To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Working on the 2 End Loop Modules - Part 2

The 2 end modules were assembled together for the installation of track, overhead wire, and electrical gear. There are at least 2 different sets of instructional videos on the building of O scale track including turnouts on YouTube. For this reason I will not be spending much time on this. Instead unusual items will be mentioned.

The open track module will be worked on 1st. This is the farthest west module of the layout called the  "Zoo Return Loop". It's been about 15 years since I last built track and turnouts. I wanted to built the trailing turnout before tackling the traffic facing turnout.

As much as possible straight track was to be flex-track. From experience I knew bending flex track around a 14" radius loop would be hard to do. This loop would require handlaid track.

I knew when the cork roadbed would be laid, the centerline and rail lines would be obscured. But, I have an answer for this which will be covered as the track is laid..

The other item before I forget, I've always built turnouts in place. I don't like to prebuild the turnout and then transfer it to the location where it is to be used.

Also, you'll notice although cork roadbed is used, the cork for turnouts is not used. The regular cork roadbed is used through out the layout. This is because the retention of the  pencil (ballpoint) drawn midline of the track is important to retain.

Lastly, always install the curve(s) 1st and keep them intact as other parts (cork roadbed, rail, etc.) are installed. You'll see this with the cork roadbed and then any ties and rail later.

Those who saw my layout on the 2nd floor of the garage will remember the cork roadbed was doubled-up - one layer upon the other. The prototype for that layout was a mainline railroad where the actual track was often 12 inches or more above grade. The prototype for this layout is a trolley - streetcar line.

Starting at the connection of the 2 modules, glue and tack in place 1 of the 2 cork strips necessary for the west bound track . Keep the center flat faced part of the cork strip on the centerline.

Follow the centerline through the facing turnout and around the the loop. At the ends of the cork strip use 2  tacks or small nails.  Continue gluing and tacking the 1 piece of cork roadbed  around the loop through where the crossing and trailing turnouts are to be located. Continue on the east bound portion of the track back to where the 2 modules connect.
The pliers with the green handles are special. Notice the cutout portion of the tips. These pliers are to be used to hold small nails, brads, etc. during nailing.

When this is done install the pieces of cork making up the 2nd half of the roadbed. Now the balance of the roadbed can be installed. A sharp razor blade will help to cut the cork as needed. The centerline of all the curves and loops can be seen as well as all of the straight track!

Glue in any required filler material. Allow the glue to dry prior to starting the next part.


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