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July 2002 - Page 35


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Challenger 3954 pulls a long extra freight west through Henderson. It will pick up a Sherman Hill helper at LaSalle. (Remember that the low-grade line over Sherman wasnt built yet in 1950). The engine is an old AHM model that has been painted and weathered. The boxcar in the background was left there to be taken to Front Range Silica at Sand Creek Jct. by the next eastbound local. The No Trespassing sign was made on my computer. It is simply printed paper glued to styrene sheet, the post is styrene. serve industries located in the towns along the railroad. may get soldered, but this is rare. Every other rail gets a power feed so this takes some of the pressure off rail joiners to conduct electricity. The trackplan is point to point with an optional continuous run for open houses or when Im just too lazy to operate. I included as much of the prototype track and facilities as possible without over crowding. Two yards, at Denver and LaSalle, are modeled. The Denver yard works mainline trains and LaSalle works up locals. Denver pre-blocks

Construction
Benchwork I am fortunate to live in an area where basements are common. My wife and I agreed that the upstairs was hers and the basement was mine. I ended up with about 60' x 15', which is shared with furnace and laundry. The basic frames are L-girder construction. These are very durable, with some being part of their third railroad. The ribs are spaced about 16" apart and are 1x2s sawed from various scraps. The 2x2 legs braced with 1x2s makes a secure base. Everything is screwed together with thousands of drywall screws. Trackwork If you want a smooth running railroad, a good foundation is essential. With that in mind, I use 3/4" plywood for the track sub-base. Some of the layout is 12 years old and is still as true as the day it was installed. Im pretty picky about grades, vertical curves and cross-level, but the reward is trouble free operation. Homasote is glued on top of the sub-base with carpenter s glue and clamped overnight. When the glue is set, I use sandpaper lightly to smooth everything. All of the exposed roadbed is painted with gray latex to help seal the Homasote. Every type and size of flextrack is used, from Code 100 down to Code 40. The previous layout used miles of Code 100 track and many switches, which were salvaged for this layout. If I had to do it again, there wouldnt be any Code 100. None of the rail joints are soldered. This gives some flexibility for climate changes, a necessity for a large layout in the South. If a joint gives me trouble, it

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The Denver local crosses a stream at Henderson with empty lumber cars pulled from 87 Lumber. The bridge is an N scale Atlas bridge combined with a wood trestle kit.

JULY 2002

MODEL RAILROADING 35

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