Dutton Bay Tramway - Progress

Progress - From an Empty Shed to a Model Railway

3 November 04
  • It's been a long time between updates. Unfortunately progress was nowhere near as good as hoped. A trip to Queensland to research my next project didn't help, as my mind has been contemplating On30 rollingstock rather than working on the Dutton Bay. However, there has been a some further progress over this time in preparation for the BRMA Convention layout tour. As well as...
  • Trees added to West End Hill
  • Gypsum bins weathered
    ...the program of weathering rolling stock has continued, and work has begun on the permanent "fibro-cement" shop/dwelling at Wirrandra.

    26 July 04

  • Big news - trees have been added to the layout. Check out the Forests and Trees page and the Wanilla Forest page for some views.
  • Less important news - more vehicles have been weathered, and have had handrails added

    9 July 04

  • Some trees have had foliage added - sufficient at least for photographs to be displayed on the new Forests and Trees page
  • Weathering has continued at an average rate of about three wagons each two days

    30 June 04

  • The rework of Saltpan has been completed to the extent that the module is back in the layout
  • An operating session scheduled for this evening (30 June) will be using a new timetable - the first change for some time.

    21 June 04

  • The major recent activity has been the revamp of Saltpan
  • The new fence posts around the paddock at Wirrandra have been "planted". I think they are too dark, so won't add the "wire" until we have had a chance to review them.
  • Weathering of vehicles has also continued slowly - more photos are here
  • My first attempt at a tree armature (made from wire) turned out to be, shall we say, less than perfect. No photos until I get something which looks a little like the trees I need

    6 June 04

  • Weathering work has continued, slowly, with four HD hoppers now released back into service with a coat of grey and white dust
  • Two brake vans are now equipped with handrails and door handles - and 806AFZ, one of the two "combines", or car-vans, has also been similarly treated. The car-van has also been weathered with pastel chalk to represent a faded colour, now has interior partitions, and seats are being added to the passenger saloon
  • Fence posts have been produced from stripwood for the next section of the layout to be fenced - a paddock at the "big curve" at Wirrandra

    23 May 04

  • The holding paddock at Anunaka has been fenced.
  • One of the windmills has been painted - now waiting weathering
  • A major push into detailing has commenced - handrails and door handles are being added to the goods brake vans
  • Weathering the rolling stock has commenced (see first results here)
  • The tractor suffered a catastrophic failure resulting in the wheelsets being replaced

    03 May 04

  • The "Yet Another Mockup" project at Wirrandra has been completed. See the combined store and dwelling in position
  • Some preliminary work has been done in other areas -
    The windmills are being prepared for painting
    Some fencing is underway
    The under-layout area at Kelvin is now vacant, waiting for a bookcase

    27 April 04

  • I've been tilting at windmills - a pair of windmills have been purchased as a detail item
  • Photos of the ballasted yard at Wirrandra are now available
  • YAMU - Yet Another Mockup - a mock-up of a combined general store and dwelling is being constructed for Wirrandra

    8 April 04

  • Long time between updates ... however another significant event has occurred. Wirrandra yard is now fully ballasted. Photos yet to come
  • The thought process has continued on the second building in the township of Wirrandra - a small combined shop/dwelling is the likely solution.
  • Regular operating sessions have continued, monthly with occasional extras. The track has not been fully cleaned since the graphite application in November, and everything is still running well.
  • Otherwise, there's not much to report for the last ten weeks.

    25 January 04

  • The most significant event for a long time - the eradication of the visible blue foam - occurred in this period. See the results on the Wirrandra page
  • Also at Wirrandra, the mock-up church was given a skin and now looks like a reasonable background model

    29 December 03

  • The scenic treatment at Wirrandra continued - there's only a square foot or so now left "blue"
  • Operating sessions have continued, with my now traditional post-Christmas morning session (and BBQ) occurring on December 29. This was a major factor is the big "push" to try and complete the scenery
  • Prior to the November session the track was cleaned and then treated with graphite, the loco wheels were also cleaned, and the railway operated (almost) flawlessly. The Dec29 session saw no further cleaning or graphite application, and the layout still ran very well indeed. Very pleasing.

