Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Monday, 2 July 2018

Back on track.

"Under the cloak of darkness of an early Sunday morning, after a sly reconnaissance mission during a weekday, it was decided to power up the trolley wire and it was time to knock off some oxide of the rail head. As the poor locals of Victoria Street have had to tolerate bustitution for over twelve months.

The tram, SW6 964, out of service with 'special' on the headboard, gently coasted into Victoria St from Albert Rd, then gingerly back shunted into 3 road of Westside depot. Replacement buses transferred from Footscray were laid up on roads 1 & 2. 



 
The next trip was out to the racecourse, with somewhat a minor delay at the gates, as the railway signal man was caught out, for he and his colleagues haven't had to throw the switch for the overhead from the 1500V railway to the 600V tramway for over a year.



It was rather quiet at racecourse terminus, there was no one there. The replacement buses had somewhat diminished the reliability of the trams, even with the bus idling there, no one was interested.
  
As this was the only tram service out this far today, the crew had chance to inspect the operation of the bundy clock and the track phone, together with a few cigarettes and a discussion about yesterday's football results.  


The return trip was interrupted by a slow moving freight train coasting through the gates at regulation speed, finally it passed off into the serenity of an early Sunday morning. 




The station crossover was next, it was decided to zig-zag the tram through in both directions as part or this rolling inspection. With a side trip to the milk bar to load up with some cigarettes and the Sunday Observer or maybe the Sporting Globe. 


The main reason this tramway was built is the Ammunition (Ammo') Factory, the issue is that during the bus replacement the service didn't 'cut the mustard', it was infrequent, not large enough nor offered a direct route to the station, this was especially noted during shift changes, upon which hundreds of workers would pour through the gates.
Today it was all quiet, an opportunity to use the facilities and to traverse the main terminus and the slightly overgrown siding. 


Then it was back to the depot, by this time the buses had moved on, this allowed the tram to be berthed on the top of 1 road. An inspectors car has been sent out to collect the crew, as all appears well with the route so there will overtime for some tram drivers to do some depot transport trips and bring the trams back to Westside Depot."


Finally from under the relocated wires.
Glenn

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Resumption of services. As if!

Forgive me followers for it has been far too long between posts. 

There are many things to be said about relocation, you have a fair idea what to keep and what to discard, you also have a similar opinion about other stuff, and then you have to prove once again that you are not a hoarder. 

It is the eternal dispute of what needs to stay, and what has to go. 

At the moment, I feel like those certain blokes who attempted to impose their ideals across Western Europe. That is, if you take on more than one onerous task at one time, more than likely it's going to end in tears. 

The layout does reside indoors, while the workshop space is out the shed. 

I have relocated the layout, but!!!

It has seems that storage and time has been somewhat unkind to reliable running.  Also at the same time, the rollingstock has somehow suffered the same issue. 

I have cleaned the tracks, cleaned the wheels on rollingstock, and still, have encountered some serious issues with reliability. 

For some reason.....

The lights on the racecourse module will not work when connected to the rest of the layout, yet will work independently in test mode. 

The 'up' track from the racecourse terminus is as dead as a door nail, yet works again when tested independently.

Rollingstock, such as all of my W class have become so unreliable, that it seems all will have to be overhauled in regards to pick ups, lights and cv adjustments.  

I'm so despondent at the moment, I'm at the stage of completely dismantling and refurbishing the layout and the rollingstock in the newly created shed space so not to upset the domestic authorities. 

But enough of the negatives...

My first win is the display case that is mounted above the layout in the inside room. Made from repurposed Bestä cabinets that originally held our kids DVDs, a few doors and a few more shelves, this has turned out a winner. 

Behold the wonder....

An elegant dust free environment.



My Melbourne and regional Victorian collection.


 In the spare room shared with the brides sewing machines

Next win, 'The shed'/modelling space has come up a treat, with some of my family and colleagues commenting that I should have had this place about twenty years ago.

A place to tinker and think, and watch footy/races on the TV. 


Plus plenty of natural light.
To complete the trifecta, now with two play/work spaces, it has come to pass that I need to have another means of programming DCC rollingstock, enter the modifications to the 'Glenno Go-Box®', now featuring a NCE-PCP (Powercab control panel), this will now allow me a chance to tinker out in the shed with JMRI and gut rollingstock in attempt to make them run better. 



All fitted with a DPDT switch so I can feed the programming rails/rollers from either DC or DCC. 

This is the state of play so far, why is it that when one has moved from one place, there is now a need to make the new place resemble the previous place?

One of life's enduring mysteries. 

Back under the wires, from the other side of town. 

Glenn.


Sunday, 8 April 2018

A mutual understanding.

Yes it has been quite a while since the last post, we have moved into the bigger domicile and have progressed through most of our boxes of stuff. The kids have also settled in nicely. 

The 1960's tilt door garage was cleaned out, swept and dusted, while this was initially destined to become the new home for Victoria Street, the bride had another suggestion.........

Her idea is that the layout in its usual configuration could reside in the spare room the other side of our en-suite as just a running layout, while all the "untidy"(her words) works such as painting, modelling and soldering should take place in the shed, this inside space would significantly reduce the dust experienced in the shed and I can share the inside space with her sewing hobbies.  

While this offer is proving inviting, the reality is that the wall space allocated is long enough, the right hand side return that would feature the bend and racecourse modules would foul the doorway for the en-suite, and this will not do. 

So while these matters are in play, I'm in the process of re-configuring the modules into a cohesive narrative and a functional layout. 

The best scenario and easiest solution at the moment is to remove the bend module and have the racecourse module attach directly to the gates module as an 'old school' along the wall shelf layout. The bend module would reside in the cupboard for exhibitions or could be dragged outside for photography in sunlight. 

