EXPANDING THE MODEL RAILROAD
Well actually, the title above is about as long as the extension!
One wall of my layout room is 96" long.
My current model railroad is built of modular "artists boards",
which are 1/8" thick hardboard on a plywood cradle frame 1 1/2" tall.
The sizes I purchased left an 8" unused segment along the wall.
I decided to extend the track, by adding a 9" long section.
A few years ago I built a test layout with the sections to see how they worked.
I had a now-surplus 9" board, originally part of a curved end of the modular layout.
I trimmed the ends of the recycled 9" section,
so the end profiles matched the standardized end of the adjacent style section.
I temporarily stripped off the trees, and cut off some of the painted foam rocks.
I re-attached the foam rocks into the now cut-down scenery near the two ends,
added colored Sculptamold for ground fill, and matching ground foams and textures.
The former curved track through this section was removed,
a new 9" straight section added.
Several years ago, I wrote an article on the Gilpin Tram water tanks,
published in Light Iron Digest magazine.
At that time, I made a master and cast 4 tanks in resin.
I placed one of the cast water tanks on this section.
This new section gives me a longer switching lead at the end of the layout,
a place to water locomotives, and makes a nice end to the layout along this wall.
In the future, the track at right will lead to my staging area.
I am not certain which direction I will go.
On one of my previous model layouts, I used a pivoting sector table with 4 tracks.
That worked fine, but I may try just having a platform and take cassettes on and off.
After all, my HOn30 trains are short, usually only 12" - 18" in length,
so a cassette would not weigh much.
More to ponder on this.
Over the past couple of years, I finished acquiring and kitbashing a couple of locomotives.
One of these was a bit wider than the Shay I had been using, and got hung up,
passing a couple of wooden cribbing walls at the James Henry and the Woods mines.
I found that a partially-built resin model of a Sandy River & Rangely Lakes RR plow
(a resin kit from Kennebunk Models purchased about 20 years ago)
was the widest piece of equipment of rolling stock I had.
If this plow didn't hit the scenery, nothing else would.
To remedy the tight clearances, I had to move the wood cribbed wall back about 1/8".
This was easy to do, I cut a slot behind the wood cribbing,
and dug out a strip of the foam scenery base, and sprayed the area with water.
This softened the PVA (white Elmers glue) sufficiently,
so everyone could be gently pushed away from the track.
A few wood members fell out of alignment and need to be glued back into place.
I had a similar issue at the wood cribbing wall alongside the Woods Mine,
and make the same modification.
The white material is styrofoam I inserted and glued into the slot cut behind the cribbed wall.
I will paint it, and glue replacement rock covering at the top of the wall and base of the wall.
While doing these repairs,
I spotted a few other glitches in the model layout that I will need to modify.
I will post about those as soon as I get them done.
'til next time
With a recently completed mail/baggage car,
I encountered the same clearance problem.
In my case I had to move a transfer dock over about a 1/4"
Clearance is an issue that even the best of us sometimes forget.
Check, check, and check again.
Nye, Inyo & Esmeralda Railroad
Prototype railways had similar problems.
The K&S Rly. had to widen rock cuts and move track to the outer edge of a couple of bridges,
to allow clearance when they purchased ex RGS 31 Rotary and a OF 2-8-0 in 1897.
My model of the Rotary is my clearance guide for scenery etc.
Kaslo & Slocan Railway
International Navigation & Trading Co
Kootenay Railway & Navigation Co.
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