A73 departs the new Liralau yard with an intercity service for Melbourne
Since the last update (I still can't believe it has been almost a year!), work has continued on replacing the last three original modules which were all suffering from poor construction, which ultimatley saw the trackbeds warp and become almost unusable.
Following on from the layouts last appearance - at the '09 Adelaide Model Railway Exhibition, it became evident that something needed to be done about the layouts appearance, and so work commenced rebuilding the layout to a design similar to Keiren Ryan's $100 module, where the layout, backscene, lighting and pelmet is all incorporated into one unit. My design differs in that we used some of the existing modules to allow and so ours dont have that nice curved backscene - not that it matters - the layout looks 100 times better now than it did.
The station yard has been replaced - the centre piece being the large two-cell grain silo - a combination of three walthers cornerstone kits. All turnout control is being converted to DCC - using the ANE Models servo system (have a look at the NMRA's page on them: http://www.nmra.org.au/Hints/Servo/servo.html) - which is a great easy alternative to having to build CDU's and use the goold-old peco point motors - not to mention that the boards also look after your signal controls so it is very easy (in theory) to wire in your signals - I am still working on getting my signals to work correctly - hours and hours have been spent trying to trace back the intermittent problems with the signals which I am now thinking may be caused by a broken wire somewhere inside the insulation on one of the leads. Time to strip and re-wire them again (third time lucky perhaps).
Speaking of signals - I have built and installed two of the San Mateo Line VR colour light signal kits, produced by Bill Dick of Mildura - these kits, while fidly produce a very fine representation of a VR colour light signal. These are also available in SAR configuration. More of these signals will be installed when time permits.
We still have another two modules to rebuild before we pack the layout into a trailer and set off for the Healesville show in March - thankfully the last two modules should only be two weekends work, and then we can get down to buisness and get some trains running - and perhaps run in my three new loco's - my scratchbuilt H class 4-8-4 'H220', and my new Auscision A and B class locos (which are incredible pieces of kit by the way!).