Saturday, 14 December 2013

Moving Forward, at last!

Finally, Philip’s Creek is starting to expand again, the first time in about eight years.  My most recent post in early November provided a few photos of the new modules to be inserted between the existing layout and the Muswellbrook staging yard. Since that time, very little additional work has been achieved until a few days ago. This was primarily due to a three week holiday in New Zealand but, as usual, other issues have also conspired to impede a reasonable rate of progress.
This extension is the first phase of a more ambitious plan that will provide a slightly longer run for the mainline as well as the start of a new branchline. The branchline, inspired by the Merriwa line will eventually run as an upper level over most of the existing layout. I say inspired rather than modelled because it will pick up characteristics of the line while not seeking to reproduce elements of the line in miniature. I anticipate that it will be a rural terminus with livestock and wheat generating most of the traffic. I will also probably use the Merriwa station layout as a guide. However, that is all in the future, and the more immediate challenge is to complete the mainline extension and restore operations.

The following photo sequence shows the progress over the past few days.

The first photo shows the new module in location and, at least this time, I remembered to add a backdrop before I went too far.
The second shows the preparation of the track bed.My technique is probably different to many as I glue the track bed to the styrofoam subgrade. To get a track bed of the necessary thickness, I have cut two cork floor tile strips each 50mm wide and glued them together. To curve the track bed, I have made a series of transverse cuts, each about 35mm in length. This provides enough flexibility to create a minimum 600mm radius curve.

Each section is then held in place with nails and bricks until the glue cures (the brick train).

The section of track bed almost ready to lay track. Previously, I would have started to lay track at this point but this time, I have decided to paint the track bed with a grey paint.

Hopefully, I can get some track down before Christmas.

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