Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trackwork pictures

Here are some pictures. The first one is a crossover I built from two Micro Engineering turnouts. My track centers are at 2", so the ME turnouts were too long on the diverging rail to use as crossovers. So I cut down the length, but I did it in a manner so I could create a single unit.

I trimmed ties off of the end of each turnout, then I have three ties that are cut in half. That way I could slide the rail into the ties of the other turnout. The short piece of rail past the frog has been slid into the other turnout. I had cut the rail short on that turnout (about to the guard rail) to allow me to slide the two turnouts together. I then soldered the connection instead of using a rail joiner. The spike detail kept the rail aligned very well as is.
I also removed the other short rail past the frog and trimmed the flex track to allow me to slide in one of the rails all the way to the frog. I've been doing this on all of my turnouts now. While I had built the crossover before chatting with him, Joe Smith suggested running the flex track all the way to the frog. I've also been using the same basic technique to stagger the rail joints, also at Joe's recommendation.

The second picture is looking east through New Britain Yard. A lot of the track is in here. What's missing are a few of the yard tracks, and the eastbound mainline. The westbound mainline is there, and to the left of that is the siding that will eventually go to the west side of town (Russell & Erwin, Fafnir Bearing and Stanley Works).

In the distance you can see the mainlines curving left to Newington Junction, then back to the right to fit into the room. The Berlin branch is on the white Woodland Scenics foam ramp to the right. Between the two are the three tracks for the Maintenance facilities. Around the turn of the century there was a turntable here. After that was removed there was still an engine house, and for a while locomotives for Bristol and Plainville were also stored here.

By my era, all that was left was a shed and one of the engine house walls. The crane, two locomotives, and and maintenance equipment use these tracks. In addition, the left one is an RIP track.

The track curving toward the backdrop on the left goes into the Landers, Frary & Clark factory. I obviously don't have the room to model the tracks in the factory, but due to the necessity of curving the mainline in the opposite direction, the track leading to it is longer and I'll simply use that track as the siding for the mill.

The turnout in the immediate foreground is not a crossover. The eastbound mainline (without track so far) jogs to the right here. This curve used to be a crossover to the track that ran immediately in front of the station. That track is just a stub now (it's the short piece of roadbed in the picture). The turnout right at the edge forms a parallel track to the curve, and continues as the mainline track. The straight leg continues as the west New Britain siding, and the third track to the left connects just beyond the end of this picture.

All of the trackwork here is Micro Engineering on N-scale cork roadbed. The wide pieces of roadbed were intended for the crossovers. But since I used the ME #6 turnouts instead of hand building #8's they took less space. But the Osgood Bradleys track fine through them (although they'll never need to).

The last picture is two ME turnouts running into a crossing I built today. It's the only one I've built (and luckily will probably be the only one I need). I built it purely by hand, trial and (lots of) error. It's not perfect, but cars track through it OK now. I cut down some of the Central Valley guardrails for the short ones (they're the black plastic ones in the picture), but everything else is cut and filed (freehand) from rail.

This is actually set back against the side wall, so it won't be terribly visible. I'll complete the missing ties, of course, but I probably won't worry too much about super detailing it. The left leg goes to New Britain Lumber Co, and the right to Shurberg & Sons Scrap Iron & Coal.

It took the better part of the day to build, and I ended up having to grind some of the rail because some of the tolerences were off and I couldn't easily desolder the rails I needed to fix. The two turnouts were shortened slightly to move them closer together because it's only a short tangent on that wall. I started by making the joint between the two diverging rails. The sidings are just short sections. I didn't have any full length flex track left, although in the end it would probably have been a bit unwieldy to try to build it with two long pieces of track.

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