My blog posts have had a common theme over the past few months. The sound bug has bitten hard. I have copped a little flack (thanks Rod ha ha) for concentrating on locomotives too much lately and not getting on with important things like track work. If only trains could run on my paper templates! With a well deserved kick up the backside, I made a start on the first crossover for Picton. I am sooooo slow at building points. It doesn't help that I decided to add sleeper plates to all main line track work. These little etched plates are a real nightmare. I think I have more of these plates stuck to my clothes and scattered on the floor than actually soldered to rail.
I am using OO-SF standards for my track work. I received a set of very nice gauges from DCC concepts and they have been a pleasure to use. I am not too sure how many people in Australia are using this standard but so far it seems to work. The OO-SF standard uses a 16.2mm track gauge, a 15.2mm check gauge and 1mm flange ways. The idea behind it is that you can use wheel sets with a NMRA compliant 14.5mm back to back with no problem. The 1 mm flange ways help the appearance of the track work and aid in smooth running of 88 thou wide wheels. This all sounds good in theory and I hope the theory works in reality, so far so good.
Initially I was going to use proto 87 store etched frogs, the code 88 friendly versions. After some persuasion, I have ended up building my own frogs out of rail. The proto 87 store frogs while easy to use do not have tight enough flange ways for the OO-SF standard and for me I like the look of formed rail frogs better. That's just me though.
I have included a few pictures of my half built crossover. Still a lot to do along with a lot of cleaning. The high quality track gauges have made the task easier. I am still very slow though. It seems like a never ending mission. Hopefully in the next video I will have a locomotive running through it, hopefully.
When I say tracks, that did not just apply to railway line tracks but also to audio tracks. I have wanted to re-do my 38 class project for a while, so I sat down for a few hours the other day and modified the original project. The sound files are still taken from a 38 class recording but this time I have specific files for all three drive sound levels and differing files for acceleration files. I have not been able to give it a good run to hear it properly but initial short runs seem to sound ok. I like it better than the old file anyway. I don't think any of these files will ever be 100% finished. My life story ha ha. More video.
I was able to make it to Epping for the long weekend exhibition and had a great day. I actually spent the whole Saturday there. Bolivia is a very, very nice layout. There has been some discussion on its height. I loved its viewing height, similar in height to Bowen Creek (maybe not quite as high). I like the fact that trains were running through the scenery very much like how we humans view them in 1/1 scale. Picton is on the higher side and a lot of its track will be hidden by a cutting, station building and viaduct sides (not sure why I am building my own track to be honest). For me though, this is how many of the English layouts featured in the Railway Journal appear to be. I have always loved those English layouts and because of this, Picton was the perfect choice for me. At the end of the day the person that builds the layout has the ultimate say in how they want to make it. We should feel lucky that these people bring their layouts out into the public arena.
There were many other great layouts on display also. Gary from the Model Railroad Craftsman sure knows how to knock gum trees up! The lighting and electronic wizardry behind the layout was very interesting.
Well that's about it. I wont be going to the MRNSW convention next weekend but hope to make it the Early Days convention later on in the year.
Thanks for having a look,