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Request for Help

3860 Views 25 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  jbwilcox
This is probably going to sound rather crazy, but please read on.

I have most of my track down for my railroad.  Trains will operate around the upper loop and around the upper pond.  The problem is that they are not really that reliable.  I would like to be able to let the trains run on their own with little or no interference from me while I am entertaining relatives or doing other projects.  Right now, that does not happen.  If I am lucky i can get them to go around the various loops about 10 times with no derailments or uncouplings before disaster strikes.  Because of that, i cannot leave them totally alone.

In August we are having a bunch of friends from Arizona coming for a visit of about a week.  I have talked to them about my railroad and they all want to see it run.  We are also expecting a large number of relatives coming for a visit in September hoping to see the trains run also.  So here is the problem.

I have worked on my Aristo switches and my track but being not very mechanically inclined, I have not been able to improve their operation to the point where they are really reliable.  I would also like to automate several switches that are difficult to reach without walking all over things.  I would like some help with standardizing couplers.  Right now I have AMS, Kadee and Bachmann and 1:22 and 1:20 scale rolling stock. 

So here is what i am proposing:

We live on the Olympic Penninsula near Olympic National Park and only an hour or so from the Pacific Ocean.  The other direction Mt Rainier is relative close.  Seattle is just up the road and a beautiful ferry trip away.  There are many railroad related things to see in the area also.  In other words, this is really a pretty nice place to come for a short vacation, especially if you have never been to the Pacific Northwest before.

I am willing to put you up in my house or in a local motel for a week and show you the sights around our part of the country in return for some good help in getting my railroad to run reliably before our guests start coming in late August.  I would be looking for someone who can help with trackwork, switches, basic electrical work and general garden railroading experience.

The time frame I am thinking about would be late June through July.  That is probably the best time to visit the PNW.  The weather is usually beautiful, in the 70-80 degree range with only a small amount of rain.  Unless we were to visit the Ho Rain Forest.

So if you might be interested, please let me know.  What better way to enjoy a vacation in the PNW and also play with trains?

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You want the Ez Air here's there website http://www.cocry.com/E-Z_Air.htm  Also Dave handles it . I bought mine from him, love the system ! Holds the frogs real tight, realistic movement. Low maintenance, I use an air compressor in my shed 50' away. Easy system to add on to.Plus fun switches and gauges .:D
I appreciate the responses.

I have actually been contacted by another Large Scaler who lives fairly close to me and there is another person who lives down in Oregon who is going to stop by for a visit this week

double post ...

I had similar problems with the AMS stock.  I replaced the wheels with ball bearing wheels and no problems since, with nothing else changed.   Another option is Phil's Narrow Guage service for adding Ball Bearings into the side frames.  I think this is the best option and cheapest as I've tried both.

For the Aristo switches, Greg provided a link to his site with some good info.  He runs his trains at fairly high speeds so if his work I'd say they'd work for just about anyone.  Also, Train-li provides a kit for the Aristo switches:   kit
I use air motors for my switches, from California and Oregon Coast Railway.

See my site under TRACK... then you will see the section on air power

I have heard about an air pressure system to throw the points.  If anyone knows anything about it I would appreciate some information.

1.  How difficult is it to install?
     I can add the air motor in 5 minutes to a switch.
2.  Can it be used with Aristo Wide switches?
3,  What materials do I need to install it?
4.  What is the typical cost, say per turnout?
      I think the air motor is $17
5.  How reliable is it?
6.  I seem to recall that TOC carries them, is that right?
     Ask TOC

Regards, Greg
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We had a nice visit with Nick Kelsey and his wife yesterday.  

we were able to run a few trains around my layout.  As you would expect, my caboose kept derailing.  Previously I was able to run 10 times around the loop with no derailments but what should I expect when someone comes to visit.

Nick gave me some nice pointers on improving my Aristo switches which I plan to follow up on.

Then we had a nice dinner and a visit before I had to go to work.

I plan to visit his layout next Friday.  

Our only problem is that we are about 150 miles apart.  I still hope to run into some Large Scalers closer to Shelton.  And the offer is still open -- if you are willing to help on my railroad improving reliability, just let me know.  We would be glad to have you.

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