(was Breitefurt)
Archive Diary, 2009


Latest updates < 2010 < 2009 > 2008

Track Plan, 1990
Where it all began (1990)
Track Plan, latest
Track Plan (2010/02/27)
Landscaping Ideas (v. old)

2009 Diary
Dec 23rd – Well, now I know that I have bad karma. :o( Last night I sorted out the last bad track joint no problem. In fact, it was easy as it was on a curve. However, when I tried running a loco over it, nothing. A quick investigation showed that, while the signal arm happily moved from Hp0 (danger) to Hp1 (all clear), the contacts in the base were not making. Well, I'm not turning the layout round again so it will have to wait.

Dec 21st – There are times when I think the universe is against me. A while back I mentioned (I think) that there were two or three track joints where the fishplate had slipped under the abutting rail leaving a step large enough to derail a fast moving train. One, in the station, requires that the layout be turned so have been left for now but a couple of days ago I decided to sort out the other and, while I was at it, replace the burnt out remote turnout. Well, I really must have bad karma. Having corrected the one at the right hand end of the storage sidings and pinned down the track I found that I had dislodged an insulated fishplate so had to rip it all up again. I the moved to track 5 in the sidings. Again it took two attempts (or was it 3?) in spite of taking great care and checking before pinning. And today I replaced the sidings track 1 exit turnout only to introduce another bad fishplate event. Checked everything, pinned and then found a bad joint at the entry to teh short spurs. Ripped it up again and fixed and re-pinned only to discover that I had introduced another step on the joint between the turnouts at teh left hand end of tracks 1 and 2. At least I was able to sort that out without un-pinning more than a couple of rails and forcing it into position. Now I am left with just the one at the left hand end of the station track 1. I just hope I've worked off my bad karma before I start on that.

Dec 15th – Many thanks to kvp on ZFE who pointed out that conrad.de (and, I discovered, conrad-uk.com) sell Viessmann signal mast assemblies without the base for a reasonable price. So I have ordered two each of the Hp0/Hp1 and Hp0/Hp2 types. Of course, this means that I can convert one signal type to the other as well. All I have to do now is to find out how to change them out. (Hopefully instruction sheets will be supplied.) Thanks Viktor.

Dec 14th – Well, I suppose it was going to happen some time. I had finished laying as much track as I could and was ready to tip up the board so that I could start connecting up wires but, as I tipped, there was a loud crash. Gingerly lowering the board back down I found that I had left a (heavy) tool at the left hand end. The result was two totally trashed signals. I was not too worried about the old style Märklin one (currently selling at £49 each) as I have spare ones (somewhere). But the other one works out at £41 plus p&p! I could have wept. Anyway, after a bit of browsing I found a German vendor selling Viessmann signals at £29 each so ordered one straight away. The base of the Viessmann still works OK so I am hopeful that it can be saved, but at what price? Viessmann say to contact Gaugemaster for repairs so I will do that - these signals are so delicate that a couple of spares won't go amiss. [Just heard from Gaugemaster – they are not interested.]

Dec 12th – Having finished modifying the station, I got round to removing the double slip from the right hand end of the storage sidings, but then I just went mad and reorganised the whole area.
The obvious change was the addition of a direct link from the upper (grey) spur to the down main through two manually operated turnouts (T5Dm and T5Em). This modification allows the spur to be used, with a re-railer, to load a train direct onto track 5. The short loop (T6Dm to T5Em) allows a train to be loaded to track 6 while trains are running through track 5 thus leaving the lower (yellow) spur to hold relief locos while this is being done (or vice versa).
All the turnouts in this area are manually operated though I might electrify the T5Dm (which will normally be left set to the down main) if using the manual one proves to be a problem.
While I was at it, I decided to add a section isolator to track 6 so that it matches track 5. (I might do the same thing to track 1 some time.) All that is left to be done now is to obtain a 55mm straight (ordered on eBay) for track 5 and to complete the new wiring (which I am not looking forward to doing - see photo).

Dec 10th – That's the three station modifications complete except for connecting up wires. Well, that's what I thought, until I realised that I now had a dead piece of track. So it was out with the tools again to solder direct to the rail, which I hate doing. No point in any photos as, apart from the ones already posted it all looks pretty much as it was. However, operation of tracks 1 and 6 should be more sensible and I never liked that factory siding anyway.

