Progress Report – 29 Oct 2019

I know the last post was about being discouraged, but that doesn’t mean I stopped working on the layout. I took a day or two off to do other things and then buckled down to get back to it.

The first thing was to try and figure out what was wrong with engine number 141. I took it all apart and made sure the gears were installed correctly, meshing correctly and properly lubed. I also shimmed the slop out of the worm gear bearings.

Unfortunately there is still some jerkiness at slow speeds. I think it’s the motor “cogging” and may just be inherent in the beast. It does run pretty slowly and other than some jerkiness it’s smooth, so I think I’ll just have to live with it for a bit.

So the next thing to investigate was the issues with derailments at the turnouts. While I had engine 141 apart I checked the gauge of the wheels and discovered that they were just a little bit wide, so I tightened them up.

Next I went though all the turnouts and discovered that many of them were a bit tight though the points and frog. So I spent a bunch of time adjusting the points and filing the frogs until engine 141 ran through them reliably. There may still be a little tweaking required, but I’ve been switching cars though the turnouts for a few days now with only a couple derailments. So that’s mostly sorted. I guess I need to pay a little more attention when building switches. In the future I think I may add another PCB tie in the middle of the throat area also to hold the rails in gauge better.

While I was testing by running the locomotive back and fourth I decided it would be nice to have a shelf for the throttle sooner, rather than later. So last weekend I found some 1/4″ plywood, cut it up, assembled it and slapped on two coats of green. Last night I mounted up the shelf and it works great.

Throttle shelf.

Less stuff sitting on the scenery is always a good thing.

I also added a little decoration to the turnout controls. I decided that I didn’t like the bare hole in the fascia, so I bought some brass washers and glued them in place around the holes. I think it adds a more “finished” look.


I also installed the four BullFrog turnout controls on the SouthWest end of the layout. I haven’t installed the cables to control them yet because I kind of mangled the fascia when I was cutting the profile for Lugtens Creek into it and I’m not sure what I want to do to fix it.

When I painted the shelf, I also painted the front of the extension “fiddle yard” that I’m going to mount on the SouthWest end of the layout. I might get that mounted up today, we’ll see.

I also decided it would be nice to have a switch to control the lights and the power to the throttle. I was originally thinking about mounting two switches, but I don’t really have the room for that, so one switch will control both. Last night I bought the parts and mounted the outlet boxes under the layout. I also marked where I’m going to cut the hole in the fascia to mount the switch but I didn’t cut it out because I was running out of brain. I’ll probably get that finished up today also.

So even though I was discouraged the other day, there has been pretty steady forward progress on the layout. Lots of miscellaneous things getting done, but all forward motion.

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