Friday, August 20, 2010

Mainline Switches

This week, I completed the installation of the control switches and temporary model boards for all the mainline switches on the entire Cutoff.  Several machines still need to be installed, but these are all off the mainline tracks and also need to wait until the yard ladders are installed.

And, that brings us to the next point:  the yard. 
Here is the west end of the yard as I picture it on my master plan.  CP282 defines the actual yard limit, and provides for yard leads for switching without fouling the main line.  This is a crucial point for all you who are planning yards - as much as it seems like a waste of space, you really do need a yard lead that is just about as long as your longest storage track.  Otherwise, when switching, you will need to foul the main line with your yard move, and that will interrupt mainline ops on a continuous basis - no good. 

On my east end at CP280, for example, I don't have room for a full integrated yard lead - so I planned for a stub lead.  It's not as optimal as the west end's lead but it is much better than using the main line for each drill.  The mainline is the two tracks on the left, and the lead is the right-most track at the bottom of this diagram.  It continues for about 6 feet off this diagram, on a curve away from the mainline.  (Locomotive servicing is at the far bottom right.)

I laid a sample piece of track on the fibercloth to test the cloth's suitability as a subroadbed.  I will let you know how that works out.  Putting the yard down, or at least getting the ladders in place, will be the next step.  In about one month I will also make the big investment in a DCC system.

Stay tuned!

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