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mick

Worsley Dale Garden Railway

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2 hours ago, chris said:

You could reenforce them with copper wires...

I hadn't thought of that Chris. Might be worth trying the next time someone or something decides to dislodge some of them. The problem up to now has been me using unsuitable 'No More Nails' grab type adhesive which just goes soft and crumbly over time. 'Gorilla' grab adhesive appears to work much better but it does state it can be used underwater too so perhaps it should be more suited to outdoor conditions.

2 hours ago, chris said:

If you are anything like me you will have metres of earth wire coiled up, striped form twin and earth...

Metres and metres of it!

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Hi Mick , I wouldn't reinforce the top of the viaduct , since the bamboo was  to blame it will do it again  and cause more damage, I would put fencing wire across  in front bracing the wire, should work , bamboo is a great back drop, I don't have that now only it the back garden, be waiting a while for the plants to grow..

Tony from hot down under.

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I was looking forward to going up in the attic and coupling the MGRs together today but with the weather being nice I decided to spend some time outdoors, after all, it's not often we can do that kind of thing lately.

I began by cleaning the rails over the small viaduct and then from the rear of the shed round and over the larger viaduct. It wasn't as bad as I had expected with just the usual bird droppings which brush away easily once they've dried. At least there were no sloppy ones!

With the rails cleaned I turned on the track power and tested each section for continuity. Everything was in order and working as expected. The ground level section that I re-laid late last year is currently unpowered as the droppers have yet to be connected up to the power bus and the insulating joiners on the two electrofrog points giving access into the yet to be reinstalled loop prevent any power getting past them.

Lifting the old plywood track base had also meant removal of the wooden lineside 'fencing' which has resulted in a lot of soil being brought down onto the tracks by the birds. Before worrying too much about the power feeds I thought it best that at least some sections of 'fencing' were reinstalled to hold back the soil in the borders, primarily that to the outside of the track which is slightly higher. So some old log roll sections left over from the previous fitting were soaked in preservative and cemented in place, this time slightly higher than before. I haven't concerned myself with keeping them level or straight, nor in removing the remnants of rusty wire as I think it all adds to the scene. Once I can get the thyme growing over the top again it should look fine.

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I know that isn't a lot of progress for an afternoons work but time is something we have an awful lot of right now and with some settled weather on the cards for the coming week I may even get some more done.

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Continuing with the task of replacing the 'lineside fencing' I've moved across to the other side of the tunnel today, removing much of the rotten timber and replacing them with short sections of timber that were cut from an old pallet used to deliver kiln dried logs for the fire. Normally these would be cut and used as sticks for lighting the fire but I have plenty so they can be put to good use here. Here's the view of the tunnel entrance.

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Where the original log roll timbers were still in decent condition I have left them in place, removing only those that had actually started to fall apart. I've made good progress though there's still work to be done.

This is the view from the tunnel entrance seen above, looking back in the opposite direction.

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I'll sort the borders out once all the boundary fencing is in place and then I'l move on to the track itself.

It would be nice to see something running round here by the end of the coming week so fingers crossed!

 

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Yesterday was just a case of continuing from the previous day, securing the track and fastening the bus wire along the lineside timber.

If I can complete the borders today then I am hoping tomorrow I will be able to run the first train of the year once I've soldered the droppers to the power bus. I've been planning on a running session for Wednesday because it's the day forecast to have the lightest winds so fingers crossed it stays that way.

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Just taking a break but still working on fitting pieces of timber along the lineside - it's taking longer than I anticipated.

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Below is where one of the point motors was located and also the location of the small overbridge before the track base was replaced. I've used a short section of cut aerated block as lineside edging here for a change.

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I'm still hoping to see a train running tomorrow even if the borders aren't finished.

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Your timber edging has given me some ideas for holding back a raised bed on the new version of Summer Hampton :idea:

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Good to see you making progress in the great outdoors.

We seem to working at a similar pace. Getting lots done, without that much sign of progress. I'm pleased that I can get jobs done that I have been putting off because they either take too much time or I'd rather be doing something else. At the moment I'd rather be doing something than nothing, so tasks are being ticked off. The weather is helping.

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3 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

Your timber edging has given me some ideas for holding back a raised bed on the new version of Summer Hampton :idea:

I'm expecting it to have limited lifespan Iain, much like the log roll edging used previously, but if I could get 3-4 years out of it I'd be happy.

