Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tracks reach Burlingame... again?

 Well, in fact tracks are already layed here, and trains have already take a trip along the (future) eucalyptus row…. But the train crew claims for an unknow reason …. to have some way to be able to switch the mainline turnouts ! So Espee have to send a “specialist” there to solve this stupid problem.
Well, he uses a lot of wire, a lot of patience, and this is the result: a new panel ( “unfortunately for the purist … incorporating the “underground” section to Mission Yard: a “mystic” yard that a “legend” position in a different place  … )
Here we can see a part of this “under world” where ( to mantain alive the myth… ) a strange but very effective illumination provided by … Christmass tree LEDs…. give a fogless vision to all Engineers searching the correct parking track!
The entry of the "Under World" at Mission Bay
Curved turnouts

See you at next Flag-stop!

“Iron spike” ceremony at Bayshore-Visitacion

Here again: news from the “track gang”…
Bayshore tunnel and Visitacion Ice facility received at the end all his tracks and the “gang” installed also all turnouts, servos and wired a “decent” switch panel.
North end : tunnel exit
South end
At this point the main goal was to have the line working and trains rolling, and I’ve take a “short path” to implement the panel from the planned one:
Panel was made using 5 mm Forex, then I drill all holes for the Tam Valley Fascia controllers, installed all board  and wires and lastly I print the panel on 120 grams paper ( using 3rdPlanit) , drill holes with a paper hollow punch and …. That’s all, folks!
To drive the turnouts servo ( see a previous post on this blog ) I use Tam Valley Octopus card.
The last Duncan’s firmware was very good, and the automatic search of the end-point is working very well, given the Fasttracks turnouts need a hard push to points rails.
My only disappointment was the practical useless of this feature when I’ve try to command two turnouts with the same output ( as in crossovers ).
But I “guess” is my fault given my “imperfect” handmade turnouts have different tolerances.
Well, I use one-to-one commands: this just need some additional attention from the crew, but maybe add some more prototypical fashion to the game: switch each turnout one at time and pay attention to the next in the path.
The gang was send to Burlingame for the next upgrade of the line!

The born of a twins couple

Hello friends,
ultimately I’ve not post any progress …. as I’ve not see really relevant progresses!
BUT …. As already stated, ultimately I can’t have a complete day to spend on the hobby, so I’ve adopted a little steps policy, and here is an update, at the end!
A “twins” couple: handmade double crossover
I’ve plan to use a couple of these combination along the right of way : one in SF before the curve at Mission and the second on the entry to Newhall ( Santa Clara ) yard.
I must say “nothing complicated” (as the double slip, for instance) but not trivial for sure, despite the use of FastTracks jig. The trick adopted to make two sections and then combine them .... well, maybe because it's the first, but made me sweat a bit! FastTracks instructions are “very HO pointed” .
Obviously the photos are on a just completed item, I still need to paint the sleepers and rails, but I hope to give you the idea anyway.
Well, next upgrade have take place at Bayshore-Visitacion .... Follow me :)