December 17, 2017: The Transum shunting puzzles
December 14, 2017
There will be a shunting competition at the convention.
Over the last six months we discussed the possible format of the competition with people throughout New Zealand. Some recommended a timed format, others recommended we use the number of moves. In the end we decided to use the number of moves with a cap on the time.
Then there was the question of the layout of the tracks. Two time-honoured layouts are Alan Wright's Inglenook, see for example this webpage, and John Allen's time saver layout, see for example this webpage. After much deliberation, we settled on the track layout described here. The layout consists of a head shunt, a reception siding and two depot tracks. The competition begins with five loaded wagons on the reception siding and five empty wagons distributed across the two depot tracks. The aim is to place the five loaded wagons in prescribed locations on the two depot tracks and to assemble the five empty wagons on the head shunt in any order. The winner is the person who uses the least number of moves subject to not exceeding the time cap. The maximum number of wagons permitted on each of the depot tracks, the reception siding and the head shunt is five.
We will supply the wagons. You can either use the locomotive and cab we supply or use your own. The layout will be DCC and the track gauge 16.5mm.
The two turnouts will be manually operated. We plan to use #6 turnouts instead of #4 to reduce the likelihood of a de-railment.
The layout will be open outside competition hours for people to practise and for experienced operators to educate novice operators such as the writer on how to do shunting in an efficient manner.
If you have questions about the shunting competition, Davlyn Brider is the person to contact. You can send him email here.