Dec 8th – As mentioned earlier, having given up on the idea of a second board I am making a number of changes to the layout plan. The first modification, converting the factory spur to a loco holding spur, is now in place and I have started on the other end of track 1 (moving the signal's control further back along platform 1. The image shows the first modification, with the spur following the curve of the down main.

Dec 3rd – Well, we survived Falkirk and no more exhibitions now until Easter at the earliest. After a few initial teething problems that mostly sorted themselves out, everything went pretty well. All derailments etc. were down to operator lapses! Breitenfurt drew a lot of praise from the public, and there were plenty of them.
The picture shows a busy time in the station with a Württemberg Class C arriving with a stopping train on track 1, while a local goods waits on track 2 for it to clear the block so that it can continue with its journey. Track 3 sees a Bavarian S3/6 hauled express thundering through the station on its way to the city. Finally, a KPEV stopping train waits on track 4 behind a class T18 for the all clear to continue its journey westwards.

Nov 25th – A very short update. I have put in some yard lights and some temporary street lights and wired them up. The reason that the latter are temporary is quite simply because I still don't have a final layout for the street as it all depends on whether I still go ahead with running the branch line across the full width of the board. Anyway, I took a quick photo using my mobile phone so, as they say, "Enjoy!"

Nov 15th – One of the problems that manifested itself in Elgin was the almost consistent derailment of coaches when entering Gleis 2 in a down direction. The original assumption had been that the derailments were caused by the joint between the two back-to-back turnouts (under the signal box) as they were not pinned and formed a hump. However, pinning down the joint didn't work and further investigation, at home, showed that this was not the problem. As it turned out, the coaches were derailing on the second turnout at the frog. Further investigation showed that the contact strips next to the frog were loose and standing proud, causing the left hand wheels to go down the wrong side of the frog. Ideally, I should replace the turnout but, instead, I pressed down very hard on the leading edges of the strips and then ran a train through there at various speeds for 30 minutes without a single derailment. So, fingers crossed, that should be that problem solved. While I was at it, I pinned down some other lengths of track that had been overlooked. Phew!

Proposed revisions.
Track Plan, latest
Original track plan.
Nov 10th – Well, We survived Elgin – just. (More on that later.) One thing that has come out of Elgin is that I am going to simplify the layout slightly. I am going to abandon the idea of a second board (at least, in the form shown above). This means that I can remove some of the track at the right hand end of the hidden sidings. This will have the advantage of getting rid of a troublesome double slip in the hidden sidings and replacing it with a trailing point. The factory siding goes back to what it was originally planned to be – a loco holding track for trains that were terminating and then returning via the up track. Finally, I will move Gleis 1 platform to the right and relay the track so that the dead section controlled by the down block signal will be the right side of it. I have marked the changes in red on the accompanying image.

Nov 3rd/5th – Well, I guess I am as ready as I ever will be for Elgin next weekend. In addition to the temporary '3D' scenery I have added yard and street lights; the former fixed and the latter temporary. As the wires are extremely thin I cannot use screwed terminal blocks, so I have ordered solder tags but with the current state of our postal service they probably won't get here this week. However, I hope to be able to use them for Falkirk. Anyway, here are a few pictures taken as I was getting things ready to load up the car.

Oct 27th – I've added a few more trees and re-photographed the four temporary 'scenic' areas. At least the tunnels now look a bit more like the real thing! Not much else to do now until the two exhibitions are over and done with. After that, I really must address the control panel and wiring.

Oct 21st – I've been feeling a bit guilty about the lack of any progress so thought I would add a bit of temporary 3D scenery for Elgin and Falkirk. I am a long way from starting on the real thing but at least these few items have proved to me that I am pretty hopeless at carving extruded polystyrene. I'm afraid that the photos are pretty lousy, mainly because when I am working on my layout I cannot get to the front or sides without a massive upheaval, so all these pictures were taken from really awkward angles at arms' length. There will be some better ones nearer the time (including some extra trees). [I reckon that hill is somewhere near 1 in 3 (33%)!!!!]

Sept 8th – Well, that's the first exhibition over, and am I relieved! I am beginning to find exhibiting quite stressful but enjoy it all the same. The layout behaved well most of the time though the power routing got messed up occasionally, bringing trains to a halt on the station centre road. I still had a few collisions but nothing like before. At times the turntable refused to work but an independent power supply should fix that. Pictures from the exhibition can be found here.

