Monday, December 23, 2019

End of Year Progress Report

I'd mentioned in a previous post that we were having a holiday open house for our neighbors. Happy to report the event was a complete success. It's always interesting to see the reaction of non-modelers to a scale model railroad. A lot of people mentioned they'd expected to see a train around the tree, or perhaps a Christmas Garden* - instead when they came downstairs they saw, well, this.... 
I managed to add some initial scenery to the front corner by the entry to the layout area prior to our open house. I'm happy to report that the trees that were carefully packed up by my father close to two years ago survived the move and storage. 
Take this as an end-of-year report on the status of the Richford Branch. 
I placed the cannery in the front entrance area. The structures, such as the barn in the background and the various buildings visible in the previous photo, are stand-ins. 
The stationary end of the swing gate
 showing the slot the gate slides into. 
 The entire mainline "loop" is in place, including the swing bridge track. The photos show how it's constructed and how it works. Essentially, the swing gate surface slides beneath a piece of mdf that's secured to the plywood subroadbed with a gap between the underside of the MDF and the layout frame. 
Action shot! The end of the swing gate. Note the
paint scrapes indicating the friction lock.
To date friction does a fine job holding the track in place. At some point we'll add some sort of locking mechanism and a perhaps an electrical interlock to kill power when the bridge is open. 
Closed position. I soldered the rail to
some PC board ties on both the gate
and the layout to help keep the rails aligned. 
The trains ran just fine over this bridge for more than 4 straight hours - so I consider the swing gate a complete success. 
With the mainline in place and operating, I've turned my attention to the two peninsulas - the papermill peninsula and the Richford peninsula. 
A set of Fast Tracks twist ties glued to a piece
of 1/8" plywood to form the lead into the paper mill yard. 
After playing around with flextrack for an afternoon, it became obvious the paper mill
 peninsula would benefit from a handlaid turnout or two. Besides, I continue to have issues with ME turnouts, meaning I might be handlaying all the turnouts on the two peninsulas.
I also have been laying out the track for the Richford yard. But that deserves it's own blog post. 


Jerry said...

Marty glad to hear your open house went as planned.

Have a wonderful Christmas and A Happy New Year!!


The Valley Local said...

Congratulations on the successful open house! It's always so cool to see progress reports on a layout… Especially one as fine as this!

I'm curious though – what are the issues you're having with the ME turnouts?

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and A very happy new year!


CVSNE said...

Hi Chris,


The issue I'm having with ME turnouts is outlined in this post:

Essentially, four issues:
1. Plastic build up from the ties on the web of the rail in various spots.
2. Frog sitting higher than the closure and stock rails.
3. One of two issues with the points:
- The points are "locked" and don't throw.
- The points move to one side, and then snap back to the other side either on their own or with an extremely slight amount of pressure.