Originally I wasn’t going to touch the handmade turnouts but after putting the PCB ties on, they stuck out like a sore. So, I decided to do a quick coat of Rust-oleum Camouflage Earth Brown…a comparison photo below.
The room being only 12 ft. wide is pretty tight on curves, so to turn around corners I used custom turnouts in designing the staging yard. Seemed like a good idea at the time thought it meant I had to hand make turnouts. A sane person starting on a big layout for the very first time, without any experience hand laying track, would choose to maybe make one custom turnout – a straight one, for shits and giggles. I dived into making 5…curved…turnouts, all having both curved point rails and curved frogs. Let’s go!
The day wasn’t spent in Shipping/Receiving parcels, as the previous post might make it look like. No Sir, actually real work has been done on the railroad. Crews have been busy drilling the sub/road bed and fitting turnouts and motors. Finally, we are “doing trains” !!
…or “Making a Mess”. It was bound to happen after spinning in circles for a day, trying to figure out whether I’ve missed something glaringly obvious or not. I wasn’t ready to commit cork to the helix sub-roadbed yesterday, so today I bit the bullet. Truth be told, I did re-adjust 3 spots on the threaded rods last night where the height did not match the calculations, but that was only a matter of adding or removing a 1/32″ washer. There’s no going back now.
After several weeks of waiting I’ve finally gathered the tools and supplies needed to build turnouts on the staging deck. In my haste to get everything ordered and sorted out, I wasn’t thinking about rail sizes. My entire staging deck is Code 100, while the rest of the railroad will be Code 70 and Code 83. Well, I ordered things thinking that everything will fit, thus forgetting that the foot of the rail in Code 100 is wider. Meh, it doesn’t fit the Frog Helper or the Stock Aid tools I bought (which are for Code 70/83).
God knows why I waited till the last moment to order the track and turnouts…believe it or not though, I made changes to my staging plan hours before ordering the parts. In a moment of panic I realized that I could use large turnouts instead of medium, duh. So, I replaced all medium turnouts and then placed the order. In retrospect I’m glad I did this, except that I shouldn’t have waited till the last moment to do it.
A pleasant surprise, on this snowy day happened in the evening when a mailman showed up with a big box. The package with all the supplies for building the Staging level has finally arrived.
It is going to be a busy and hopefully productive Holiday season. Since I’ll be off work for couple of weeks, I can focus on finishing the construction of the Staging level benchwork and lay some track down, if all goes well.
There’s a lot of track to be laid down and wired, as well as turnouts to be tested and fit into place. One thing is for sure – I’m not looking forward soldering hundreds of feeder wires to all the flex track… ;)