Christmas Break

We made some progress this week on the WVR. I’m taking vacation this week and between chores to get ready for our family Christmas Eve celebration, I’ve taken a little time to work on the railroad. The track layers were in to add 2 more blocks of track (about 30 feet).

I’m using 1/2″ plywood for the sub-roadbed, gluing on Midwest cork roadbed then the track. I use Lock-tite Power Grab all purpose adhesive. It holds the roadbed in place pretty well with a few well placed pins an once set up holds it very well. It also holds the track well, but it doesn’t really bond to the plastic ties so tightly that the track can’t be pulled back up with a putty knife. I like this as it allows for changes without destroying track and turnouts.

We’ve made it down the 2% grade and around the bend.

The electrical crew has installed the wiring for the two blocks as can be seen above. I use #22 gauge feeders soldered to each section of the Peco code 83 flex track, then run 18 gauge solid wire along the whole block to pick up the feeders and to the nearest terminal block which is fed by the 12 gauge bus. I keep the blocks separate because the red 18 gauge wire must be fed through a block detection coil at the terminal block.

Now for a test run to make sure everything works as planned… Actually it doesn’t. When we apply power, there’s a beep signifying a short circuit has occurred. It seems that “old Dave” our partially blind and dyslexic electrician (that’s me) has switched the wires on one of the blocks. Once we get this straightened out and we’re good to go.

Well, #685 is going to be waiting a while because I need to let my finances recover before purchasing any more turnouts. Meanwhile, we’ve laid the cork and excavated for the inspection pits for the roundhouse. I plan to allow removal of the turntable section, so the track will be split between the turntable and the roundhouse. I’m hoping this will not cause alignment issues.

The red arrow points to the transition from the 3/16″ cork around the turntable and under the roundhouse to the 1/8″ cork I’ll be using for the approach tracks. I used an orbital sander with 60 grit paper to work the thicker cork down gradually. This worked well.

I’m using an old Walthers 3 stall roundhouse and adding a new 3 stall kit. The previously used kit requires tear down and clean-up. I’ve painted the bases and pits with a coat of stone gray so they match and got them about ready to install. I’ll need to do some planning for the rail power and lighting. This model will be back a way from the isle, so I may just add several LED’s to the roof pieces.

Well I’m off to bed, we’ll have a house full tomorrow. Should be fun…

Merry Christmas!

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