Friday, June 2, 2017

Track Work Construction

As mentioned in my prior blog post, I am working on a curved crossing. While work has stalled due to other track being worked on, I did make some additional progress. 

To create the crossing, I use PC board sheets to lay out the actual track crossings. It makes soldering a little easier.

As for the modules, work on the cross overs on each module have been completed.

Each turnout was built separately then combined after some careful trimming. Next time I have to build a cross over I may build it as one unit. However, as this was my first attempt at track laying, I'm happy with the results. The frog size is a  # 3, which is larger than the prototype, but I had the room and wanted to ensure smooth operation.

As these modules need to be portable, in order to "pave" the streets and bury the track work, I've decided to use 3/16" foam core as a base. The track was raised slightly with 0.040" styrene so that the rail head would be slightly raised above the soon to be added street paving.

An advantage of using foam core is its light weight. As these modules are destined to be moved, I wanted to keep the weight as low as possible.I don't "bury" the track in the foam core, but rather cut reliefs for the ties. I can still remove the track if needed for maintenance or adjustments.

Using the foam core as a base, I am paving my streets using brick sheeting.

This small section is being used as a test to make sure that this particular process would indeed work. So far I am satisfied with the results.

If this was "production" and not a test, I would add further mortar (actually drywall joint compound tinted with paint) to the seams between the brick sheets.

On the other module, I've decided to add a "scenic" element of a cross street and some potential future expansion.

These turnouts are somewhat sharper at a # 2.1 which match the 12" curves on the diverging route. The same method of using PC board sheet to solder the actual crossing rails was also used. Also shown is the other cross over that is at the end of this module.

Here are some overall views of both modules:


  1. Hey there, glad you see you are making progress again on the "rebirth" of CTA. If you are still doing Wells Street will it include the L terminal that the CA&E used? Always liked that terminal. Even with my large space can't do all the things I want to do. We have almost finished the track laying for about 150 feet of trolley, double and single track in the Baltimore/Hagerstown of the layout. Keep up the good work and stay in touch.

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