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A few days without RMweb and I've gone and built a model railway



Okay, that might be exaggerating a bit. But now that I've downloaded Opera* and can see the pictures again I thought I'd post what I've been up to during the intermission.



gallery_6731_225_20624.jpg? ? gallery_6731_225_10798.jpg




To join the two boards together I've used the simplest method I could think of, a few nuts and bolts. It's very secure and easy to undo when I need to transport the boards. When I make the travel covers for each board I'll use the same method to attach them too.







With the boards firmly together I glued on the top layer of grey card to protect the rather fragile foamboard, and then cut out the trackplan and stuck it down on top. I've aligned it so that the track at each end is 100mm from the front, to simplify matters if I ever add an extension.? 





My original plan for my microlayout was to use Peco 0-16.5 track. I wanted to buy a few points and some flexitrack to experiment with track plans. But the first shop I tried to buy some from didn't sell it, despite supposedly specialising in such things, because they preferred Micro Engineering track. While very finely detailed, the points are much larger than Peco, so not really suitable for a 2xA3 layout, and rather expensive. And they didn't have any in stock anyway. My local model shop while at uni tried to order some for me, but couldn't get an amount from Peco small enough to reasonably expect to ever sell it all. I was reluctant to mail order it due to postage costs for yard length track, so I decided to try a different approach.

One of the layouts that originally inspired me to try 7mm narrow gauge, Arthur Budd's The Brickworks, uses the Roy C Link range of 14mm gauge track. I was impressed by it, but didn't want to go 14mm because of the lack of compatibility with RTR chassis and most other 7mmNG stock, and the cost of 14mm locos. Instead I decided to use the RCL geometry, jigs and parts, but scale the dimensions up to 16.5mm gauge. The tighter radii of RCL track allowed me to fit a full timesaver into the 2xA3 space, so I will get a lot more operational potential than with Peco track anyway. The track plan was created using the templates available on the KBscale in the RCL track and turnout PDF.



This being my first ever attempt at hand-built track, I started with a small test length to get the hang of it before committing to the real thing. Here I've cut some 30mm sleepers from a strip of 4mm x 2mm limewood, and stuck them with double sided tape to an RCL straight track template.? 






The first rail was tacked to the end sleepers with superglue, then pinned to the sleepers using RCL spikes, one on each side of the rail on each sleeper. I've had to put a piece of foamboard beneath the track to avoid nailing it firmly to my desk.



16.5mm roller gauges were then used to hold the second rail in the correct position.









Second rail pinned in place as per the first. One of the sleepers split at the end, but given that this is supposed to be battered industrial track that's not a problem.






It works! I was a bit worried that the flanges on some wheels might hit the heads of the spikes, but all my wagons run smoothly along the track.






I had considered assembling each piece of track separately, ? then putting them together on the board. However experimenting with the test length showed that the without something beneath them holding them together, the sleepers would slide around on the rails. So I am gluing all the sleepers directly to the baseboards, and will then make all the track in situ.










About 125 sleepers later and it's all done. The next stage will be to add some wood grain texture to the very smooth limewood using coarse sandpaper, then paint them an appropriate colour before I start adding rails.





*The fourth browser on my computer. Now I just need Safari to complete the set.

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Hey, the track looks very nice and the picture of the sleepers all glued down to the plans is very tantalizing. I can't wait to see more! =D

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