Friday 21 November 2014

Full layout tour - cab ride

Cabe ride the full layout.

Per my last post and the cab ride to North Creek.. Here is the cab ride from North staging up to Plattsburgh, around the full main deck and back down to South staging.

If the quality of the video does not appear to be good, then click watch in Youtube and then click on the cog in the bottom left and chose 480p or 720p. (If your internext connection is fast enough)

Hope you enjoy.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Cab ride up to North Creek

Time for a cab ride.

Now that the first ops session is completed, I figured I would take some video of the layout.
I loaned my fathers small video camera that fits nicely on a flat car.

I have taken 2 videos over the last week or so and here is the first one.

This is a cab ride or should I say flat car ride behind 2 Baldwin sharks from Whitehall up the North Creek branch line.

Once I have finished a quick edit on the complete layout tour video I will post that also.

In terms of progress on the build of the layout. I have now installed some extra guards or sides on the hidden track that were missing from before in preparation for the fascia to be installed.

Now for the challenging part.. The fascia..
I have 10 x 2440 x 1220 x 3mm MDF sheets ready to go. I will cut them in half and then install them on the layout and then cut holes for the various turnout panels, UP5's and shelf's that will be used in each town for car cars etc.

The MDF will be cut to 620mm tall. Most of the layout from the main support to the deck is under 470mm, however I need extra height to allow for hills etc in fornt of the main line.

Well, till the next update, have a look at the short video.

Saturday 8 November 2014

First Operations Session Completed

Open the doors and they will come.

Today was the day I invited a number of good friends over to give the D&H a good workout. I had called it the Golden Spike ceremony, however, as all the track is now laid, and I did not have a golden spike on hand, things quickly developed into a operations session.

Per my previous post, I had completed a fair bit of planing for the occasion, with train cards, full train schedule, fast clock etc. So all was sitting in readiness just waiting for the big wheels to roll on the D&H.

At the prescribed time, my good friends, Rod Warren, Bill Black, John Colliver, Graeme Meyer, Peter Sutton, Noel Purdey, Ron McFarlane and Chris Elliot had arrived with throttles in hand and eager to put the D&H through its paces.

After a quick inspection and a bit of discussion the run button was pressed on the JMRI fast clock and trains started to move.

The newly installed, and as yet untested, dispatcher phone system was soon humming with dispatcher to engineer instructions.

The time table was set up for a 6:1 fast clock and 18 hours of fast clock time. It soon became apparent the the fast clock was too fast and I reduced it to 5:1. This seemed to suit the planned schedule just nicely.

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Bill and Rod working the North Creek turn.
Peter and Graeme working in Ft Edward.

Ron and John managing the main yard at Whitehall.
Chris working the local at Ft Edward

Noel working a train at Saratoga Springs
Rod and Bill in the hole at Saratoga Springs waiting for a meet.

Chris returning to Whitehall with the Saratoga Springs local

John switching the yard.

Here is the Whitehall yard work sheet. This enables the yard operators to know what is up next and what trains need to be built.
Here is one of the hand sets used on the Dispatcher to engineer phone system.

Here I am manning the dispatchers desk with the 19 hour long train schedule spread across the desk.
 Here is the dispatchers desk with JMRI running with a very basic panel, the crew call sheet and the train cards.

In terms of the flow of the day, two trains in the middle of the schedule did not run due to the lack of engineers. While the room had 9 people in it, it did not feel full and there is room for more..

There is room for improvement in terms of the schedule and next time I hope to have the card cards in operation for the layout.

All in all, the layout ran incredibly well for a first session and I'm very proud of how things went today. Bring on the next session..

Now back to getting the fascia installed.

Till next time.

Thursday 6 November 2014

First basic Ops session on the D&H

Its all in the preparation!.

This coming weekend I have scheduled a ops session on the D&H.
The session is going to be a basic session with a full train time table but no car cards.

I have the car cards for each car in my fleet, however, I dont have the time needed to plan the flow of traffic. So, instead I have set up a time table and as each train moves around the railroad, they will have drop off and pick up towns pre defined and the engineers can randomly pick up and drop off cars up to the max 20 car limit for each given train.

I have created small cards for each industry in each town so that engineers can figure out what type of car may be required for each industry.

There will be a number of through freights plus a pair of passenger trains as well as the North and South local plus the North creek branch local. The locals will do most of the work in each of the 5 remote towns.

In terms of time table and supporting documentation, I have created a crew call sheet so each engineer knows when they are needed, a Whitehall main yard work sheet as well as train cards for each train to provide instructions to the engineers as to what they are to do.

Here are a few examples:
Crew call sheet
The graph showing the movement of each train and where they cross is 10 pages wide

Train cards

Whitehall main yard instruction sheet

Well, thats all the planing done.. How let see how things go on Saturday.