GOOD DAY BLOGGERNET! Or whatever the hell it is I call you. I don’t like blogosphere, so that’s out. Internet? I’m not that important.
No blog updates for 2 months, you say? Well, how about that! I’ve been busy, but not notably so. Started school a month ago, but that wasn’t the main factor…no, I got my fast tracks turnout kits in the mail (#5, #6 and #8), and I’ve been busy building! I’ve gotten very close to actually laying track, having completed all the turnouts for the mainline and Castlegar yard save for the most complicated set (8 turnouts in one piece, including a crossover, 4 track yard ladder, and 2 sidings) so I’m actually getting close to the point where I could potentially run a train. Plus, while my girlfriend and I have both been in school, I’ve wanted to spend my evenings with her, and the only MRR-related activity that we can do in the same room is building turnouts, so there you go!
Anyway, here’s the staging yard ladder/west leg of wye switch.
Little pointers on building fast tracks turnouts: Make sure you’ve filed the points fully. At the end, it seems like you’re done, but there’s still a little bit left.
Don’t use piano wire for throws with N scale…the smallest gauge that exists is still big enough to break the ties in half. I tried using #15 (It goes to #12, for some reason, and the smallest the local piano repair shop had was 13) so I’m still in search of something usable, although I did get a packaet of HOn ties that I could use if all else fails.
Test, test, test. I am very glad I own an NMRA gauge.
On to what I’m doing now…
Hooked up the terminal strip at what I intend to be the DCC command centre of the layout. This way I don’t have to worry about solder joints if I decide to change anything, especially once I get around to expansion and replace the powercab with a proper booster. All I’ll have to do then is swap the wires out. The tricky part is wiring the staging yard. I’ve got to send the ‘common wire’ from the AR1 to the 3 staging tracks and mainline (Haven’t decided between 14 and 18 gauge yet), but have a separate bus and feeder system for each of those four tracks’ red wire. (18 gauge, probably) The siding and switching yard both go on the same bus, 14 gauge.
And the schematic, which I’ll put on the wall beside the strip (I’m really hoping this makes sense)
Also, hooked up an AR1 under the staging yard. This will control the west turnout, the mainline, and the staging tracks, just to be sure that nothing will cause a short. I don’t like it either, but I like long consists.
Speaking of the staging tracks, there are 3 of them, and they’ll be isolatable with an atlas selector, in order that I can shove a ton of locomotives on them and now draw all of the 2 amps my powercab gives.
On to other work…my current project is fascia. I’m starting at Castlegar because I was eager to get the PCP in place and hook all the wires up, but it could have gone better. I started by putting a cut section of that cheap Chinese 3/4″ ply cut to the profile of the tabletop attached to the bottom of the joists, with bits of 1×2 for extra support, especially at the PCP. I have a raised base for the fascia because it takes a painfully long time to walk around the entire peninsula, so if your body is up to it there’s a duckunder available to you. The bottom of the benchwork is extra high at that spot, I think I had it at 32″ instead of 29″. That’s an H24-66 sitting on the mainline there. I apologise for the mess on the floor, I’m not very good at keeping it clean. I promise that if you visit you’ll have enough space to walk.
Once that was all in place, I got worried that the curve was too sharp for the masonite, so I steamed it. LESSON TIME! Do NOT steam the side that will be facing outward. It will lose its lovely smooth shinyness.
Anyway, it’s amazing how fast clutter appears.
The masonite on top is so I can have fun with roadbed heights, trying to match them to the prototype. I’ll get more into this later, when I put down cork. Here’s a photo of the track I’ve drawn on. Left trainmaster is sitting on the mainline of the Boundary subdivision (Nelson through to Midway), the C-liner is on the mainline of the Rossland subdivision, and the right-hand trainmaster is in the switching yard for Castlegar. The ladder for the staging yard is visible, and I’ve yet to sand down the masonite for a smooth transition.
So, once I’m done sanding everything down and have all the fascia in place (One UTP to install, and a corner to recut that no masonite can go around) I’ll get to work on scenery. I think my dad’s interested in helping me with that, so it could go very quickly. I’m also ordering parts for both the McCormack Creek bridge and the Taghum bridge, and hoping those will go in nicely. I’ve got my papermill, and that will come into place later…it’s a walthers model that I’m going to kitbash slightly. Again, for another post.
Until next time, keep them wheels turning and all that!
PS: I’m really enjoying Tomska’s videos on youtube. If you haven’t seen them, you should check them out.