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50 minutes ago, chris said:

Good to see you making progress in the great outdoors.

We seem to working at a similar pace. Getting lots done, without that much sign of progress....

It's nice to be able to get back outdoors Chris, I've missed it.

My pace tends to be on the slow side most of the time but I've learned that each little step goes a long way to getting the job done. Adding the timber edging pieces is monotonous work and not really what I want to be doing when all I really do want to be doing is getting the trains out but it's made a difference to how everything looks so at least on this occasion I can actually see some progress.

Just hope I can manage to get some power through this section tomorrow. Might be a bit temporary for now but just to see something running again!

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Looks like good work going on there, Mick, so I hope you get it done soon and can get on to the main game.  Best wishes!

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It's all necessary work Andrew in order to prevent the birds making their little tracks down between the box hedging and bringing all the soil down with them. I'm hoping it will help keep the track bed cleaner.

Well as forecast it's not a bad morning with very little breeze so it seems like as good a time as any to get the soldering iron down from the attic and back in its more usual location. I'm not expecting having to connect too many wires before I get all-round continuity as there's already power up to the points at each end of this re-laid section. Better make the best of it.

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15 hours ago, mick said:

I'm expecting it to have limited lifespan Iain, much like the log roll edging used previously, but if I could get 3-4 years out of it I'd be happy.

I have some plastic section which could be cut into lengths and then, if I apply some render, it will look like rock face 😃

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6 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

I have some plastic section which could be cut into lengths and then, if I apply some render, it will look like rock face 😃

That's a much better idea Iain than my simple timber into the ground and should last a good deal longer.

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It didn't take long to get the re-laid section of track back in operation, in fact the first two wires soldered to the power bus were enough to power it throughout courtesy of the conductive (for now) metal rail joiners. I didn't stop there though and went on and completed the soldering of all the wires - some to the power bus and others to each other to create bonds between powered rail sections.

It was then time to go round with the track rubber and thoroughly clean all the rails. Surprisingly, the track most in need of cleaning was that in the terminus station which meant having to shunt wagons around in order to get to it all. I then went up into the attic to retrieve trusty 26024 and the track cleaner, filled the cleaner with IPA and sent it on its way round the garden. Not a problem at all.

Another welcome surprise was that every single point motor worked first time, even the one located outdoors behind the shed which switches between the main through station and the terminus station.

I took the opportunity to take my 4 PRA wagons out of their boxes for their maiden outing. These were exclusive to Kernow Model Rail Centre and will add more variety to the freight workings. They are very finely detailed wagons just in need of some light weathering and fitting of Kadee couplings to match the remainder of my freight stock.

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It's been a long and tiring day and I'm relieved to be finally back indoors. It will probably be a few days before I'm up and running properly as most of the stock is boxed up indoors and I'd like to give the loco's a look over before putting them to work again.

Oh yes, even all my signals and platform lights work as before - I was a bit concerned that they might give me some problems having been out of use all winter so that's good news too.

 

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Seeing as today appears to be the day for posting videos I suppose I'll have to get myself in gear and sort through the clips I've taken today. It might take me an hour or so but I'll post the results later.

It's been an ideal day for running trains - not too warm and not too bright and with only a gentle breeze. I connected the laptop up in the shed earlier because it makes it easier to use DecoderPro to program decoder CVs. I wanted to run one of my Black 5s but the acceleration rate was too quick, the chuff rate too fast and it just looked and sounded a bit silly. Changing settings isn't easy when you don't even know what values are currently set but DecoderPro makes it a simple matter and you can do the programming on the mainline with instant results.

I attempted to fit a Kadee coupling to the PRA wagons seen in the photo above so that they could have a run out but the NEM pocket isn't at the correct height to allow that and when fitted the coupling doesn't match the remainder of the stock. It's so annoying when you pay a high price for a wagon and yet it's let down by the age old coupling problem once again. I'll have to look into it later.

I'd best go look through my video clips from today now - be back later.

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I've read reviews of those PRA, they look very impressive. They will really fit in on Worsley Dale.

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1 hour ago, chris said:

I've read reviews of those PRA, they look very impressive. They will really fit in on Worsley Dale.

They're very nice Chris and yes, typically Scottish traffic so will go nicely behind a 37 freight once I've sorted something out with the couplings.

