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Hi, here is the layout I'm building. It has 2 independent layers, with two independent control panels (placed on the left and right hand side). The idea is that my two kids can play at the same time. Everything will be operated by an Arduino Mega board. Speed and direction of the trains will be controlled thanks to two LR293D IC connected to the Arduino. I will do the coding according to the control panel I've designed. The two control panels have switches for lights and other things like red light or the cable car, but right now I'll go through to the main part that operate the trains. From left to right (as shown on the picture), there is a FULL TOP switch – the equivalent of a hand-brake a HARD BRAKE button – to quickly decrease the speed a SOFT BRAKE button – to gently decrease the speed a HOLD switch – when turned on, the train maintains the current speed, if not it will slowly decelerate (unless the "increase speed" is being pushed). a INCREASE SPEED button – to accelerate a DIRECTION switch – to go forward or backward I've made a little "back door" underneath the layout. The Arduino board and the other boards are fixed to this door. All the cables are labelled and converge there. I try to make it as clean & clear as I can, for maintenance, future improvements and especially troubleshooting while coding the Arduino. Also, the little door is convenient since the layout is stored vertically (I don't have a lot of room, nor a man's cave 😔). Anyway, I can easily work on the electronics and cabling, while the layout is upright against the wall. That's it for now. I'll post more details through the next steps. I'll happy to reply if you have questions. I do have a question for the community tough. I've used Minitrix flexible track nailed directly on the 5mm plywood. I wonder if I should have put cork underneath the track. What's the purpose of it? reduce noise? easy track replacement? On the other hand, some of my turns are tight, and the nails+plywood hold everything in place very well. Bye for now
Last Sunday a passenger train got stuck in the snow on the line between Kiruna, Sweden and Narvik, Norway. The train was evacuated by the mountain rescue services. Later an ore train also got stuck in the snow. Fortunately, the trains have not been hit by the avalanches that has been running over the railway in the beginning of the week. After a few days, the conditions were better and the trains were cleared by manual snow shoveling as you can see on the pictures in the two links below. Spectacular pictures! http://www.postvagnen.com/forum/index.php?id=1097493 http://www.postvagnen.com/forum/index.php?id=1097745 The line is often hit by bad weather in the winter, but this is the most extreme event in the last 50-60 years(?). I travelled the line myself two months ago and the trains were cancelled the day before due to avalanches.
The Chuo Line in Yamanashi Prefecture was re-opened today after being shut down for 3 days due to record levels of snowfall, the greatest amount since weather records began being taken in 1894. Scenes of snow-clearing at Yamanashi-Shi Station today; track-gang snow clearing is not normally seen in this part of the country, though it can be seen on the Japan Sea side, such as on the Joetsu Line past Gara-Yuzuwa, especially for clearing snow off station roofs and the like. EH200 on a snow clearing detail somewhere in the Kofu/Yamanashi-shi valley, yesterday:
Steam and snow. Some fine video released today by Kyodo News. http://www.47news.jp/movie/general_national/post_10356/ A lovely sight ... and fun to see passengers grilling squid on the daruma stove.