Friday, February 17, 2012

Completing the west end yard ladder - Part 5

 As you can see, we have completed the ladder turnouts and laid the west end of the yard tracks. All the turnouts are number 6's due to the need to blend into the curve that forms the end of the yard. The radii are pretty big so coupling should not be a problem. I have yet to lay the caboose track which will come down in the foreground and then eventually tie back into the ladder.
 This is a view of the last two switches in teh ladder and a shot of the ladder tracks. The brown track at the toop right is the start of the thoroughfare track.
 Here we are going about the curve. One track is still to be laid in the foreground and the piles of track are for that one.
 Continuing around the curve. You can see the two main lines, the arrival and departure tracks and the four yard tracks. You might be able to make out the center line for the last track just under the brown ties and rail and the right side of the picture.
 This is the end of the line. I have to do more subroadbed work beyond here.
 This is the view looking east and you can see the work that has to be done.
This is the view of the east end of the yard and that is the next phase of construction. The homasote is now down so I have to prepare it for painting and then layout the turnout locations. The papers on the track to the right are the turnout diagrams.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Building the West End of the yard - Part 4

 Well, we are entering the yard area from teh Number 8 crossing show in the previous post. Looking down the drill track (yard lead) we first built a number 6 turnout to lead into the caboose and RIP track to the right. The straight track leads to the Arrival and Departure tracks.

Now you can see that the caboose track is loosely laid on the right - not in its final alignment.  It is just sitting near that file. The next turnout built is a number 7 that leads down to the yard ladder on its right. It is a pretty sharp curve at a 63 inch radius. We are transitioning to a lighter rail as we go into the yard. We go from Code 148 to code 125. The Arrival and Departure track lead to the left stays at the same weight of rail as the main - primarily because the supplier of my lighter track has disappeared and I cannot get any more.
We are looking down at the diverging yard lead on the right and the Arrival/Departure lead to the left. That is a number 8 switch that I have built that separates the two A/D tracks. All the turnouts had to be curved to fit them into the space alongside the curving mail line.
 Looking back, you can now see the Arrival and Departure tracks where the two freight cars are sitting. I have been test the turnouts with them. You can also see the curvature of the turnouts going back along the lead. I have now laid the ties for the yard ladder turnouts as well.
 Looking the other way, the tracks have been laid for the A/D tracks around the curve at the middle of the yard. I have also assembled some flex track using old Atlas ties and some 6 foot long pieces of code 125 rail.  It is really nice stuff to work with - too bad it is no longer available right now.
 Looking further around the curve. This area is soon to fill up with track as we complete the ladder tracks.
 Looking down the long straight to the east end of the yard. You can see that I had to stop laying track as I have to prepare the subroadbed for the new section. You can also see the trammel lines that we drew on the yard base to show the center lines for the tracks. Those track bundles piled there are the last of my Code 125 with brown ties.
 This is the old Atlas track with 6 foot length rail. We prepared 10 sections. I have enough rail for another 12 sections and then I have to go back to 3 foot long rail. Those 130 feet of rail will only do three yard tracks so I will have to use the3 foot sections for the other 2 yard tracks. I figure the yard will hold about 225 cars. I also have 6 hidden tracks overhead with a capacity of about 200 cars, and 8 hidden tracks off the main that would hold 2 passenger trains and another 200 cars. So, I think the layout can absorb about 550 cars without paralysis.
This is the yard ladder that we have to work on next. The first pieces of rail are down and now we have to build the four number 6 turnouts that will form the yard proper. I think that J1's will be able to back down the ladder to use the thoroughfare track to get to the engine house as it will be straight. I am a little worried about that curve at the top..