Well, not snow; Plaster. I put on some warm clothes and went out to the garage to have a look and a fiddle with the layout. I intended only to asses what needed to be done but, as you'd expect, got caught up in playing trains.
In order to do this I had to scrape and excess plaster ballast of the running rails and their inner edges. I had been pretty tidy when I did the plastering so it wasn't too arduous. I didn't have many locos or much stock to hand so most trials were conducted with my Chris Ward Fairlie and PECO coaches or a rake of Parkside Dundas FR size stock. The section being cleared is 'the big hill', as its known to drivers and so the trickiest to get a train up. I was baffled for a while why the coaches kept stopping on the curve at the far end when the gradient eases to allow for the extra friction of the corner. On closer inspection the footboards were rubbing on the wall of the cutting so a bit of plaster mining with a knife and a file later all was well.
If I get a chance later I may finish off the 'ballasting' of the section up to the river bridge. I need to gap the rails first as the limit of shunt will be where there is a change of controller from the 'main line' to the StRuth station one.
One other job I did the other night was to change the couplings on 'Grace Alice' my 0-8-0 Bagnall to Mr Ts ones which swivel. This loco has a rather long over hang and had a tendency to fling stock off on the sharp curves, this seems to be better but I need to move them up slightly as the swivel has also added a slight droop meaning that they keep dropping stock off. On 'the big hill' this can lead to the rolling stock shooting back down the line at a great speed until it hits a curve or just falls of the rails. Not ideal.
I don't seem to have remembered to take a photo of any of this so in the mean time here is one of my dog on the beach.