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Building a new club layout?

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  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,273 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 22, 2018 10:11 AM

 What's funny is all the major browsers have spell check built in now - but however this forum implements the editor, it disables or blocks that. My posts would look a lot better if it didn't disable the spell check.


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's


Visit my web site at for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,278 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 12:30 AM

Progress continues on the layout. We have a bunch more mainline track laid. Brian, our chief track layer, is able to do about 30' of track in approx. two hours with a couple of guys assisting him. He has a unique method of offsetting the rail joints without creating any gaps in the ties. I'll try to remember to take my camera so I can show you how he does it.

We also have about 1/3rd of the bus wiring in place. Rene (Dutchman eh!) and Ron were under the layout soldering feeders to the bus tonight. Rene swore he wasn't going to burn himself but of course he did manage to drop some hot solder on his hand! That made him really swear!!!Crying The two of them forgot to offset the feeder connections so we have a bit of insulating to do, but no big deal.

We looked high and low for the rail cutters and couldn't find them. Then we realized that Ron had them under the layout and was using them as wire cutters. Fortunately it was copper wire so no harm done, but he couldn't understand what the fuss was about. He had no idea what they were for.

We have made a small change to the position of one of the turnouts in order to lengthen the spur coming off of it. It will require some patchwork to install the subroadbed where needed.

Bob spent the evening bevelling the Homasote so we can have deeper ditches along the mainline. He managed to get the cuts nice and even and parallel to the cork roadbed. Cutting the Homasote seemed to be easier than I thought it would be, but we were using fresh blades so I'm sure that helped.

We are also working on rebuilding our portable layout. The wiring has been giving us problems for quite some time. We are in the process of replacing all of the original feeder wires as well as adding a bunch more, and we are using terminal strips to connect everything together instead of trying to solder the feeders to the bus. The terminal strips help us to keep the wires flush with the bottom of the modules. They used to hang down and were constantly getting snagged when the modules were being slid in and out of the storage boxes. To tell the truth, the original wiring was a total botch job. In many places they were relying on turnout points to feed two or three feet of track, and they had used telephone wire for the feeders.Bang Head We are using 18 ga solid because the layout gets bumped around pretty good while it is being transported.

We also solved a problem with the turnout motors on one module. They were operating intermittently. Turns out the old power pack that we were using to supply them had gone belly up. One minute it was producing 17 volts and the next minute it was down to 3 volts. Of course, instead of measuring the output right from the start we fiddled and farted around for about an hour before we got to the source of the problemDunce.

The portable layout is also suffering a lot of damage to the scenery. I think it is a result of being dragged around in a trailer on rough roads. Ballast is cracking and several of the buildings are damaged. Once we get the wiring up to snuff we will go to work on that. Some of the scenery is pretty amaturish too so we will eventually have a go at that as well.

That's all for now.

Cheers everybody!


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