Sept 2nd – Pretty well ready for the Inverness exhibition (details above), Every- thing seems to be working OK. So, at last, some pictures. They are much the same as for last Easter but my daughter did a temporary background for me.
You may have noticed that the short branch line platform was accidentally missed out while I was setting up – annoying.
Just an afterthought – Here is a photo of the cable looms running from the control panel to the layout. Note the HO loco on the right hand side; it looks enormous!
Well, that's it for now. Hope to see some of you this weekend. :o)

Aug 20th – With the down main home signal in placed and wired up, the trackwork and signals are all sorted and tested. I have two auxiliary power supplies in the post to cover the turntable and lighting and all buildings are in situ. I am wondering whether to add a back to the layout, just to hide the hidden sidings. [Grief, the heavens have opened outside with sheets of rain blowing past the window - hope it doesn't last. I have to go out this evening.] It will have to be removable so that I can fold the control panel back over the layout in order to get it into my car.

Aug 19th – Apart from needing a more powerful power source for the routing control, all electrical work is complete for now. I want to add one more signal, but that would just replace a relay. Last night I had a mysterious motive power failure problem when running clockwise through tracks 3 and 4 in the sidings. After checks on the current loading of the lights and a loco running at full speed, I decided that the load was too near the limit of the power supply; since disconnecting the lighting circuit the problem has gone. I've ordered an extra 8V supply to handle the lights which could be drawing up to 1A by the time I have finished.
For Inverness I have decided to use the same temporary landscaping that I used in Elgin last Easter. So, apart from a few extra signals the layout will appear unchanged. Of course, the control panel has a few extra buttons and there are a lot more wires under the board allowing me an increased number of manoeuvres compared with last Easter. Finally, I want to get hold of a 10Vac transformer to power the turntable as running it off the dc outputs of the other controllers was leading to problems. A spare mains controller [since ordered an 8V 2A wall wart] will do for now.

Aug 16th – Signal problem took a new twist. The addition of the Vorsignale has increased the load just a bit too much. I tried a 12V 1.2A regulated supply but that was no help at all. Actual current drawn was just under 2A from the Märklin supply when driving two Viessmann signals and three Märklin turnouts. Cannot find my CDU to see if that would help. (Also not sure if it will work off 10Vdc.) So I've ordered a 15V 2A wall wart and will see if that without or with the CDU will do the job. It's not the end of the world as the Vorsignale serves no function and can be disconnected. During testing I got a massive short off what is obviously a defective power supply which blew the fuse in my moving coil meter (will have to get a pack of 20mm 3A fuses tomorrow). I thought I had blown up a signal but it had survived after all. Feeling a bit fed up though.

Aug 15th – Just three weeks to the Inverness exhibition! I've just mounted my first Vorsignale (distant signal) on the station up exit track. It will be linked into the exit controls but I may try to build in a delay so that it is cleared just after the starter signals; it won't have any control functions though. I decided to replace one of my signals (which has a broken arm) with a new one only to find that neither of my brand new in box signals works. Absolutely dead! They are the newer Märklin ones, made by Viessmann, so, as they are no longer under guarantee (and were bought privately), they will have to go back to Viessmann for repair. That makes a total of five signals requiring attention as three were damaged in an accident. Anyway, tomorrow I will get that new signal wired in and wonder what to do next. Good night! [Later – The Vorsignale didn't work either. The problem was resolved by not strapping the control wires straight down the body; goodness know why.]

Aug 14th – Feeling quite smug this morning (well, for now). I've sorted a problem which was causing locos to dash off at maximum speed on controllers 3 and 4 (control systems +10V power accidentally connected to track ground) and have wired in some of the previously unconnected or unserviceable spurs. There's still confusion around the turntable to be addressed which will require a bit of thought but everything else, except an "I'll work when I feel like it" signal, is working now. So am at a bit of a loose end as to what to do next!

Aug 12th – It's been a while, but for good reason. After a suggestion from a forum member I decided to bite the bullet and build two diode matrices for the left and right ends of the hidden sidings (see first two images). I was surprised how smoothly it all went, with very few errors – mostly in the manufacture, not the design. The worst problem was tracing a fault with some of the routing on the left end which turned out, in the end, to be due to power supply overload. A temporary solution has been put in place.
The third image shows the station down end approach and exit signal and route controls (the up end is similar). The blue controller (to be updated) controls the routes into the station while the other two cover all the five exit signals and a shunting signal.
The final image shows the 'Nebengleis' (sidings) control panel with the routing control buttons. The ones on the left are a total mess and rather confusing. The lesson was learnt so the right hand end is ergonomic! Red and green buttons control the clockwise and anticlockwise main tracks, while the yellow buttons control the two b-directional sidings.
Well that's all for now. I have a couple of faults elsewhere to sort and the electrics will be ready for Inverness next month.

