The first spike is driven …

…well, the first solder joint made anyway!

Hi all,

Yesterday, with help from Andrew, I commenced laying the storage yard trackwork.  In the time since the last post, I have drawn in track centrelines and have been gluing down PCB sleepers in preparation for rail.  I also assembled two etched frog kits from Proto87 Stores.  More on these later.

After the centrelines were drawn in, paper templates of NSWGR 1:6 turnouts were taped down in position.  There are a total of 32 turnouts in the storage yards, sixteen for each UP and DOWN yards, eight at each end.  After carefully setting the first eight out for the left hand end of the UP yard, I began gluing down the PCB sleepers.  These had been cut by myself from large sheets of 1mm PCB into strips about 200mm long by 3mm wide.  These strips were then cut into short lengths approximately 31mm long.  The first batch produced about 400 sleepers out of a 300 x 200mm sheet.  I commenced gluing these down with PVA glue using a jig that I built from brass.

sleeper laying jig in position with PCB sleepers ready to go sleepers in place in the jig sleepers in place with jig removed

This jig enables ten sleepers to be laid at a time, equally spaced at 30mm intervals.

On the first two turnouts that lead into the yard (both on the centre road), I determined where PCB sleepers would be required here as well.  Using a sharp scalpel, I cut out the sections of the template where the PCB sleepers would go, cut these to length, then glued them down.

paper templates and sleepers in position

Since I wanted to lay the centre road first, these first two turnouts determined where and how the first sections of rail were laid.  I won’t go into all the nitty gritty of building turnouts, as there have been numerous articles published on the subject.  I had decided to build the turnouts in situ because it made it easier to align them all in the yard ‘ladder’, as well as being able to use full lengths of rail rather than building them on the workbench then fitting them in place and then connecting them with many short lengths of rail.  This also minimises the number of joins in the rail.


the first section of rail is soldered down

The picture above shows me making the first soldered joint.  Note the etched frog assembly has not been soldered in place yet.  It doesn’t get fixed down until the straight stock rail on the right hand side is fixed in placed, then the frog is gauged off that rail.


one turnout partially complete

The picture above shows the second turnout partially complete.  Both straight and curved stock and closure rails are in place as well as the frog.  The point blades will be fitted later.

So, over the next few weeks, there will be more of the same happening until these first eight turnouts are complete, less point blades, and the rest of the tangent track in each UP road laid close to the end of the UP yard where another eight turnouts will be built.

Here is a drawing showing the final arrangement of the storage yards.

storage yards final arrangement

Cheers for now.

Posted on Jul 9, 2011, in Trackwork and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Ian Phemister

    Hey Ian…….Looks great. Why did you opt for handlaying your straight hidden track (I guess your storage tracks are hidden) Rather than using flex track? Do you intend to do the same for the visual parts of the layout? I never thought of sticking down the tunout templates. Great idea. Keep up the good work. I might have to come visit somtime when you get a bit more progessed…….That’s if its OK!

    Hoo Roo.


    • Hi Ian,

      The main reason for handlaying the storage roads was cost!! I can handlay a metre of track for a fraction of the cost of a piece of flextrack. Granted it’s probably quicker with the flextrack, but you’ve gotta save money where you can!! I do have some 2nd hand flextrack that I may use in the helix. I’ll see how I go handlaying round the corner in the storage yards. The track on the scenicked parts will be handlaid but using the Central Valley plastic tie strips. More on these later! 😉 The turnout templates are just tacked down with tape. When the turnouts are complete, I’ll remove the template completely.

      You are certainly most welcome at any time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: