Work Continues

Its been a while since the last update, sadly I haven’t been able to update the blog as often as I would have liked. In addition our club layout (Rusbury Basin) has been out at a couple of exhibitions, and we have had to prepare for those.

So whats happened?

Well, tracklaying has now been completed, all the point motors have been installed.

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The customer has decided to use DCC to control the trains on his new layout. Instead of relying on the fishplates to carry power between sections of track we have soldered a loop of wire across each joint, below the board surface. The point motors are being connected with a loop of wire and will eventually be changed using a switch (one per point) from a purpose built switch box.

The customer has been to see the progress on his new layout (he brought his dad along too) and they both said how they were pleased with the way it was going. The wiring on the layout has now been completed, leaving only the control panel to be finished and installed.

Work continues…

The first piece of track goes in.

Todays photograph shows the first crossover to be positioned on the layout, the location is just at the end of the main line platforms. The rest of the trackwork is being positioned using this location as the starting point.

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It shows under the left hand point one of the holes that have been cut into the surface to hold the point motors. These holes have then been covered by a piece of paper as under the right hand point, which will protect the point motor when we start ballasting.

Last evening we managed to get two thirds of the outer double track circuit laid and loosely pinned down. The intention is to remove the pins after ballasting is complete leaving the track glued down by the ballast and glue used. More next week, including photos of the layout so far.

Track laying starts

Where we had marked the track positions at the start of the project we now applied a bead of PVA adhesive. Over the top of this we applied strips of thin cork sheet wide enough for the track and a ballast shoulder. The edge will be cut to shape when we apply the ballast later.
Tracklaying commences
We have now started to position the track in readiness for final fixing.

Work Commences

Following his acceptance of our quotation, work has commenced building our first commission.

Before we started we laid out the track so as to roughly mark the final positions of points etc.. We didn’t want to put a cross member where the point motor was going to be! Holes were drilled to mark the position of the tie bars underneath.

We started with a number of 8ft x 4ft sheets of 9mm birch ply. One was cut down to 3inch wide strips lengthwise. These were used as the framing. Another sheet was used as the top along with part of a third to create the full width.
Layout frame, cross members and top
After framing round the outside we inserted further braces across the width. These additional braces had holes drilled in the reduce weight and provide a route to feed cables. Further transverse supports were fitted in an attempt to stiffen the assembly. Finally diagonal supports were fitted to stiffen it still further.

In each of the corners a small triangular piece of ply was added to reinforce the corners as the customer will be suspending the layout from the ceiling. Finally the joint where two pieces of ply join to make the full width board top was reinforced with ply battens.

Once the board had been finished it was given two coats of water based varnish to seal the wood against damp.
Varnishing the underside