I failed to mention during the previous post that my wife and I welcomed our son into the world in late June. You'd think that this would take up more of my time than it has, but instead, having every waking second dominated by a person who is completely dependent on you for survival forces you to be efficient with the 'spare' time you have. As a result, I'm a little more motivated to spend the time I would otherwise spend scrolling through the internet to get down to the layout room and make some progress.
Before we get to the layout update, some other additions...
The Auscision Indian Pacific sets arrived recently. The detail in these cars is beautiful, and for something that has been likely thrown, dropped and rolled on it's way from China to me, only two brake cylinders had dislodged from a bogie when I took it out. They were easily re-added with a drop of glue.
My two 85's have substituted for two 46's to give the IP it's inaugral run around the layout.
A friend of mine gave me some great advice when it comes to running your trains with a newborn: keep your most reliable locos and rollingstock on the layout, so that when you get ten minutes to run trains you're not wasting it trying to fault-find something. Great advice. The 85's fill this role for me at the moment and are hauling just about everything. My U-boat arrived back from it's sound and lighting upgrade a few months ago as well, and while it runs fairly well and sounds great, it's less forgiving than 12-wheel pick up of the 85's.
The only downside with running the IP is that I've found my passenger stock seems to have a lot less tolerance for sub-optimal trackwork than my freight rollingstock. It's useful in that I can see what needs to be improved, but a few of the IP cars' walkway diaphragms and buffing plates seem to lock with each other if there was a vertical difference in height which pushed one carriage above the other by the height of a coupler width or so. (You can exhale that breath, not all of the track is that bad). This only happens in one spot coming off the traverser and onto the loop, but still, it's an annoying niggle to correct.
Otherwise, it's an outstanding set to watch going around.
My only gripe is that the cars don't come with a marshalling order included in or on the box. In case you're also trying to work out the marshalling order for a set running in NSW, this is the common marshalling I use. From the Sydney end:
This is based on NSWGR Country train marshalling recorded in 1978. The NSWR sitting cars were normally added between the BRJ and ER, and sometimes between the HGM and locos. If you're looking at photos and trying to work out if you're looking at an up or down IP in NSW, the HGM was always behind the locos.
Auscision also released a limited amount of FAMs in a four-pack, which I grabbed as well. Just can't keep away from blue L7's...
And yes, this has started an inevitable need to collect an Auscision RUB set now so that I can run the Gold Coast Motorail. Somewhere. Eventually... Luckily a re-run of the RUB's is a number of years away!
Rarely, there was an FAM on the Southern Aurora, but this is didn't happen that often in my era.
Layout progress, and regression...
Since July, I found that two of my turnout servos had failed and need to be replaced. They were non-responsive and the fascia controller was super-hot to touch. Something bad happening there, so we'll start with the servo's themselves and see what happens.
I managed to get the accessory bus working again though, and I'm happy to report that all of the Rapido uncouplers are working perfectly.
I added the last remaining connection to the fiddle yard and laid track on it. I had to dog-leg a little to get it in, but so far none of the rollingstock has an issue with it.
I've then been adding sanity boards/guard rails to all of the non-scenicked modules on the loop. Some old Triang bridge sides have come in handy and break up the monotony of the timber.
The inner guard rail is set lower so that I can still see the trains and helps with re-railing if need be.
I've also glued the scenery foam in place ready for covering with spakfilla/plaster.
The next steps are to replace the turnout servos and then have an operating session to give the whole thing a bit of a shakedown before I go spending money and precious time on the scenery side of things.
Hopefully another update before December. Until then, happy modelling!