Saturday, January 25, 2014

Started Laying Track

Part of my order of track arrived today. I've manged to get part of the Altoona reversing loop laid. After much waffling back and fourth, I decided to go with Peco Code 55 track and turnouts. I originally wanted to go with Atlas code 55, but switched to Peco for several reasons. First Peco offers a greater selection of switches and said switches are said to be more reliable than Atlas. I guess I'll find out for sure soon enough. Second, the design of the track allows you to run older equipment from the deep flange days with no modification.

There are downsides however, namely the tie spacing. Peco track is modeled after British prototype track, where the ties are spaced further apart. To be honest with you, it's a minor quibble that only hardcore rivet counters will get their shorts in a knot over. It's still an improvement over Atlas Code 80.

Anyway, I glued down Midwest Products cork roadbed with silicone caulk. After giving it some time to dry, I glued the track down. On my last layout I made the mistake of not installing enough feeder wires. This time I added a set at every other track joint, which works out to approximately every six feet.

Once the glue dried, I hooked a train set power pack up to one of the feeders with some alligator clips and let my Minitrix K4 become the first locomotive to turn a wheel on the layout. Other than one rough solder joint, which was easily fixed with some filing, it ran flawlessly.

Now, the best way to test track work is to run a big six-axel diesel like and SD40-2 or and E8 or long steamers with lots of driving wheels like a 4-8-4. If you can run them around backwards and forwards, your track is done. I spent the next half hour testing my fussiest locomotives and all ran trouble free. I'd say I'm off to a great start.

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