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About the Layout

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The Randall Museum in San Francisco hosts a large HO-scale model train layout. Created by the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club starting in 1961, the layout was donated to the Museum in 2015. Since then I have started automatizing trains running on the layout. I am also the de-facto layout maintainer. This blog describes various updates on the Randall project and I maintain a separate blog for all my electronics not directly related to Randall.

2019-05-12 - Napa Yard Cleaning

Category Randall

This week I’ve changed from my regular “fix something that’s broken” schedule to deal with a long postponed task: cleaning the Napa yard so that it can be used. This yard has not been properly cleaned since 2015. I’ve somewhat asked others to take care of it and I didn’t get what I expected so I’m just doing it my way. I’m halfway done and to make the task more interesting I made a video:

I started with a single SD70 engine and then switched to the two Rapido F40PH units in MU.
They are both equipped with
ESU Power Packs, which makes them ideal for that task as they can survive short intermittent power loss. The downside is that it does somewhat hide issues.

As for the train, I used a few boxcar between the engine and the cleaning cars. That allows me run the train back and forth while still having the engines on a piece of the track that I know is mostly clean.

I also used the Woodland Scenics track cleaning tool that Jim got, it’s been really helpful to scrub the dusty rails.

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