Same process as the first two crossovers – using the Tim Warris notched rails method. The only mistake/customization I made was to make the outer guard rail further from its running rail due to the extreme curve of the track. But it looks interesting and works really well. The trucks run smoothly through the crossover without any issues.
At last on the final stretch of the tracklaying. I’ve laid the ties and will get to the track itself tomorrow. Just a few notes:
Started the final section of track today. I’ve decided to leave the final turnout and crossover attached to the same section of the plan. This week will be spent laying ties and next week I’ll start laying the rail.
Finished the second of the two turnouts for section three. Two more sections to go – one more turnout and one more crossing and then I’ll be able to assemble them together. I’ve decided not to lay the rail on the straights as I want leave the area free for landscaping the trackbed.
I have now finished the latest turnout of the 3rd (of 5) section. Nothing much to add other than that I’m still struggling with the clearances around the frog area.
Ok so the ties are down at last ready for laying rail. By now the process of laying ties is straightforward:
Just three more turnouts and one crossover to do. The remaining track lives on three sections. Here’s the first one. It has two turnouts. I’ve set up my other desk to work on it away from the main table. It’s laborious but fun. I just put some music on in the background and work on it late at night. My rivets have not yet arrived from the UK so I’m just continuing on with the PCB ties. I’ll have the ties laid by the weekend and will build the turnouts next week.
At last it is done. This part of the project was the most difficult and stressful. The trackplan was designed around the crossover as I thought it would make for a visually interesting area of the layout. However having never built a crossover before I ended up spending alot of thought on the problem – going over the process again and again in my head before starting work on it. I’m glad to now be able to stop over-thinking the problem and finish the remaining turnouts. However I may delay wiring and take a break from the track once it is all laid. I want to start working on some buildings. I’ll see how I feel once I’ve built the final turnover. I still have three more turnouts and one more crossover to do. Turnouts take two hours each which I spread over a couple of evenings because I find it exhausting. There’s a lot to get right and a lot that can go wrong with handlaying track so it’s best to not work too hard and spread the process out over several evenings.
Just finished the first turnout of the crossover. Nothing much to add other than I started with the frog and prefabricated all the pieces before doing any soldering. Everything came together nicely. I’m still getting to grips with the correct clearances – they are looser than they need to be – but everything seems to work fine. My little truck navigates the turnout without any problems. I still have to do some cleaning up but overall things look much tidier than my first turnout effort.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last worked on this project. I first made a critical mistake by soldering down code 83 rail instead of code 70. That cost me two hours work and left my nice tie work looking terrible. I then realized that I had no more code 70 rail left.