Evaluating the future of the Squamish subdivision.
I have recently begun to consider the future of the layout. There are some problems and it is not as much fun for me. I do not see the vision I set out to create. Here are some things I am thinking about.
---Under OCS the dispatcher or Rail Traffic Controller is too busy. During VanRail 2017 Rene wrote 48 clearances.
- We only have 11 trains on the schedule and yet never run them all. This indicates a problem which may be:
---People do not want to run more trains because it is not fun.
---I do not invite enough people.
---The run is too long
---There is not enough action
---Too many problems
---despite directions posted around the layout people do not use the system correctly.
---radio throttles are still sometimes a problem
---simplex would not work and was removed.
---people do not use duplex correctly but it mostly works
---Timetable and Train Order makes this much easier and we have started to implement this but some of the crew do not like it.
---The mainline ranges from 40 inches off the floor to 70 inches.
---Lillooet is too high and makes adding a yardmaster a problem. A platform could be added.
---Some of the recently added spurs are too high.
---The yard at North Vancouver at 40 inches is too low for some.
---With people and lights during operating sessions it can get really warm in the train room
---It can also get really cold in the winter.
---there is some unknown insulating problem.
---We could use more room for North Van as the isle is crowded and the industries are jammed in where they should not be.
---the hidden loop to the north has derailments sometimes and would be better in the open
---some turnout switch rods come unsoldered.
---There are about 35 old style Shinohara turnouts that are activated by Lemanco switch motors.
---This combination is a problem since the Lemanco shorts as it throws so it cannot be used to switch frog polarity.
---The Shinohara turnouts have a metal switch rod so the stock rails are not wired to the closure rails. All current conduct is through the points
---These should all be rebuilt to be reliable.
- Yard design
---There is no class yard in Squamish but yardmasters find it handy on the model. Eliminating it would reduce the number of turnouts.
---I have looked at redesigning the arrival-departure yard. I could shorten the shops area, lengthen the A-D tracks and add 3.
---I would like to make the shops more prototypical which would add a bit of switching.
---The control panels are old and showing it.
---Two panels are confusing. I would like to convert to hand throws on the fascia aligned with the turnouts. Some yardmaster prefer control panels.
- Complete and final removal of the contact cement is needed.
---Despite the very high price most locomotives do not run well.
---I do not have the skill to tune them and out sourcing has not worked out.
---13 locomotives of 23 run correctly.
---There is no S-13 available for North Vancouver.
---Most roadbed and track is old. Some goes back 40 years.
---Most mainline track is spline and spacerblock. I now believe this roadbed is not sturdy enough and the track moves a little.
---Years ago I did not pay enough attention to keeping track level side to side and straight on.