Sunday, 7 July 2013

Playing to an audience (again)

Following the success of the garden open day in June, the garden railway was looking forward to  Sunday's garden party. All went well for most of the day, with somewhere between 20 and 30 of our guests opting to take a turn at driving a train. Thomas (now fitted with a Bachmann Jinty chassis) ran reliably from end to end with a train of three coaches. The only warning of problems to come was an occasional unreliability of the points on the removable panel above the tunnel.

When most of the guests had gone, James and the formula 1 team stayed to continue the railway running session, and it wasn't long before there was a request for the two sound-equipped locos, one steam and one diesel. These were duly provided, and that's when things started to go badly wrong. First, the "Briannia" ran away, refusing to respond to any commands to stop. Then a spate of spurious derailments started. The track was examined for debris, and the computer was reset, to no avail. The investigation will continue tomorrow, but it's worth noting a few observations.
  • Three locos were running simultaneously; Thomas, and sound equipped 37 and Britannia.
  • Two controllers were in use, my iphone for Thomas and the Brit, and my ipad for the 37.
  • A number of wood ants were run over by trains
  • The rail gap between the quarry points and the viaduct straight had increased to about 2mm.
  • The rails were noticeably dirty
  • The removable crossover had been in place for over a month, and signs of unreliability had started a few days ago.

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