Now that I have a board, its time to actually put something on it. To start with, I added a simple circle of Hornby R605 curves, these are the tightest radius curves and are generally not a good idea to use for anything, but that’s all that will fit on this board. That is compromise 1. I then added a Peco 3-way point that I have had for a long time and never found a place for it, one of the branches goes off to a small radius point which is put into the only straight on the main circle. As the first 2 pictures show, this really didn’t work out too well, although there was a sort of head shunt at the start of the 3-way point, it really was not enough to be of much use, for now it will do and if this board were to be connected to another board or main layout later, then that could be an entire new line, so for now it can stay.
Now came the part to test out the SubTerain system, I used 2 4% incline/decline sets and a set of 2 inch risers. The track is laid out first, and then a pencil is used to draw around the track to mark its position. I then add the foam inclines and risers over the pencil lines, these are held onto the base board with foam nails initially while everything is positioned and worked out. I then drew around the foam parts to mark the position, and used foam tack glue to hold them onto the board permanently – use of foam nails to hold them down until the glue is dry. Once this is done, I then used foam road bed on top. This is basically the equivalent to using cork on the more traditional layout methods of building, its designed to absorb the vibration from the trains to reduce the noise and to provide a nice shape for gluing ballast to later. It comes on a long roll, and there is a perforation down the centre, the idea here is that going around corners is easier by splitting the road bed in half so it bends easier. The problem I had here was that the bed doesn’t actually tear that evenly, it doesn’t really matter as it going to b covered in ballast anyway.
As you can see from the photos, I had now decided to change the track plan a little, I was now trying to do 2 points, one at either side and have these run out under the bridge in the middle, this will be a bit of a challenge due to the tight space. The height of the inclines was not enough in the distance I had, so I added a 4% incline starter onto the front incline to increase it. Let me state here from hindsight in case anyone is trying to follow this later – DO NOT DO THIS! – the reason being that this incline is now so steep, that it causes problems for coaching stock and some loco have trouble getting up the slope. This later became compromise no. 2. The back of the layout I kept to the 4% provided by the correct use of the incline set.
At this stage there is still a gap where the bridge should be, I am looking at some various types of bridge and tunnel portals, and even ordered some portals to see how they look and fit. If I use a bridge, then it will support the track, but if I go for the tunnel option with portals, I will need to make something to provide the support. I am also looking at building some sort of rock or hill type of thing between the tracks at this area, to give it some sort of reason to be raised up other than just to cross over it self. For this I’m looking at using paper scrunched up and plaster cloth covering it. I also have a load of rubbish plastic bags from unpacking lots of patch cables at work, these are sort of round shaped when stuffed together and may be useful here.
Here is a video I made of the test layout construction, as I made this I decided to go a bit further than the post here as it was a little short without it. I’ll make another blog update with the extra parts shown in the video a bit later.