Monday, August 2, 2010

Preparing the town of Herndon

As we finished the hidden siding, I also wanted to finish the entrance to Herndon. Ed Rappe constructed the ramp down off the main line into the town. I also nailed down the Celotex material to form the roadbed and base for the buildings. I think we will have a fuel oil dealer here along with a team track and the station. It will give a way freight some work to do going east to Harrisburg.
You can see all the tools required, including an air operated brad nailer to nail down the base.
In the third photo you will note that I had to cover the track with tape to allow me to form the roadbed shoulder with plaster. In the last shot, it is all painted flat black to represent the cinder subroadbed. Now I have to build a couple of turnouts and lay the siding tracks in the town. I am pleased with the long curve through town.

How to avoid kinks

Well, we have had to build this extensive hidden yard out of many pieces of 3 foot long track sections on a curve. So, how do we avoid getting kinks in the numerous joints?
Here is the process I followed. Frst, I lay the new section on the end of the track. In the first picture, you can see the pencil line drawn on the roadbbed that the bottom section of track is following. I do not spike down the last 6 inches so it can form a tangent to the curve. I can then see how much rail has to be pulled out of the tie strip to match the track ending.
Next, I place the new section into a fixture that I made out of homasote and strip wood that hold the tie strip in place as I draw out the rail. In the third picture you can see how much rail I had to pull out.
I then thread the tie strip onto the existing track to get the rail in place to put on the joiners. I cut away the tie plates so the joiner sits flat under the two rail sections. The new piece of track is left in a straight alignment when I put the joiner on so there is no lateral force on the rail. You can see this in the fourth picture.
I flux the rails and the joiner and then solder the pieces together. Once it cools I pull the rail to be sure I have a good joint. If all is okay, I then bend the new section along the pencil line as you can see in the last picture. The soldered joint is strong enough to ensure there is no kink and good conductivity.
I will leave a slip joint at the end of each siding to allow for expansion and contraction.

Completing the hidden yard track - part 2

Well, we undertook the tedious task of laying many sections of flex track to put in the hidden yard. My fingers are sore from all the joiners.
There are about 300 feet of track in the yard with the eight tracks. I have been able to lay about 90% of the track but I have had to stop as the other end sub roadbed is not in place yet.
I have used up all my joiners and a ton of track nails to get this all down. It took a week of effort but it looks good with the concentric circles. The radii grow from 62 inches to 90 inches. The is about a 6 foot difference in length from the interior track to the exterior track.
I used older Atlas track as this will be hidden and no one will notice the difference in color.