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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.

2019-06-15 - Work Update: Cleanup, and Future Plans for Napa

Category Randall

Today was another cleanup day. Mr. Morgan was here and helped me clean Napa quite a bit.

While he was doing this, I was trying to get this running for Jim, as detailed on my train blog page:

While I was getting nowhere with the Cotton Belt engine, Mr. Morgan did a really good job finishing cleaning the Napa yard. We identified 2~3 turnouts in the yard ladder that have no power, and it seems the usual lack of frog power coming out of the twin-coil mechanical selector. For one turnout, the frog power leads are connected to… nothing, and the most top one doesn’t even have a turnout. I guess this part of the yard was never finished. At least we can still use these tracks to store non-powered equipment, which is what we’ve started doing.

So far that would give us 2 tracks where we would move equipment manually, 2 tracks where the turnouts works but lacks for power so we can still push trains into that using some buffer cars, 1 track that should have power but doesn’t and I plan to fix it, and we have 4 good tracks, fully working.

Combined with the auto-reverser I installed on the Napa balloon track, it should make operations in and out of the yard a lot easier. I even explained a plan to both Jim and Mr. Morgan on how I do see that being done. It will involve changing the control of the T150/151 turnouts to connect Napa to the mainline -- either I use the NCE remote accy or I install a panel at Richmond, to avoid requiring operators to walk all the way back and forth from the Valley panel each time they need to change turnout on the other side of the room. I also need to fix the cross-over at T150 which is currently only working on one side.

Another thing Mr. Morgan did is cleanup the Bridgeport yard. I had been accumulating junk on this area as a “to be sorted later” buffer zone. So he did just that. The yard is far from being usable -- it needs the same work as for Napa, meaning install an auto-reverse on the balloon track, thoroughly clean the yard tracks, and install a remote control for the Bridgeport turnout.


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