After the last few posts with "big dreams/big plans" time to get back to reality.
Several pieces of a couple of puzzles have to drop into place before I do the 'big WRJ re-do' I blogged about.
But the last two op sessions did reveal some issues/glitches that need to fixed. AND, I want to continue working on the rest of the layout (you know, the parts I don't intend to tear apart anytime soon).
First, and most critical of these is a Walthers Code 83 curved turnout at the north end of Waterbury. It has worked okay - early on problems with some Rapido passenger cars were traced to out-of-gauge wheel sets. These were replaced with Reboxx wheels and it seemed to alleviate the problem. But in the last two sessions the issue came back with a vengeance and now just about every passenger car, most steam engines, and even some freight cars, are derailing in this turnout.
After the session a careful check with the standards gauge revealed the issue - there are several points along the length of the point rail where the gauge is tight.
Shouldn't be too much of a surprise - the point rails are "straight" and the closure and corresponding stock rails are curved. How COULD the gauge possibly be constant?
So this one has to replaced.
At the same time this end of Waterbury yard has code 70, Walthers code 83 and Peco code 83 all coexisting - less than reliably. The entire ladder is going to come out and hand laid curved code 70 turnouts are going in their place.
Of course this is the only place on the layout where the track is still laid on styrofoam - so the question is "Do I suck it up and replace the sub roadbed with plywood and relay all the track?" (That means redoing the track/ballast and wiring, and maybe some of the scenery so it's not a simple answer)
I suppose I could relay the turnout on the foam and see if it works. (As a practical matter securing turnout controls to the foam - especially through the 2" foam - can be somewhat problematic.) What I DON'T want to do is stick with the foam then find I still have reliability issues and get to relay the track a third time…..
The other "to-do" items are much less intrusive. Actually, most of them are "administrative" and paper work in nature.