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August 16, 2009


The majority of the track is laid with cross-sleepered timbering with the original broad gauge siding laid with baulk road.

The cross-sleepered track is made with code 60 bullhead rail in plastic chairs, by Ian Osborne, on plywood sleepers. Because of the extra length of sleeper needed for mixed gauge track l cut the strips using a mini-craft saw bench from 1/32" thick plywood and then cut the individual sleepers to size.

The baulk road is constructed using 4 mm scale copperclad strip used for points, which is the correct width for the baulks at 4mm. The correct profile bridge rail is then soldered to this. I use the 4 mm scale rail, as supplied by the Broad Gauge Society. This is a lightweight rail for 4 mm scale and looks fine in 3 mm scale. After gluing down the baulks using a length of brass cut to the correct width between the baulks as a gauge., they are held in gauge by thin pieces of copperclad soldered to represent the transoms. As most of this siding will be covered in cobblestones the size of the transom was not critical.

The track is built away from the layout on templates printed on the thickest card I could get through my inkjet printer. I have adapted the method described by lain Rice in his book on constructing finescale track. I first stain the sleepers with a dark oak stain and then glue them to the template using a sticky PVA glue and allow them to dry. I then mark the line of one rail with brass pins and apply ballast between the sleepers glued down with a diluted PVA – see below.

Once it has all dried the rail with the chairs threaded on is stuck down using Butanone as a solvent. The rail is then weighted down and allowed to dry. The second, and third rails in the case of mixed track can then be glued down using gauges. The whole lot is then weighted down and left to dry.

The point work is built in a similar way, but with wider sleeper strip cut to length according to the template. Point construction follows the methods described in the book except that the crossing is constructed separately with thin lengths of brass soldered across the crossing and wing rails at the site of the sleepers. Cosmetic chairs are glued on afterwards. The point tie bars are built in a way described to me by Peter White. I filed half the head off a 14BA screw and then soldered the point blade to it. A length of copperclad, with the copper removed is drilled to the correct width to accept the screws and is locked in place with 2 nuts on each side. A 12BA screw is inserted through the middle of the tie bar and is held in place with a nut. This acts as the driving pin for the point and connects with the point motor beneath the baseboard, which I will describe later.A slot is cut in the cork and the polystyrene underneath to accept the tiebar which sits just below the surface: of the template. When installed it will be disguised with ballast and a cosmetic tiebar made from plasticard will be fitted above -see below.

   Finally the template is wired up with short dropper wires and then stuck in place on the layout using double sided carpet tape. The position of the template is located using the master plan prepared previously to mark out the cork. The wires ane inserted through the polystyrene boards to be connected up underneath later.

I have now built and laid all the trackwork on the layout. On doing so I decided to change the plan slightly. I have raised the area where the goods interchange will be to give a bit more interest and allow a change in height of the canal. This will enable me to include a shallow lock for more interest and also enable me to hide the joint between the baseboards where it cuts across the canal.


From → Trackwork

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