Saturday 25 January 2020

....and the plumbing too.

This week I've carried on getting the electrics into shape. The first thing to be completed was the 16volt AC side of things. I bought an old Hornby wall wart transformer which gave out the required voltage and when it arrived I attached it to the prepared wiring in the control box. Voila - the water feature burst into life and the point leading to the lighthouse siding finally worked.

Finally I can use this siding

Trains can shunt between the siding and the quarry sidings

The whole empire, lacking a blue sky

'Arkwright' with a run of skips in the quarry

The other bit of wiring I did this week was to extend the battery wires for the flashing LEDs in the UFO nightclub so that the battery box is now under the baseboard and the greenery at the rear could be finished. Party on.

Friday 17 January 2020

Sparks of life

For once I've done what I set out to this week, it was out with the soldering iron and after a bit of head scratching I sorted out the non working point at the quarry. I found the relevant wires which lead to the motor and cut them, after extending them back to the control panel I attached them to the switch. Nothing. I concluded that the problem was actually the return wire had been cut, unfortunately that meant that I had to find a new place to supply the feed. The simplest answer was to go straight to the output of the CDU hidden in hillside behind the quarry. Voila - working points.

The filthing up of the SR Baldwin continued

I built the second of  the sheep wagons, this time adding vacuum pipes

The trio of dirty Baldwins

Eva in action with both sheep wagons in tow

So, it was time to bite the bullet and attempt to untangle the muddle of temporary wiring under the Rock Beach board. I decided to reuse a plastic enclosure from a previous layout which handily had an indicator lamp already in it. It isn't a complicated control panel with just four switches, lots of wires though.

The first things I connected were the point switch and the section switch, unfortunately the 16V AC supply I bought to run the CDU and the drinking fountain was faulty so for now they remain un-powered. Next came the complexity of the building and street lighting, I soldered all the positives to a length of rail and then made a similar nasty bodge for the negatives. It all worked. The other switch controls the flashing light circuit in the lighthouse. Once the replacement 16volt supply arrives the point and the water feature should also work. Fingers crossed. 

Job done

Spurred on by getting things working, I dug out the trailer unit for 'Lady Susan' the steam tram. I've always had a bit of trouble when propelling the trailer so gave up on it, however with the gentler curves of this layout it appears to be ok... mostly.

Playing trains with a pre war look

Saturday 11 January 2020


We have this joke at work about January being the famous quiet time, everyone thinks as there are no trains that we just sit around drinking tea. Nothing could be further from the truth, apart from the tea drinking. As a result I haven't really done much on the layout.

I did get out the weathering powders to try to make the town square look a bit better, well less shiny.

Looks a bit better but I think in the end I'll grasp the nettle and do the DAS clay thing.

AGR Models have added to their growing range of PECO van reliveries with a version of their classic n gauge SR banana van which has always been one of my favourites. I have a small collection of n gauge stock waiting for a layout and this is one of the vans awaiting its railway.

Here it is after I got at it with the trusty weathering powders.

Here it is next to their Arnold Sands open

Apart from that, most of the time I've had in the garage has been devoted to operating (playing trains). I really must get on and finish off the electrics for the Rock Beach end of the layout and sort out the points leading to Town Quarry which stopped working after the excavation work to create Sandy Brook. I suspect that I cut through some wiring that was embedded in the scenery without realising it. Famous last words but it shouldn't be be too difficult to fix...