Narrow Gauge Progress (Sort Of)

I took a trip to Brisbane last weekend to help out on a friend’s layout at the Strathpine exhibition. It’s a great little suburban exhibition that has quite a growing reputation for attracting quality layouts. It’s the first time I’ve attended so I have no previous years to compare it to however I did see some excellent QR outline layouts including my friend Peter Krause’s Samford. While I was at the exhibition I took the opportunity to drop by the Wuiske Models stand which provided me with an opportunity to take a look at a Haskell NA. I purchased the NA eventually, after I managed to get Adam Wiuske’s attention by waving my credit card under his nose and carried my purchase home in the expectation that I could drop a DCC decoder into it and have something to run over my quickly expanding NG empire.

This is my rtr NA after 5 days of ownership. After I opened it up I dropped in a sound decoder and got no response no matter what I tried. No sound, movement or lights. It turns out that one of the leads from the pickups on one side of the loco had come adrift, however to re-solder this without melting one of the side tanks I had to essentially disassemble the entire loco. Now that it’s in pieces I can’t resist doing some upgrades such as installing some LED marker lights and a crew. I’ll tackle the decoder installation over the next couple of weeks and give it a weathering job before giving it a run on my as yet un-laid NG track.

I spent the week doing what I’ve done a lot over the past 2 years as I’ve built Morpeth: spend money on wood, track, rail and electronic bits and pieces. In spite of a seemingly endless number of phone calls and online orders I’m stuck half way through three or four different jobs in commencing the NG section of the layout but have stalled on all of them while I wait for supplies to arrive. I seem to start something, make some progress and then find I need something I don’t have on hand. This never fails to surprise me because I had a whole lot of crap in store to carry on my hobby but I still always seem to be short of some vital ingredient. The NA is a good example in that I want to install some red LEDs into two of the marker lights but don’t have any of the correct sort so I’m waiting for some to arrive in the mail.

This shot shows the bench-work for Barren Jack installed and ready for road bed.

I’m actually going to install hand laid track on this part of the layout but I’m waiting for a Fast Tracks #5 point form tool and some code 83 rail to arrive so I’ve laid out some ME flex track and #5 points just to get a sense of things. I can just fit the exchange shed and dual gauge track into this space. Just!

This morning I cut some 12mm ply up to form the curve that will be the bottom of the horse shoe taking trains from the Raworth exchange yard round to Barren Jack. I’m very happy with the use this is making of this space which up till now was essentially a dead zone. I don’t know how much use and attention this small NG extension will get over the longer term but it’s achieved one of my aims and that is to give me another industry to deliver wagons to in Raworth. The exchange shed will serve as this industry and the NG line will become another job for operators to undertake during operations.

All I need is an operating loco and a few bits of rolling stock.

4 thoughts on “Narrow Gauge Progress (Sort Of)

  1. The NA is a neat loco. You probsbly are aware that there are parts available to improve the front buffer and a couple other items. NG Down Under has covered it.

  2. Trevor the pickup wire coming adrift seems to be a very common occurrence with these locos. Happened to both of mine and I suspect the third will be same same when I get to it.
    Managed to squeeze a Tsunami Econami 100 decider and a stay alive in the boiler and set of twin speakers in the bunker. They seem to need the stay alive for reliable pickup and running. May because they are so light.
    I am surprised to see you using these 1/4″ scale locos as last time we spoke about this I thought you said you were going to use 7mm equipment that were models of the actual Burrinjuck stock and even the possibility of me building something for you. Have ideas changed.

  3. Dear Trevor,

    Never fear, If I ever get up to Barren Jack, I’ll make sure to bring “Sekiu Lumber #8” (a brawny little On30 boxcab loco) and a ProtoThrottle to run it with… 😉

    Happy Modelling,
    Prof Klyzlr

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