Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Building the Loco area

 The first two baseboards have been assembled in the bedroom so next will be the laying out of the track to see how it all looks. Although it is better to plan out the layout on paper you can't get the perspective that happens when you actually lay the physical track, models and buildings onto the actual board. One great tool to use is by going onto the Peco web site and printing off actual size paper templates, cutting the out and putting into position on the baseboard. This will then prove if you have enough room for everything planned. They don't do a template for plain track but it is easy to lay down some flex track between the paper points.

Track is laid out to see how it all fits

Laying out the track design from the door end

In the above photo the track design is fine tuned to the required finished product. It was decided to use the Peco code 75 medium length points rather than the long points to save space. And as one end was near what will be in the future the connecting piece across the door, curved points were often used. Also where the level and railmotor are shown will be a passenger platform, the only one on the layout. It will be an island platform and cut to go across the join. Access will be by subway stairs and overbridge stairs at the other end.

Some National Rail locos awaiting track to be laid

Down at the turntable end

The tracks are finally getting into the right position

After many adjustments the track finally gets into the right position in the draft layout. The paper points are tacked with glue to hold their spot. It is planned to use mainly new points and track where possible but I may resort to using second hand track and points mainly in the yards. A combination of above and below Peco point motors are also installed along the way, these will be worked from a central panel near the turntable at a later stage. 
The main line track will be laid on cork so that when the ballast is added it will look like a shoulder of ballast and the tracks in the yards will not have ballast only dirt, but this will be a while off.
First sections of track are laid

Finally the first sections of track are finally laid and it's a good feeling. It is unknown when the track will finally encircle the room to allow operation but there is plenty of testing and future planning as we go along.