The cassette

At the heart of my layout’s operating potential is the simple cassette I use to turn trains and introduce cars to the layout. It represents “the outside world” and it occured to me that I’ve never posted any photos of it here before.

It’s built using foam core and similar to how the rest of the layout was constructed. Instead of handlaid track though, I used a length of Atlas flex track. The track on the cassette is fed from the main layout though a set of brass channels that I use both to conduct power and control the alignment of the cassette. The cassette is long enough to hold two forty foot long cars (two cars is the standard planning unit I applied in designing this layout).

The cassette. Awaiting it's next train. It works better with a mug of tea.

The cassette. Awaiting it’s next train. It works better with a mug of tea.

The cassette connects to the main layout using a pair of brass alignment pins fitting inside some square brass tubing. These pins control the alignment of the cassette as well as conducting power to the rails.

The cassette connects to the main layout using a pair of brass alignment pins fitting inside some square brass tubing. These pins control the alignment of the cassette as well as conducting power to the rails.

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4 comments

  1. I liked the operations and cassette photos, Chris. I wondered how the tea might enhance the operations…a derailment might cause a car to go ‘in the drink’? Sounds like fun operations regardless, and compact!

    I have a 44-tonner (in yellow GWWD scheme) that I used to enjoy running on my Manitoba-based layout, with a tank car of chemicals for the Winnipeg water supply, a gon and bobber caboose.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Eric

    1. Hi Eric. It’s hard to say how that mug of tea affects the layout but it’s just such a part of my life – my own little security blanket. “Into the drink” for sure eh?!

      Your 44 tonner sounds interesting. Is it one you painted yourself? Back in 2007 I had the pleasure of visiting the GWWD’s main yard and was led around on a really terrific guided tour. I had so much fun and the people and the railway left a terrific impression on me. I can’t believe that more people aren’t using the line as inspiration for model railway layouts as it seems to offer so much to the modeller.

      1. Yes, I painted the unit and lettered all that pesky GWWD lettering with a CN passenger car CDS dry transfer set. I haven’t been to GWWD myself, but it is and was a fascinating operation. Fellow Yahoo’er Mark Perry chronicled it recently (?March) in TRAINS magazine. I have Peter Lacey’s book on the subject and it is very complete.

        We just bought a Keurig coffee reactorpaloozathingie so every cup is a new experience!

        Interesting philosophical thoughts and links, by the way.
        Eric

      2. Hi Eric. I’ll have to take a look for that issue of Trains magazine. Being a closed operation they can keep vintage equipment running longer. I remember a beautiful string of former Canadian Northern double-sheathed boxcars that were apparently still in service. In the head office at the station the walls are covered with photos from the railway’s past including ones of the railway when the 44 tonners ruled their rails. It would make a really cool model railway and could actually be done with a fairly modest budget for space and money.

        You’ll have to post a photo of your model. I’d like to see it.

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