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Finishing the permanent way...


Paul Robertson

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This weekend saw a milestone reached on my layout as I finished off the last of the permanent way with more das clay and a final ballasting of the station branch line. It certainly feels like an achievement covering the last of the plywood after 5 months of solid work. The first area to be done was the station layover siding. This will be for boat train stock and the odd civil engineers train. I therefore wanted the siding to have a similar well worn feel to the lower yard and used the same das clay technique with fine ballast sprinkled on then pressed in. 

 

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(das clay rolled out between formers to give right width and depth) 

 

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(clay installed on the layout with ballast pushed in) 

 

Note I had also installed some scale model scenery catchpit drain covers between the siding and the running line. I cleaned of the das clay from the sleepers with wet cotton buds and left the whole lot to dry before painting with acrylics in shades of redy browns. 

 

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(all painted up. Note tyre tra ks marked into the clay as a base for a civil engineers access track) 

 

All the black wooden sleepers were painted brown with an acrylic paint pen. 

 

Something else I worked on was the high mast lighting. They havent been giving out as much light as I hoped so a quick rebuild with three extra leds and the effect was much more pleasing. The tops are a bit out of scale but the amount is of light it produces is worth it a feel. 

 

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(new light doing its job) 

 

Having painted the das clay I then set about greening it up with burnt grass flock material laid on pva. 

 

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(flock material glued down whilst avoiding the access tracks. I even created a little landslip to keep the network rail engineer busy) 

 

Once the siding was complete it was onto ballasting the running line. This involved carefully applying fine grey ballast then brushing it into place and off the sleepers. I've tried to replicate the cess shoulders as well. 

 

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(ballast brushed into position ready for gluing down) 

 

A pva, water, washing up liquid solution was mixed up and then applied using a Calpol syringe to fix it all down in the same way as I did for the french drains and chalk base to the cliffs. 

 

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(ballast glued in place) 

 

A second brushing was done to push back ballast moved during gluing. It all goes very dark when wet but hopefully will lighten again as it dries. 

 

Next on my to do list will be putting up the network rail security fence at the top of the embankment but that will be for another day. 

 

Before I finished today I decided to get out all my n gauge vehicles and arrange them to get a feel for the loading of the ferry over the top Linkspan 

 

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(lorries being waved on.)

 

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(network rail welfare unit in attendance) 

 

I have a large order for extra vehicles in with Hattons at the moment. (a late Xmas present to myself!) 

 

Thanks for reading

 

 

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