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What did you run today? (Worldwide models)


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Having spent last week on leave from work, I spent a good part of that time stripping down my layout, vacuuming the dust and dead bugs up and cleaning the track sections with isopropyl alcohol before reassembling the layout and trying a few new arrangements of the track layout. In the end, I just rebuilt it as it was previously, because it turns out that works the best for what I want right now. And with everything back together, why not run a few trains? This was the view last Friday night:




Today's running started with the biggest diesel in my fleet: the Henschel DH 4000, better known as the DB class V 320. I'd paired it up with a brand-new carriage set (and an extra Umbaü coach with pickup shoe to power the internal lighting) the week before but it wouldn't couple to the baggage car despite some of my other locomotives being able to do so. I managed to 'persuade' it to behave for a little bit, but after leaving the garage for five minutes to attend to a pesky thrush raiding our plum tree (!), I returned to find it had... misbehaved. Yes, the coaches had come loose and 'donk' - the V 320 was pushing them around the layout!




I managed to make it 'behave' again for a short time to take this photo, but then the coupler popped open again and the train got left behind. Annoying! I may have to swap out the current-conducting coupler at one end for a normal one to resolve the issue, although at this stage it's just with this particular locomotive that I have issues so it might pay to check whether everything else is fine with it.




More nonsense, a brake van special! This loco was put away rather shortly afterwards as it shares the same address as another BR24, which means they can't be on the tracks at the same time, double-heading excepted of course. At some stage one or both will receive a new decoder to resolve that issue, as the factory ones can't be reset to a new address. If the latter, I might consider sound for them too.




Different 24 this time, same V 320. I had decided that since the 320 was out, why not mate it with my full coal train which now stretches to twelve four-wheelers not including the brake van. The 24 on the other hand had the 'van train', comprising nine wagons plus brake van. Both looked good ambling around the layout. I really should run things more often.



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Pulled some trains from storage and got to run some them at the Hiller Aviation Museum's Trains and Planes Exhibit.  I joined the local Golden Gate Lionel Model Railroad Club so I can have opportunities like these to run my O Scale trains.  My train is the Hiawatha, it's a MTH Railking Model.  I was actually afraid that my train might not run because they have been in their boxes for over 5 years but they did thank goodness.  A little boy was so fascinated by it that he followed my train around the layout for a good 30 minutes and his mom was so thankful that I was blowing the horn and ringing the bells and I would stop at the station.  First train show for me since the pandemic and I am looking forward to more events.  Actually, 2 of our members are setting up the AsiaNRail modules tomorrow - @nscalestation and @Railtunes.  I hope to get out of work early and go check it out.  







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I was almost out of battery on my phone, while riding the Alfa back home.

Since I had the CV1 set and the RhB train in my briefcase, I did an experiment:



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One of the forum members years back made a little briefcase layout to run on his train commute. 

does beg the question what scale speed is the model train actually running while running on a train. Sounds like a SAT math problem or something involving woodchucks…


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With the family on holiday in Florida, I suddenly have more opportunities to run trains! I had a few running earlier tonight:




From left:

- Era II goods train behind my new BR24

- Era IV gondola train behind my very first locomotive, the BR216

- Era V Dutch goods train behind a Class 1700 - not quite the right type, but I don’t recall Märklin offering the general-purpose Class 1600 in recent years. The blue gondola behind the loco came from Popondetta Osaka, and is actually a late 1980s model which doesn’t look too out of place in a 1990s freight if you squint at it right. I finally got around to putting close couplers on it today too!



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Why does it smell like Kenosha in here?




Oops, guess I’ll be peeing in a cup then. Note to self, try not to get too clever when uncoupling stock. And if you bin it, don’t try dragging it back onto the track, lift it!




Having added a fourth (Trix) wagon to the panzer train following my Japan trip, I finally decided to get it running today along with a MDyg 986 baggage car I had brought in a set of two from Mandarake Nagano. It’s a nice little pairing.




And a post-operation photo: BR218 on the panzer train, BR216 with three “Umbauwagen”, and the NS 1700 which spent today parked up.



