The Roster

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another day, another update!

Well another day and some progress to report!

I ran a new feeder wire to the section of track that was causing the 'start/stop' telescoping issue and it's helped a lot. I *think* there is still a slight drop, but testing my U33C got pretty good results. Here's a video showing the locomotive traversing the track. (Check your speaker volume - that U33C is loud!)

So with that problem mitigated,  I'm feeling better about the track work. In hindsight, it's really been bothering me and was starting to effect my enjoyment of the layout. So yay - 15 minutes of work drilling a couple of holes, running two wires and a little bit of cutting and splicing.

On an unrelated note, I was in Lake Louise, Canada a few years ago. It is gorgeous country with beautiful mountain vistas, great hiking...and the mainline of the Canadian Pacific running right through town. We visited in late August / early September and each day I could sit at the train station and watch big long unit trains (like 100+ cars) of grain hoppers being hauled to the west coast and the empties being returned to the Midwest to be refilled. At the time I was envious that you could get these great looking cars in HO, but not in S gauge. But no more! American Flyer released a new cylindrical hopper car that captures the memories of my vacation perfectly.

It's a great car with loads of detail. Heck - it even runs on scale wheelsets out of the box which might be a first for American Flyer.

It's a real beauty, eh?

I don't plan on running 100 car trains, but I can definitely see adding a Canadian Pacific grain hopper train to my collection as a memory of a lovely time in Banff National Park.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What's new?

Just a quick note on what I've been up to with the layout.

Landscaping continues at a slow pace. Part of the layout looks better, but it's got a long way to go before I'll be finished.

Trackwork - I've found an odd power loss on one section of track. What makes it odd is that voltage does not drop in that section, but the locomotives clearly slow down, and even stop at lower speeds. It needs to be fixed or everything that rolls through there will "telescope" as the locomotive stops, then restarts. I'm thinking I might add a feeder wire (but it's not a case of voltage loss, so I don't know if that will help).

Roundhouse - Got the 21165 Casey Jones engine running. I had to resolder the wires to the tender and did some basic cleaning and greasing/oiling. But that's all it took to get the motor turning. It pulls a train fine running counter clockwise. And promptly derails on the curves running clockwise. But at least I've got it running.

One of the American Models SD-60 is making 'growling' noises (again) which have me suspecting yet another cracked U joint or plastic drive gear (again). I love these locomotives, but man are they temperamental!

Keep 'em running!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Done with the ice breakers!

I've knocked out the first two of the ice breaker cars. These were 'quick and dirty' hi-rail cars designed as proof of concept test - both of the idea and my modelling abilities. I'm happy with the results. In the future, I'm going to try some more detailed versions and possibly a scale car for display.

The first two ice breaker cars on the layout of the Miami Valley S Gaugers

NYC icebreaker on the job being pushed by an American Flyer 0-8-0 #343

Another shot of the icebreaker on the MVSG layout