I have finalized the track layout for the town of Jackson and having done so, laid the roadbed. For those who are wondering, no I’m not avoiding the helix base, I just haven’t had any large blocks of time. But in an effort to keep moving forward, I have been using the little snippets of time that I have had to keep moving forward.
I was able to keep the original track plan pretty much intact. The only major change to the plan was that I had to eliminate one of the crossovers between the southbound main and the rear siding. Other then that it more a matter of shortening some of the distances between things up a little. As I had mentioned last time some of this was accomplished by flipping turnouts around.
While planning the track arrangement I had photocopied the needed turnouts so that I could use them in the actual planning of the track arrangement. In the past I would have one of each turnout on hand and I would just mark there location and then move them to the next spot. Because I wanted to make sure everything was working right I used the photocopies and was then sure that it all flowed well. I then decided that I would glue them in place so that when laying the cork roadbed I would have an exact guide as to where to lay it. I have seen this done on larger club layouts ( and I’m sure that a lot of other people have done this on home layouts ) but I have not done this in the past and I’m wondering why I haven’t. Sometimes things take awhile to make it all the way to the top. It made everything so much easier and I will continue to do this for the rest of the layout.
One thing I did before I glued the photocopies down was to mark where the holes needed to be drilled for the linkage from the Tortoise switch machine. I then used the drilling template from Tortoise and drilled the linkage hole and the mounting holes. Normally the mounting holes would be drilled from the bottom and then they would only be drilled partially into the wood for the screws, but it is easier to drill all the way through the plywood from the top. The holes are small and will be covered with scenery ( actually they will probably be covered with ballast ) so I figured it really doesn’t matter which side as long as they are there.
Below is a photo progression of the work:
As you can see in the pictures I also laid cork down for known structure locations, these being the depot / freight house and the elevator / feed mill. I also put down cork where the main street intersects the railroad tracks. I stub ended the roadbed for the two rear siding tracks as I have yet to figure out what exactly will be back there. The short list right now is a manufacturing plant, an oil dealership, a mill and a fertilizer plant. Stay tuned.
A couple of photos with some of the buildings in place:
I should have some time after the 4th and hope to have the helix base in place, we’ll see.
Until then, Happy railroading…