Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Starting Roadbed, Track & Wiring

I've had a few more very productive days in the basement, thanks in no small part to a little lot of help from my friends. The pictures tell the story (with a little help from the captions)...
I'm using MicroEngineering turnouts, and Fast Tracks provides some handy templates to help you lay things out. Just print out the PDFs, cut, and tape. This is how I laid out the throat for the staging yard.

I didn't want to have to cork the entire yard, and I had some leftover homasote, so decided to use that instead. Problem is that there's a difference in height between track-on-cork and track-on-homasote (the homasote is much thicker than the cork). So I made three cuts in the plywood to allow me to shim up a ramp to the correct height.
Roman's been doing yeoman's work on laying cork roadbed and is very good at it. Here's the "Boston"/east return loop all corked. The staging yard will be in the center with most of the tracks on the homasote. 
Here's the first of three mainline tracks going through Old Saybrook. We're using wood glue to glue the cork to the plywood (unlike Elmers/white glue, it's water resistant - important for water-based scenery techniques) and thumbtacks to hold it in place while it sets.

Here comes the track gang! Joseph & Randy start laying track on the "east" loop...

... while Roman continues laying roadbed.

The "west" loop got roadbed and track so fast I was already too late to get an in-progress photo. Here it is all done and ready for connecting to the mainlines through the wall. Like the false start at the east end of Hoosac Tunnel, you see the now-abandoned hole through the wall in the back where the mainline was going to go (before clearer minds convinced me otherwise).

The wye really makes the Old Saybrook scene - and here it is just getting started. I was going to try my usual "paper doll" & cookie-cutter technique for subroadbed, but Randy suggested I just slap on a sheet of plywood and cut to fit the benchwork. Makes for a lot more latitude for track adjustment.

Track's all done on the east end of the mainline - awaiting staging yard turnouts and track.

And while all this tracklaying was going on, Tom started routing the new bus line from the command station to the Shoreline. It's a straight shot of left-over Romex with no feeders, so the Shoreline will be its own seperate power district. And the Romex looks nice enough going up over the door that I didn't end up needing to install wire conduit .
So a great start to roadbed, track & wiring after just a couple evenings of work. My deadline's getting ever closer, but we're making some really good progress.


  1. Ooo... exciting times! It's always great to see fresh track going down. Keep at it, and keep sharing.
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

    1. Thanks much for the encouragement Trevor! I really feel lately like I'm in that "flow" when I can get a lot done - but there's so much to do! Thankfully, I haven't hit any roadblocks lately and am not feeling (too) overwhelmed at the scope of what I want to get done by Aug. 8. Don't worry about my sharing - LOTS of posts in the hopper coming up. Thanks for staying tuned!

    2. Thanks for sharing your progress again. Makes me wish I lived a little closer so I could join you and your crew for a work night or two.

      Are you planning on a removable lift out section or gate north of the Old Saybrook wye? It looks like you'll have to do something to provide access to the door to the room to the west.


    3. Hey Mike and thanks for checking in! Sorry it took a while for me to reply. Yes, I'm planning on a liftout between the Saybrook wye and the wall entering the Essex room. But I haven't figured out yet how best to do it. So any suggestions you have are most welcome!