Above photo is my Gosford complete with the Overhead. Click on the photo to see the Main North Album at Flickr

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Main North Derailment, Epping Seminar & Running Trains.

The Main North was derailed at the end of July 2019, re-railed months later.

At the end on July 2019, I had to changeover to the NBN that had been installed in the street some months earlier. I decided to stay with Optus to keep my web site url active, with their medium speed package and a Fetch Mighty unit to record "free to air" T.V. Subscribed to Netflix for the Boss. As I decided to drop my Foxtel, I had to get a new T.V and a digital Antenna.
The Internet kept dropping out but I was busy with family matters, until the Wireless Access Point was replaced in November.

A couple of weeks later, my Laptop died. Not ready for something new like getting a Windows 10 Laptop, this was going to be an issue, I was not "let" down.
I purchased a Lenovo Laptop and Office 365 as it included Outlook for my emails but Outlook didn't work as expected. Finally fixed by a "remote" Microsoft Technician that disabled the default "S Mode". No mention of this by the retailer.  Hours of time wasted here.

Issues with going to Windows 10 continued.

I do the service and warranty work for NCE here is Oz (via the Model Railroad Craftsman here in Sydney) and my Programmers did not work, I was buggered if I needed to program new chips. Along with "Driver" issues, when I downloaded the new software for one of the Programmers, the PICs I have to program were not in the included library. For this I got help from Mark in the U.S.
Help from Randall a local NMRA member also modelling NSW, got everything else working by the end of January including my QSI Programmer. I owe Randall heaps.

Now with my Laptop and Internet fixed, the Main North has been re-railed.

Each year I do a session at the Epping Seminar. 2020's theme was "Modelling the Prototype". I reluctantly agreed to "rehash" something I'd already done as I did not have the enthusiasm to spend time etc on something new.

This "rehash" resulted into doing videos with all the details on the screen to run the 5 following trains with the approximate Operator running time on the layout.
  • Double Garratt 1200 ton Newstan Coal train - 60 mins 
  • 50 Class R/End banked LCH Coal train up Fassifern Bank - 40 mins.
  • DEB Set Northern Tablelands Express - 30 mins.
  • Goods train rear end banked up Ardglen Bank - 40 mins.
  • The Down Glen Innes Mail - 60 mins.
Click here for a Track Diagram of the Main North 

Note: To run any of the trains on the Main North, Operators use an Operating Cards, described in a previous Blog entry. 

The 5 severely compressed videos run for a total of 28 minutes for the 40 minute session of the Seminar. The Seminar was cancelled 5 days out but I guess I'll do it in 2021.

A lot of videoing around Fassifern and Newstan Mine, suggested to me that during this COVID-19 "isolation", that many of use are having to do, I should upgrade my very basic Newstan Mine, maybe my next Blog entry.

Below a 7 minute video of the Double Garratt 1200 Ton Full Coal train from Newstan Mine to Port Waratah and back to Newstan Mine.

Below a 4.5 minute video of the 50 Class Rear End Banked Coal up Fassifern Bank.

Below a 4 minute video operating the 7 Car DEB Set Northern Tablelands Express from Armidale to Sydney and back to Armidale.


Below a 5 min video of banking up Ardglen Bank

Below an 8 min video of the Down Glen Innes Mail