Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tracklaying Continues and Wayward Tankers

The final extension is pretty much on schedule. Risers have arisen and roadbed has been laid! The 1st 5 metres of track was laid this weekend, all was going well until I realised I had exhausted the supply of cork!
I’m using Railcraft / Micro Engineering Code 70 flexi track for this last section. It looks great but it certainly is a challenge when trying to bend it into shape especially when compared to Shinohara or Peco. Maybe I’m missing something so if anyone has any suggestions, please advise!

At left: 4429 is in dynamics as it eases it train down the grade from Bungulla towards the abattoir on the newest section of Tenterfield. SHELL station may one day sit on the  highest point of the layout which is above the VSX flat wagon at the rear of the train.

I’ve included a photo of the latest infrastructure acquisition; SHELL station! This mysteriously appeared recently, perhaps as a peace offering! I believe the story goes back to one Friday evening when we were test running the “Austrains” 4 wheel fuel tankers. A test run normally includes allowing a vehicle to roll down the 1 in 50 spiral from a standing start. The spiral commences at the Down end of Tenterfield Stockyards and finishes at the Up end of the Bluff River Bridge. Yes I know not exactly like the prototype but it’s the only way everything fits in the room!

4429 heads an up goods past SHELL station!

One tanker had begun the test and its rolling resistance was very minimal as it was rolling down the spiral at a speed which was not causing alarm (not too fast, not too slow). The tanker had reached the bottom of the spiral and was about a 1/3 of the way across what will become Bluff River Bridge when a regular attendee who will remain nameless (lets call him “The Man with the Moustache that Twitches”) decides to dispatch a 2nd tank car down the spiral! It wouldn’t have been so bad if he had let gravity alone propel the tanker down the grade but no - he had to apply some assistance by giving the tanker a push start! From the moment it left his hand everyone in the room knew what the outcome would be but we were all powerless to intervene. It was over in seconds; the now speeding tank car No.2 comes into contact with the now near stationary tank car No.1. The end result; tank car No. 1 on the concrete floor! I suppose it could have been worse, if I had the Bluff River Bridge in place the tanker would be in the river and I would be answering to the EPA! Tank car No.1 was assessed in the workshops and returned to service after minor repairs.

A re-creation of events as seen by our resident cartoonist is attached.

SHELL station will need to be relocated from its existing spot which will be in the middle of Bluff River Bridge! It may well be renamed Bungulla and placed at the highest point on the layout!
I may now also have to include a SHELL siding to store any wayward tankers but I will ensure it’s at the bottom of the grade and not the top just in case there is any wayward shunting!

Until next time enjoy your trains!