Making My Bed

After drawing the centerlines for the track on the foam board, (see the design section) the next step was to install the grades. Woodland Scenics incline sections were used to make the 2% grade on the outer main line. These work like a dream and guarantee a smooth even grade for the track. I later feathered the edges with sandpaper, giving the wide curves a slight superelevation and making for super-smooth transitions from the grade to the flat.

[assembling grades]

We glued down the grade sections using foamboard cement, held in place with straight pins.

[pinning grades]

We also got our first feel for how the entire track would look. I used the surplus incline sections to begin building the mountian that the elevated outer main line will go through, and that the inner level main line will skirt. Not much of a mountain, but it hides the train for a bit, adding interest, and it provides a palette for my anticipated experimentation with modeling rock outcrops. The face of the mountain will be blasted away to allow for the inner main line, showing the mountain's interior.

[early tracklaying]

Then, I took all that apart. Now that I knew roughly where all the switch machines would go, I could design the benchwork so that the crossmembers avoided the machines.

Here, I have begun the process of laying down the cork roadbed temporarily. The cork is lain in two halves. After marking the centerline of the track, one half of the cork is matched to the centerline and attached with pins. then the other half is matched to it.

[marking centerline]

Turnout roadbeds are cut carefully from extra cork, making wedge-shaped pieces.

[cork cutting tools]

[cork wedges]

Here the cork is partly emplaced.

[laying roadbed]