Thursday, October 31, 2013

Layout construction begins

Well, the layout is officially under construction. I spent the better part of last weekend painting the walls of my rec room sky blue. Today I built the first 4x8 section of benchwork. I used 2x2s for the legs and 1x3s for the horizontal boards. The whole thing will be topped off with a layer of pink Styrofoam insulation. The layout will ultimately be 48 inches high, which is about waist height for me.

In other new, I've reconsidered my choice of track. When I first started planning this layout, I was excited to use Atlas's newer and nicer-looking Code 55 track (I used the old Code 80 stuff on my last layout). However, I've changed my mind and decided to go with Peco Code 55 instead. For one thing Peco's c55 track is really code 80 rail that's sunk into the ties. This not only makes it more robust but also allows me to run old engines from the deep-flange days with no modification.

Another point in favor of Peco is the turnouts are reputed to be of higher quality than Atlas. Of course I'm going by what I read on forums and other blogs. But what I have read seems to be pretty consistent. Also Peco simply overs a greater variety of turnouts that will greatly simply my track plan.

Now Peco isn't perfect. Being a British product, it's model of British prototype track. As such the ties are too far apart to accurately represent American track. But you know what? That's really a minor quibble when get right down to it. I would much rather have a reliability than accuracy.

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