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Whitesands Quay trackwork

by Simon Cox

2014-07-13

Articles
Model Railways


Whitesands Quay trackwork

I have now built two versions of the track-work. Both have issues.

Hand-built track and point controls

The track work on White­sands Quay con­sists of four points pro­vid­ing a runaround and two sid­ings. This pro­vides enough scope for inter­est­ing oper­a­tions and oper­at­ing sequences when exhibit­ing the lay­out. I built the track the tra­di­tion­al way using code 65 rail on cop­per clad sleep­ers. The most dif­fi­cult part was the point work espe­cial­ly as this was my first attempt. I had some good advice and tips from fel­low mem­bers of the GDNGRS and so test­ed the track and points as I built. I thought I had cracked it — a few areas of improve­ment were obvi­ous but alto­geth­er I was quite pleased with the result. 

Then I dis­cov­ered that sev­er­al of my wag­ons didn’t run the points. I had only test­ed with one Nine­lines wag­on and that had worked great but in ret­ro­spect, I should have used a range of stock to test. So I put the track to one side and moved house. (Not because of this!)

A while back my friend Richard Glover tried to set up one of his lay­outs with ser­vos oper­at­ing the points using a MERG cir­cuit board. He had some seri­ous issues and didn’t use them in the end. More recent­ly though Peco brought out a point motor­ing set called Smart Switch. I thought those issues would have been solved so I pur­chased a set along with some new OO9 main­line flex­i­track and points. It took a week­end to recre­ate the track work plan of White­sands Quay and wire it all up. The ser­vos worked per­fect­ly and the throw and speed can be adjust­ed using the built-in con­trols. I ran a loco­mo­tive over the track and all worked with­out any issues. Then I tried a sec­ond loco and things went to pot. 

This loco had an open frame motor and the inter­fer­ence from it sent the ser­vos wild — all four switch­ing from side to side at ran­dom. Friends have sug­gest­ed screen­ing the wires (a bit of a pain) or buy­ing more expen­sive motors. 

So I am back at a bit of an impasse again. I now have two sets of track work for the lay­out. One isn’t quite good enough for smooth oper­a­tion and the oth­er is only going to behave if I use core-less motored locos.

Whitesands Quay trackwork Gallery

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