Initial Progress (2004/05)

30 Dec

Back in 2004 / 2005 baseboards were built. Measured to fit in a family saloon, they are designed for easy and reliable connection using brass dowels from ‘Rural Railways.’ A basic track plan was worked up using paper templates and flexitrack with reference to prototype photographs. Approximate locations and dimensions of buildings such as the loading screens and chutes were added to ensure room when the track was laid. Locations of uncoupling magnets and baseboard cross struts were marked out to ensure no clashes or reworking would occur.

Track laying was started with the able assistance of the RMRG crew. Pointwork is hand built using timber sleepers and brass rivets / tacks. Following paper templates. Rails are then soldered onto the tacks. Jigs are used to form the crossing ‘Vee’ before trimming to size and installation. The switch blades were filed down from plain rail until the necessary fidelity was reached and they could be installed. To maintain durability and reliability, I opted to solder the switch rails onto copper clad connection bars into which the point motors will connect. Purists will not be pleased but so what. I used a mix of PECO and C&L rail spacer jigs when installing the rails to ensured the necessary EM gauge was achieved consistently. Cosmetic chairs and pandrol clips from the PECO INDIVIDUALAY range were added where no soldered pin existed. Plain track is SMP flexitrack Glued down using impact adhesive.

For reliability, all components in the pointwork have separate electrical droppers and all lengths of flexi track have two droppers soldered to the underside of the rail. These will be gathered up into common feeds under the baseboard and should ensure good consistent electrical continuity throughout the layout.

Thebasic track work was regularly tested with coaches and wagons to find any build errors and allow quick and easy adjustment. Some powered runs were made using the trial conversion of an EWS liveried Bachmann class 08.

And at this point I met my wife and modelling went on hold for a while.

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