Well, the cork finally arrived and now it is all in place - mainline, siding and staging. Yes, I laid cork in the staging area as well. Mainly to get everything on the same level. But also for the sound silencing effect. Here is a picture. Mainline and siding in front and staging in the rear.
I have also installed the switch machines. They are Tortoises I am reusing from my old Tap Creek layout. The previous installment of the Tehachapi summit never came so far as needing any switch machines. All the machines are wired to terminal strips for easy connection later on. I will not use all 8 connections on each machine (only 2 for the motor itself and another 3 for powering of the frog), but I wired all of them. You never know. And now it was easy. Later on it will be a hazzle.
I had to make the sub-roadbed wider, using pieces of wood and plywood, in order to fit the Tortoises.
The long sub-roadbed board in the staging area is still removable. So I could lift it out both when glueing down the cork and when installing the switch machines in that area. Especially the latter was much easier than having to do it from beneath.
Now I am eager for my ME flex track to arrive. It is on its way but probably sitting in customs. Waiting for "who knows what"? But in the mean time and I can always start electric installations and mount switch machine toggle switches.