The Borderline Operators

It’s been quite a big week for Morpeth. The operating session went off pretty much without a hitch and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I’d put in so much time getting the track in QW yard laid and wired up that I really didn’t have time to prepare other elements that I was pretty sure would give first time, guest operators trouble. And let’s face it, as this was the first ops session, everyone was a first time operator.

Peter and George concentrating on getting their trains through Raworth and into the storage sidings.

I did do some filming but I need a new video camera and the latest version of Adobe Premiere Elements is giving me trouble so that may have to wait. For the time being still photos will have to suffice. We really only ran three trains (one of those being a CPH railmotor) so it wasn’t exactly what you’d call operationally intensive, but the yards on the layout are new to all of us and really quite limited in capacity, so there was some degree of waiting around while someone else’s train cleared the section. The layout was designed as a shunting puzzle really so in this sense it was supposed to be lots of pushing wagons about and I have plans to make some adjustments to the track plan to accommodate this even more.

Phil really had the hardest job by being given the the down pick up goods. Between barely tested track and couplers which really needed to be changed and serviced it’s a minor miracle he managed to make it out and back in one piece.

We seemed to have settled on the name “The Borderline Operators” as our small group’s title so I’ve given the look a test by doing some Photoshop magic to Phil’s shirt in the above photo.

I’ve spent the days since Wednesday working on all my wagons which have an older style coupler that continued to throw up issues. I’ve manged to fit the newer style couplers from Protocraft to about half the wagons that needed to be converted and I also put a fair bit of time into the extended version of the same brand of coupler (I added the extension myself) that was fitted to the 48 class loco Phil had been using to as it wasn’t sitting or swinging properly. The signal I wrote about in the previous post had to be removed as it was causing clearance issues on the main and loop. I have plans in train to sort these out.

This photo shows the culmination of about 6 months work. It shows a train in the loop at Queens Wharf with every wagon fitted with Protocraft couplers and with the maximum length train allowed by the length of the loop with loco and brake van attached. It may not be a particularly long train but it’s the ruling loop on the entire line, being the shortest, so it will have to do! 🙂

I’ve been making trips out and back to the train room as I’ve gone about fitting the couplers to the wagons that needed it and this afternoon gave the 48 and some wagons a test run. I ran the train into the loop at QW and picked up a wagon Phil had placed in front of the dairy, hooked up to the front of the train and ran the whole train around the layout a couple of times.

Excuse my French but it was absolute f&^king magic! 🙂

8 thoughts on “The Borderline Operators

  1. Congratulations! Short train or not you have trains running.
    We are driving east on I80 to our Delaware home. The route parallels the 150 year old transcontinental ROW and watching mile long freights compared to the old images is amazing.

    We are in Nebraska near the wagon train ruts on the route of the western migration and the history ithey invoke is always striking to me.

    Enjoy your RR and thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Bill, always good to hear from you. I’ve really enjoyed getting the layout back into operating condition and sharing running trains with friends. All I’ve gottes do now is build a load of rolling stock and cover acres of benchwork with scenery 🙂

    • Matt I assume you’re referring to the blue wall sconces rather than the trays over the central aisle. The ones painted the same colour as the ceiling? You can find more details about them in this post and I have a feeling I wrote about them in other posts at around the same time so just go to the calendar and look them up if you’re curious. The lights were set by the change of angle in the sloped ceiling so they do at times run along the front edge of the layout but at other points they poke out a bit where the benchwork is wider. The main reason I didn’t go with a full length pelmet and used small boxes instead is that they’re quite low (nothing I could do about the height, that was where the roof change planes) and I was worried that they’d intrude too much into the operators line of sight.

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