August 13, 2013

Another update so soon? Yep! I've been going non stop on the layout these last few weeks, and it's been the kind of construction that one can take pictures of. Lots of pictures! After getting the valance done, I was burnt out on working above my head, so I turned my attention to the lower level of the layout. It had been a while since I did any spline, and now that trains are running around the upper level, I figured it was high time I got to work on the main line around the lower level. Spline constrution started and within a week I had it completed to the yard.

Speaking of the yard, it took almost a day to clean off what had become the really long workbench/collect all. Once I figured out where to put the main and at what radius, I started throwing down turnout templates to get a feel of where the yard throat will be, how many yard tracks I can squeeze in and where to put the loco servicing facility. As I worked out the north end of the yard, I was bothered by the south end, as it abruptly ended at the entrance to the layout room. How can I lay out trackage with no benchwork? I guess it was time to build the movable access bridge that crosses the room door.

First thing to decide on, did I want it to fold down or swing out? I had originally thought of having it fold down. But then I would be limited to what I could have sticking up above the rails - not really limited, just couldn't have ANYTHING or else run the chance of someone's leg knocking it off while in the folded down postion. Not so good if I want/need to have signals or small buildings on it. So a swing out is what it will be. And as of this posting, it's working like a champ.

Lots of pictures this time around!


Spline starting at the bottom of the helix.


Opposite view. Rock creek and the road will pass under the tracks where the blue clamps are at.


Starting the spline for the siding at Mammoth. This had to be a curved turnout due to the placement of the tunnet portal for the helix .


Opposite end of Mammoth Siding.


The masonite strips are 5/16" thick, so by stagering them every 2" gives me about a #11 turnout.


Here is a #10 for reference.


Clamping spline in the future Rock Creek Canyon


Just a few more strips to go on Mammoth siding. The switching area of Mammoth will be located along the backdrop around to the helix.


Time to get the risers in!


Connected to the helix! The grade lessens to 1.5% from the homasote on the helix to the support at the left of the glue bottle. The helix is a 2.17%. From that support, the grade flattens out to almost level for the switching area.


Next 2 supports are in.


Clamping the rest of Rock Creek Canyon


And on around to the yard.


All risers are in at Mammoth!


As well as Rock Creek Canyon.


From the first support to the left of the black bridges, the grade hits 1.75% all the way to the near support to the left where it eases to 1.25%.


Looking towards Mammoth with Rock Creek on the right. Note the hoppers and boxcar in the distance.


The main line is at 2" at the right, the cars are sitting at 5.5".


Yard area cleaned off.


Looking back the other way.


Bishop yard in foreground, Helix at right, Mammoth on lower level at far right, Walker River Canyon on upper level at far right, ghost town of Bodie on upper level middle.


The curve into the yard. Trying to keep it as big as possible, right around a 23" radius.


One more view looking down at the new spline roadbed.


Laying out some templates to get a feel of the yard throat.


Two A/D tracks, 8 yard tracks and a thoroughfare track.


The start of the swing bridge.


Hinges in place. I needed it to be beefy so it wouldn't sag when in the open position due to the weight that will be on it.


Braced against a wall stud at top and bottom.


swinging open


More bracing.


That sheet of 12" x 35" 1/2" mdf isn't light!


As it swings, the bridge creates an arc.


Had to add a few shims under the benchwork to the right. All level now.


Getting the supports put in for the filler piece.


All glued in. Note the black pencil rubbings on the bottom piece of MDF, They came from the bottom of the swing bridge. Thats how I found the correct curve to cut.


This piece of 1/2" MDF keeps the pressure off the hinges when in the closed position.


The curved gap between the solid benchwork on the right and the swing bridge on the left.


Sitting in the closed position.


Swinging out


little more


All the way open. It's a tight squeeze between the bridge and benchwork on the right, 20".


The swing bridge makes contact with this part of the benchwork when all the way closed.




Cut out a new piece of MDF on the far left since the old piece had rain water damage on it.


Looking back. This whole area to the left will be covered with industries for switching.


Time to shut it all down and head out for the day!


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