Alice is at it again

I have an old Noel Coward album around here somewhere and the title of this post is a lyric that was trapped in my head as I started down this path earlier this evening. Earlier on I posted a Youtube video of a really neat little Japanese tram layout. After watching the video series a second time I started really thinking about building one of my own. Heck I like trams and I like N scale and I’ve collected quite a pile of model-making supplies so off I went.

Here’s what I have done so far

Not that a model like this really requires any sort of proper benchwork and I dug out a wooden tray and used that as my base. This isn’t the first time I’ve ever used these as platforms for N scale traction modelling, in fact I managed to get two mentions on the late Carl Arendt’s website. Click here to see a pair of traction modules I built on these same trays and then here to read a little more about the idea. As an aside that second reference includes the little terminal station I put together. I was particular pleased with the nice little single-point turnout I placed into that module and how well it operated. Anyway, back to what I’m working on now. I’m not sure if I want to explore any scenery below the track but I was pretty sure that I wanted to add something to the tray to dampen some of the sound when the little trams are running. I had a small amount of 1/2″ thick foamcore board here so I cut out a small rectangle and glued it on.

As you can imagine the curves for this loop are sharp. While the little N scale trams won’t have any trouble negotiating these curves I wanted to be sure that the curves were of a constant radius. I quickly drew a plan in AutoCAD and pasted a printout of that to my little module’s top. I noticed in Mr. Moro’s video that he did the same thing and he trimmed out the paper from the module’s blank areas so I followed suit and discarded that as well leaving behind only the track layout. If you’d like, I’ve attached a PDF of the track plan for this module to this post and you can download a copy by clicking here. The track is Atlas flex. I’ve been using Atlas’ flex track for two decades now and this is the most I think I’ve ever asked of it in terms of curvature. It was really handy having the prinout to lay the track against and I glued and pinned it as much as I can. Once I get some paving and ballasting added I expect they’ll help the track to hold to that ridiculous curve.

I really need to get to bed soon but I’m really keen to hook up some power to the model and run a car around that loop but that will have to wait until tomorrow evening. I’m also really keen to try out Mr. Moro’s idea of paving the street trackage using DAS-like air-drying clay. We have some here and I’ll try that out soon.

Fingers crossed I finish this…

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