Monday, March 15, 2010

#001 The Great Turnout Project - Civil Engineering

My coach and mentor Larry Smith, MMR says that I need to work on my NMRA Achievement Program Civil Engineering Certification next.  For Civil one key element is the construction of three types of track elements and have them judged.

I've outlined the three elements that I want to build (see Trackwork)  and they are:

Turnout RH #5
Turnout Building Guide

Three Way Turnout
Building a 3-Way Turnout Guide

Crossing 30 degree

Assembly help:

Fast Track Turnout Assembly Video

Fast Tracks Assembly Videos

    My first step is to start gathering materials.  Luckily at the train show this weekend I was able to buy an HO 3-way turnout by Shinohara (Walthers) to use as a model.  For $20 I'll take that!  The next thing was to purchase some HO pc board tie strips.  There were none at the show so I had to order them.

    The first place I tried was Fastracks as they have really nice punched pc board ties that don't twist.  However the cost to ship them was as much as the ties themselves!  Ouch!  They are based in Canada which probably has something to do with it.  So I went back to my old stand by The Clover House and bought them.  They are hard to buy from as they are internet averse, but I was able to get $20 worth shipped to me for $5.00.  They will get here quicker, as well.  I did ping my buddies in the NCI Group to see if they had a few to loan me in order to get me started, but as it looks it will be about two weeks before I can start laying the track.

    I have unweathered code 83 rail available, which is what I prefer when soldering to pc board ties.  Next I'll dig out some cross ties (I have tons of them as I used to have a company that sold crossties) and will start staining them this week.  Micro Spikes from Micro Engineering are here, and I'll need some stock basswood for the longer ties.

    One thing I'm not sure of is what kind of roadbed I want to use.  Since there isn't a low profile cork roadbed for sidings and yards, I'll probably just use cork sheet, and I think I have some of that.

    To me the crossing is the hardest of the two to build as I've built a dual gauge crossing before.  The wiring of the Three Way turnout might kill me.

    We'll start with the plain Jane turnout first!

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