There it is, the first turnout’s bridal rails are now in place. I’m so happy it worked. In the end I did adopt a similar approach to the one Tim Warris recommended in his post on the Fast Tracks website. If I’m as good as as I think I am you can click here and Tim’s PDF article should load for you. Take a look, it’s a neat idea.
Tim recommended using a PC tie and soldering shortened rail joiners to the tie. The railjoiners would hold the rail against the tie but still allow it some movement – sliding through the tie. I don’t have any more uncut PC stock left so I had to improvise. I did have some 0.080″x0.250″ styrene strip so I used a section of that. My rail joiners are just glued into place (I’ve always found that when it comes to small surface areas that CA glue is as effective as soldering – something I learned putting together British whitemetal loco kits years ago). The styrene tie itself is semi-pinned to the layout using more nails from my vast selection of brass pins and nails. The heads are too large to be realistic but I think once painted and weathered and buried under some details these won’t be as noticeable. The adjacent ties are only laying there. Normally I stain the ties in place but these will be done “off layout” and installed to minimize the risk of glueing this turnout in one position.
Shown above is my test truck and it glides through the turnout beautifully and I’m soon going to need to get some wiring done – I can’t wait to run some trains! Speaking of powering I am trying to design a power-routing method. I have some tiny slide switches (spdt) that I think I may bury into the sub-roadbed. I’m not as concerned with their locking motion as their power routing for the switch’s frog. Rather than just isolating the frog, on these turnouts I’ll just change the polarity on the entire centre of the turnout. The wiring can wait for only a little while longer, now I want to get the other two turnouts finished!
Finally, I need to work on lighting for these pictures. The dining room where the layout is located is painted this wonderful warm orange colour which I’m finding hard to photograph against.