Oct 26, 2019
Looking really good there Mr Moore
Thanks but trying the fit Unitrack in a dedicated right of way is a bit of a bear. Building the layout while laying the track is easier.
Like a Grizzly grabbing a Salmon at feeding time huh
Well I finally completed converting the port track over to Kato Unitrack. The turnouts are all 20-240 with exception of two Peco ST -5s. Now awaithing some number 6 turnouts and some 8 inch rad track to tie it into the mainline. I installed new Atlas flex to the stockyards to connect to the Peco turnout and left the Atlas flex for the ore loader again to Peco turnout. The rest is all Kato and the curves are a mix of 6 inch, 7 inch, and 8.5 inch radius.
000_1288-1 by John Moore posted Dec 5, 2019 at 10:50 AM
I am using up an excess of cork roadbed to create roads.
000_1289-2 by John Moore posted Dec 5, 2019 at 10:50 AM
Here I have left in the old Atlas flex to the ore loader while completely installing unitrack to the container loading side.
000_1290-3 by John Moore posted Dec 5, 2019 at 10:50 AM
And I have gotten creative with the rerailer grade crossing sections with one being used for a crossing along with the cork and the other is going to be loading platform. The track plan has changed some due to working with the dimension of the Unitrack versus Atlas and Peco and I had to give up one of the stub end sidings at the end because it just would not fit given the space with the larger footprint Kato turnouts. My advice to anybody considering switching to Kato unitrack is order the turnouts first because of the different footprints of the turnouts some redesign of track work will be needed. In my case I tore out most of my port trackwork and then with the turnouts in hand I knew what additional track I needed and could research and order.
Looking good there
Thanks folks. I am debating whether to paint the cork black or go with concrete color and maybe both since I have a container of fine cinders coming along with some fine gray ballast. Now working on the loading ramp and platform which has been cut down from the original one.
000_1291-4 by John Moore posted Dec 5, 2019 at 1:13 PM
Looks good ! I see that you had a visit from the Idaho potato guy
Today I started working on restoring the scenic material from the where I ripped it up to install the Unitrack. I have been cutting then sanding with a rotary sander on the Dremel to shape the cork roadbed and bring it up to the track I will install Blair Line wood grade crossings in the centers. Today I applied some concrete paint to a few sections then some black paint for asphalt. Finally I filled the gaps between the unitrack and the cork with Woodland Scenics fine gray ballast. Still have a couple of days work ahead of me.
000_1292-1 by John Moore posted Dec 6, 2019 at 5:18 PM
The last few days still working on restoring the scenic areas of the port. And I received a couple of Kato Unitrack number 6 turnouts today and the first thing I did was to dig out an old Atlas number 6 to compare size. I have a few newer Atlas number 6s that are just maybe and inch longer but these Unitrack 6s really eat up the real estate. So some study is in order when I get to the dual mains in front of the village station and have two crossovers.
000_1297-1 by John Moore posted Dec 8, 2019 at 5:57 PM
And Grey One take note of what is in the photo to the left. Those are 13 foot containers. NUMA needs more office space.
I started installing wood grade crossings taking the odds and ends I had on hand to start. An order of Blair Line crossings are coming later this week.
000_1296-2 by John Moore posted Dec 7, 2019 at 5:44 PM
Got most of my asphalt roads in using Woodland Scenic's fine cinders
000_1299-3 by John Moore posted Dec 8, 2019 at 5:57 PM
Continued around the station with Asphalt road and now awaiting grade crossings.
000_1300-4 by John Moore posted Dec 8, 2019 at 5:57 PM
After letting the scenic material dry overnight I will give it a good vacuuming and continue to replace things removed during the refit with unitrack, and I may add some greenery to break up the shades of black and gray.
But the Unitrack #6 looks so much better! It doesnt have that fugly big ol switch sticking out of the side
No argument there it is just the larder footprints have made me have to revised the track plan and give up both a stub end siding and a building. Plus I had to go back and use two Pecos which I did not want to because of lack of space. If I use the number 6s it wil only be five in all and I may decide to keep them as power thrown since I plan to purchase a Kato power pack. But I have to work out the logistics for the next phase first.
