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 Harmony Junction Switching Layout

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
George D Posted - 06/29/2020 : 6:05:20 PM
I'm starting this because if I publicly commit myself to building this switching layout, it has less of a chance of being put on the back burner than some of my projects. My plan is to build a 2'x6' switching layout with hand laid track. My freelance railroad is the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler and New Castle Railway commonly referred to as the Harmony Line. It's based on an interurban line that ran north out of Pittsburgh and the old right of way ran along the property line of the house I grew up in. Unlike the interurban line, my freelance railroad didn't fail because of the newfangled automobile. I assume it prospered and became a standard gauge railroad.

I'm going to model Harmony Junction with three tracks going to staging (fiddle yard), one south to Pittsburgh, one east to Butler and one west to New Castle. There will be one siding to hold junction cars and two sidings for industries. Here's my track plan.

I'm using Templot, a free program for my track planning. It's designed more for making templates for hand laying track than track planning, though it works for that. That track plan is a collection of pages that are printed out for laying the track. This diagram is an index of these individual pages.

To see the detail of the drawing, this is page b/2 of the track plan. To make the drawing, I only worked with the track center lines, the details like ties, point rails, guard rails and the like came from the Templot software. Those tie numbers mean nothing to me.

Templot is a fantastic program with a killer learning curve. You can make turnouts of any size or any radius to fit exactly what you need. I'm not putting it down, I think it's fantastic, however, unless you plan to do some hand laying of turnouts that are a non standard size, don't waste your time trying to learn it.


15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/04/2021 : 09:08:08 AM
George D Posted - 01/03/2021 : 09:08:14 AM
Originally posted by Tyson Rayles

At last! Some scenery!!!!

Where are the RR-Line's sarcasm police?

Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/03/2021 : 08:41:39 AM
At last! Some scenery!!!!
George D Posted - 01/02/2021 : 3:03:54 PM
Thanks for following, Larry.

I think I've run enough rolling stock through the switches to be satisfied that they are reliable. I'm ready for a change of pace, so I'm joining the Choices Challenge and scratch building an ice platform for the layout. I printed up the side views of my drawings on cardstock and made a mockup to see if it would fit and hide the entrance hole in the backdrop.

I've started a new thread for this construction project. http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53480

BigLars Posted - 12/19/2020 : 4:20:50 PM
I have now read though your whole thread. Some great information and I may be borrowing a few ideas. Thanks for posting.
George D Posted - 12/19/2020 : 11:10:41 AM
Bernd, I hadn't thought about that thin aluminum, but I'm sure it would work too.

Bernd Posted - 12/19/2020 : 11:02:31 AM
That's a great idea with the index/business card. Another thing that would work is a piece of thin aluminum such as from a aluminum cooking tin.

example: https://www.amazon.com/8x6x2Aluminum-Disposable-Rectangle-allowable-Containers/dp/B08GYZ9QKD/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&hvadid=78477695754977&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=aluminum baking pans&qid=1608393659&sr=8-13&tag=mh0b-20

George D Posted - 12/19/2020 : 10:34:53 AM
Pete, that does look like styrene. I'm using cardstock the thickness of an index card. It has to be thin but stiff enough to slide into the unsoldered joint.

Thanks Thayer, I'm just following Pete's idea. I did some more this morning and it makes the task easier.

Thanks, Larry, glad to see you checking in.

BigLars Posted - 12/19/2020 : 09:33:05 AM
Great tip. Thanks for sharing it. Not sure how I missed this tread. Going back to read it now. I love the cassettes you made.
thayer Posted - 12/18/2020 : 11:54:40 PM
That is a great tip, thank you both for sharing.

Orionvp17 Posted - 12/18/2020 : 9:40:17 PM
Thanks, George!

Glad it worked, as I did mention that I have not yet tried this.

Don't use thin styrene for this, though, as it will melt, gum up, and so on....

Have fun! Love the cassettes, too!

in Michigan
George D Posted - 12/18/2020 : 9:04:36 PM
As I mentioned, the unsoldering was difficult. Pete, aka Orionvp17, sent me a PM suggesting I use a business card to slide between the joints once they are unsoldered to keep the pieces from rejoining. I didn't have a business card handy, so I cut some cardstock into little pieces. I slipped one into the heated joint when the solder became wet and it kept the pieces separated while I went on the next joint.

It's a great tip, thanks Pete. I just hope I don't have to use it very often.

George D Posted - 12/18/2020 : 1:08:20 PM
Originally posted by BurleyJim


Now do you need to do both ends of the main switching layout? or already done.


Finished the layout connectors this morning. I have three cassettes yet to change.

BurleyJim Posted - 12/18/2020 : 1:05:26 PM

Now do you need to do both ends of the main switching layout? or already done.

George D Posted - 12/18/2020 : 12:03:38 PM
Thanks, Frank. I find if I tin everything, I get a good solder joint.


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