Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

About this blog

This blog is about my current model railroad layout project; The N scale "Summit" layout, which is a freelanced interpretation of the Southern Pacific Tehachapi tunnels and their surroundings. Or at least, that is what it is meant to be. What it will turn out to be is another matter. The banner photo above shows what I want to recreate in N scale.

Curved turnouts

Track layingPosted by lennart Wed, February 18, 2009 19:28:52

Since the turnout I built earlier came out OK I decided to use the same technique for the rest of the turnouts on the layout (5 more). At Summit there will be a siding with a crosssover at the middle. The crossover is intended for getting cut-off mid-train helpers out of harms way.

There will also be two spurs. One serving as a team track for the occasional freight car destined, or any other similar purpose. The other spur is for helpers waiting for clearence to return down-hill.

Since four of the remaining turnouts will be quite close to each other I decided to build them and the immediate track as one assembly. So I begun by making myself a template for this track work. I laid out some drawing paper on the layout, and then used pins to nail down pieces of loose rail formed to followed the intended line of track. The main purpose is to get the flow or curvature of the track correct, as well as the location of the frogs and the switch points. Exact track gauge is not important at this stage. I then used a pencil to trace and mark the location of track etc. I also marked off the position (spacing) of the ties.

Here is the first part of the resulting paper template. It includes parts of the mainline and siding and the crossover.

And this is the seocond part, including the spur turnouts.

I built the previous turnout on a piece of plywood, but did not want to do that for this large assembly. I am afraid it might warp. To avoid that I instead decided to use styrene as a base. One advantage with the plywood was that it had more or less the same thickness as the cork subroad bed I am using elsewhere, while this is not the case for the styrene sheets I had at hand. I simply have to solve that problem later. I glued the paper templates to the styrene and then cut the whole thing to shape.

Once the template was done I started laying ties. I used ties I had stained in advance. Here is the complete assemebly with all ties in place.

And a larger photo is here. As you can see if you look at the larger photo, the ties are not perfectly aligned. That is totally unintentional but is in my opinion one of the beauties with hand-laid track. It looks less perfect and thus a little more "real". Also, this will be less evident when the track has been ballasted and is viewed from a more normal viewing angle.

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