Saturday, 28 February 2015

Waybills and more waybills

Time to get serious with an Ops session.

Per my last blog, we had another shake down of the layout last weekend.
The main change this time was to introduce car cards for each car on the layout. As most of the operators are familiar with the way they work there were no issues as long as the guys randomly drop off x number of cars and leave the relevant car card at the town where they left the car and also pick up the relevant car cards for the cars they added to the train.

Now the next step is to add way bills to each car to enable them to actually have a purpose for being on the railroad. This is a fairly large task as there are around 450 cars on the layout at present.

With the help of the guys that have been their before, namely, John Fahey, Rod Warren, Ron McFarlane, and Greg Johnstone, I have been researching and listening from the masters as to how to do this that meets the needs of the railroad, meets my needs and also best replicates the way we are all use to doing it on each others layouts.

The following web site has given me a number of ideas.
This site has been very useful in terms of looking to determine the saturation of the layout in terms of cars on the layout. I think I will start with around 70% saturation and go from there.

Given Im going with 70% saturation and the layout is all but at 100 % now, I will need to remove about 90 cars from the layout before I start the next part.

See the following portions of my excel spread sheet that I have used to work out industry capacity, types of cars etc.

I intend to use mostly 4 way waybills for my cars, however there are a few block trains that wont switch any cars so they will simply be 2 way waybills to ensure that they get from North to South staging etc. Not to say that a car within these trains cant be given a bad order on one of the cars and made to drop the car at a town to enable it to be repaired.

The basic waybill will look like this and is double sided.

I plan to take the advice of the guys and just sit down with a pencil and a stack of waybills and slowly work through each car and determine where it has to go to and from and track them so I don't over load the system.

In the mean time, the guys found a few cars from the last session where I had mis typed the car number so those need to be fixed before I make way bills for them.

Follow along as I write 350 of these!...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Ops session on the D&H

Love it when a plan comes together!.

Well, today we had another basic ops session on the D&H.

Thanks to John Fahey, John Colliver, Rod Warren, Greg Johnstone, Bill Black, Peter Sutton, Jason Miller, Chris Elliot and David Richards to dropping in to help run the D&H and put it through its paces.

Today we ran a basic / modified time table and doubled up on most of the crew's. John C and Jason managed Whitehall Yard, while Greg looked after the North Creek turn. John F and Bill looked after the Saratoga Springs local while Rod and Peter did the honours on the Plattsburgh local.

Chris was only able to attend for a short time and looked after a through fright from the north to the south. As it was David's first visit, he mainly surveyed the scenes and had a good chin wag with the guys that he had not seen for a while.

Sometimes, half the fun of our sessions is to catch up with each other and have a good chin wag..

I managed to run the Montreal Limited north bound and the Adirondack south bound just to mix things up a bit to keep the engineers of the locals on their toes.

Im happy to say that the newly completed fascia was well received along with the shelves in each of the towns to enable car card sorting to be completed with out having to resort to placing cards on the layout (all be it ply wood junction at present).

There were 9 trains that did not make it out of staging due to the low numbers of engineers, but that's OK.. They will get a run next time.

I did not get a chance to take many pictures today, however here is one of Jason and John at Whitehall.

 As sometimes occurs when engineers are new to the railroad, errors occur and today was no exception. John and Bill had a minor mishap at Ft Edward with some attempt to cover up the evidence. Thankfully, all was resolved fairly quickly with minimal loss to running time table and the schedule..

Thanks again to all the guys that came today. I had a great day and the layout ran well even though it was 35 deg out side the shed. It started out cool in the shed however due to all the hot air being generated, it warmed up fairly quickly. Perhaps next time it wont be so hot!..

Now to go and make all the way bills and to modify the schedule to adjust when the locals come in and out of Whitehall.

Thanks again for checking in on the progress of the D&H Champlain division.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Fascia painting and shelves completed

Love it when I finish a big job!..

Per my last post, I painted the fascia but was yet to make and install the shelves behind the fascia for the car cards and assorted other bits and pieces.

Well, this week, I managed to complete the 6 shelves and install them. Then I painted them once installed. They have come up a treat. Some are smaller than others due to the timber work behind them, but I think the 2 smaller ones should work out OK.

Once I made the shelves I set about finding a place to mount the town phone system. As I want to keep the fascia clutter to a minimum, I decided to try them just below the layout. So I installed 6 mounting brackets / timber and the hooks that the hand sets sit on. Then I attached the brackets that the radio's clip onto behind them.

They seem to be in a good place but time will tell as I have another shake down ops session this coming Sunday. So will see what the guys think of the hand set mounting location.. I can always move them up onto the fascia, as the brackets below the layout just screw on and don't attach to the fascia for now so no old screw holes to cover up and paint.

Here are the pics of the finished fascia.



North Creek / Corinth

Phone system brackets with hand set

Saratoga Springs

Ft Edward


North Creek / Corinth

So thats another major milestone completed on the D&H Champlain Division. Now for some carpet!..

Next update will be post the ops session on Sunday.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Fascia Painting Completed

A bit of a lick of paint and the job is done.

Well, this morning I got stuck into the painting of the fascia.
I started with the edges around all the holes and the top edge of the fascia. Then with some great help from Michelle, we got stuck into applying two coats of paint.

As we all know, MDF drinks paint and it takes at least two coats to get a good finish.

Once the painting was done, I set about hand painting some of the frame of the layout that can be seen through some of the portholes.

After a few house chores were done, I then set about installing the turnout panels and UP5 / UR92 etc into the slots allocated.

Unfortunately I miscalculated on the clearance at the rear of one of the UP5's and found that a tortoise machine was in the way. I will make up a small RJ12 adaptor so I can use the UP5 front face and run some loconet cables to the UP5 as I don't want to move the tortoise machine.

There are places where the light goes through to the hidden track, but these sections will be covered once the main deck scenery is put in place.

Here are a few shots from around the room.

The next task is to make and install the 6 shelves, 1 at each town. This should be done in time for the next session on the 22nd.

Then to clean some loco wheels and track and let the trains roll.

Until next time...

Fascia work complete

Time for some paint!

This week I managed to finish the fascia work on the layout. The joins are all now fixed and the holes for the panels are neat and ready the panels.

I have planned Ops session for Sunday the 22nd so I'm keen to get the painting done before that session. The mounting of the panels will not take long as all it will just be 2 screws to panel.

Here are a collection of shots taken before the painting. Note the 2 panels at Plattsburgh are already painted as I pre painted some panels. But due to marking out the holes and man handling the fascia panels they tend to get a bit scuffed up so I abandoned that idea and opted to mount first and paint later.

The larger holes in the panel are for internal shelves at each town to enable car cards to be placed and sorted rather than being on the layout. I am yet to install the shelves in there. This will be done if time permits before the session on the 22nd.

Come back next time and see the changes.