    17 November 03

  • I have made myself a smaller version of the Wirrandra church - and am much happier with the newer one
  • All the gaps between the roadbed and the styrofoam have now been covered with chux. The space between the mainline and the siding at Wirrandra has also been filled and covered with chux ready for ground cover
  • Some dirt has been sprinkled under the Wirrandra goods shed ready for the full application of the ground cover in the goods yard

    12 November 03

  • The basic ground-cover has now been extended for half the length of Wirrandra and the track in the "completed" area ballasted.
  • The small goods platform at Wirrandra has been given a gravel surface, and the base has been glued into place at Wirrandra.
  • More "chux" has been used to cover the gaps around the area of the goods shed ready for ground cover.

    4 November 03

  • Holidays and conventions slowed progress, but the fascia at Wirrandra has been added
  • The second church mockup has been completed and the ground at Wirrandra modified to suit
  • The fascia on the "lid" over the fiddle yard has also been attached - the same panelling used for the walls of the shed.

    7 September 03

  • The toggle switches at Wirrandra have been replaced by push buttons and LEDs installed to provide a clearer indication of the setting. The push-buttons will be easier to operate when recessed in the fascia, and experience with them at Anunaka and Kelvin has been positive
  • As a result of installing the LEDs in series with the switchmaster, some work needed to be done to reduce the current limiting resistor. A fine way to spend a Sunday, working underneath the layout.
  • Preparation work for the fascias for Wirrandra and the Staging Yard "lid" has been done.
  • A plan has been drawn for the church to go on the hill at Wirrandra. See the plan and a photo of the original here

    25 August 03

  • A new curved backdrop and corresponding "filler" piece of layout has been provided at the wharf end of Anunaka
  • The scenic treatment of Wirrandra has been extended, with basic ground cover now in place along the length of the station area, between the tracks and the backdrop.
  • The Staging Yard has been roofed over, providing a handy (if a little high) shelf for storage

    18 August 03

  • Over the last two or three weeks work has been proceeding in a number of directions:
  • More "chux" has been glued into place on Wirrandra prior to ground cover work
  • The road in front of the shops has been "sealed" - with 15-thou styrene
  • Work on the Wirrandra goods shed has progressed to the roof.
  • The complicated and messy backdrops at Anunaka, running from the cattle sidings around the "angles" to the end of the board is being replaced with a single curved sheet. That sheet has had its first undercoat. The gap formed by the nicely curved skyboard will be filled in with styrofoam.

    1 August 03

  • An extra operating session, demonstrating the use of DCC to a couple of interested people, was run. This coincided with the first use of a fast clock and some other changes in operations

    27 July 03

  • Following the first operating session for four months, a few little niggling things were found. These were fixed:
  • The new up-end turnout at Anunaka was adjusted
  • The turnout under the gypsum bins at Kelvin was re-instated
  • The up-end turnout at Kelvin, long a source of trouble with an intermittent fault in the switch machine, had its switchmaster replaced with a tortoise
  • An intermittent dead-frog at Kalanda (the Fiddle Yard) was corrected
  • Plus, an additional shelf was constructed under the Fiddle Yard, designed for plans, drawings, maps and the like

    22 July 03

  • Scenery has commenced at Wirrandra and work continued on the goods shed and passenger shelter
  • The replacement turnout at Anunaka is now installed and operational
  • An operating session is scheduled for tomorrow night - the first for four months. In preparation some time was spent with the DCC unit programming the decoders so the locos run at similar speeds with the same throttle setting. This has been planned for years...

    3 July 03

  • After a delay of a couple of weeks caused by a recurrence of an old back injury, work has resumed. The replacement turnout at Anunaka has been installed, the tortoise fitted, the track sprayed with a dark, dirty colour, and work has begun on replacing the ground cover.
  • The little Wirrandra goods shed has progressed too. Two of the walls (currently just framing) have been erected on the floor, and some preliminary painting completed.
  • The crook back meant an operating session was cancelled. Sad...

    3 June 03

  • Work has continued with on Wirrandra with more foam shaping, and mock-up buildings positioned. The goods shed is also showing signs of life.
  • The work on the turnout at Anunaka has stalled. After scraping away all the old cork and glue remnants, ensuring everything was flat, and applying three coats of paint to seal it all, I find I have no 1mm cork to match that used when the track was originally laid.