Another option is to position the bend module between the junction and railway station modules, this would require trams running out to Ammo factory to traverse the bend before shunting at the station cross over.  This would require the layout to have a return on the left hand wall of approximately four feet, with the rest of the layout along the allocated wall. I ran this configuration at the Sunshine model railway show in 2012, at that stage minus the junction and depot. This concept will need to be negotiated. 


Something like this. (Pre DCC)

And this, one huge retail strip. 

Hopefully to be under the wires soon. 

Glenn

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The things we do. (We all started from somewhere)

With the layout in exile, and with the family away up north while I have to work. Normally about this time of year I perform major works on Victoria Street. 

Question; What does one do and not yet indulge in self destructive behaviour before moving house? 

Answer; Plonk down some set track and run some retro train sets on the living room floor.  

First cab off the rank, remember the Christmas of 1977, Hornby punch out an Australian series that include the Victoria Railways S class with a ZL van and a loose collection of domestically branded British rollingstock all resplendent with tension lock couplers.  Sadly the box no longer exists, but I found this example online. 


From the catalogue.





As presented 40 odd years later. 
Not in bad condition for something over forty years of age. 

Then a Bachmann set with a Santa Fe F7 and a small collection of rollingstock in original box with track and controller. 

In the box.


Out of the box.

These were obtained by either the local buy swap and sell page on Facebook, or from the somewhat dreaded eBay, off loaded by individuals who had no real idea their historical or intrinsic value. 

As one can remember, set track can have its setbacks, rusty steel rails and flogged out rail joiners make for some iffy running, but add a track rubber and some new fishplates and its Christmas Day, once again for this child. 

Either way I can get my fix while the rest of my tram fleet resides in storage. 

Here is the recent arrival to my tramway fleet cutting notches on the 'set track'. 



My motto in life has been, always have a plan B. Mission accomplished.

From under the radar while the family is away, while running old school DC. 

Glenn. 




Thursday, 21 December 2017

Well, that was a busy year.

I know it has been quite a while since the last post, but a fair bit has happen since. 

We have sold up our little abode in the inner west of Melbourne and obtained a good price for it and have bought a massive piece of suburbia in the south east sand belt. 

The bride will get her wish of moving back to her side of town after her tour of duty out west. 

This palatial domicile has ticked all the boxes on the original wish list, the kids will get their own rooms, the bride will get a study, I will get a decent sized shed and we all will get two bathrooms, two living areas and a massive covered outdoor entertaining space. 
This residence unlike some others we have seen doesn't require a renovation that starts with a box of matches. 

As always at this time of the year, I wish followers of the blog the best for the season, try to sensible with the food and drink, and remember it's all about the kids. As it will be our last Christmas west side this year, it is still shared with family and that is what matters.

This years Christmas card is a rework of the fifty thousand hits photo.

Seasons greetings all, from Victoria Street. 

So to the matter of the resumption of services on Victoria Street, as the layout was the first thing packed and stored, it will no doubt be the last thing to see the light of day after the relocation, which will happen in late February.
This will happen when I sort out my new man cave/shed. 

From under a soon to be different roof that will eventually have wires to run under. 

Glenn

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

On the home front.

The study/man cave/old layout space now looks a treat (and a lot larger), after a dash of interior acrylic called 'Royal beige 1/2 strength'.  This area has been annexed by the bride as 'her' home office. 

After the neighbours place was sold at auction at a very good price, the works around "casa del Glenno" have notched up from a leisurely 'full series' trundle to a slightly manic 'full parallel' dash. 

With all the prep work and paint going on at the moment, I have discovered that all of my children must suffer an inner ear issue, as they cannot to seem to walk straight along the hall without 'pinballing' off the newly painted walls. This has been remedied by proclaiming from now on that all the walls are made from lava. 

On an another front, my football club has missed out on the finals this year, thus freeing me up to do more with the house this September. It has been stated in the media that the Bulldogs are suffering a premiership hangover, but I am still glad to have this problem as a result of breaking a 62 year drought. 

I did recently obtain another W class tram at a good price, this is the only modelling topic on this post. 

An old photo of the first five,
Now there are six

From amongst the paint tins and colour charts. 

Glenn

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The early removal of services

The layout has not had a tram cut a notch since the suspension of service notice was issued. Even if I did attempt to roll one out of the shed, the layer of filth and dust on the rails at the moment would render the tram 'insulated'. 



End of an era 

These are not the greatest days of modelling, but in the end, this will only be temporary. As you can imagine, I have a list of tasks that Evil Kinevil would struggle jumping, but then he would find himself in the back of an ambulance after failing such an attempt. 

On the other hand the neighbours have finished their episode of 'grand designs' and their property goes up for auction at the end of the month, this will determine how intently we go from here. 

Over the previous weekend, one month before the original scheduled shutdown, services were suddenly suspended, rollingstock packed away, and the entire 4mm to the foot universe that is Victoria Street was placed into recess and storage.

It is only when one is required to take stock and pack it, that's when you find out that you may be a hoarder. I have found 'assets' that have been long forgotten, the bride during her stocktake has 'rediscovered' her vast collection of fabrics and yarn, therefore at this moment in time, the scores are level. 

As most of you can appreciate, photos are in short supply at the moment with all the fun and games going on.  

I'm sure I can conjure up unpublished finds and then cobble them with enough text as a retrospective, also I can use this time to assist others online and live vicariously through their layouts along with their adventures with tramway modelling. 

From the recently cleaned out study with a bewildered look of where the wires were. 

Glenn 

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