But all that time has certainly paid off - I've accomplished more in the last few weeks than I have in the last bunch of months. I won't bore you with a play-by-play description of each day's tasks, but I thought it'd be fun to review some of the highlights (and give myself a handy reference point for seeing my progress along the way).
As the track pushed "north," I decided to try some superelevation on the turnback curve between Essex and Deep River. You may recall that I first tried superelevation on an S curve on the Air Line portion of the layout and, while it looks nice, I mentioned then that if I tried superelevation again I'd use a .060" max rather than the .030" recommended in my trackwork book.
So, I laid a "vertical easement" of a couple of lengths of .020" & .040" strips to transition to the .060" height. I used Aileen's tacky glue to attach the strips and track to the cork, and used thick ACC to attach the track (ties) to the styrene strips.
Then I used my handy-dandy water bottles to weigh everything down to dry overnight.
The extra thickness of the .060" strips really makes for a dramatic lean, but I was afraid that so much height on the outside rail (it's 5.25 scale inches - a lot) might affect operation - especially given that the first time I ran the K-1 backwards through the curve the tender kept wanting to tip over. But - inexplicably - things settled down (I think one of the tender trucks had a slight, temporary bind) and I've run trains, including long passenger cars, back and forth through this curve with no problems And where .030" superelevation was barely noticeable, you really notice it here. It's a real treat to see the train go around the curve.
And, believe it or not, despite the fact that the Valley Line was a lowly branch of the New Haven, some of the curves were banked for 50 mph. So a dramatic lean is totally prototypical.
I'd already installed roadbed and had rasped down the transitions between the HO thickness on the main and the N scale thickness on the sidings, so once I got around the curve between Essex and Deep River, tracklaying moved pretty fast.
|Overview of Essex in progress. Mainline laid through here - curve at north end weighted and drying.|
|Another view of the turnback curve, looking back toward Essex, with track started, weighed and drying in Deep River.|
|Mainline continues to push north around the curve between Deep River (on the right) and East Haddam (on the left)|
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
|After the centerline is marked, glue & pin the roadbed. Once that's cured, place and glue the track. Having a foam tabletop, rather than dealing with traditional plywood cookie-cutter subroadbed, makes this process very fast.|
|Once the mainline was done to Shailerville Bridge, it was time to complete East Haddam Yard (on the left) . . .|
|. . . and complete the sidings in Essex.|
So I'll close with these last few pics of the finished mainline from Essex to East Haddam . . .
|Essex, looking northeast.|
|Deep River, looking north|
|East Haddam, looking south|