    21 May 03

  • The main work over the last few days has been on the #6 turnout and associated track to replace the 009 point at Anunaka
  • Some more work has been done on the basic scenic treatment of Wirrandra - at least some more foam has been cut

    15 May 03

  • The Narrow Gauge Convention, amongst other things, has kept me from spending a lot of time on the layout. Since the last update I have added some support framing to provide a "roof" for the fiddle yard. This will allow some curtaining to protect the models there, on the most exposed part of the layout next to the entry doorway
  • Some long-needed external lighting has been added to the shed
  • The Number 6 turnout to replace the very sharp Peco 009 one at the main entry into Anunaka station is now almost ready to install - the PCB sleepers need to be painted and a length of code 70 track made to gently lead the passenger trains into the platform track
  • Foam shaping has commenced for Wirrandra - looks like my town will become little more than a general store at the side of the road
  • Work has also commenced on construction of the small goods shed to be installed at Wirrandra
    Photos will appear next update...

    16 April 03

  • The last couple of weeks has seen some scenic work on the dry creek bed on the Wanilla Forest board
  • Some mock-ups of buildings have been assembled to try and find a suitable arrangement for buildings at Wirrandra

    31 March 03

  • Almost a month without an update - that reflects the work that has been done recently, what with interstate trips and some non-modelling work needed in the evenings. There has been two operating sessions in this period however - the railway has not been totally idle.
  • Work has now resumed in a small way, with a pair of brass level- crossing warning signs built for Wanilla Forest.
  • Work has also begun on adding fresh sand to the dry creek-bed on Wanilla Forest - thus far around the culvert itself

    02 March 03

  • Wanilla Forest has had the basic scenery completed and the track has been ballasted. The concrete apron on the culvert was repainted in colours more appropriate to the creek sand
  • Colouring of the bridge piers on River Dutton is (probably) complete
  • Some time was spent on locos - EM Baldwin #59 returned to service for the first time for a year or two and performed beautifully at an operating session held on March 02

    21 February 03

  • Work continued on River Dutton with bridge piers being coloured and the track ballasted
  • The Wanilla Forest section is being given the current scenery treatment - the third different ground cover this module has seen.

    16 February 03

  • Another operating session saw some locos which hadnt' turned a wheel for months serviced and released to operation.
  • After the session work resumed on the River Dutton section. The bridge piers were coloured and weathered with chalk (pastel) to better reflect the colour of South Australian concrete
  • The River Dutton section also had the track ballasted. Rubbing alcohol and a gentle "olive oil sprayer" made that job much easier, without the wet-water spray blowing the ballast all over the place

    7 February 03

  • Following on from the success of River Dutton, the same scenery technique was used on West End Hill

    1 February 03

  • Great news - River Dutton is now back in place, complete with the newly applied "basic" ground cover.
  • The fascia on the Staging Yard is now painted

    24 January 03

  • River Dutton has had the first section of ground cover applied. A different approach which gives a feeling that the scenery is "finished" in a very quick time
  • The fascia on the Staging Yard has been added, and is currently resplendent in undercoat.

    19 January 03

  • The River Dutton module has had the basic landscape now completed - at least in foam - and the river has been coloured a lovely, muddy brown.
  • Work has started on adding a fascia to the Staging Yard and more shelving has been added below the layout
  • An operating session was held on Jan 8 where actual running times were recorded

    7 January 03

  • An operating session on December 29 introduced a couple of new innovations, detailed on the Operations page.
  • Work on the River Dutton section has continued, with the shaping of the landform.
  • Work is progressing on the decoder installation on #9 - currently the wheels are out of the mechanism.
  • Some time was spent on my long-promised shelving for my large magazine collection. There's a photo of work-in-progress here. That photo also shows some panelling which has been earmarked for the Fiddle Yard fascia, and also shows the West End Hill fascia has been painted. Ultimately there will be shelving under much of the layout - the magazines may well need an entire wall, but first the old exhibition carry-frame needs to be dismantled.

