Saturday, 25 May 2019

Huge progress on the Pennstadt to Valdorf DBB line

I have concentrated on my railway for the last few weeks and have ignored all my other hobbies. This means that I have made some serious progress on all aspects of the layout. I have had one major disaster and one technological triumph (almost!).

Generally speaking, I have been getting on with making the Faller buildings. The main one of which is the Butchers/Bakers (Bakerei- Meztgerei). If you recall, I made this previously but, amazingly, got the N scale instead of the Spur HO version. I have now taken delivery of the HO version and it is completed.

I had some Preiser sitting people for the outside part but the figures on the inside are all these really cheap 50 to a packet of EBay figures from China. They are a bit tiny but it isn't noticeable once the walls are shut up. I have a 1m strip of warm yellow LEDs. There are two good things about these. One is that they are quite bright and the second is that they don't require resistors in the line. They can be cut down just to one LED. I wire them all up to a single 5V supply (A wallwart). I now have all of my buildings it in this fashion, all connected to a Marklin on off switch, as you will see later.

The next item to be completed is the Auhagen level crossing. This is a nice little kit that comes with the gates and a nice keeper's shack. This is perfect for fitting across my reverse loop providing access from the main station/town area across to what will become the fun fair. I was wondering about motorising the gates when someone suggested that I should have bought the Faller version which, I think, comes with a motor. However, I wanted some more logic than that. I went down the route of using an Arduino. I will cover this project in my next blog post.

What I wanted to have was a fully lit town, especially as I have a plan for a fun fair. Hence, every building has a set of LED lights. The goods yard is lit with tall double lamps and the streets are lit by more decorative items. These are all wired up to a single switch on the fascia. As the railway is in our bedroom, I have got into the habit of putting the lights on when we turn the bed down and my wife enjoys looking at the effect. It is enhanced because of the wardobe mirrors which make it all look much larger. 

One of the nice things, when the wife is in bed looking across at the railway, is the wardrobe, sited as it is alongside one end of the railway. The doors are mirrors so  she can see the whole railway, with its lights on.

Lastly, I have caused an expensive little problem. The problem came from the placement of the semaphore signal that I had protecting the yard entry point. It worked very well. It meant that I could bring the shunter out onto the main line when required without risking a train on the main line hitting it. It was a Marklin 703891 home signal with lattice mast. It was placed right on the front of the layout and, when reaching across fitting the Faller buildings in place, I knocked it and broke the wire connection. This was OK-ish, because it still worked electronically, even if the arm didn't move. On a second occasion, I gave it a whack and broke the arm off.

I decided to replace it but with a 76491 Single colour light signal. I ordered this last Monday and DPD delivered it at 8.30 on Thursday morning. How is that for service? This is better because it fits under the track and isn't glued in solid. As the track at the front is where all the connections are fitted, the track isn't screwed down so, if I do give it a nudge, it leans nicely!

If you look carefully in the picture of the wardrobe, you can see the spot of green in the mirror.

In fact, I have got into the habit of looking in the mirror to check the status. It is easier that bending my head over to look at the actual signal.

Things are moving on too quickly so I must take a break from this. I am enjoying it too much but it is a restricted size so has limited amounts that can be done. Mind you, I have plans to build a fun fair in the area the other side of the level crossing and to add a cliff against the removable staging to hid that when fitted.

I am so glad that I chose Marklin!

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