CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Benchwork: the plan

I started planning what I was going to do for benchwork for my layout. As has previously been mentioned, I want it to be sectional/movable, but not necessarily easily movable. I don't plan to take the layout to train shows and such, but it will be reconfigured over the life of the layout. Also, flipping it on its side for wiring is a must for me. Legs or other supports will be determined later.

What I realized once I started working in the basement again is that this might be too large for the space I had. I allotted a small walkway around the layout for access to the washing machine and dryer, but that might not fly with my wife. As drawn at right, the two green sections are 5' long.

So, I may take the two 5' sections on each side and instead make them 3' sections. Since that is definitely too short for the Watervliet section, it will just be a filler for now. As for the part that adjoins the Mohawk Paper section, it might just be an extension of that. So why not build Mohawk Paper as two 5' sections, which would be easier? Because I cannot see myself devoting 10 feet of the layout to one industry. Allowing 7' and 3' sections gives me more flexibility.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

First track purchased!

Going under the logic that if I spread out the cost of my layout over time it will be easier on my pocketbook, I decided to start purchasing track. Honestly, I first checked Ebay to see if there was anything interesting for sale (HO engines, slides, books, A&A stuff, etc.) but then corrected myself and decided to focus on something I actually "need" (I do not need another 50' boxcar at this time) and that was track. But, since today was rainy and I had already taken it off I drove to the nearby JP Trains hobby store.

After checking out their Roundhouse/MDC and Athearn kits (I can't help it!) and realizing I keep seeing the same ones over and over, I looked at Paul's track selection. And, lo and behold there were three Micro Engineering code 83 #6 LH switches on sale for $15 each... brand new. Since I plan to use code 83 on the main line, and Micro Engineering is the track brand I have decided to go with, I bought all three. The packages were marked "DCC compatible with no modifications necessary," which I hope is a good thing. I plan to power the frogs and control them via a switch (either a TAM Frog Juicer if I use Caboose Industries ground throws, or the contacts from a Tortoise switch machine). I also ordered some ME flextrack. It comes in bundles of six pieces, so I ordered a bundle in code 83, code 70, and code 55. I likely won't need it until spring, but I can at least get a feel for how the stuff works.

News flash: code 55 is really tiny! I had no idea how delicate it was until I had some actually in my hands. Micro Engineering sells sample pieces through their website for I think $1.50 a piece (each piece is about 2-3 inches long). I bought some of each in codes 55, 70, and 83 in both weathered and non-weathered. I mounted them on a small board along with some samples of Hobby Innovations' Flexxbed (formerly Vinylbed) roadbed. I will likely mount small pieces of Atlas and Peco track on the board too, and if nothing else it will allow me to easily show others the various types of track on the market.