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Author Previous Topic: On30 Sugar Cane Hauler in 1920s Haiti Topic Next Topic: The Depot (at Carendt)
Page: of 24

Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/13/2017 :  1:32:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes the drawing is glued to a cardboard backing which will be glued to the baseboard eventually. The pieces will fit together much like a jigsaw.


Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

George D

Premium Member

Posted - 06/13/2017 :  4:34:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by kumard

Yes the drawing is glued to a cardboard backing which will be glued to the baseboard eventually. The pieces will fit together much like a jigsaw.

Sounds like a good technique to make building the trackwork easier. If easier is a proper adverb.


Country: USA | Posts: 16071 Go to Top of Page

ed k

Posted - 06/23/2017 :  12:00:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When you are that skilled, you make things look easy that are not. A pleasure to observe and learn.

Country: USA | Posts: 1091 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/13/2017 :  7:30:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone. Here's the latest on this project.

Long break since the last post. I had several things going on: trip to Europe, kitchen remodel (and therefore the family installing a temp kitchen in my hobbyspace) and then I ran out of track supplies. I was able to do some work on the diorama until the opportunity arose to finish the trackwork.

Now with excuses out the way here's where I am at.

Final section finished

Anyone looking in on my blog knows that I have been plugging away at finishing the last two crossings: the traction crossover and the traction depot turnout.

The crossing went well except for one mistake which was to put the outer guard rail too far away from the outer rail. It looks fine from a distance but less so close up. I was thinking of redoing it but decided against it and put it down to a lesson learned.

The out-of-sync guard rail looks rather egregious here but I've learned to live with it.

From a distance the wide distance of the guard rail is hardly noticeable but close up......

I once again used Tim Warris's knotched rails method and had no major issue with the construction. My trucks moved through the crossing very smoothly. The only remaining issue was with the sharpness of the curve: 40' boxcar was unable to navigate around it. I intend to scratchbuild the electric locomotives that will run on this section so I'll be able to build in the necessary clearances. However I will have to adapt other rolling stock (such as freight cars) to suit the curve (I don't know how yet but it's on my list to figure out sooner than later).

The trucks and wheels grind on the boxcar frame as it goes around this curve.

The final turnout also went smoothly. I'm going to add some of the missing pieces such as the crossbars and lead-in tracks during the wiring.

The final section. I kept both crossings on the same piece of card.

So finally...

It is time to assemble the trackwork jigsaw. I don't have time to glue it down today but each evening this week I'll stick one section down. I'll then be ready next week to move on.

The individual pieces are designed to fit together like a jigsaw. I built the track on top of a Templot template drawing so that I would have an accurate join of the sections.

The geometry of the track was a really important feature for me. I really wanted to capture those nicely eased curves that you often see on real railroads. It is one of the reasons I decided to build my own track and not use commercial track: I could guarantee a nice flow effect for the track.

Missing sections of track are trivial to add and will be done after ballasting and landscaping the trackbed (during wiring).

The star of the project was always meant to be this crossing and I'm very pleased that it turned out as well as it did - especially on my first attempt. The challenge will be isolating the sections for wiring.

I could get rather philosophical about tracklaying but I'll say more about it on my blog at a later date. What I would say though is that it took too long: 8 months! I did The Depot's track in four weeks so I have no real excuse other than that it was a new method of tracklaying for me and so I felt a need to take my time. I can't say I enjoyed the process. As much as I like track (it's my favorite part of a railroad scene - I have hundreds of pictures of just track on my computer and I will travel hundreds of miles to photograph old trackwork) tracklaying is hard, complicated, tiring and stressful. I wouldn't recommend laying your own track whatsoever. There were many days that I looked enviously at outstanding layouts that use commercial track (Lance Mindheim's and Mike Confalone's layouts spring immediately to mind) and declared 'Why Kumar? Why?'. Nevertheless I felt that handlaying was going to be the best way to reach my own personal goals for trackwork. I'm not done of course but only at the end of this module construction will I know whether it was worth the effort.

Thanks all!


Edited by - kumard on 08/16/2017 8:19:48 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/13/2017 :  7:52:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kimard,

I love the look off that crossing. The last low level photo does it justice. Very, very nice work!

Take care,

Edited by - robchant on 08/13/2017 8:10:20 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 1199 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 08/13/2017 :  8:02:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That looks great and well worth the effort. A good exercise in patience. Looks like the track flows very smoothly. Doc Tom

Country: USA | Posts: 673 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/13/2017 :  8:51:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your trackwork is really looking sharp. Nice job

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5655 Go to Top of Page

George D

Premium Member

Posted - 08/13/2017 :  9:10:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice flowing trackwork, Kumard. I never would have noticed the guardrail in the traction crossover if you hadn't pointed it out. You're smart to stay with it.


Country: USA | Posts: 16071 Go to Top of Page

ed k

Posted - 08/13/2017 :  10:23:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well done.

Country: USA | Posts: 1091 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer

Posted - 08/14/2017 :  10:15:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumar - you da'man when it comes to switches. The critics agree too.


Edited by - Frank Palmer on 08/14/2017 10:16:42 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5860 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/14/2017 :  9:17:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with Frank'.. you are now AKA Mr Switch'..


Country: USA | Posts: 6053 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/15/2017 :  12:32:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks all.

I just reread my note (and sentiments) about hand-laying track and realized that I was being a bit harsh about the experience. After a couple of days of calming down I have to say I'm immensely satisfied with the result so far and now believe that it was well worth the effort. This has reminded me of my youthful travels to challenging parts of the world. Only after I returned did I realize what a great time I'd had.

I don't want to put anyone off hand-laying track and of course many modelers have no issue with it whatsoever and fully enjoy both the experience and the result. It costs very little to try and has a big payoff if you succeed - you get full control over track design and can design any layout you so desire.

I'll post a full step-by-step description of building a turnout at some point on the blog for those who wish to devote a couple of hours to learning how to do it.

In the meantime onward I go. Next up will probably be the first structure - I'm still deciding which.


Edited by - kumard on 08/15/2017 12:46:04 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/15/2017 :  6:54:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit adrian_batey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This is excellent track work. I have just started working on my own points ect and hand laying sections on dioramas to eventually form part of the layout.

I will have to go back over your posts and have a good read as im sure there is good information there for me to learn from. One thing im finding is i don't like spiking rail and prefer to use pcb ties every few ties with a contact glue on the rail.

Owen Pass Lumber Company
HO Logging Layout in a Shed.

Country: Australia | Posts: 1300 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/15/2017 :  10:33:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Adrian.

I used spikes on my the first module and also did not like the final effect. I decided to use PCB ties for this project and so far so good. The only reservation about this is that the PCB ties don't stain or weather very well. I have still to get to that part of the project so I'm not sure how difficult it is going to be to get the PCB ties matching the wooden and weathered ties.

I'm going to experiment with the 'Brook Smith' method in the coming weeks. It uses small rivets placed into drilled holes in the ties onto which you solder the rail. It's a British method and I'm not sure whether it will 'translate' to USA modeling. I'll post results here when I have them.

Good luck.


Edited by - kumard on 08/15/2017 10:34:45 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 435 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 08/16/2017 :  08:25:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Smooth, well-buillt trackwork like yours is so beautiful and impressive.

The curve leading into the crossing where the boxcar rubs looks a little tight. Perhaps that is more the problem than the crossing itself. Actually, I have found it not unusual to need to trim rods etc underneath cars even for less extreme trackwork.


Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 08/16/2017 09:44:07 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 6355 Go to Top of Page
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