Sunday, May 27, 2012

Frog rails

Some of the turnouts have got their frog rails in place. Each such rail has to been file to a sharp point and slid into the styrene frog block. I equip one of the rails in each turnout with a feeder wire, and then solder the two rails together by flooding solder between the rails at the point were they meet. I will connect the other end of the feeder wire to the corresponding Tortoise, and thus get a frog that changes electrical polarity when the turnout is thrown.

Here is a picture of one of the turnouts with the frog rails installed.

And a closer look that clearly shows the gap in the rails that keep the frog electrically isolated from the other rails.

Last, a shot of the cross-over.

Three more frogs to do. The I can start to wire rails and install switch machines, and finalltý get the (single) train running.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

All code 70 track in place

Not much new to see, but all code 70 track is actually in place, including the turnout stock rails. I have also installed the points and throw bars. Still missing are the closure and frog rails.

Here are some pictures.

A closer look at the points of one of the turnouts...

...and down the main line, which disappears off scene.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Turnout building and track laying

Turnout building and track laying is making steady progress. Once the cork was in place I glued down all the turnout tie blocks and the track tie strips, except were I will install code 55 track. I left those stretches for later, since I think it will be easier to get a nice transition between the different rail heights if the code 70 parts are first in place and sitting tight.

Once the turnout tie blocks were installed I glued the frog blocks in place, followed by the points. The points need to be cut to length and filed to get a good fit. I also soldered a feed wire to each point rail, as shown below.

I cut the excess wire and bent it 90 degrees so I could thread the wire down the hole I had drilled through the foam. Here is the point in its final position, but still with the wire "above ground".

And here the wire is disappearing down the hole.

With all the points in place I could proceed with the stock rails. I omitted the piece of metal foil that is supposed to create the required electrical contact between the stock rail and the future closure rail. My experience from building the first two test turnouts was not that good when it comes to that detail. Instead I will solder a wire to each closure rail and thread it down through the foam, as for the point rails. Tedious but guaranteed to deliver juice to the rail. For each closure rail I removed the connecting web between two ties so that I could drill a hole through the foam, directly under the rail.

Here are some general progress photos, showing turnout building and track laying in various states towards its completion. Note that I build the turnouts in place, meaning I can have long uninterrupted stock rails, spanning several subsequent turnouts.