    23 December 02

  • After returning from Europe, suffering severe jetlag, and preparing for Christmas, work has finally recommenced on the Dutton Bay.
  • Scenic work on the River Dutton section is under way with the styrofoam in place and being formed into some resemblance of a landform
  • Work has continued with fitting a decoder into #9, the Bemo HF-130-C.
  • An operating session in early December showed a "dead" point blade on a Bemo turnout in Anunaka yard. This was corrected by inserting a springy piece of fine piano wire, bent so it presses on the outside of the blade and against a screw eye under the board. Traction is fed to the screw eye. This approach is necessary as the point blades on the Bemo turnouts are an unsolderable alloy.
  • More maintenance on Anunaka saw an electrical glitch which resulted in both boards' overload light being lit in the event of a loco running into a wrongly set turnout. Both lights illuminated draw enough current to sometimes shut down the booster, stopping all other trains on the layout. This has been corrected

    15 November 02

  • The connecting section, now known as West End Hill has had the landscape formed, and been given the initial coat of sieved dirt sprinkled over wet paint.
  • A two week business trip to France (Expometrique) and England (Warley MRC Exhibition and Pendon Museum) will mean no modelling progress for that time. Did I say a business trip??

    4 November 02

  • The most significant event of the last week was the first operating session on the reopened, extended layout.
  • Work has also continued with forming the landscape on the connecting section between Kelvin and Fiddle Yard. I must think of a name for this section...

    29 October 02

  • The last three weeks have been fairly quiet. The new fascia on the Wanilla Forest board has been painted.
  • Work has begun on #9, an EM Baldwin 6-wheel outside-framed jackshaft- drive locomotiue. The Bemo HF-130-C mechanism now sits nicely underneath the cast body, although I still need to add couplers and a decoder.
  • The unnamed section between Kelvin and the Fiddle Yard has had some foam shaped to produce the basic landscape. Very basic at the moment.
  • The first operating session on the extended railway is planned for October 30, and timetables and other preparation work has been done.

    7 October 02

  • Work is now completed on the "glitches", and everything now seems to be running smoothly. This also included using a hack saw to remove some excess solder from flangeways at the frog on the handlaid turnouts in the fiddle yard. Also related to operation, the rail tractor had a dry solder joint on one of the decoer feeds resoldered so it performs to its usual standard.
  • Push buttons have been added to the fascia for the three "up end" turnouts at Anunaka in a similar style to that of Kelvin, complete with indicator LEDs.
  • The fascia has been attached to the Wanilla Forest board - a length of 3mm MDF which needed wetting with hot water to bend sufficiently, and some concerted action to ensure it stayed glued in place. Will be painted over the next couple of days - expect photos next update.

    22 September 02

  • Work is proceeding on fixing the "glitches" that the NMRA members found. Kelvin is completed, along with some new work, including using alternative action pushbuttons to control the "up end" point at Kelvin, one button on the control panel, the second on the fascia next to the turnout itself. That work also included adding indicator LEDs to the Kelvin control panel, necessary not just to show the lay of this turnout, but also to clearly show that the track is set on the main line through the station

    9 September 02

  • The cane railways of Queensland are just wonderful - everybody with an interest in narrow gauge should visit at least once to see what is possible on the 2' gauge. Long trains running at speed on well ballasted, continuous welded rail, along mainlines with crossing loops every 5 miles is the one extreme - locos rattling along branches with just a handful of "bins" along track which is sometimes burried in the dirt the other. But back to modelling...
  • The Fiddle Yard work was completed, and everything was cleaned up and working in time for the local NMRA meeting on Sunday. An assortment of enthustiastic operators put the railway through its paces - and discovered many different ways of doing things. Generally everybody seemed to enjoy themselves, and there were not too many "glitches". Some things were discovered needing attention, which will be addressed in the next week or two before resuming work on the scenery.

    21 August 02

  • The modules were are bolted together and a ceremonial First Train was run. Actually, the first train was the rail-tractor and a couple of ballast hoppers, but it was certainly the first train to run from the Fiddle Yard, through Kelvin and Wirrandra, over the River Dutton and into Anunaka
  • The "skyboards" used at exhibitions were retrieved from storage and attached to Anunaka, giving it more of a finished appearance
  • The track damaged at Anunaka was repaired by soldering to PCB sleepers in turn solidly glued with Liquid Nails to the baseboard
  • The Fiddle Yard was then removed from its framing, and work has begun on replacing those clever phosphor-bronze wipers for frog power with micro-switches. Not so clever but more reliable. Five have been done, with two remaining and one point will be "spiked" since it leads to the never completed continuous connection
  • The opening through the skyboard between the Fiddle Yard and the layout was widened after it was discovered that loco 65, the 830 class, did not fit through when running long hood leading
  • Nothing much will happen now for a couple of weeks, as I am off to photograph some real 2' gauge railways - the sugar cane operations in Queensland

