I was on Rod Hutchinson mentioned backdrop scenes available from Brunel Hobbies in Melbourne. I had a look on their website and saw three that seemed suitable for this area. They were around one metre long and 23 centimetres high which just happened to be the height of my backdrop. I rang the shop, ordered three on a Saturday morning and I had them the following Wednesday, not bad considering the corona virus screwing everything up.

Prior to backscene

Added backscene
The backdrops images are very clear (which hasn't shown up on the photos) and I have been told they can be reapplied many times, not that I will be moving them. I would have preferred a more greener scene with the grass, it looks very dry but as this location is viewed looking straight on it is isolated from other greener views of the layout. Yet another job to stick it all on but it is on the list. A great improvement.

A great improvement with the backdrop

A long time ago when I was doing the design for the layout I made sure there were some industry sidings along the way. These add operational interest, somewhere to shunt a long the way. As you leave Eden around the 180 degree bend there is a siding that required a hand made curved turnout as there were no commercial narrow gauge curved turnouts that would suit. Way back in the past I had made many hand made points firstly on a model tramway layout I had and then hand laid points done in code 55 in N scale. Piece of cake I thought, so armed with some correct size printed circuit sleepers I eventually made a curved turnout. But I think it had been so long since I had made any points that I had lost the nack. Everytime a train would run over it there would be a derailment or stall even despite a speed restriction imposed over this point. Initially when designing the track I decided a curved point would look better than using two standard points but on one my 'visits' into the shed and armed with a standard right hand point and some track templates I decided to bite the bullet and rip it out.

Original configuration

The above photo shows a very bare area just after leaving Eden. The bare baseboard shows the ghost tracks of the former HO SCR still in place. The paper mockup of the mallee shed will be in a location known as Snug Cove which is an outer suburb of the real Eden. Although I didn't make this name up I reckon it sounds great and will be included. On the lower section of the photo is a track that will one day join the track on the top right across a lift out section and go onto the town of Bega. I haven't progressed this section as yet. Also can be seen the dead end siding of the coal unloader. A truck loading bin will be built to the right of the siding. Trucks will come over a level crossing near the bottom point and exit at the top level crossing. And lastly a proper building will eventually replace the cardboard replica.

The problem point

A dry fitout run

The end result

After some mucking around and an hour or two passing I was satisfied with the end result. If a commercial narrow gauge curved point was available I think it would have looked better but after running a test train through the new trackwork, there were no derailments or stalls so I was happy. This was a small job to do but it had been frustrating me that every time I ran through here there was trouble, not any more.

This was a quick fix ,so you never know next time I go in the shed for some tools it might result in more work being done on the layout. 

Bega bound


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