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This weekend just been, we held our annual Big Model Train Show at Cowles Stadium here in Christchurch. It's the highlight of the modelling year, and as it's the closest show to me it's automatically the one I go every year - the only other shows in our area are in either Timaru or Ashburton, the location alternates between the two each year, with this year having been Timaru (2hrs 30mins away) and next year, Ashburton (1hr 30mins away).




When you *only* have a little layout at home, big shows like this are a great opportunity to really cut loose and unleash some truly massive trains. This one from Saturday afternoon was all mine... all twenty-seven wagons of it, behind one locomotive! You can just see the last wagon, an articulated Sggrss 80 articulated container car, on the other side of the bridge. I did add an extra two four-wheel container cars on later to bring this up to twenty-nine wagons, but that didn't impress Club shunting guru Andrew who took my efforts as a challenge, and ran a thirty-eight hopper train the following day!




Slightly plausible, my BR094 0-10-0T got a workout pulling fourteen coal wagons and a brakevan. While the wagons are early-mid '60s and the locomotive looks as it did c.1969/70, it looked good anyway. In behind is the thirty-eight car monster that Andrew put together - wagons from the 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s, behind Andrew's Roco camera locomotive. Still nowhere near record-breaking length though, as according to Andrew himself the Club record for a single locomotive from a standing start is 104 four-wheel wagons.




The Bietsch Valley bridge module is quite popular with viewers, although it needs further fine-tuning due to the height differences between it and the adjacent return loop. Last but not least, here comes my BR24 across the bridge with a mixed goods train.


This year there was no Japanese stuff, unless you count an ancient Lima 103-series coach on the Garden City MRC second-hand stall. I'm eagerly awaiting the day that @Grant_T decides to bring his sublime Hamamachi Station to the show, but if and when that ever happens is up to Grant. We have had a couple of Japanese layouts in the past, there was a very well-known 1:80 scale layout that appeared at a couple of shows pre-pandemic and the owner selling it, and there was a modular one too which the owner preferred to run (mostly) European and American models on. Perhaps one day I'll also be able to fill the void in some with my own layout, though that's a distant prospect until I get some space to work with.



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Had a not very good day at work, but got home and what do we have but a train to quickly test before bed:




The 26360 set is absolutely gorgeous, next to my slightly older 39436 loco. Pairing the two S 3/6s side by side, I noticed that a few details have been changed since 2018, namely that the number plates and makers plates on the newer locomotive are now physical components rather than printed onto the locomotive body.


Tomorrow I’ll do some more testing and look into the smoke unit on my BR094. I put a smoke unit in it last year, but don’t think I got the contacts set right so the unit doesn’t work. I should be able to fix that though!

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I haven't spent much time on my layout since my last post due to work and other things, but I did manage a trip to our Club President Bryan's layout on Thursday afternoon to see if we could identify a fault with my BR75.4. I wasn't able to get that rectified, but Bryan was able to assist me in getting the smoke unit in my BR094 working. It turned out to be a case of contacts not making contact, and after a bit of tinkering and smoke fluid, the locomotive belched forth a satisfying plume of oily smoke. Victory!




And then Smells Like Kenosha started intensifying...




"Dun... Oh my gosh, kAN! kAN! kAN! kAN! kAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!"

"Oh no... Does this mean I have to pee in a cup?"


Well, OK, I can't blame my favourite railroad YouTuber for this mess. The 094 being what it is, it didn't like some of Bryan's trackwork which isn't always as smooth as he'd like it to be. With its long, semi-rigid wheelbase, the 094 couldn't resist dropping into the gauge as it passed from an S-curve into a set of points. And in the immortal words of Mark 'Hyce' Huber: "It's fine! It's fine." No damage was done. I do have to look into why the top headlight isn't as bright anymore post-tinkering, but that's an easy fix.


And for those who aren't aware of why I chose to feature Hyce YouTube rant, here's the video I picked it up from. There's a whole lotta extra dialogue in this one that I skipped to keep things on point, but it's all funny stuff. This was back when Hyce would play Railroads Online!, nowadays he won't touch it but there's a couple of reasons behind that, including that he's president of Studio 346, developers of the upcoming railroad sim game Century of Steam.



See you all next time!


Edited by ED75-775
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