It's only taken 16 years

Ballast on the Bridge
     Well after being told by several members of my regular RR workers and crew that I have been very slack I decided that it was indeed time to ballast the bridge at at the West end of Augusta after 16 years of neglect.
     This bridge spans a road underpass that was installed during construction many years ago made and installed by Vic. The railroad bridge is scratch built. It just fits like a U shape from under the sub roadbed. It was glued in place with silicone. This caused an issue as there were several gaps between the sub roadbed and bridge so any ballast applied would fall to the road below.
     "I have a suggestion said John, why not obtain some Blue Tack and fit it into the gaps and ballast over it". How simple.
     So whilst starting to clean my track ready for the new operating season I thought why don't I attack that bridge and get it done once and for all.
     Armed with a pack of Blue Tack , my very old pack of Woodland Scenics cinders and Highball light grey ballast I got underway and within about half an hour the whole job was done. Hmmm why did it take soooo long.
     Here are a couple of pics.
I should add that Vic did the etched grill, mirrors and bumper on the KW.

The track on the bridge allows trains to enter Augusta and the interchange tracks without having to go through the yard.
     So another small job completed that should have been done years ago. Thanks for the suggestion John the Blue Tack worked a treat.
Catch you soon.


Next BDL install part 2

We have come a long way
     Today marks the end of the third upgrade to the SFRSD CTC system. The fourth BDL 168 was installed back in November last year and the wiring of it to the CTC panel was dependant on the availability of two of my wiring team. With holidays, Christmas and the start of a new year we all new it would not begin until the early part of January. So the lads were available for one day a week beginning two weeks ago and Brendan who was also on holidays was able to catch up with the software required to implement this next stage.
     So armed with the latest work sheets wiring commenced. The first town to have its turnouts detected independently of the main line was Guthrie. The two turnouts on the East end were done first followed by the remaining turnout at the West end. This was quickly followed by wiring the turnouts at Red Rock. These two towns were chosen first as there were spare pins in one Zone on the 3rd BDL that was installed some time ago. These were tested and they worked very well with the panel showing the turnouts as detected with a loco sitting on them.
    We then set to to change the new BDL board number and had a devil of a time as all we could see was the green LED flashing off rather than on and leaving a dim light while off. Well to cut a long story short it pays to double check your plugs on your Loco Net cables. When I had put the plugs on all of the new BDL Loco Net cables back in 2012 one was around the wrong way. The system worked because this was the last plug on the then last cable. Not so with a new BDL. A full day was spent trying to trace this issue.
   Anyway the next session and Ponca City and Hackney were wired up and today we got stuck in and wired Winfield, Udall and the entry to Augusta eight blocks in all and finished just after lunch.
   A test run using a GP35 in SP colours and all was well.
   Here is a shot of John attaching the block wires to the West end turnout at Udall.

BDL168 number 4 under Hackney. Two wires right!

Here is SP loco 6525 sitting on the East end turnout at Hackney.
Sorry for the blurred shot, no tripod used. Here you see the turnout showing detected so now the dispatcher will have a far better feel of exactly where the train or cars are so turnouts are not thrown inadvertently.

You can just make out the turnout on the panel.
So another milestone has been completed on the Santa Fe Railway Southern Division due to the great help from three great mates for without their help this whole system would not and could not have been installed. So whats next for the CTC system. I guess you will just have to wait and see. OMDB.
Thanks for stopping by.