Friday, December 19, 2014
First trains run in staging yard
After building several more turnouts for the staging yard, it was time to actually lay some track and install some turnouts so things could be more fully tested with powered locomotives and some trains of various lengths. With the cork already in place for the rear staging track, around the return loop, and the return track in the front, that is where the first track has been installed. There are a pair of left hand turnouts on the back track. Linkages and un-powered Tortoise machines were also installed to hold the points.
At first there were a few hangups but after tweaking a few things on the turnouts everything is running smoothly. What is learned from these tweaks will be applied to the turnouts yet to be built. I will be testing like this with different types of engines and freight cars.
The method I am using in the staging yard to control the turnouts is to mount a Tortoise motor upside down. The wire in the motor is cut off at about 1/8 inch from the table top. A linkage wire passes through a 1/8 inch square tube between the turnout throw bar tie and the Tortoise motor. Each end of this linkage wire is bent up 90 degrees with one end linking to the throw bar tie and the other end coupled to the Tortoise were by a brass tube. This way everything is accessible from above. Covers will be made later to place over each group of Tortoise motors.
Today's test runs have been very encouraging.