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I usually run my sweeper car one lap. It brushes large leaves off the right of way. I pull a bridge masters cleaning car (scotchbrite) when I do that, scrapes off most of the dead ants. One lap and the trains are running. I leave a loco with these 2 cars outside all the time, so it takes about 20 seconds to run the first train.

Regards, Greg

(you battery guys don't have to remove oxide from the track, but you are telling me you don't have leaves or twigs?) mmmmm...... you must be in the desert...
 

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Charge my batteries, though I'm hoping with a change to LiIon batteries, they'll hold a stored charge, so I can just pick up where I left off last time, at least get running while the second set charges. The NiMH batteries don't hold a charge long-term--very frustrating.

The ironic thing is that even with my live steamers, "charge the batteries" is still step 1. The railroad's on the ground, so the locos all have R/C in them to control them.

Later,

K
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 03/28/2009 9:40 AM
(you battery guys don't have to remove oxide from the track, but you are telling me you don't have leaves or twigs?) mmmmm...... you must be in the desert...

Yes, it is a little more complicated than that ...

I go to the garage to grab a beer and anything that's on the charging bench from the last run, and take both out to the layout.
If I'm running a Critter, I just place it on the track, turn on the power, press the button, and off she goes.

If I'm running a train, I unlock and open up the train shed, connect the charged tender to the proper loco, turn on the power, press the button, and off she goes.
During the first lap, I open the beer and inspect the track for debris. I try to pay more attention to the track than the beer during the first lap to insure all is well. (Sometimes that works)


No matter what kind of power you use, the more often you run, the less time you will need to clean up, inspect, or repair the track. If you run every day, it's easy. If you only run a couple of times a year for an open house, it's probably a bunch of work! Better to run often and at least identify your problems, than discover them all the morning of the open house. (of course nobody here has ever done that)
 

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Put battery in tender and plug the plug.

Would love to: "Fill the butane tank, put water in the boiler and steam oil in the lubricator, light the fire, and oil around while steam pressure builds."
 

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I built my railroad in the woods. At the end of January this year we had an Ice Storm which brought down a lot of tree tops, branches and whole trees. I have been clearing sticks from my railroad for a month now. Some of the sticks were 20 inches in diameter and 50 feet long. First time I’ve had to use a chain saw to clear my right of way. I still have several hanging branches (also known as widow makers) over my layout and am waiting my turn with the tree trimming company to clear them before I can run my trains.
 

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Posted By Dwight Ennis on 03/28/2009 8:34 AM
Fill the butane tank, put water in the boiler and steam oil in the lubricator, light the fire, and oil around while steam pressure builds.


While the above is true for me too, I responded to the pole with "Charge batteries", but my batteries do not power the train... they power the R/C system and the NiCads need to charge for 8 hours before I use them, so I have to plan tonight to run tomorrow afternoon.

Thus... in reality... the FIRST thing I need to do before I run my trains is shut the computer off, get up off my backside and...
 

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Turn the power strip on, then turn the powerpack 3/4's the way and grab the BTE controller

...one of the big advantages being indoors
 

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I guess there aren't many trees and wind out West. I always walk the track first to pick up obstructions whether on battery or track power.

-Brian
 

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All I have to do is rebuild the whole layout. But is will encompass the whole yard this time. Phew, I'm tires already.
 

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A quick track inspection, it's an elevated track. Then back to the house for an engine and tool box, also some distilled water and alcohol, pull a box of cars from the shed and I'm ready. I consider process of prepping an engine part of running.
 

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The search for twigs, leaves, and other crap happens while batteries are charging. :) So does bringing out the rolling stock. My NiMH charger jams a set of batteries in a little over an hour, and I've got to run two sets to power the train. That generally gives me around 3 hours to check things out. Usually, I'll start them charging first thing in the morning, so when I have a spare moment in the afternoon, they're ready to go. Alas, my fast charger for my LiIon battery is out of stock, so they're sending me a slow charger instead. The good news is that the slow charger is selectable for the number of cells in the battery, so I can use that for my "critters." I'll probably leave the NiCads in the eggliner--that's a 15 minute charge, and with its deep flanges, I know when that thing makes it around without bumping, the line's clear.

Later,

K
 

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For our saturday morning operations, I leave my loco on trickle charge during the week ... the first guy on the track clears any leaves or twigs as he makes a pass ... otherwise, just run. There is nothing to do to begin the operation but setout cars at their preassigned locations and pickup from the dispatcher the switchlist for the run I've been assigned.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Get motivated. It's been a long winter and i have a lot of outside maintenance to do long before i can even think about the layout, which itself needs a lot of work.
 
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