Sunday 22 May 2016

Tar Thank You

Well the last posting on the blog letting the Russians aware that we are aware of them watching this blog has paid off. The number of hits has reduced over the last week or so. You could say ivan had as many views lately.
Over the last week I was able to contact some of those dodgy Irish bitumen paving guys that go around promising a good job on your driveway.
I needed to get the road into the Eden goods yard tarred. One of the reasons I picked them as they stated they were from County Cork. Wow I thought this is exactly the same material the road was made of. (See previous post)  Assuming a good job would be done I will let the following photos speak for themselves.
I am not sure if they dug the holes in the road to save on tar or what. Needless to say I won't have them back.

Also this week I was able to ballast the track from the crossing into the point leading to loco. It has turned out fairly well and has been slightly weathered. I am now starting to get an idea of how the layout will look with the trackwork ballasted. The fence has also moved across the other side of the line and will now form the entrance to the goods yard, once I get around to building a gate for it.
Starting to look like a railway

Some readers will also note that I have decided to ditch the stud contact system between the rails. I found it didn't work.

Saturday 14 May 2016

They are watching.....

Since my changeover to the "dark side" as some have termed it, I expected people to loose interest in this blog and drop off. One thing that you can get on Blogspot is a counter to see how many times you have been viewed. More of a barometer which tells you if you have to try harder or can slacken off.
Just of late I had a look at some of the background info that you can view on Blogspot. One of the useless statistic (to me) is what browser is being used to view the site whether it is Internet Explorer, Firefox or other. Who cares as long as you can see it.
One of the more interesting statistics available is where the viewing traffic is originating from. You can see a map of the world which is coloured darker according to the amount of viewers. Then there is a separate listing of the number of viewers per country which are named.
Across the top of the screen you can then view these figures by total, monthly, weekly and the day itself.
In the month of May Australia was tops with 577 views, a great number from the US in 207, and in third place came Russia with 150 views. Now the wild card here is Russia, who would expect that number from there? Is it a lack of narrow gauge railways there that make them view? I don't know.
Now because the numbers were going up still I had a check of this weeks viewing numbers. Would you believe that Russia has jumped to number one with 123 views, pipping the Aussies at 76 and the US coming in a poor third at 14 views. 
This has got me now puzzled with the great jump in views from Russia. Has word got around that there is this blog from Australia with narrow gauge. May be it is being viewed from the Kremlin and they overheard someone mention narrow gauge, then someone mentioned LGB, and then it was mixed up with KGB and I am now being monitored?? If none of the above is true then a good afternoon to all the Ivans in Russia.

Most of the track is down now at Eden with just a few sidings to be laid. I am happy how it has turned out so far. I now have a bus running under the layout (Maybe because there are no roads on the top so far) It has been tested and works so far. I am happy with the Haskell NA's and as can be seen in the photos they still have to have all the bits and pieces added. Two of the girls are currently down  at Junee getting their voice boxes installed. They will hopefully return home on the Epping exhibition weekend.
One of the things I have been itching to get into is some scenery work. This is the part which brings a layout to life.
NA loco on head shunt track to loco
I decided to start in one corner where eventually a coal stage, water column and water tank will be situated. The town of Eden is built on a flat board but for some variety I have elevated the track slightly where the coal stage will be. It looks OK and I have put some timbers along the edge of where the lower track comes in. More research is need in future to determine what timber sizes there are for the ash pit.
Edging timbers for coal stage track
Driver tries to work out how he can get into the cab
I finally got to place some scenery at Eden. A bit of dirt, ground cover and a few of the larger specimens from the old SCR. Although the trunks look a bit anorexic in this scale I am sure there must be some skinny trees out there. In the background can be seen the weathered timbers for the elevated track.
Holden driver waits patiently for a level crossing to get to the mechanics
The next shot shows the main track out of town heading to "Elsewhere". The curve is made using a 30" template. I chose this radius for two reasons, the first being I had a template for this radius and secondly if Murray Scholz uses 30" and his garratt goes around that radius there is hope for me in the future. As can be seen I have raised the track up onto cork underlay once it leaves town. No it is not done for quiteness as some may think. (What do you want to deaden when you have sound locos?) It is mainly to form a shoulder for the ballast. None of the track in Eden yard is raised up, it is all laid directly to the baseboard. Some more of the initial scenery can be seen in the distance.
Future watering hole   
The above shot shows where a future water tank will go. I was able to scale a drawing down to O scale and Murphy was in my back yard that day and I was able to find a piece of pvc pipe that was within a few mm's of the correct size. It was elevated to the approximate height so I could gauge how it will look when completed. When I get a around to building it, I will show more of it on this blog.
The shot also shows my first bit of ballasted track on the lower level, the upper level will be done when the ash pit etc is completed. Doesn't take the weeds long to start growing.
Portrait Still waiting
Landscape still waiting
NA heads across the proposed level crossing site
After the track was laid where the future level crossing will go NA8 test the new track. All went well. The photos clearly show the former position of the HO track from SCR. This will all eventually disappear as the new layout scenery stretches out.
Road base laid up to track
I decided to have a crack at getting the level crossing done today. Because I had the track elevated up on cork I had to also elevate the road. I cut some flute board (?) in a gentle curve and glued in position up to the cork. The tube containing the rod for the points can be seen under the road. This will all disappear under the scenery. I think gentle curves look more interesting than straight lines even though it could have been built straight.
Not sure where the Holden is gone?
Some timber was laid between the tracks for the crossing. Not sure if they are the correct size but it looks right so it will do.
The Holden is back
Thin cork was then laid over the flute board up to just below the rail height. I made sure the cork and timber are just below the rail level other wise each time the track is cleaned the road and timber surfaces will get scratched. Because the cork was new I managed to dig a few holes into the cork to simulate pot holes and other dings that the local council is famous for. The right hand side of the road will get similar treatment soon. And the fence will be put into place soon to stop it falling over all the time. Blu tack is only good for a while.
First empty log train over the level crossing

Looking back towards Eden
The first train traversed the level crossing today to check clearances and all is well. You can see how a small bit of scenery can improve the layout. I will work away from this corner down to the other end.
So the next job is to finish off the level crossing and get the road surface on. The local council were good enough to provide a tarred road up to the goods yard entrance, it will be dirt from there on.