    12 August 02

  • The job of replacing the old solenoid switch machines on the Anunaka Wharf board has been completed
  • Saltpan now has a connector cable to the layout bus
  • And in the one step forward, two steps backward department, when placing the Wharf board back on the supports I managed to damage the track at the edge of the board. I need to either spike or solder the rail down to realign with the adjacent board. Bummer, eh!

    6 August 02

  • A week spent interstate has slowed my progress down even further than normal. However in recent times the various piers and abutments for the "big bridge" have been completed, and the flex-track sleeper spacing for the bridge section modified to better reflect typical open-deck techniques. The bridge piers, girders and the flex track have all been painted ready to be installed. See River Dutton for photos.
  • The short length of track leading from the old dead-end at Anunaka to the edge of the baseboard and the rest of the layout has been laid, and is ballasted - just waiting for the first train.
  • An additional pair of throttle sockets for the DCC system have been inserted for Wirrandra,
  • The Anunaka control panel has been re-oriented as the station will now be operated from the opposite side
  • The Anunaka station board has had the connecting cable to the "layout bus" installed, and the Wharf board is currently having the last two remaining Peco solenoid switch machines replaced by Tortoise slow-motion motors.

    18 July 02

  • Over the last couple of weeks Wanilla Forest has been given its first scattering with ground cover, and then redone to give it a colour more in keeping with the Eyre Peninsula. Also the "big bridge" over the River Dutton is now a long way towards completion.

    1 July 02

  • Work continued on foam shaping, filling, smoothing and papering. The first stage of adding ground cover also began, with the front portion of the Wanilla Forest module painted and "scattered". Check the Wanilla Forest page for photos.
  • The "big bridge" on the River Dutton module is in planning stages - which is good since the subroadbed has had a gap cut for the bridge.

    24 June 02

  • The highlight of the weekend was the completion, and installation of the culvert. See the Wanilla Forest page for a photo.
  • Many of the aisle-side girders and framing were painted brown to remove the "unfinished" look of raw timber.
  • The Fiddle-Yard "connecting" section had some more work on the foam as work proceeds to have the trains appearing through a cutting and behind a structure and trees, rather than through a hole in the backscene.

    19 June 02

  • Work returned to the Wanilla Forest board, specifically the flood- opening or culvert. The bridge itself has been completed (awaiting painting) but test fitting showed the creek bed to be too high for typical Eyre Peninsula scenery. See the photos on the Wanilla Forest page.

    7 June 02

  • Over the last couple of evenings the two mating boards were screwed into the River Dutton framing, notches were cut for the river bed, and the roadbed was glued in place.

    2 June 02

  • The weekend saw a different direction. The connecting section between Saltpan and Anunaka was begun. The basic framing is essentially complete, and is simply waiting on some screws being driven into the cleats from the "mating" boards to the two existing modules. The track subroadbed has also been cut, along with the river bed. The module (and the river) is to be named the "River Dutton" section. Check back in a couple of days for some photos.

    28 May 02

  • Work continued with more "foam shaping" of the Wanilla Forest board. It will stop, soon, won't it?? Also foam has been used to produce a basic landscape next to the original FiddleYard-Kelvin connecting section, and the trackbed has been cut to allow work to begin on the Saltpan-Anunaka board. More photos soon...

    23 May 02

  • The top sheet "skin" of styrofoam has now been glued into place, along with some of the pieces needed for landscaping. Other pieces of foam are not yet glued into place, waiting shaping. See the latest photo here.

    21 May 02

  • The infilling of the gaps between the Wirrandra joists with blue styrofoam has been completed. Photos on the Wirrandra page as normal.

