West Missoula – layout progress update.

Grabbed a few quick pics of the layout and scribbled this quickly: Track laying has reached West Missoula, the west end of the yard. This means that all of the track and the six staging yard roads are now in place, wired up, tested and running.

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The six roads to the rear of the baseboard are the staging yard roads, although the furthermost one also forms part of a continuous run loop for those times when watching trains roll by is more desirable than heavy duty operating. The staging yard will be concealed in part with a removable back scene to separate it from the mainline and five reception yard roads to the front. Trains will be backed into the staging yard on arrival to avoid releasing engines from the end in a similar manner to practice at terminus stations in parts of North America – Vancouver being one such example. The engines can then be replaced with others when re-staging trains between operating sessions. It’s very flexible and the return loop also helps with re-staging of trains so they are correctly formed relative to operations on the full-size line.

A great deal of testing of train reversal was undertaken to check for reliability and the results are very good indeed. All credit to Atlas code 55 track.

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The fascia and throttle ports are now installed over parts of the layout too.

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Looking west: No more track for the coal drag – for the moment. Cork forming the sub road bed has been laid at Missoula West. Note that the staging yard roads are stub end roads, hence the experiments with backing moves which have been more successful than I thought they might.

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Sorry anbout the mess – as soon as that cork is glued and stable – down with the double crossover and yard leads. Then it’s tidy up time and out on to the mainline towards Desmet Junction. Track laying and wiring will speed up from this point  – there’s less of it to do!

However, a trip to the Newcastle and District MRS show in Gateshead this weekend will put the brakes on progress for a few days. We will be there with Nairnshire Modelling Supplies. It should be a good show – I believe that D&E presence in the form of Andi Dell’s ‘Dagworth’ forms part of the line-up. We will catch up on the antics of his much loved and spoiled (probably) cat, Joy, a lovely Siamese if that’s the case. Should be a fun event!

More next week!

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