…and only two wires to the track.

Over a mug of tea I thought about an old Hornby catalogue I have in which they were introducing their Zero One command control system. In particular I thought about their proclamation describing a grand simplification when it came to electrics and that you could throw out your soldering iron and forget you’d ever wired in a toggle switch. Those miles of wire under the layout? Geez who would ever do that?! Why was I thinking about this? Well folks, today was the day that I ran what felt like miles of wire along the base of my model railway to finally tie in the last of the track. Of course, Zero One wasn’t the only thing on my mind as I clumsily solder together wire after wire. I’ve had the good fortune to try most aspects of this hobby and a few of them I consider myself good at. Wiring is not one of those things. I understand the logic and what I’m doing, I just need more practice at making it look nice. What I have is functional, but to borrow from the Northern Pikes song: it ain’t pretty…it don’t look that way. As planned I’ve run a feeder to ever piece of track so at no point am I relying on a mechanical connection to communicate power. Attempts at self-depricating humour aside, it does feel pretty good to have marked another milestone in this layout’s construction. To be honest, I still need to power the switch frogs but other than that I’m done with wiring.

I’m also done with track and have even started painting and weathering the track.

If I wanted, I could start thinking about some scenery. Perhaps a little ballasting. Perhaps glue down some grass. Maybe work on a structure.

Likely though I think I’m going to reward myself by switching on the power and running a train. I now have all three sidings in place and can really start to run the layout as I envisaged it. It feels great to be here and I think it’s time to pour a glass of fine Waterloo Dark and play trains for a bit.

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7 comments

  1. Congratulations on your milestone, Chris! Any of those things — model building, scenery or running trains — sounds like a good reward for completing your wiring.

    1. Thanks, Rene

      I had a lot of fun starting all of the layouts I started since I found myself at a point in my life where I could “start a layout” but since few ever progressed past this point I’m looking forward to a time when I can just work on a car, locomotive or build a tree. Sometimes I find I’d feel guilty if I found myself with model railway time and didn’t invest it in the greater layout ethos. Of course, now that the platform is in place, it’s time to get back to that model making side and I’m really looking forward to it.

  2. She Ain’t Pretty But She Works Just The Same…a Pikes song title paraphrase about wiring? I remember watching the Pikes perform that song from the baggage car of the Diet Pepsi Taste Train on TV. MuchMusic?

    Chris: Every layout I’ve ever had ran on two wires. I’m only slightly better at wiring than I would be at, oh, dentistry? I did install a couple of blocks using wall light switches for locomotive service tracks. But that’s it.

    Hit the hard stuff tonight: Kahlua and chocolate milk while checking the blogs and listening to the scanner. The Timothy’s Keurig was OK, but it’s been a long short week! Some nut threw a bike on the tracks at Queens East. Imagine stopping VIA for an engineer to climb down and remove it!

    Keep the updates coming and have a great weekend,
    Eric

    1. I remember that VIA-Pepsi-MuchMusic promotion quite well. Trains or not, it was a terrific rolling showcase for Canadian music acts and something I wish we just did more of. Talk about a “perfect storm” brewed in a new television network hungry to establish itself among a new audience equally hungry to prove it was different.

      I like your take on the Northern Pikes song. We always tend to bring posts back to coffee and it’s this band that often appears without intention in my trips to Starbucks. I mean, why didn’t they just call that blonde blend the Northern Pike?!

      I’ve never had Kahlua and chocolate milk, though I’ve certainly enjoyed my fair share in other mixes so it’s something I’ll keep in mind. Thanks.

      We had a similar week here. Heck, that kind of week has been going of for a while lately and it does get a little exhausting after a while. I’m sorry to read there’s as much challenge in your world too.

      That bike on the tracks note is frustrating too. I don’t know what makes that kind of action just in someone’s head. I just can’t understand that. What a lousy waste of a bike. What a waste of everyone’s time and why risk everyone’s safety? (This is where I pause, breathe, and come back to my centre).

      I like the relationship between the blog and my model railway. I enjoy sharing my progress on my blog and to do that, I need to make more stuff. Even cooler, I really enjoy making model trains and if this blog provides me with an excuse, cool!

      1. Next time I’m at Starbucks I’ll ask for a ‘Northern Pike Place’ and see what kind of look I get. Seriously, they call the new one Brezza, but unless you know your Italian, I’ve heard people call it ‘Breeza’.

        Happened to see a GO Metrolinx-scheme on an eastbound CN freight yesterday. One never knows what’s coming down the track next!
        Eric

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