    17 May 02

  • Apologies for the lack of progress. One week spent recovering from a back "twinge" and another interstate has curtailed activity somewhat.
  • Work has continued on the Wanilla Forest landscape
  • I am "filling in the gaps" between the joists in Wirrandra with 50mm (2") foam. Currently I am about half way through this process, which is designed to make the board less noisy
  • A significant event was the connection and "bolting up" of the Wirrandra and Saltpan modules. Once the work is done on Saltpan to connect to the layout bus, it wil be possible to drive a train through Wirrandra and onto Saltpan
  • Expect some photos after this weekend's activties...

    28 April 02

  • Work on installing the styrofoam on Wanilla Forest has begun. See some pictures on the Wirrandra page
  • The layout "bus" was connected up to the power supplies, so Wirrandra is now properly "wired in".

    26 April 02

  • During the week (so far) the track on Wanilla Forest has been sprayed, and work has begun on the new layout bus needed to "power up" Wirrandra. Some design work on the 20' "flood-opening" was done, as was some conceptual ideas for the scenic treatment on Wanilla Forest and Wirrandra

    21 April 02

  • This weekend saw significant progress on the Wanilla Forest module. The subroadbed was laid, then a gap cut for a typical Eyre Peninsula "flood opening", cork laid, and the track has been laid. A fine weekend indeed. As ever, pictures on the Wirrandra page

    17 April 02

  • Work continued on the new connecting section, to be named Wanilla Forest like its predecessor. Hopefully this one might eventually look like a forest. The "outrigger" portion, connecting to Wirrandra itself, was completed. Pictures of the new work, plus the new "gap filler" for Kelvin are available on the Wirrandra page

    16 April 02

  • Over the weekend, in fairly typical fashion, I "diverged" from the task of building and connecting Wirrandra into the layout, and took some time out to fill in a six inch gap between Kelvin and the backdrop (caused by the square cornered board not fitting into the coved backdrop corner).
    Also work on the framing for the Kelvin-Wirrandra connection section, the replacement for the old temporary "Wanilla Forest" board, is well under way. Pictures of both will be posted in a couple of days.

    9 April 02

  • The "big move" took place this evening, with Anunaka moved onto its new supporting frame, and Wirrandra moved into its place. Saltpan was also taken from the transportation frame and located on the framing. Progress photos are on the Wirrandra page

    6 April 02

  • During the week the switchmasters were installed on the new module, and today I spray painted the track. Photos are on the Wirrandra page

    2 April 02

  • A weekend was missed while I worked on my good friend Peter Knife's Minnipa layout, but over Easter much was accomplished. The wiring on the new module Wirrandra is now completed, and three of the five switchmasters have been installed.
    In addition, some adjustments to the collection of handlaid points (turnouts) in the fiddle yard meant that an operating session was able to be completed without a single derailment. That's good news indeed.

    20 March 02

  • Trackwork on Wirrandra is complete, and wiring is well under way. Check out the new Wirrandra page for information about the new arrangements
  • I note that I promised photos - these will be taken after the wiring is done - at the moment the board is on its side to avoid the back-breaking work of wiring from underneath

    18 February 02

  • Wirrandra has had all the track cut to length, curved to suit (where necessary) and positioned on the roadbed. The 17" radius curve has had 20-thou styrene glued under the outside of the sleepers to provide some super-elevation. It is beginning to look like a railway station! The next step will be to glue the track down - most likely next weekend. It's also time that there were photos of the new development - they will also be added to the site next weekend.

    4 February 02

  • The Wirrandra board has had the subroadbed of MDF cut to shape and attached, and the cork roadbed glued down. The siding will be slightly lower than the nain line and has had 1mm cork used as a roadbed.
  • The L-girders for the new framework to support the relocated Anunaka have been assembled, and the timber for the legs cut to length

    28 January 02

  • Work finally began on Wirrandra today. Existing "removable" L-girders targetted for Warunda have had the joists attached, and the interfaces to the boards either side built in.
    Sub-roadbed is expected to be added to the benchwork in the next few days, after a visit to a timber merchant for some 12mm (1/2") ply.

    1 January 02

  • Another operating session on the DBT, and more plans. I have now decided to build one more station to provide more operating potential with the layout before moving more strongly to On30. The new module is to be called Wirrandra, and the track plan (which also shows the proposed On30 layout "Blinman") is shown here. Work should begin on Wirrandra in the next couple of weeks.

