Train show in Chilliwack BC

Train show in Chilliwack BC

Postby dileTTante » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:53 pm

Here are a couple photos of our TT scale display Sunday at a train show in Chilliwack British Columbia, a community about an hour by car east of Vancouver. I went last year and the year before with Bill Dixon to help with his TTTracks display but Bill did not attend the show this year. So I invited Tibi and Bjoern and managed to reserve a space for us. The show was a two day event but we were there for just the last day.

My own display was barely ready because I had been working to have it done later in November at the show in Vancouver. Things on the layout worked badly and I'll have to do something else. It was very disappointing because I put many hours into making this simple oval set up. The defects made for a frustrating experience.

Bjoern's GuiTTar Case and Tibi's layout of classic TT kept visitors happy. Voytek showed up and stayed through the day to help and to talk TT. The show organizer thanked us for being there and displaying something different.

So I thank thank them for all their help and Graeme, my friend, for getting me to the show and back.

-Terry C.
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Re: Train show in Chilliwack BC

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:40 pm

So what were the issues you ran into? Perhaps something the rest of us should be aware of.
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Re: Train show in Chilliwack BC

Postby dileTTante » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:24 pm

My setup is an alternative to TTTracks. I use plastic keys to joint styrofoam panels together instead of the locking unitracks. I see now that the unitrack system transfers stresses to the road bed and underlay, while my method just keeps the panels locked. Using normal rail joiners means the rails are stressed when fitting the panels together and when dealing with uneven supports -- one of the tables provided was badly swayed at the middle. The stress on the rails already has taken a toll.

The turnout used on the outer oval was what I had modified to a closing frog style. My fabrication works but was not robust enough to withstand the handling of setup and tear down at the shows. So now trains derail going into the siding. To have the siding as long as possible the entrances to the turnouts are right at the edge of the panels where the tracks are fitted together and taken apart. That's a poor arrangement. The stress on the rail joints should be further away from the turnouts.

Uneven tables, always a problem, mean cars uncouple going across the joins between the styrofoam. I improved the track a lot since the last show in March, and I brought a lot of shims to put under the layout but still cars come uncoupled. Friday I received a batch of Kuehn couplers and at the show I put them into a set of passenger cars instead of the usual Tillig couplers. The train ran perfectly.

So, those teething problem first thing in the show were a really disappointing experience when my aim has been for complete reliability.

However, looking back from the day after, I realise that the problems were only about 10 percent of the display experience. The inside oval made up from a Kuehn starter set of track worked perfectly. The four turnout servos on the layout all worked perfectly. The smaller stuff I ran on the inside oval ran perfectly. The lights I had put in the passenger cars looked good, too.

Another thing, the locos ran a long time. A BR 80 and a Kres VT137 ran for over an hour and just kept running. I have the track voltage set at 12v and nothing overheated. The locos run slower but that can be improved by re-programing the top speeds in the decoders which were still set for a higher track voltage.

The experience wasn't as bad as I felt after the show but the display needs some major attention or a replacement. Or as Tibi suggested, I could make some TTTracks modules instead.

Once again, I say having Bjoern, Tibi, and Voytek there made the show a good experience.

-Terry C.
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Re: Train show in Chilliwack BC

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:03 pm

I've run into similar problems with my portable layout. With the modular pieces warping ever so slightly (made of wood), track alignment at their edges can be problematic (I don't use track joiners between modules). Also the wear and tear during transport and the show adds up. It's why I want to do a new portable layout - so I can design around some of these problems I've experienced.
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Re: Train show in Chilliwack BC

Postby Tom Dempsey » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:40 pm

Alex, if you seal the wood with lacquer sanding sealer (polyurethane floor vanish is also okay) it will stabilize the wood so it doesn't move around. It's also a dandy primer.
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Re: Train show in Chilliwack BC

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:52 pm

Tom Dempsey wrote:Alex, if you seal the wood with lacquer sanding sealer (polyurethane floor vanish is also okay) it will stabilize the wood so it doesn't move around. It's also a dandy primer.


:thumbup: thanks man, good idea.
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