After spending quite a bit of time wiring up the layout and laying new track in preparation for the operation day I held at my home a month ago, I’ve spent the past few weeks pulling wiring out and hauling up some of the track I laid last year on another part of the layout. The most recent changes to the Morpeth Line are really a mix of things I knew needed to happen combined with some lessons learned on that day; I knew I needed to replace the Peco solenoid switch motors with Tortoise stall motors and I was also aware that I needed to address the yard in Raworth. However I’d had no thoughts regarding the length of my storage yard lines (being too short of course, are they ever too long?) and the ability to tell at a glance which way the turnout in the storage cupboard is set without having to open the door and look in there.
And don’t get me started on couplers! 🙂 After the operating session I spent most of two weeks converting every piece of my rolling stock to Protocraft couplers, in the process taking all the older style couplers that had been installed on my models over the years, including stock that never had knuckle couplers installed on the prototype. I’ll probably be arrested by the hobby police but I was sick of seeing my stock (especially the scratch built items) with three link and older style couplers sit in the yard unused because it was just too difficult to hook them up to a train. My two scratch built ICVs got a run around the layout for the first time last week. Yes the first time, and all because they had couplers that were incompatible with everything else rather than what was applied to those wagons on the prototype 70 years ago.
After waiting for packages to arrive in the mail from the US and a trip to Sydney to buy supplies I started in on the really big job: removing all the solenoid switch motors from the storage yard and changing these over to Tortoise machines.
Probably the two biggest decisions I’ve made in the past moth concern the arrangement of the yard at Raworth and the orientation of the turntable at the end of the storage lines.
After the operating session a month ago I decided that storage space of excess (and as yet unbuilt) locos came a very poor second to storing my (as yet unbuilt) trains. So today I un-hooked the wiring and bolts holding the table that houses the turntable and dragged this around 180 degrees to place this unused space on the train side of the turntable, where it should have been in the first place.
As yet none of the re-wiring and track laying has started: all I’ve managed to do is undo all the work I did last year. Oh and the trains aren’t running again as I seem to have disconnected something vital in pulling all the wiring away from the Peco motors. But that will be addressed in the next couple of weeks.
Stay tuned. I haven’t even started on Raworth yet 🙂