Friday, May 1, 2009

Model Railroad | Initial Track Layout

The first two pics below are of the bare baseboard with joined track laid loosely on it. Made up of two independent loops, the irregular oval and the modified dogbone are laid one on top of the other so that I can get a visual of how they will overlap once the dogbone is elevated above the oval.

The baseboard measures 6 '3" long and 3 '6" wide. A little crammy for a HO scale model railroad, which is why I decided to go with two independent loops.

Bear in mind that I have never constructed a model railroad before, but if my measurements and track layout are correct, everything will, hopefully, turn out fine!

HO Train Layouts
Fleischmann Profi-Track laid out on the baseboard, one on top of the other. Not a complicated layout but a challenge nonetheless, squeezing all that track onto a very small space. 

All track is pre-ballasted nickel-silver Fleischmann Profi-track.

I decided to go with pure nickel-silver track because of the reputation steel tracks have for rusting and developing dead spots if they are not constantly maintained.

I'm reminded of the huge Scalextric slot car race track I owned in the mid-80s that started rusting very quickly despite being nickel-plated. Once the nickel plating started to wear through, rust started to develop quickly. After reviving the track several times with sandpaper and WD40 to remove the rust, I eventually ended up throwing the whole set into the garbage!

Needless to say that I was determined not to have that happen with my model railway. Pure nickel-silver does not rust and needs only occasional maintenance to clean off dust and oxidization

HO Train Layouts
All Fleischmann track rails are made out of solid nickel-silver.
The pic below shows how I laid layers of dense blue construction foam to elevate the dogbone above the oval. I could have used common white styrofoam I suppose, but the blue provides a much more rigid foundation. I had to use two layers of foam to achieve the necessary height for the second level.

HO Train Layouts
Pieces of blue foam form the foundation of the second level of track. 

Instead of wasting a gallon of glue to hold the two layers together, I used bamboo skewers, more commonly used for barbequing shrimp, instead! The skewers work pretty well to stop the foam layers from shifting against each other.

I didn't glue the foam to the baseboard in case I needed to make minor adjustments later.

It doesn't have to be pretty since it will all be covered in plaster and ground cover later.

HO Train Layouts
View of the right side of the foundation.

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