Onwards and upwards with track.


Sometimes, I wish I only modelled OO gauge instead of EM gauge. Hey-ho, now I have to build and lay a great deal more track. Work has started on the Kent Coast mainline in the scenic area of the Top Deck layout and that means I cannot just slap any old thing down. The picture above shows the placing of the Down line close to the position of the back scene. The curve and curved turnouts are a compromise – the real cross over is straight. In this design, to have brought this facing cross over to the front of the layout would have to reduce the length of train stabling and turn back roads to 8 coaches instead of 10. Not an acceptable compromise in that direction. So, curved turnouts it is! This illustrates one of the points about modelling a linear structure such as a railway in oblong shaped rooms – eventually, the design has to incorporate a un-prototypical  right angle curve to avoid it hitting the wall!


Sleepers placed in the Down direction. A hefty piece of wood provides a good straight edge for this stretch of line. Remember, this layout theme is supposed to be a scenic test track for my British outline models but is fact becoming a fully scenic model! A turnout is placed where there will be a trailing cross-over.


The same turnout looking in the Up direction.


Sleepers are individually placed on the Plastozote foam track bed before the rail and fixings are added. This type of concrete sleeper is by C&L Finescale and passes muster. It’s a long winded process but the end result looks good.


In goes the first running rail composed of Code 82 flat bottom rail: heavy enough for a mainline. Fixings are trimmed Pandrol clip and base plate mouldings by Peco.


Roller gauges set the correct gauge as the second running rail is fixed into place. Wiring and testing is not far away. I am considering a different approach for the sleepers on the Up line to speed the track laying process up and to introduce a different type of concrete sleeper. After that comes the conductor rail!


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