I've finally put together some clips from today (includes one from yesterday too but it all looks the same) and there's a little over 8 minutes worth which is a bit longer than my usual videos. I was going to split it up but decided in the end to leave it as it is.

There's only 4 loco's featured as that's all I've got out at the moment and one of those is 26024 which did a good number of circuits again today with the track cleaner and also on a short freight. It would be nice to know just how many scale miles that little engine has done for me!

 

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It's not been such a good day today as there seems to have been a constant stream of niggling problems.

Firstly 67004 was brought out and I remember using it quite often at the end of last year but today it just accelerated really quickly when power was applied and didn't want to stop when I asked it to. On a number of occasions I had to grab it by the throat to bring it to a stand and it even managed to uproot one of my buffer stops when I was too slow grabbing out. Eventually I got the laptop out again, fired up DecoderPro and sorted out the CV's so that it began behaving.

Then 37025 began stalling when I applied power. I gave it a nudge and waited patiently throughout the engine startup routine from the soundchip, applied power and it stalled again cutting off the sound. Started over again with the same result. I plonked it on the wheel cleaner and then had another attempt but again it stalled as soon as it made that initial attempt to move off. I'm going to have to take a closer look at it tomorrow and make sure the pickups are contacting the backs of the wheels correctly. To make things worse I had marshalled a good number of wagons together intending to film it hauling a 'lengthy' freight over the viaducts and had positioned myself ready with the camera when it started playing up. I had to leave the rake of wagons on the large viaduct and the only replacement loco I had out in the shed with a Kadee coupling was a class 20. I coupled the 20 up and it struggled hauling them so I decided to propel them back into the terminus station and split the train into 2 storage roads, unfortunately the train decided to split itself on the points when the couplings were unable to take the strain. Push them a bit too hard and the operating pin droops and contacts with the rails leading to derailments.

Here's 37025 'Inverness TMD' on the fuel road earlier today before it started playing up. Looking at it you would think it would you?

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Tomorrow will be a better day.

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Despite my optimism, the day hasn't gone as I'd hoped it would.

Things began well enough as I managed to strip down 37025, clean the bogies, wheels, and pickups and reassemble it all before lunch. There's been a little bit of a stutter since but on the whole it's performed much better today. And then the wagons started derailing again when being propelled, and in the terminus station there has to be some propelling movements in order to get trains into the sidings. The main culprits were the empty OTA log wagons which are a bit on the light side without loads on board.

The problem I think is all down to the axles which are like many other long wheelbase two axle wagons in that they can swivel in order to allow them to negotiate small radius curves.

Here's a view of the underside of one of the wagons showing the swivelling axle......

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...and the amount of travel it can take.

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The trouble is that when propelling the wagons around a curve or through points it ends up pushing the wagon sideways. That might be okay if you're pushing 2 or 3 wagons but when you've got a lengthy rake there's a lot more force involved.

Both axles are capable of swivelling so I wanted to see if they would work properly if I restricted their movement. I sat thinking of a way to prevent the axle swivelling and was originally going to glue small packing pieces alongside to restrain them but when I removed the clip-on cover over the axle and then the wheels, I found that simply screwing the retaining screw up tight was enough to prevent any sideways movement. No need for any other work. The couplings now remain centred and there's sufficient sideways movement in the head of the Kadee knuckle to get them through points. So far, since adapting them all I've not had any further derailments.

Another thing you might have noticed is that I've decided to cut off all the Kadee coupling trip pins because I was getting fed up of them fouling on pointwork. I don't intend doing any automatic uncoupling so it's one less thing to worry about. The Kadee certainly makes it easier to manually uncouple - you just lift the wagon upwards - there's no fiddling around with hooks and bars.

The terminus station doesn't get much of a look in on videos mainly because it requires close control which is difficult when holding a camera as well but here's a photo of how it looks this evening with the excursion stock in the bay platform and the sleepers alongside the main. Six coaches is one too many for the bay hence the loco is standing foul of the signal - it was intended to be for arriving DMU services but at the moment they are still not back on the layout. There's a variety of freight in the sidings as well as on the run-round road.

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When I'd finally got things running I was going to try capture some video footage but a house a few doors down from us decided they'd have a karaoke in the garden! It was so loud that it drowned out the sound of the loco's and it wasn't even that good. If there's any footage I can salvage I'll put something together later.

 

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