To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"I've Been Working on the Railroad . . . !"

A model train layout is never completed. My layout was built during 2001 and 2002. After 10 years it was time to spend some time on the various problems which had sprung-up and to finish work started many years ago.

The wiring up-grade has been taken care of. This included -
  •  making 4 smaller control panels instead of one large one,
This is 1 of 4 smaller control panels. The toggle switches control either electrical blocks or track turnouts. The toggles with the bat handle painted red turn an electrical block either on or off. Nail polish was used to paint the bat handles.

  •        fixing the way a voltage control is attached to the layout,
A CA&E GE C6A controller is set up to control the speed of models on the layout. At the right center can be seen a plug and jack used to attach the controller to the layout. This is an idea first put forth by Don Bruno an fellow modeler. Any control device with a same type of plug can be attached to control the models.

My layout is a one man operation with the possibility of running one model or train at a time. It's impossible to run 2 models in opposite directions at the same time. If need be a small power pack can be plugged in instead of the CA&E controller.

DCC has not entered the picture as a form of operation for the layout. Using prototype controllers have been more interesting.
  •         splitting large electrical blocks into smaller ones,

These 2 photo of control panels with give you an idea of what was done.
The top photo needs to be placed to the left of the bottom photo. The straight yellow line going from left to right was one long electrical block between the track turnouts. Splitting the long electrical block made it easier to move models in and out of sidings.
No more 5-finger crane to move a model.

·         covering electrical wiring under the layout,
This photo may be hard to discern what you are seeing. It's taken from under the layout. A piece of thin plywood is covering a section where a number of electrical wires interconnect. The plastic cable covers (black tubes) cover a number of wires between cross supports.

·         installing trolley wire over 3 yard tracks, and
This shows 2 tracks with newly installed trolley wire. The trolley wire had originally gone only to the beginning of the fencing (top left). The 3rd yard track with newly installed trolley wire is next to what had been the diesel shops (not shown).

·         installing or replacing line poles for supporting the trolley wire.
New line pole with nut showing at base.

New line pole with nut camouflaged.

More line poles were added in other locations around the layout mainly to prevent the trolley wire from sagging. While the main line trolley wire is tight,  the wire over sidings needs additional support.

Just in case you want to ask, both metal and wood line poles have been used on my layout. How else can this effect be gotten - notice how straight the line poles are!
The "head" (bottom center) is part of a headstone in the cemetery.

The electronics of at least 1 of the 2 sets of crossing warning lights has been figured out. Over time these should be brought "on line" so to say. It's been 8-9 years since the installation of the 2 sets of crossing warning lights was started. A few months more matter, more or less.

Once the balance of the plywood covers are made and installed then we will be back to the AEFRE 49!


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