July 29th – Well, that's the first matrix board complete (bar one wire link I just noticed). While I have done a visual check, it has not been proven to be correct. That will come once it has been attached to the layout. The plan is to have wire links down both input and output sides into 'choc-strips' so that it can be easily removed for modification. [Later. Was putting the final column in when I realised that I had missed one, so had to take out 4 columns and put in five. All checked now - photo update later.]

July 28th – Started working on the diode matrix board for controlling the pointwork on the (operator's) left of the nebengleis (sidings). Had to give up after a while as I was going cross-eyed! I just hope I got the logic right and it will work as required.

CONTROL CIRCUITS [Note: Date indicates last update.]
  1. Dn entry route selection (Routenauswahl) [2009/07/25] & power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [2009/07/25]
  2. Dn exit route selection (Routenauswahl) [2009/07/25] & power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [2009/07/25]
  3. Up entry route selection (Routenauswahl) [2009/07/25] & power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [2009/07/25]
  4. Up exit route selection (Routenauswahl) [2009/07/25] & power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [2009/07/25]

July 25th – Well, yesterday I finished wiring up the control circuits and have been testing their functionality when two trains are running. So far no major problems, but 3-pole motors do slow down quite significantly in the station approaches when doing an automated through run. The system is not foolproof and a power feed switch accidentally left on can cause unpredictable problems. This may ease slightly when I replace some switches with push buttons at a later date. All in all, I think it was worth the effort and exhibitions should be less fraught. Bearing in mind that the prime purpose of the layout is to be exhibited, this can only be a good thing. I am going to take a short break now before I decide what to do next.

July 21st – 19:05 – First route (track 2) set up and working. Now it is only necessary to select a power switch in the station if the train is stopping, otherwise clearing both home and starter signals powers the whole route. I am going to celebrate by eating something I shouldn't!
Images are (L-R) power distribution and route selection.
[Later] Well, I have completed all three routes and all work to perfection, in spite of the fact that there is a loose feeder wire hanging dow under the baseboard. So, that's me finished for tonight. :o)

July 20th – Back from a week's railway holiday with a friend. I've had a good think about the station entry routing and power distribution and decided to reverse the logic from powering the route from the source to the destination. This gets round a problem on track 3 of the loco stalling on top of a detector and possibly burning out a relay if the operator forgets to power the receiving track.
The changes don't affect route selection but do mean that the home signal is now cleared by the route selector button and not by the approaching train. However, the work involved in feeding power back from the receiving track is a bit more complicated and I am writing this while taking a break before tackling it. Once implemented, it would mean that the train would not be able to leave the hidden sidings until the required route is selected and power it applied. A much safer option than the older method and more in line with prototype practice. Once I have tested it all, I will do the same thing to the much more complex up end of the station.

July 11th (originally July 9th) – [This entry will NOT be updated whenever there is a change to the circuit designs as the latest variations are at the head of the diary.] All four sections of the automatic control have now been tested with only a couple of problems manifesting themselves. As there has been some interest in the methodology involved, I am posting links to the circuit diagrams. (Note, the relevant circuits for the branch line have yet to be addressed. Indeed, I may leave that as a purely manual operation.)
  1. Down entry route selection (Routenauswahl) and power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [No updates.]
  2. Down exit route selection (Routenauswahl) and power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [No updates.]
  3. Up entry route selection (Routenauswahl) and power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [No updates.]
  4. Up exit route selection (Routenauswahl) and power distribution (betreibt Austeilung). [No updates.]
The way the system is configured, for stopping trains the user still has to apply power manually to the appropriate receiving track in the station as that is where the reset detectors are. However, this is not necessary for trains running straight through the station as the station exit control powers the station roads automatically. Thus the operation sequence for a through train is to select both entry and exit routes and let the train run through; for a stopping train, select power to the receiving road and then select the route to that road. This applies in both directions.

