Monday, August 19, 2013

Aerial View & Expansion Progress - August 19, 2013

Yes, it's been quite awhile since the last update. It's been a rather hectic summer out in the real world, but now that fall is looming around the corner I'm getting inspired to get back to work on the railroad again. Here's a before and after since the last update way back in May:

Before: May 1, 2013

After: August 19, 2013

The layout has grown larger by about 8 square feet and is finally starting to resemble the revised track plan. Cork roadbed is in place, and the new turntable area is starting to take shape. Here's a quick look at how things have slowly progressed over the summer:

Track and roadbed removed from expansion area.

New 2x4' benchwork section added. I build my benchwork from straight, clear pine using yellow glue and drywall screws at the joints, and steal angle braces to keep things square. What can't be seen in these photos is the extra set of legs that were also added to support the weight of the new section. 

Risers and sub-roadbed in place. I prefer to test fit track components as I go as it prevents surprises down the line.

Some creative imagineering was required for this new bump-out section on the back of the layout. This is the former location of the tunnel access hatch and will now be a scenicked rock wall with cave-holes to view the interior of Rainbow Caverns.

The new layout section with cork roadbed in place. All the holes and gaps in the plywood sub-roadbed were filled with putty and sanded smooth. The turntable pit is from a Walther's N scale kit that I will be converting to On30.

Over on the Caverns side, this wye switch will lead to a new staging area and, eventually, a whole lot more railroad.

Now I'm just waiting on an order of On30 flex-track to arrive. With any luck, trains should be running on Thunder Mesa again by the end of this month! 

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