The Empire Grows

So over the last two weekends I’ve spent a good amount of time cleaning the long garage bay. We have two bays, one of which we don’t park any cars in, but rather use it for lawn tool storage, workout equipment and junk storage (really sad, but when you’ve moved 4 times in ten years you end up with boxes of stuff that never gets unpacked!). Well some of those boxes did get unpack, contents taken to Goodwill, other stuff sold and some just taken to the dump. I still have more stuff to organize, trash or sell, but for now I have space to build that Rail Road Empire! (rolls mustache between his fingers and cocks the top-hat to a jaunty angle)

This week, I got all the track needed for the original plan and then some; getting single bits of track is hard, as most come in 4-packs. Then there is stupid me double purchasing several bits – I had a list, I just didn’t line-out what I had purchased previously – sigh. I think all the extra bits will go in a box for future expansion or eventually going on eBay for some other lucky bastard that only needs one 282mm radius, 15º curve section of track!

I temporary placed the 4×8 sheet of 2-inch foam on two sawhorses, so that I could layout the planned track down. Once I had it all in place, I pulled the two bridge sections from the track and added regular track in place so that all the track laid flat, the bridges will go back in once the river beds are cut. I also added a section of 248mm straight section to the long runs and a 124mm straight section into each curve, that added length to the loop, allows for a longer trian “parked” in the passing siding, and made the overall layout bigger. I also added a section that runs to nowhere, or in my mind to an imaginary connection to a larger mainline (or a future expansion!).

Once I was sure all the track made solid connections, I quickly added some power. Now I only added one connection point, but there are 16 points I have planned. All the extra points will make sure there is power to the loco to pull a long train at a constant speed all the way around the layout – as well as to make sure there will be power beyond the turnouts so that I can run a switch in the leads while still running a spur line second trian on the main loop. I will need to add a bus line under the layout once I get the final design nailed down. That decision point will also give me the opportunity to plan how much wood to purchase to make the whole thing free standing and give me back my saw horses!

For now, here’s a quick snap-shot of the main layout after making sure the little diesel switcher engine could run trouble free.

Oh the door in the middle of the foam hasn’t been opened in years, the previous owner put 3 different locks on the inside of that door, so no worries about someone opening the door while the layout is in place!

And if I decide to not cut the foam down, there is plenty of room to add a small switching yard to build a trian to run to the various planned industries. For now it’s time to make some decisions about track placement, what industries to service as well as what scenery to plan.

5 thoughts on “The Empire Grows

    1. Thanks! It’s one of those things that I’ve always wanted to build.

      I haven’t decided if I want to keep the whole thing manageable as that is the beauty of building on a door (80×36″), then I could expand with modules – lumber yard, coal mind, a switching yard, etc. The counter-point is to see the space I have and get it all in one. Both options leave expansion open, as long as I set some track up leading off the table.

      Liked by 1 person

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