May 30th, 2012

Back in April, I attened an operating session at a local layout. Bob is the owner and he was looking for guys to run his layout. It was his first op session and the 5 of us had a ton of fun. It really got me in the mood to get some track down and at least see a train run a few feet. Yeah yeah, I wanted to get all the backdrops done before I added any track, due to the dust that gets everywhere from sanding the filler, but after running on Bob's layout, I had a need to run some of my stuff. Besides, this time around I am using drywall filler, not wood filler, so the dust is WAY less, at least it just drops to the floor with not much going airborne.
Since I already had the spline down, I started putting down some EZ Mat that I had read about in Model Railroader. I was also itching to hand lay a turnout, so I started at the North switch of June Lake Siding. This was going to be a curved, super elevated main line turnout. Besides that, the connecting turnout is a wye for the helper pocket. It had been over a year since I had hand laid a turnout, what a great place to jump right back in, eh? ;)
I took my time and everything went smooth. After dropping feeders and installing the Tortoise switch machine, I painted it with Floquil RR Brown that comes in a small spray can. So far I have about 8' of track in. I think I'll jump to wiring next, can't run too good with alligator clips on the rails!


I'm using homasote where I plan to have turnouts, and using EZ Mat for the rest of the roadbed. This piece is cut out and ready to be put in place.


In place and butted up to the EZ Mat.


Gluing it down.


Main line track spiked into place to trace.


Siding track spiked into place to trace.


Using a tape measure, I make small dashed lines where the rails will go.


Dashed lines drawn in. Now I can see where the frog will be at.


Using a standard 16' switch tie, I find the location where the 2 tracks will meet the turnout.


Ties glued down using Liquid Nails.


More EZ Mat on the main.


You can really see the super elevation in this shot.


Main line track glued down. First track of the OVS v. 4!!


Spiking down the inside rail.


Outside rail spiked down. Note I had to cut out the benchwork for the Tortoise to fit.


Frog point and closure rail testing.


Most of the turnout is done. Temp wiring to check clearances with a locomotive.


Looking North. Helper pocket is to the left.


Looking South.


Tortoise is mounted to a piece of masonite which is being glued to the bottom of the spline.


Turnout painted and ready to go. Still need to wire it and the Tortoise up.


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