Friday, April 27, 2012

Fog Signal

The Tri-ang Fog Signal is an interesting trackside feature which dates from the 1960s. It was sold both in the UK and in overseas markets and the lower picture, above, shows a 1965 Canadian Catalogue illustration - thanks to the Tri-ang Railways website.
The Fog Signal is a clip-fit accessory that is mechanically operated. With the lever in the cocked position, it is struck by a passing loco; this then releases the trigger situated within the lineside hut which, in turn, fires the maroon.
The maroon is, actually, a roll of caps which had to be bought separately.
The Catalogue NÂș for the Fog Signal is RT 267 and it was available in the mid-1960s. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Right Connections

Here I have drawn up a simple diagram to show how we wired the lights in the Diesel Depot.
We decided to install six lights and the bulbs in the lamps that we have used here operate at 6V. So, to allow their use with our 12V supply (an old Hornby analogue controller), we wired two lamps in series, thereby halving the voltage at each lamp.
These pairs of lamps were then wired across the supply in parallel, thus maintaining 6V across each pair of lamps.
If you prefer to wire the lamps in series, or if we had an odd lamp to install, then it is necessary to wire a suitable resistor in series with the lamp, which performs the same job of halving the voltage.
Because these lights are on the same supply as all of our coloured light signals, we also wired in a single pole, single throw (SPST) switch which means that we can turn them off and still allow us to use the signals. 
To connect all of the wires we used terminal blocks but I think we might remove these and simply solder the wires as this clearly gives a more positive and reliable connection, provided you have a good, clean joint of course, and it also looks much neater too.
The Coal Depot has had the same type of lamps installed but, here, we have only used two so the wiring was a little simpler. 
Finally, to help prolong the life of the bulbs, it is possible to use the Hornby Controller to slightly reduce the voltage and, hence, the brightness of the lamps. Of course, as we have used just the one controller, so far, this will reduce the brightness of all of the lights, including the signals. However, when the rest of the room is dimly lit the lights are still plenty bright enough.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dimly Lit Room

Here we see the final location on the layout, at least for now, to have lights installed. 
This is Sueston station, the terminus at the southern end of the railway and I do apologize for the poor quality of the photos but they were taken in low light to try and emphasize the station lighting.
Class 50, 50007 'Sir Edward Elgar', stands at Platform 2 at the head of the Orient Express coaches. Meanwhile, waiting in the Middle Road, is Class 23 'D5909' and, arriving at Platform 3 with an express from the north, is Class 55, 55001 'St Paddy'.
The lights in the OE stock certainly look effective and it is making us think that all of our coaches will now need to be illuminated for when we run trains 'at night'.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No More Dark Corners

Here is the Coal Depot which, as you can see, is another location to have had lighting installed during the past couple of weeks.
This has always been a dark area of the layout due to the fact that it is situated in a poorly lit corner of the room and also because, by its nature, the colour of the landscaping consists predominantly of blacks, browns and greys.
However, the lights have helped to illuminate the site nicely as well as imbue it with a certain amount of atmosphere.
In the photo we see the depot as dusk descends. Its designated locomotive, D8568 'Ribble Cement', stands at the head of a short rake of coal trucks while, around and about it, depot workers get on with their various tasks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lighting Up Time

After another long period without any updates, I reckon it is high time for a progress report on the layout and, as you can see, the diesel depot is coming along nicely. 
All of the trackwork has been installed, wired, cleaned and tested and we have also installed lights - six external lamps plus an LED strip within the depot building itself.
In fact we have gone mad with lights during the past two or three weeks with both Sueston and the coal depot being illuminated and I will be discussing these areas in later postings.
I will also illustrate how we wired all of the different lights in case that might prove useful to anyone contemplating a similar exercise. It was actually a relatively straight-forward job to do albeit very awkward crawling around underneath baseboards etc. 
Some of the wires are also very fine so good lighting is essential to do this work as well as a steady hand and a keen eye!
There is still some work to be done in the depot with people, grass and accessories to be added externally and more people and equipment to be placed inside the building.
In the picture above we see a Class 15 standing beneath the depot crane while a Class 23 is being refuelled outside the depot building and a Class 33 has just been through the washing plant.