View single post by Reg H
 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 04:26 am
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Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1105
More thoughts as the layout takes shape in my mind.

As stated earlier, the "Thomasville" trackplan from the book "Your Next Model Railroad" will be the basis for both ends of the point-to-point layout. 

The basic plan in the book calls for the use of #8 turnouts on the mainline.  As my benchwork was originally built to accommodate a 1/4" scale railroad, there is plenty of wide open space in HO.  So the use of #8's on mainline turnouts was attractive.

So I ordered a couple of Atlas #8's to see what they look like.  And I don't really like them very much.  The frog is way too long and ugly.  I think the #6's look much better.

I considered using Fast Tracks jigs to build up some #8's.  I can justify the cost financially.  The cost of the jigs and associated aids and materials would be a wash in comparison to purchasing commercial turnouts, given the number of #8 turnouts envisioned.  But this approach is contrary to one of the objectives of this layout, which is to blaze in track and basic scenery in as short a time as possible.   I have NEVER done that.  But I am involving young children and they are not long on patience.  The idea of spending a year building trackwork is not attractive to them.

I haven't ruled out Fast Tracks for the #8's (all sidings and spurs will be #6) but my current thinking is to use #6 turnouts throughout.  The #6's look pretty good, but there is something majestic about a well-built #8. I have a few more days to fuss about it.

All construction will be as simple as possible.  All track will be Atlas flex-track, code 83.  I haven't used flex-track in decades.  Most of my track in the past has been handlaid.  

I have adopted an over-center spring type of "switch machine".  The over-center springs will eliminate the problems I had with PCB ties, should I break down and opt for the Fast Tracks #8's. But the main objective of that type of turnout control is to make operation as "hands on" as possible and to eliminate under the layout construction.  I have "built" one over-center spring and installed it on a turnout.  It works great.  It took me about 10 minutes to "build" the first one. "Building" an over-center spring involves putting three bends in a piece of piano wire and clipping the ends to length.  

Locomotive control will be DCC.  The DCC bus is already in place from the On30 layout. 


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