Tag Archives: track

Quarter 2 2006

We have made some very visible progress in the second quarter this year – painting and ballasting all the track. Steve has done most of this with help from Ian and Chris for the painting. First stage was to undercoat the track with primer. We used a can of plastic primer for the plastic ties and a metal primer for the “circuit board” ties on the switches. We followed this through with a can of “fender primer” to turn them all grey and then finished off adding a little brown with an airbrush.

We used a mixture of black coal dust (from the bottom of a coal bucket) and almost white coal/wood ash – mixed to a dark grey; these were sieved thoroughly before use. We applied this over a layer of white glue, smoothed it out carefully and then sprayed with Isopropanol (IPA) as a wetting agent and then dilute white glue (about 30% in water with a drop of detergent added). Some touching up with a dropper was required in one or two places. Finally we are slowly painting the track sides rusty. Other natural materials were used in off-track areas.

Quarter 2 2004

Progress has slowed a little this quarter – mainly as Chris has been focusing on building replacement lighting gantries for taking club layouts to exhibitions. However, Paul has plodded on with the wiring, and has now finished his sixth board (all in the storage yard) – the wiring really is beautiful if you like that sort of thing. As I write he has started on the front boards. Steve has been doing some scenic modelling on the front wall and making a lot of noise carving stones out of plaster with his mini-drill. The photos show all this:

Photos include: Firstly Paul and the rewiring – by early June, all the four rear baseboards and the end boards had been wired and tests have ensured that trains will run. In early June, all the baseboards were re-assembled and the layout looked quite good. Paul started on the wiring of the front boards later in June. Steve worked on the wall along the Lehigh river – more details can be found on a project page – the river wall.

March 2004

Progress also continued well in February and March. Chris put finishing touches to the turnouts and trackwork on the front of the layout and Paul removed, wired and replaced two baseboards as he starts the laborious task of wiring the layout. Although we will use DCC eventually, he is wiring for standard operation at the start with four blocks. Chris has also built and placed a model weighscale (see archive photo #707).

Photos include: The wiring (I didn’t get the exciting photos of Paul actually doing it) is, as usual, quite inspiring! Chris starting on the finishing touches at the baseboard joints, and an open view of the layout without the backboard – removed so that baseboards can be taken out and wired. The (non-functioning) weighscale built by Chris (see photo #707)and a caboose under construction by Steve.

January 2004

Progress picked up in January and the photos show this. Chris and Paul forged ahead with the switches on the front of the layout and they are now all in place (although not wired or motored) and working! Even Steve has had a go at laying switches in the staging yard to provide new storage sidings – he has also finished most of the work on the third building.

Before we focus on the switches, here are the three buildings so far completed, Chris and Paul showing that laying switches is a very serious job, and three old HO hands assessing progress!

The completed switches as laid in January by Paul, Steve (some only) and Chris.

Quarter 3 2003

Progress over the summer has been exceptionally slow, mainly as a result of vacations and having to spend time on society business. Chris has also been very busy building lighting gantries for the MMRS – however, we are certain that normal service will resume as as soon as possible !!

This is what we have been up to:
Steve has finished (except for the shop interiors – which Ian is doing) the first two buildings on Susquehanna Street. Paul has been busy too, building switches (pointwork) for the front of the layout; here he is being carefully supervised by Bill, our tea-bar manager. Paul has also painted and decalled an ATSF switcher into CNJ livery.

June 2003

Here’s the progress in May and June together, as May was rather slow. Paul carried on cutting holes for switch motors and wiring the switches in the storage yard, and has now completed it. Steve carried on laying sidewalk and Ian carved a tunnel mouth, required to get the track off the LH end. Chris and Steve cut away some of the riverside wall as in the prototype and Chris planned out the bridge and built the buttresses. Chris (with Paul’s help) spent most of May and June building lighting gantries for the club layouts. Steve has been building the first store on Susquehanna St. from plasticard on a perspex frame. This will be the subject of a separate article shortly (it looks better in the pictures than in real life!).

April 2003

Chris has been reshaping Mount Pisgah as it abuts onto route 209, introducing more polystyrene shavings! Steve has started to lay sidewalk from 3mm MDF in Susquehanna Street. Ian and Chris have used brick plasticard on the river wall and Ian has added the capping stones to the wall at the side of route 209. Finally Paul has started to permanently lay and wire the staging-yard track.

Photos include Ian cutting capping stones from plastistrip and glueing them along the top of the retaining wall

March 2003

Chris has been smoothing off Mount Pisgah and it looks pretty good. Paul has repositioned the trackwork at the end of the staging yard to allow for stock on the westbound track to cross to the eastbound. Steve has started tracing photos of other buildings on his computer – Hooven Mercantile and the Navigation building – and card mock-ups of these have appeared. We have recently acquired a large number of freight stock items from a neighouring club (Chester) at a knock-down price. Finally, Ian has started work on building out a couple of the walls preparatory to adding the stone facing and has cut the culvert through the river wall. The photos below were taken on February 15th and the open night on April 4th.

Photos include a smooth Mount Pisgah, new track layout, new building mock-ups, new retaining walls and New rolling stock on the open night,

February 2003

Chris, Ian and Steve have been working on a permanent version of Mount Pisgah and have made a wonderful mess sawing up polystyrene sheets. Paul has been finishing Flagstaff Mountain and playing with the trackwork. Steve has continued tracing photos of Susquehanna Street on his computer and some new pages have been added to the website to provide access to them. We have all had a go at weathering our rolling stock and some of this can be seen in the photos. The photos below were taken on February 28th and the open night on March 7th.

Photos show Chris constructing a mountain, the staging yard finished and some weathered coal hoppers.

December 2002

In December the track plan (plotted out in Templot software by Richard Oldfield) was finally delivered allowing us to finalise the location of the track and hence the buildings on the modelled section. More building mock-ups in cardboard were built – especially of the Hotel block as we got better town plans and some photos of the Central Hotel. We also found a good photo of the goods depot. Flagstaff mountain was started from expanded polystyrene sheet. Over Christmas Paul relaid the main lines and much of the yard track according to the plans, but this is not shown in the photos below.