Posts Tagged ‘Gaugemaster’

Canute Road Quay is by its nature a pretty simple layout and therefore operation is kept reasonably simple, although being DC control not DCC control there still seems a reasonable number of wires involved!

The four track sections are coloured in this diagram

I have allowed for four track sections being the left hand headhunt and run around loop, the right hand head shunt, the front quayside headshunt and finally an isolating section  within the engine shed road to allow for more than one engine to parked in the shed / coal stage area. These simple four section allows for flexible control especially when I want to have more than one locomotive on the layout at anyone time.


Keeping track and wheels clean are essential to good slow speed running.

I am only using one controller for the layout and am using the trusty Gaugemaster W series hand held controllers (that like my transformer box I swap between Canute Road Quay and Fisherton Sarum).  I have therefore used a common DIN plug and socket wiring arrangement between the two layouts. Some time ago Gaugemaster changed their housing for the their W series hand held controllers to a smaller overall but deeper housing and to be honest I prefer their original style and therefore have obtained a number of the original housing style controllers. The other advantage of using Gaugemaster controllers is their excellent mo quibble lifetime warranty and repair service, which although I have only called upon once proved to be excellent and quick (I will state the usual disclaimer that I have no connection to Gaugemaster other than being a happy customer).
I have also been using on Canute Road Quay their WS version of the hand hand controller that has a braking and acceleration simulator built in via a small thumb operated wheel on the side which allows for nice realistic slow speed acceleration and stopping.

Track and wheel cleaning

The WS controller, Din plug and socket and also the track with sprung wire contacts to the inset brass contact screws can be seen in this picture. The on the control panel the switches are coloured as follows: Red – Track sections, Blue – Points, Black – unclouplers and Yellow – lights

As with any layout especially small shunting layouts where locomotive speeds are low, to ensure nice smooth running cleanliness of both the track and the locomotive wheels and picks is essential.  before any running session I clean the top of all the rails bu lightly rubbing with a soft wooden coffee stick of the kind that can be obtained from any coffee shop, this is not abrasive but picks up any dirt easily and by doing each rail separately it does not cause any issue due to the inset track areas or those sections of track that are slightly overgrown with grass and weeds etc.
I have also , as I am not using DCC, fitted a Gaugemaster High Frequency (HF-1) track cleaner into the controller circuit, which although not liked by some, means that during the hours that the layout might be operated at a show ensure ongoing cleanliness and good running.

A close up of the screws and springs to provide power to the temporary track for the Trix track cleaner within the fiddle yard.

For wheel cleaning I have tend to use a Trix/ Minitrex (66602) wheel cleaner, the kind that sits on a straight section of track to transfer power from the track to the brass wheel cleaning brushes area to rotate the locomotive wheels. These are now also marketed by Gaugemaster (GM60)(apologies if this post is being a bit like an advert for them but it’s not intentionally that way) as there is not really a straight section of track suitable on Canute Road Quay I have inserted a couple of countersunk brass screws, that are wired directly to the controller,  into the top surface of the fiddle yard on which I can place a short length of track. As can be seen in the picture left this has a couple of sprung wire droppers to transfer  power via the rails to the wheel cleaner, therefore allowing me to clean a locomotive wheel off scene and can be easily removed from the fiddle yard to allow for movement of the cassettes..

I will cover the operation of the points and uncouplers in a future Controlling Interest post, so what this space.

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Since my last post showing progress on Canute Road Quay, with respect to the concrete road area and inset trackwork along with making the grass ‘grow’  I have been busy completing the rest of the buildings and adding a mix of details.

The left hand front office building is yet to be affixed to the layout

The two main front buildings have been assembled from the excellent laser cut card components from LCut Creative these have now been initially painted and external details such as gutters and downpipes added from a mix of Peco LK-78 buifdings details pack and Wills SS46 Buildings Pack A. These buildings are not yet permanently affixed to the layout as I am still to add the internal details and also some lighting.

The main warehouse loading platform also has a representation of its underside wooden support beams. Photo taken before the gantry was fitted

I gave the LCut Creative buildings a coat of Humbrol grey acrylic primer prior to dry brush painting the brickwork using a pallet of  brick work colours from Precision Paints mixed with a little dirty black and also picked out slightly different brickwork such as the window brick arches a slightly lighter colour.

The gantry and A frame has been added to the right hand warehouse

The main warehouse loading platform has been made using Wills floorboard building sheets rather than the LCut Creative card items as I was making the platform quite long and the Wills plastic sheets are larger and stronger. This has been painted a weathered greyish brown colour.

To give access to the upper floor loading doors I have created a gantry hoist supported on the quayside by an ‘A’ Frame. The block and tackle / pulley would run on the smaller section ‘H’ girder mounted below the main cross girder, to either lift items to and from open wagons and or in theory the girder would be cantilevered over the quayside to lift items from moored vessels.

Another view of the warehouse and freelance gantry hoist

I have made this somewhat freelance design from scratch using two different sizes of brass ‘H’ section soldered together with some corner bracing details added from thin brass sheet embossed with a number of rivets.

The engine shed nestles in the roar corner of Canute Road Quay

The engine shed tucked away in the back right hand corner assembled from Skytrex Model Railways resin parts is now complete and suitably painted. The inside floor of the shed has been painted to represent a concrete floor and outside the shed a mix ash, using real ash from my wood burning stove, ballast and coal around the coaling platform, a Hornby Scaledale product,  have been glued in place using the usual method of diluted PVA glue. The water crane is a Kernow Model Centre commissioned SR style made by Bachmann Scenecraft.

USA tank No 72 crosses the quayside access road

A few people and black wing gulls have been suitably positioned around the layout from Langley Models, I have also used their etched drains and drain covers in suitable places. The SR barley twist post style gas lamps, from Gaugemaster, are yet to be wired in although the transformer, voltage regulator and input wiring is already place to do so.

The end of the right hand warehouse and loading platform

Other details items such as wooden crates, oil drums, sacks and fish crates have been added from cast plaster items from Ten Commandments suitably painted.

In my last post about Fisherton Sarum attending the Epsom and Ewell exhibition last weekend, Canute Road Quay makes its first almost public appearance this coming Sunday at an RMweb forum members event in Taunton. I would like to thank all those readers of this blog who came by Fisherton Sarum at the excellent Epsom and Ewell exhibition, it was good to speak to you all. On the whole from the layouts perspective the show went well despite a couple of electrical niggles, and I am looking forward to hopefully a good day with Canute Road Quay on Sunday.

An overall view of Canute Road Quay showing its curtrent state of progress

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