July 6th – At last some progress. After a couple of false starts and sorting out the polarization of the relays the semi-automatic routing and power circuits are in place and working. The four relays and power routing diodes can be seen clearly in the photo. As with the Märklin relays, a single short pulse locks the appropriate relay in the 'on' position and a similar pulse (sent to all four relays) resets it, breaking the current. As far as I can see, I can take a break for a few days!
All is not sweetness and light however. While I was working on the wiring a could of buildings came adrift and their fall managed to break off the top arm of the Track 2 so I now have two broken signals. I need to find out whether Viessmann will repair their signals.

June 21st – Happy mid-summer's day. I decided to start from scratch with the final set of station controls, namely the station entry control for down (outer circle) trains. I learned a lot from the up entry which has made it a lot easier. Also, I decided to draw two separate diagrams: one for routing (left) and one for motive power distribution (right). The result is that I was able to work out the circuits and do the drawings in a few hours instead of days. The result should make it easier for others to understand what I have done.
Finally, I have updated the track-plan above to correct a few minor discrepancies.

June 20th – Well, I feel that I have actually realised a milestone today — the remote control of the entry to the down end of the station is complete and tested. It's not quite how I had intended it as the current is still fed forward from the up main rather than being fed back from the receiving track, but functionally it is all working as specified. So, to receive a train into, say, Gleis 3, the user applies power to the up main at the exit from the hidden sidings and to Gleis 3. Then the appropriate route selection button is pressed, setting up the route into the station and applying power to the appropriate track sections. As soon as the trains enters Gleis 3, the current is cut off to the entry tracks (leaving the route still set up) and we are then ready for the next train. The circuit, for what it is worth, is shown above.
NB. All this requires a DC supply – the whole exercise would be far more difficult using AC, Hence I am using Märklin's 67020 small controllers with the 67030 transformer that plugs straight into the (UK 230Vac) mains. These give an unsmoothed 12V dc, quite adequate for points and relays (and signals) even with a diode in series. (Note: the 67011 controller could be used with a bridge rectifier.)

June 12th – Grief, it's been nearly a month since my last update. So, what's been happening in that time. Well, mostly I have been thinking about circuitry and how to improve on my crude semi-automation of the trains. This can be broken down into two main areas: a) the control of power circuits for brining trains into the station and b) the same for trains leaving the station. The new design method requires that track power be fed primarily to the destination and then, via diodes, to the entry or exit route. The obvious way forward was to work out then principle on the simple down (left hand) end of the station.
I decided to start with the down exit logic as this would be easiest being just two converging tracks. The original wiring (see February 28th below) had the traction current supply feeding forward from the platform tracks. In the new configuration (above left) the supply goes to the exit (the entry to the hidden sidings) though the actual wiring is almost identical but with blocking diodes added. Thus the user powers the end point of the route and selects the appropriate signal which than powers the whole route back to the station. The process of selecting a signal also sets the one turnout involved to the correct route. So far so good - it all works.
The next stage is to look at the entrance to the down (left) end of the station. Originally an approaching train cleared the up block signal which, in turn, supplied power to all routes in the station throat. The signal would be set back to danger as the locomotive crossed one of three detection tracks. However, this did not work properly for trains entering Gleis 4 as I wanted the power to come from the platform tracks (Gleis 1-4). I wanted to be able to apply power from one of two controllers and then, via a push button, set the route and apply power. As before, the route would be cancelled when the train entered the station. So the first change involved abandoning the existing detector track leading to Gleis 4 and insert one to the right of the uncoupler (above right). Thus the route would be cleared ready for the next train.
So, yesterday I put the additional detector tracks in place. However, I have to wait now for some Märklin relays so that I can finish the job. But, please note that both diagrams are still in draft and may need to be edited.

May 16th – After a fallow period in which I concentrated on practicing the French horn for two concerts, I have turned back to the layout again. At Elgin I had a few niggles with the automatic train control (and one dead section due to a loose wire) so decided to redesign the wiring for the down exit from the station. The new design requires power to be supplied only to the down main exit track, where it leaves the scenic part of the layout, and leave it to the signals to supply power to the other track sections. Also, I decided to have the Gleis 2 starter control the turnout so that the train leaves by the correct track. There is no interlocking between the two starters so the operator can accidentally pull off both signals and cause a crash! (Yes, I know it would be pretty easy to arrange interlocking but I have other things to worry about.) The two images show the related wiring diagram (if it makes any sense to you) and the track plan . I also plan to amend the exit routing at the up end of the station along the same lines with the signals on Gleis 3 and 4 setting the double slip as I am constantly forgetting to set it (and reset it) correctly.

