Friday, August 17, 2012

This is what it took to be ready for Midland Railex...

Yesterday, I promised to fill you in on the repair work required to make Melbridge Dock ready for a show this weekend. Bear in mind that the layout was first shown in 1988 and hasn't been out for a year or so.

Job 1: No power to the controller.

After a little work with the light up tester thing, I established that the 16V AC was lost in the lead from the transformer to the panel that the controller plugs in to. Examination of the said lead showed a lose wire in the connection between the Guagemaster wire and very old BT wire.

Since we use this transformer for all the layouts, it was time (after 5 years or so) to solder the wires together, bracing the joints with heat shrink tubing.

Job 2: Dry joins in the trackwork.

Loco testing showed that a couple of joins in the rails had gone "dry". I don't bother with jumper wires or fishplate between sections of rail so this will happen occasionally.

Fixing the problem involved cleaning the join, slapping on a bit of flux and heating it up again. All being well, the longest part of this job is waiting for the soldering iron to warm up.

Job 3: Test the locomotives.

The fun begins !

Each loco is taken from the box and run around the main loop that is the backbone of the track plan. Some models will also explore the sidings.

This moves any lubrication around the bearings and gears as well as testing the point motors. To be honest, I don't need to do this as many of the engines will get a buzz while having their wheels cleaned, but it's my train set and if I want to play with it, I will.

A quick count shows the stock box contains 26 locomotives. Only around half of these will go to the exhibition as we don't need them all and if I take too many, the display case looks over-full. I have a few favourites and a couple of stars. These rest is random.

All I need to do now is pack the toolbox and load the car.

Midland Railex Website


Anonymous said...

Phil, it looks like you store your locos in bubblewrap?

Phil Parker said...

Sort of. It protects them in the stockbox. I'll post a picture later in the week to explain better.