    15 October 01

  • It's been a long time between updates. Work on the Dutton Bay came to a complete standstill while I began exploring On30. However in mid-October I hosted a meeting of the local NMRA group, and so the modules were all bolted together, the wiring looms hooked up, tracks cleaned, and trains began running again. A couple of minor adjustments wre made following the Adelaide exhibition, but nothing major.
    Following the NMRA meeting I had a couple of visiting modellers over for an operating session, which in turn has raised some new ideas about operation on the Dutton Bay. The frantic exhibition sequence, designed to "keep something running at all costs" is not appropriate for a home session, and I will spend some time refining the method.
    Progress on the On30 wagons can be seen here

    3 July 01

  • I have some staggering news to report. At least, I would have thought it staggering just a few days ago. I came home from a routine visit to the hobby shop with a British OO scale locomotive, to convert into an old On30 diesel. Progress on the Dutton Bay is likely to be slowed for a time while I work on this loco and decide whether to build an On30 module (or layout). Stay tuned for updates - probably a new web page soon to follow progress on narrow gauge modelling with a silent "H"

    26 June 01

  • The Adelaide exhibition has been done, the modules are all back in the shed and all I need now is to get my "desire" back - typically a month or two following an exhibition - and get back to work.

    3 June 01

  • The two new Baldwins have been released to traffic. See them running their first train here
  • 51, The old "passenger loco", has been equipped with a new mechanism. See photos of a test run here although it may not make it to Adelaide, due to some binding during operation.
  • The goods shed has been completed - however some weathering would help
  • A full sequence was operated today, the first since Hobsons Bay

    22 May 01

  • Work has continued on preparation for Adelaide. The Goods Shed has received a coat of primer, the little Grain Agent's Shed is almost ready to be installed, needing only some signage. A "stobie pole" and telephone box have been added to Anunaka.
  • The two Baldwins have been worked on. #56 has had a decoder fitted, glazing added, and work is proceeding on coupler installation. #59 has been glazed. Both have had some paintwork touched up.
  • Some adjustments have been made to turnouts at Kelvin, as the combination of ballasting them and general wear and tear made them a little less than reliable

    18 May 01

  • The new "corrugated iron" goods shed is now ready for painting. The little grain agent's shed is now painted, and just awaiting some final detailing. For a quick preview click here
  • The newly painted Baldwin bogie locos have arrived. Decoder installation and detailing is beginning. Photos of these two locos in DBT colours, and the body for the smaller 6-wheel EM Baldwin, are available here

    9 May 01

  • Work is underway preparing for the Adelaide exhibition:
  • The old goods shed at Anunaka is being replaced with one closer to a South Australian style, with corrugated iron cladding
  • A new small "grain agents shed" is being built for the wharf approach at Anunaka
  • Some detail work is being done around the Anunaka station building
  • The body for the 0-6-0 Bemo diesel obtained some time ago has been delivered, and is now awating installation and painting. Fitting the decoder and couplers might prove very difficult. Look for a photo in the next few days
  • The 2 baldwin diesels delivered earlier are being painted, and should be in operation at Adelaide

    22 April 01

  • Wow, a whole month without an update. Main reason for that was preparation for the NG Convention. Now the convention is over and I am working towards the Adelaide exhibition. Not lot of time for progress towards the permanent layout.
  • The temporary board connection Kelvin and Anunaka was completed tonight, and the first train to run into Anunaka for a year made its way across the connection and into Anunaka station.
  • Now for the to-do list for Adelaide...

    21 March 01

  • A week in the USA on business slowed things down significantly, but worked resumed tonight on getting the locomotives ready for the Narrow Gauge Convention at Easter.
  • The "73" has been tested with its decoder installed, and should be fully assembled tomorrow night.
  • All the other locos will be disassembled, cleaned and lightly oiled

    4 March 01

  • Not a lot of work on the permanent layout as such. The Kelvin- Anunaka bridging section is ready for track.
  • Preparatory work on Kelvin for the Easter Convention has occupied much of my time
  • When first built the turnouts were unballasted. These have now been carefuly ballasted, at long last
  • In a number of places ballast and groundcover had lifted, leaving a "hole". These have been patched.
  • A turnout needed a new tie-bar - this was fixed - and an old, experimental turnout where I had tried using "hinged" blades rather than full length "flexible" blades was installed in a little used location. That turnout has now been modified to match all the others, thereby opening up a new siding for operational purposes.
  • Work also began on replacing the chassis of the "73" class with a new Roco mechanism. I am now almost ready to install the decoder, so number 62 should be running at Easter.

