Sunday, 23 July 2017

23 - 7 - 2017 - The main lines are now open for business!

Hi All,

Quite a moment for the new layout - the main lines are now open for business!  

After laying in wiring last week, Derek got a loco to move, but was defeated by the forest of undriven track pins.  Geoff the Pres and I laid into these with a will (and hammers and punches) and soon the permanent way became that little bit more permanent.  The Digitrax Zephyr unit that we use on Bald Mountain is so easy to use that a couple of crocodile clips to hook the output to the bus wires had us in business minutes later.  For no particular reason, except that I am familiar with it, the Club's 3 car EMU was the first to take to the track.  And it just went, round and round, both tracks, in and out of the station loops, without even needing the track cleaning.  A credit to all the track layers involved, and the solitary wirer upper involved.

Next to try was the Cotton Belt diesel.  It promptly derailed at one of the points.  So did our Southern Pacific diesel - same spot.  So did a Hornby 4 wheel wagon.  The EMU continued to whizz through.  A close look found that one of the point blades did not quite close against the stock rail.  Geoff the Sec judiciously applied brute force, and the problem went away.  The price you pay for running fine scale wheels.  The EMU is one of LIMA's upmarket products, but it must still have some of that toy train tolerance for imperfect track.  

Having made it through the troublesome point at Stanley Creek, both diesels then decided to die at the south end of Sayer.  So, too, did our diesel railcar.  There is a succession of points at this spot, and it seems that we need a couple more droppers at the right spots.  One again, the EMU copes with the problem because it picks up power on the front bogie of the front car and the last bogie of the back car, so it bridged the gap.  

But overall - a great success, and congratulations to everyone.  

Meanwhile, back at the branchline, Rod was laying track down from Sayer towards Geoff the Sec. He, in turn, was spreading points and rails around as he visualised the first station, and Dale and Co were doing the same at Mousehole.  At the end of the day, we did something similar in the freight yard at Stanley Creek.

And now for something completely different.

Toy train shows, Model Railway Exhibitions, however you want to dress them up.  My interest in them is nil, zero, zip, zilch, so small that you could not find it with an electron microscope. 

So why have "I" been "running" our show for the past 10 years?  Or however long it is.  Stan Gittus used to run the show. Then he asked for help, and I helped.  Then Stan died, far too early, and I have been stuck with it ever since.  Of course, I don't "run" the show single handed.  In particular Judy looks after the advertisng and the programmes, and Dale looks after the catering, and almost to the last man every club member helps at some stage through the show weekend.

However, this person's tank has run dry and it is time for a change, and at the moment I see three options. 

First is that some one takes over my "running" role and I simply help at our show or have an exhibit.  Thankyou. 

Second is that we add a fourth person to the core group.  Some one who does like shows, goes to them, can look at new layouts, talk to their owners about exhibiting at our show, and line up enough exhibits to fill the hall.  I would be happy to continue to figure out where to fit things into whichever hall, and liaise with the Shire.  Thankyou. 

Third option is that we don't hold a show.  The reason that we hold a show comes up for discussion once in a while.  My take is that it raises the Club profile and attracts a new member now and again - and we run it at a profit.  The accumulation of those profits has put us on easy street with building our new layout, and with contributing to the Seniors' finances.  On a poor year we clear, say, $2000.  To raise that from subscriptions, with a membership of 20, would add $100 to the $40 that we currently charge.  To just cover what we pay the Seniors would add $60, and our reserves would inevitably dwindle.  e.g. Geoff the Sec is talking about $400 to $500 for a sign outside the hall.

I am talking here about the 2019 show and thereafter.  Over to you, good people.


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