The time has come for the installation of a final branch line on the Onondaga Cutoff, effectively finishing track installation on the 'visible' part of the layout. This last piece is representing track from the 'Syracuse, Cazenovia & New York' railroad, circa 1880, that would have been in place when the Onondaga Cutoff was constructed. The OC, on its grade-separated route, would have built and embankment and passed over the SC&NY right of way. This provides another switching opportunity for crews at Operating Sessions and also will provide visual interest.
Here we see the fiber paper covering the subroadbed cut away where I will make the jigsaw cuts, allowing the new right-of-way to descend from Onondaga Yard so that it can pass below the main line. This was a dusty process, of course, and quite a bit of clean-up was needed after I snapped the photo!
After the cuts, I used plywood splices and screws to assemble the extension to the new subroadbed, which passes beneath the main line with minimal room to spare! This track will have a special order with equipment not permitted if it is over a certain height. Autoracks and double stacks will NOT fit through the underpass!
This branch will extend to a new lower level in front of Fayetteville, and allow for another customer for local crews to switch. Its old, less-than-perfect track will also be a nice contrast to the main line above.
I am enjoying doing some track-laying again, it is a big departure from scenery work or from mechanical maintenance. Little by little. This is a nice way to ring in the spring time, and new beginnings!