The Reg, experimenting is definitely time well spent which should hopefully remove any problem areas. I've wanted a layout for a long time a having it above the machinery is working well, evil thoughts are good so looking forward to your layout.
Should get some more done on the Porter bash soon as it's good therapy away from all the timber work.
Good progress with getting the cork and track down in the hidden storage yard, I've used Peco for ease of use. Operationally all the trains will reverse into the yard (I'll explain more about this latter) and as it's hidden I'm going to use detection to see whats happening. Each of the sidings will be divided into two sections to hold two trains, and one of the sidings will have a link to the main sorting yard.I've started the wiring and testing and so far no problems, and built the first of the JMRI panels.Simon
Sleeper laying is going well, as is the point construction for which I'm using the Fasttrack bits. All the straight points are built in the jigs and the curved ones on the paper templates.Over the years I've built a lot of track which has mainly been UK style using copper clad, ply and rivet and plastic slide on chairs, for which all have relied gauges to maintain accuracy. But using the jig method, wow its very quick and spot on gauge all the time.I've added a couple of rivets to the tie bars, this provides a bit of extra strength.I've included a photo that has provided the inspiration for the Porter Bash, on which I've not done much as I'm concentrating on the layout for a while.
Great looking trackwork.
The rivets on the tie bars is a good idea. There have been several folks, including myself, who have run into trouble depending on the soldered joints. My hand built turnouts have brass tie bars and plastic throw bars. I never had any DCC problems with that set up.
I laid some commercial kits assembled with PCB ties (sleepers) and throw bars and the the throw bar soldered joints lasted about 5 cycles.
Except for the above mentioned switch kits, all of my rail has been spiked in place. So level tie (sleeper) tops have been vital. Once my ties (sleepers) are laid I spray them with whatever cheap black spray paint is on the sale table at the local hardware store. I then use a sanding block to sand them down so that bare wood shows on all the tie (sleeper) tops.
Final stain is with a mix of india ink and alcohol.
Good progress with track laying on the main line and branch, only putting in enough spikes the hold the track in place until the boards are taken down, this will allow the wiring, spiking, rail painting and weathering to continue. Started building some small wagons.