You wan’ sore finger?

No thanks, but I always end up burning at least one when doing my comedy soldering act. Luckily it’s usually the left index finger, which I cut badly many years ago and now has very little feeling at the tip. Not that that makes the smell of burning flesh any better.

As built the loco shed at Grande was designed for three tracks, though for some reason only two were included at first (library photo above). A while ago I lifted one of these two and slewed it over towards the station so the middle road could be provided. That was as far as it got, the shed didn’t get rewired and that area of the layout has been purely cosmetic since then.

Anyway I was determined to do the shed wiring before breakfast this morning, the first job was tracing the colour coded wires from the control panel (below, normally hidden in the dispatcher’s office building) to the shed area so that they could be reconnected to the appropriate rails.

Having done this I tested the three shed roads. Hum, wrong polarity, but no matter because the shed can only be accessed from the rest of the station via the turntable.

It was at this point that I noticed a lone wire sticking out of the ground and realised that the short spur between the shed and the lead from the yard to the turntable was also included in the trunk cable from the panel to the shed, so that too was rewired, carefully ensuring that its polarity was in keeping with the other shed roads.

All four roads are now working, tested and buried in clay. As this dries it’ll probably crack and need touching up but that’s an easy enough job to do.

Grande now has an operational loco shed again, or it would if the turntable was working! At first I suspected that the DPDT switch had a dry joint on one of the connections, this turns out not to be the case so it would seem that the switch itself is faulty. I have got a spare on hand but for now it’s time for a belated breakfast and a pot of coffee.


Having replaced the DPDT switch the turntable still did not work so I traced the source of the problem back to it also having been fed via the loco shed trunk cable. Having cut both wires from the connections on the shed side of the baseboard I reattached them directly to the switch panel bus wires.

It’s taking some time to get used to the reversed polarity and I frequently get it wrong, causing a dead short as the loco wheels roll on or off the turntable as well as setting off in the wrong direction when leaving the shed.


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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