Controlling Interests #1 Increasing Main Line operation

Although Fisherton Sarum is not currently set up, I am using the time between shows to make a few changes and additions to the operating system. These modifications include: the addition of a third controller for main line operation (see below), the installation of a Model Electronic Railway Group (MERG)  turntable control unit with stepper motor, moving of the signal control to the fiddle yard panels and changing all the point motors to slow acting Cobalt types. The other modifications will form the subject of future posts so to coin a phrase watch or follow this space.

N1 Class No 1822 trundles west with a rake of dia 1774 40T ballast hoppers. In the new scheme of things this will be driven by, and towards, the west end fiddle yard operator, with the signal operated from a remote switch on the fiddle yard indicator panel.

Whilst operating the layout at the Doncaster Festival of British Model Railways my fellow operators from the High Wycombe and District MRS, naming no names (Roger and Mark) hatched a plan for improved operation of the main running lines. Currently the layout has two Gaugemaster ‘W’ handheld controllers for traditional DC Cab control allowing either controller to control any section of the layout.

Our default operation is one controller for the shed area and one for the main lines. This does mean that only one of the fiddle operators actually drives the main line trains and does so in both directions. The suggestion was to add a third controller so that two can be used on the main lines, i.e. one up and one down, allowing each fiddle yard operator to drive the trains towards their end. This will also increase the likelihood of trains passing on the main too (already possible but meaning the shed movements having to stop). The plan also includes the addition of remote signal controls to the fiddle yard indicator panels to ease operation too.

Time has been spent this weekend modifying the control panel wiring for the new controller, along with the installation of the new Turntable controller (but more of this soon). The final part of the controller installation will be the wiring on the west end baseboard to a socket for the new controller (the wiring harness is already in place with suitable spare cores). Fisherton Sarum’s first outing with the new operation will be Tring and District MRC show 13th October 2012.

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