Easton & Potomac trackage - red lines

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bad Tortoise, Bad Turnable, Dirty Track

Since I have an OPS session coming up in two days I needed to clean up the layout room and get the layout back into running shape.  I also needed to look into some Bad Track Orders from the previous session.

After cleaning up the layout room and staging the layout I took engine #30 and a caboose and headed out to check on the Bad Track Orders and to make sure the new scenery was not interfering with smooth running.

The first Bad Track Order was for the east end siding switch in Flat Top.  Now usually the way this goes is these problems will not repeat between sessions.  The Bad Track Order said the switch had electrical problems and point issues.  And beyond belief I could recreate the problem.  It is a bad tortoise machine which will have to be replaced.  Seems the gears are stripping in one direction.  I also think the points will need to be filed down for the other direction.  I have a spare tortoise and it is now sitting on the layout to be installed tomorrow.  Maybe.

Then Extra 30 East headed to Hood to do scenery clearance checks which is just what is it doing in the picture below.

All of the newly installed scenery seems to be fine and #30 ran smoothly through the newly sceniced sections.

Then it was up to Lacey Springs to check on another Bad Track Order.  This was electrical issues with the west end siding switch.  It appears to be dirty track.  In fact I found several places where the track looks clean but after a rubbing with a Bright Boy #30 ran better.  I will try and have all of the track cleaned before the next weekend session.  (It has been two to three years since I last cleaned track.)

I then went on to Broadway to turn the engine and head home to White Hall.  I placed #30 on the turntable and started the turn.  When I looked back the engine had turned about 90 degrees and was no longer moving.  A quick look at the turntable drive mechanism and the problem appeared to be in the turntable bridge.  Further inspection revealed the fulcrum had come loose from the shaft.  After a small battle to get the shaft off the turntable motor the turntable bridge, fulcrum and shaft are on the workbench waiting for the Goo to dry.  This assembly should go back in tomorrow.

It is days like this that make this layout more than big enough!

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