    22 February 01

  • Work has continued on the bridging section between Kelvin and Anunaka. It will be ready for track in a day or two. There are photos on the new Interim Arrangement page.
  • With an eye on the forthcoming Narrow Gauge Convention time will be spent now on ensuring Kelvin operates well, and the locos and rolling stock are in good condition. Do not expect much more "infrastructure" work between now and Easter.

    18 February 01

  • Over the last couple of days the Anunaka modules were placed into their temporary position. The 26" gap between Kelvin and Anunaka will also be bridged with a temporary section, and work began on that. Soon we will be running almost the full length of the exhibition layout, and I will then spend some time getting everything running properly with April's NG Convention and June's exhibition in mind.

    14 February 01

  • Hooked up the coax for the DCC walkaround throttles tonight, and cleaned the track. Running at the moment leaves a little to be desired - but considering there was twelve months accumulated "gunk" on the track, and the locos themselves could probably do with a decent clean, I am not too worried. It's just great to see something running. Expect some more cleaning and a photo or two of a train in operation soon.`

    11 February 01

  • This week saw work doing on adjusting the turnouts, finishing the wiring, properly attaching Kelvin in place and beginning some test running. Due to the hot and muggy weather there was not a lot of work done, really.

    4 February 01

  • The lift-out section has been completed. It is attached to Kelvin with a bolt, and sits in an aluminium bracket for alignment at the staging yard end.
  • Laying the track on the "bridge" was the first time I had really studied the Micro-Engineering code 70 HOn30 flex. I have some concerns about its appearance, particularly with regard to tie (sleeper) spacing. See a comparison photo and discussion on the new DBT Track page

    29 January 01

  • A week away, mixing some business with a holiday, caused a delay in progress. Tonight I glued the cork to the lift-out section ready for track-laying tomorrow.
  • Some work was done on testing the frog-wipers, determining which need further adjustment,

    18 January 01

  • Work began on the temporary lift-out section to connect the staging yard with Kelvin. It would have been ready for tracklaying had I been able to find my strips of cork underlay...

    17 January 01

  • The Staging Yard was dropped into place tonight, after adding a shelf for the EasyDCC system unit and the power supplies. See what it looks like here, or by going to the Backdrop and Staging page.
  • Testing showed that my wonderful wipers need more work, and a couple of the turnouts are a little tight in gauge.
  • Kelvin was also replaced, and I will build the temporary lift-out section before adjusting the Staging Yard, as that will permit a better test, with full length trains being able to be operated. Check out the gap remaining

    14 January 01

  • This last week was disrupted by busines (terrible, cutting into modelling time), some opressive heat, and most significantly, the discovery of a short circuit somewhere in the wiring.
  • Correcting the short involved lifting one of the points and re-gapping the copper on the bottom side of the PCB tie.
  • As a result of that, the phosphor bronze wipers for the frog switching need realigning - still to be done
  • Aluminium plate made for the thumbwheel switch and installed, while the one for the "programming/run" changeover has been made, but is waiting wiring
  • Surely I will run out of tasks soon, and be able to test run a train

    7 January 01

  • Lots and lots of wiring over the last couple of days:
  • The Route Control PCB was fully tested and installed (except for the switch itself)
  • The 9-way connector cable for the Staging Yard was assembled and wired into the layout.
  • The other end of that connection cable, the Plug Box and cable were also assembled and wired in. The sockets are (a) a two connector RCA socket for the auxiliary supply, (b) 4-pin microphone plug for the Route Setting supply, and (c) 5-pin microphone plug for the input from the DCC Command Station
  • Is there anything more time-consuming than wiring???

    4 January 01

  • A couple of days have been spent "debugging" the design of the route- control PCB. All finished now, and bench tested. Expect a photo on the web tomorrow night, as well as installation and "field testing". Many thanks to fellow NMRA member Bob Backway

    Follow the link for the diary for the years 1998-1999-2000

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