And a shot of the container office underway.
000_1301-5 by John Moore posted Dec 8, 2019 at 9:07 PM
Well almost finished with my container building replacing the structure behind it that was displaced from the Unitrack installation.
000_1302-1 by John Moore posted Dec 9, 2019 at 10:33 AM
Then I joined to Number 6 unitrack turnouts together to see if I could fit them into the area in front of the Village train station and I cannot with the current structures in place. In order to make it work I have to sacrifice most of the structures on the left side of the tracks and possibly the Atlas kit bashed bridge across the stream.
Right hand view of the station tracks currently using Atlas number 6s.
000_1303-2 by John Moore posted Dec 9, 2019 at 11:42 AM
And from the left.
000_1304-3 by John Moore posted Dec 9, 2019 at 11:42 AM
Meanwhile I have put one of the number 6s to use coming off the main line to the port.
000_1305-5 by John Moore posted Dec 9, 2019 at 12:39 PM
Well pretty much after a day of studying I find no way I can fit the unitrack in the space provided in front of the village train station. So this morning out came the spray bottle with water and I proceeded to wet everything down then remove everything.
000_1306-1 by John Moore posted Dec 10, 2019 at 12:27 PM
The little M of W sheds with the speeders will have to go also to make room for a Kato 20-241 short radius turnout to access the brewery complex. I am going with Kato number 6s for the crossovers in the station area. Have not decided whether I am going with unitrack to the brewery or just install a transition piece to connect to the Atlas flex track.
I believe I will be able to reuse my kit bashed Atlas short double bridge by simply converting a couple of Kato straight unitrack pieces to flex.
000_1307-2 by John Moore posted Dec 10, 2019 at 12:27 PM
The other end showing my kit bashed bridge.
So I will be ordering some more number 6s and some more curved track today.
You must have bought that barrel of monkeys as much fun as your having lol.
Definitely some logistics involved with changing to Unitrack on an already existing layout. For the most part my staying with water based adhesives is paying off though since a simple wet and then remove means I will be able to reuse most of the structures.
Hang in there John. I am positive you will like the results when done
I already like the results so far. I do not have to try and ballast around the turnouts and the mechanisms are both concealed and seem to be high enough not to effected by scenic glue that may seep under them. Second there is no ballasting between the tracks needed eliminating any ballast interfering with wheel flanges. Electrical conductivity seems vastly improved. And while I do use spikes they are temporary since I am using white glue to affix the track and once dry I remove the spikes. And no cork roadbed. My entire layout is covered by a 1/2 inch foam and I am laying straight on that.
And in the John, Unitrack just works. (I'm not making any implied statement of your previous track laying efforts.) You will have a smoother running railroad in the end.
Last night I took a hard look at the trackwork in the Brewery complex and did not like what I saw or the difficulties in hooking it to Unitrack so out it came. It will be partially replace by unitrack.
000_1308-1 by John Moore posted Dec 11, 2019 at 9:21 AM
I will be able to run unitrack to the front of the mills and their loading docks. Where I run into issues is between the Brewery mills and the grain storage tanks is fitting in any type of Unitrack turnout forcing me to have to go with a Peco ST series on an Atlas number 6.
000_1309-2 by John Moore posted Dec 11, 2019 at 9:21 AM
Fortunately I have a couple of older Atlas number 6s that have a smaller footprint than the current ones by about 2 inches so just maybe I can stay away from using the trouble prone Peco STs.
Kato made the transition piece of track specifically for Atlas track and in order to use the Peco I have to do some trimming. Below is one of my old Atlas with the smaller footprint hooked to Kato transition piece Kato number 20-045.
000_1310-3 by John Moore posted Dec 11, 2019 at 9:43 AM
I can also convert this section to a flex section with a few razor saw cuts. I am soldering the connection between the Atlas and Kato then going with new Atlas flex track from the Atlas number 6. A large order for Kato Unitrack was placed yesterday which should be enough to get me across the stream and beyond.