Hit another bump in the road in the process of incorporating the Northern SNE's Charlton Branch into my layout. Luckily this bump was not the same as the literal bumps in the road I experienced driving the Northern SNE section from Massachusetts to Virginia last summer! (see my blog post: https://centralvermontrailway.blogspot.com/2023/07/a-new-addition-to-layout-part-2-voyage.html for more on that part of the adventure.
In this case the latest challenge was an intermittent short somewhere in the track or wiring. In the end I traced the issue to one or two of the turnouts - and/or their switch motors. Attempting to fix the issues with the turnout would require working under and over all the detailed power lines and the like I opted instead to simply replace one of the turnouts. The turnout I really think had an issue was simply removed and will be replaced with a section of straight track. The turnout led to a very short stub-ended spur - I'll heavily weather the "cut off" spur to make it look like the industry is no longer rail served.
Removing the two turnouts wasn't easy. After soaking the track in an alcohol and water mixture in order to soften the ballast and ground foam I worked a putty knife in and around those overhead power lines and managed to carefully work the turnouts loose.
While I was in a track prying mood, I went ahead and removed the track that had crossed the bridge over the river - after scraping off the ballast I used to a sanding block to smooth the area. I plan to use the roadbed this track was on as a basis for a street - more on that in the future.
The next step is one I've been dreading - cutting a swath out of the finished scenery on the main layout to accommodate the track connecting the mainline to the new layout section. That is going better than I anticipated.
And although not shown in these photos, I've essentially replaced all the original wiring for both the track and the switch motors. All in all, these it's been a lot of effort integrating this section into the railroad.
But I keep telling myself I've rounded the corner on "destroying" things and can finally start putting stuff back together - I truly hope that's the case!