Sputtering start to a new layout

Stephane Savard May 24, 2018

  1. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Small steps, I work on the layout a bit here, a bit there!

    I started gluing down the track in the yard. I usually start by pinning down the track exactly where I want it, and then use a permanent marker (i.e. the sharpie) to mark a few spots around the turnout. Mostly, I use it to mark where to stay away with glue. It's slow going, I only glue down two or three parts a day, but so far everything fits nicely, and I like taking my time. I also started installing the ground throws. They aren't permanently attached yet, just using pins.

    The tricky bit was that some of my ground throws must be installed further away from their ideal position as there isn't any place between the tracks. I mentioned the other day I wanted to use push rods...

    IMG_20180913_201621100.JPG

    This is the push-rod. It's just a brass rod inside a brass tube. Nothing fancy. I used a Dremel to carve a small trench in the cork. Eventually it will be covered by ballast. Also, you can see the sharpie dots I marked around the turnout's fiddly bit - guides telling me not to apply glue any closer to prevent gumming up the mechanism.

    In the following picture everything is pinned in place before gluing, and testing that the ground throws works correctly (they do).

    IMG_20180913_202649302.JPG

    One thing to note... the caboose industries ground throws have a large assortment of different bits and pieces for connecting to various manufacturer turnouts. Surprise! they don't provide one to connect to a random brass rod. Well, they do, but the hole is much too large for my purpose. I guess I could have flipped the assembly around and used that little hole at the end, but I didn't want the turnout to look different than it's neighbor. The solution to that was to make my own little connector using the one shown below:

    IMG_20180913_183659400.JPG

    I took the blade connector, snipped off the blade bit, and added a hole, resulting in this:

    IMG_20180913_184411787.JPG

    Now my ground throws look alike.

    That's it for now, next update will likely be when I finish assembling the yard.


    (I finally got my macro lights out for some slightly better photos - however I'm still only using my cellphone for the pictures. Too lazy to get the real photo equipment out, this will have to do!)
     
    BNSF FAN and JoeTodd like this.
  2. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    A minor update...

    IMG_20180917_221631233.JPG


    I've installed all of the turnouts (13 in all!) in the small yard, glued down and ready to go. I did briefly get worried about accessing the throws at the back of the yard, but after setting up some boxcars in front of the throws, I found that access wasn't an issue. Also nice to see that I could push the boxcar throughout all the turnouts without any issues.

    Next up, gluing down the ground throws to the cork, trimming the cork around the ground throws, and then cutting and installing the straight sections of flex track.
     
    JoeTodd, Mr. Trainiac and NScaleKen like this.
  3. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I'm a little late, but this month's Model Railroader had an article on remote-location ground throws with the push rod thing that you are doing. If you don't already read the magazine, it may be a cool article to check out.
     
  4. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Might have been neat to see that article, but I'm not a subscriber. After you mentioned it I did go to the website and see the one picture and article description.

    Its a really nice idea having the ground throws far off on the edge with
    stand-ins in the actual yard, but I don't mind the scale mismatch. I like that I can move a little lever that looks like a ground throw inside the yard. My rail world doesn't need to be perfect, I just need to like and enjoy it.
     
  5. nd-rails

    nd-rails TrainBoard Supporter

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    Stephane,
    has to be said and surprised more emphasis hasn't been given, but turnouts in a tunnel- fatal mistake!
    Knowing how track cleaning, rolling variation and point picking can and will occur as problems, access to nearly hidden or covered turnouts is asking for trouble.
    Scenic block the staging by all means, but try and avoid covering, FWIW
    dave
     
  6. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    Technically the rails and the turnouts at the back won't really be in a tunnel since I want the whole length of the back open. That opening is planned to be at least four inches tall, maybe more if I slope the "roof" in making the cliffs that cover these tracks. That's the "plan" anyway and I hope it works! Backup idea is to make the cliffs and hills covering that area removable, which is what I'd like to do to access some of the tunnels on the left side of the layout. Thanks for pointing it out though, and just making a scenic block might end up looking better and easier to do. I'll have to look at this more closely soon!
     
  7. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Nice work, really enjoying following your progress.

    Sent from my SM-G550T using Tapatalk
     
  8. nd-rails

    nd-rails TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice big (tall) chunk of scenicked polystyrene can sit by itself and when well covered, and the flat 'join' area connects with an array of bushes and other disguising features, would be most useful IMHO,
    d
     

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