Apr 8th – Finally ready for Elgin (well, almost!) but what a hassle I had.
I was having a few minor problems with the up end exit signal routing logic so decided to change the design concept so that the up main was the only track that needed to be selected for a power feed. Guess who had forgotten that the detector on the up main was short circuit. So set about removing one of the detectors in the station throat to replace it but managed to damage it so it was permanent open circuit. :o(
So, removed the second detector in the up exit throat and fitted it. Then had to replace all the ripped out track with none to spare. (Click on first image above.) Having done that, I had to redesign the logic circuits and replace the old wiring with new. (See second image above.) Two days later and all four exit routes are up and running except for one minor glitch on Gleis 3 where the loco can over-run a signal at danger fouling the double slip.
Apart from that I am finally ready for Elgin. I'll update my webpage later today (hopefully). No photos at the moment. I will do them at and after Elgin.

Mar 29thGetting Ready for Elgin – Well, we are nearly ready for Elgin and I am running trains round to check that they are working OK. The signals are all up to date and controlling trains, even though I got the rail breaks in the wrong places (to be sorted later). I have two distant signals to put in but I doubt if I will install them for Elgin. I've created a temporary town-scape and planted a few (N scale) trees though they do look rather forlorn. i have all my trains selected and tested for Elgin so can relax a bit though I want to add a few more vehicles to the high street as well a adding a few other details. Here are a few more photos.

Mar 3rd – Yesterday I finished testing the down main and relief roads so that is all OK. Today I started on the up main. The semi-automatic control worked fine, however...
This layout worked impeccably at the last exhibition but now it has short and open circuits in the station. The open circuit (at the up end double slip) was easy to find though why it was there in the first place is a mystery. One short circuit (well, almost, the loco slowed to a crawl) turned out to be a logic control diode in the wrong place. The other short was due to confusion between the normal feeder track and the (similar in appearance) isolating track. All solved. (There is another open circuit but that is a deliberate one, to be sorted later. So, after a whole afternoon spent trouble shooting, I'm a happy chappie!

Feb 28th – Today I have wired in the necessary connections to introduce an element of automatic control of the exit tracks of down (CCW) trains. The train approaches with all signals set to danger. When the l;ine is clear to start the starter and advance signals are cleared. This applies power to the exit tracks sections and the train can procede. As the train clears the advance starter, it resets the starter and advance starter signals back to danger. Shunting movements in the opposite are allowed by using diodes to bypass the signals relays (see the circuit diagram). And, much to my surprise, it all seems to work perfectly! (Actually there was a slight glitch; setting either of the down starters to danger will set both to danger. I suppose could remove the control wires as setting to danger is automated but there is no real probelm so I am leaving htem in. They are not on the circuit diagram.)

Feb 27th – Well, today I completed the installing and wiring of four Märklin signal/point control boxes and all the signals installed to date work fine. I've still a few to fit including some on order. The next stage now is to link the signals, sundry diodes and track sections so that I can check my circuit diagrams (or my ability to follow them!).
I was running my track cleaner round juts now, scraping dirt off the railheads, when it stopped dead. Checks showed that it had been disassembled some time and put back togehter incorrectly, but the bad news is that it has gone short circuit. :o( It is very old (which was reflected in the price I paid) so I guess it is to be expected, but I will have to have a proper look at it some time.

Feb 19th – A long overdue update. I have been slowly acquiring and installing signals and a few days ago wired up all the signal. lights to run off one of the four power packs. (The signals themselves will be powered off a second power-pack that will also drive the pointwork and uncouplers.) The signals are semiautomatic and will both control and be controlled by the trains. By killing the power to the control circuits the signals can all be left at clear for continuous, hand off, running - not exactly prototypical!
Latest news is that Breitenfurt will be on show at the Moray MRG exhibition in Elgin on 12-13 April.

3rd Jan, 2009 – Well, I don't know what has happened to my camera but it refuses to take flash photos. So, I dug out an old cheapo camera and got a couple of photos. If you compare this image with that shown on 12th November below you will see that what was a rat's nest is now a rat's city! The original wiring was done with terminal strips set vertically (right hand end) whereas later wiring has the strips set horizontally (left end) and generally away from the trackwork. The original method has led to all sorts of problems with fitting the signals as the strips often fouled the holes drilled to take the signal mounts.

Thank you for looking.