Monday, April 26, 2010

Simple.... but not too much!

This weekend I don't have so much time to complete my first double slip, but, after some errors and remake.... here we go!
 I can say "now" I really understand why prototype RRs chose to lay down two standard turnouts instead of a double slip, except if space is a big premium!
Last step will be ... cut the points rails just in place... and fit a half rail joiner to act as a hinge.
Well, we will see how ( if ?) it works in the next post.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rails nigthmare? Make it simple with FT tools!

Referring to this layout , one of my friend said : "How's proceed your "boat" costruction downstair?"
Well, to demonstrate that I not only like woodworking.... and to satisfy Ricky query about my double slip.... here is the first slip still in progress:

Last two pictures are just to compare the Slip with a corresponding #6 simple turnout.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A tiny silver spike : first turnout down

Last weekend the "Chief Superintendent" (aka my wife) leave me free, so I spend an entire half of the day downstairs! It was a very productive time!
Install the Backdrop on the walls back Menlo Park up to Palo Alto: do this job as lone wolf, believe me... not simple nor comfortable! But, this is the life... when you've time... no friends around!
Then some refinements on the lift bridge: retaining walls and a lock.
Then finish to install all "thin hills" along the Bay....

And finally.... why not some tracks?

I've solder "off-line" 3 #6 turnouts made using a Fastracks jig , cut some ME Flex tracks and test fit the Visitacion icing facility.
I'm still waiting the curved turnouts jig I've order two months ago so I can't start from the main line and I decided to wait to glue down tracks as soon I can test fit all turnouts.
I ended this nice day after lunch.... starting my first #6 double slip ( well better to admit... "re-starting" as my first one was destroyed by my "sweet" cats! )

Tweaking the plan - 2nd Section

Just two little refinements on the plan:
  • Added a crossover before Burlingame to better service the Feed Farm and Station Team Track (thanks Alex!)
  • Added an Icing platform i the Santa Clara background. This is not prototypical, I know but will add some operation possibility ( as well find a place to fit the already done CGlaser platform I've :)
At Bayshore I plan to rebuilt the concrete PFE platform and icing house at Visitacion. Platform will be built from scratch in styrene and corrugated roof and the house will be a kitbashing from a Walthers kit.
I know on this plan there are some freelanced path , see the list here above, but these are solution I've found to flow future operations ( at least this is the reason I've found to justify the plan? )
  • The branch to Los Altos - Kaiser cement plant - San Jose ... have both ends in wrong geographic position.
  • Redwood Jct .have two of the "real" spurs to some industries, but a really "wrong" Wye to Dumbarton bridge! No space to model anything else but I like to have the tower and some possibility to emulate the "false" diverging route. I'm nearly sure to make the "double slip on the main" not operable!

Well.... next post will be on .... tracks !? You can believe this?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tweaking the plan

As the benchwork slowly progress, so the trackplan too.
I’ve refined the Bayshore area , mirroring the Icing spur tracks to have a smooth job for consists that source from the City, transferring there reefers to clean and re-ice.
And, finally found a good design for the Newhall yard. I still need to check in more deep some type of operations, but it seems me that the shape resemble in some way the prototype (with a lot of compression as usual)  and enable operators to complete all jobs without create bottleneck. As somebody can note, there is no yard lead !
At the end of the layout the staging yard… it’s not a yard! A platform with all parallel track can shift horizontally connecting all tracks to mainline. Eliminating  turnouts this is the more compact design I can Image. We have a similar module in Fremo (it’s named with a French world “Coulisse”… and don’t ask me why: I don’t know )

Another hidden staging yard is positioned in the middle peninsula, above Burlingame , and is connected to the Mission Bay Shop area, emulating Mission Bay yard and interchange with AT&SF. A tight curve for the real Wye where a complete train was turned, is still in the plan, but is still object of additional  thinking…. We will see.

Icing Reefers at Visitacion and down to Menlo Park

Well, as many friends ask for an update, and this blog was born to show the progress in building this layout … here we go! Yesterday I take my camera downstairs and here are some shots of what I’ve hardly achieved!
First of all, as I want to prove me that I’m able to see some tracks down … well, as soon the Kato Unitracks I’ve  order for the staging yard on Mission, I rapidly unpack everything and stick the first 4 tracks down.
This give me a better idea about space available to touch cars … not so much, but enough.

Then, using a 1:1 scale printing (on several A3 sheets) of the 3rdPlanit schematics I’ve test the track disposition on Bayshore Icing facility (or what remain of it after a huge and drastic compression ?)
Here a sample (in reality I’ve mirrored now the position,  as you can see on the layout schematics… on the next post!).

Then I copy tracks down on plywood using carbon copy paper (you’re very lucky if you’re able to find it in some shop as with all these computer and printer around is not a simple job )
Using the free template from Fasttrack web site, I double check the turnouts and alignments and finally glue the cork roadbed using a special glue for cork I found in a big shop.
In meantime the thin wall that will border the area from the inner loop was finalized. As described in a previous post I fill a 1cm empty space between two masonite sheets with spry foam. Here the final result: a very strong and light wall. The optical effect of two spaced walls , given the hill-shape I used, is convincing me. Next step will be …. The painting job.
Some additional pictures here, give an idea of the Menlo Park future area and Redwood Junction scenery.

Take care, friend, for now… this weekend is approaching fast.