Mid January Update…

Welcome to my mid January update. I realize that it’s a boring title, but a bunch has happened and I wasn’t sure which topic to title this post with. But before I get started with what I’ve accomplished since my last post, I would like to get several complaints off my chest.

  1. Short of a home improvement store, do you know how hard it is to find basic Elmer’s white glue. It seems stores carry all types of glue but not basic white glue.
  2. Solder-on wire connectors. Everything is now crimp-on, ask anywhere for solder-on connectors and you get a blank stare.
  3. And solder. With Radio Shack going under and being reorganized there are far fewer around. They used to be everywhere, and now the closest is a bit of a drive from my house, so I called and the answer was…pause..I think we do.

On 2 and 3 above I asked the owner of my LHS (the hobby shop is his retirement career, his first was as an electrical engineer) as I figured he would now where to get them. His answer was on : #2: I have no idea, use crimp-on and solder them and #3: I’m not sure. So when wiring is started I’m using crimp-on connectors and soldering them. As far as solder, I ordered it online .

OK, got that off my chest, sorry.

First, I finished the cork roadbed up to where the cork sheets start in New Brighton yard and no, the cork sheets from Midwest Products have not shipped yet.

Cork roadbed in place up to the New Brighton yard.
Cork roadbed in place up to the New Brighton yard

Not resting on my laurels, I started laying the track. Starting at the switches for the reverse loop (probably because that’s what I had said I going to do in my last post) I headed north through Jackson. Originally, I figured I would lay the mainline, get it wired and come back and do the sidings. I found it much easier (and fulfilling) to do all the trackwork as I went along.

Track work continues.
Track work continues.
Proceeding through the north end of town.
Proceeding through the north end of town.

The work moved along well, the only thing that really slowed me down was the crossovers. The diverging routes of the turnouts all had to be cut down to fit the spacing between mainlines and sidings.  The track is a mix of weathered track (from the mainline of the old layout), non weathered (from the old staging yards) and a mix of weathered and new switches. The OCD in me can’t wait to get it all weathered.

I laid the mainline through Jackson and about half ways around the peninsula. Then I went back and started working from the reverse loop switches towards New Brighton yard. I got as far as fitting the tracks over the bridge in New Brighton. And then ran out of weekend.

The track work complete for the town of Jackson.
The track work complete for the town of Jackson.
Some of the buildings in place with the track work complete in Jackson.
Some of the buildings in place with the track work complete in Jackson.
Jackson, south looking north with the track work on place.
Jackson, south looking north with the track work in place.
Track work proceeding along the berm scene heading towards New Brighton yard.
Track work proceeding along the berm scene heading towards New Brighton yard.
Track work being installed over the bridge in New Brighton.
Track work being installed over the bridge in New Brighton.

But before I could leave it for the night, the OCD kicked in again. I understand the gaps between sections of flex track where the ties are removed is part of track laying, but again it bothers my sense of order. So I hauled out my old bag of ties. These are from BK Enterprises. I’ve had these for longer then I can remember and I’m not even sure the company is still around. I’m sure they are sold for those who have the time and patience to hand lay their own track, but they work great for replacing the missing ties. The great thing about them is that they are slightly thinner then the ties on the flex track and slide right under the rail joiners.

Gaps in the ties from track laying.
Gaps in the ties from track laying.
Gaps filled with BK Enterprises ties.
Gaps filled with BK Enterprises ties.
BK Enterprises railroad ties. Can't even tell you how long ago I bought these.
BK Enterprises railroad ties. Can’t even tell you how long ago I bought these.

I should have the rest of the track laid for the reverse loop (need to remember to finally pick up that AR-1) and the track up to New Brighton yard in short order. Then I will start running the buss and feeder wires and we’ll see about getting this to the stage of an operating model railroad. With the track work done in Jackson, I will have at the very least, a nice switching layout.

Until next time, Happy Railroading…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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