Laying the first track

The main railway is to be on two boards; one to be 7′ x 2′ and the other 7′ 4″ x 2′ (both extend to 2′ 6″ at one end. This is because I need to be able to lift the boards to carry out the wiring and install the point motors. In future times, I might need to lift a board if there should be a wiring or point motor problem so not only must there be two boards but they must be physically separate and liftable.

I have started work on the right hand board as you look towards the wall – with the fiddle yard to the front and the station further back. As described in a previous post, the board is completely constructed, including the incline down from the main height to the fiddle yard height.  It needs extra being added to the outside of the 180 degree curve as I didn’t leave enough there to construct the scenery against. This can be added later as it doesn’t affect the track laying.

Using the Anyrail plan and some Peco templates that I printed and cut out,  I have been able to determine some fixed points for the track and then work off these. The track is all Peco Code 80. I buy my flexi-track in boxes of 25 yard lengths – it’s cheaper that way.

This is what has been laid so far. I have reversed the board to make it easier to lay the track. This is the main junction off the double track main line and part way down the incline. I am using the useful little Peco 6′ way templates to keep the spacing correct. I have some super sticky double sided tape that I get from Amazon. This does a great job of holding the track down to the foam core until I get the ballast fixed. It is no good using track pins as these just pop out from the foam at the slightest provocation. I tend to use Peco set-track curves to ensure the correctness of the radii and to avoid the ends of each stretch of track from trying to go back to being straight.

track4

The connection between the main line and the branch to Pennvale is in modern form – using four points – and not using a diamond – because I couldn’t find a combination of  Peco components that would make one without a lot of extra track involved.

track1

Here you can see one of the passenger coaches being used to test the flow through the complex. So far, everything runs smoothly.

rtrack2

You have to be careful with exposed ends when using Peco flexi-track across joints. One tweak of a rail and a few inches come out of their fasteners. I used to use a piece of PCB cut out and soldered to the track then epoxy glued to the baseboard but, again, this doesn’t work with foam core as the paper just peels away from the core. What I finally came up with is this:

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 21.54.44

I then push the tails through the foam core and press the PCB board down onto some epoxy. Then, I twist the tails tightly together (with a small piece of plastic card to stop them tearing into the base). I can then solder the rail ends onto the two PCB areas and we have a solid fitting. The end result looks like this – I haven’t yet cut the exposed rails to length.

track3

Painting these over with the rail paint will soon disguise them.

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