The Union Pacific Soggy Bottoms Division (HO scale)

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Rico

BN Modeller
Flyboy that's looking great!
And very good idea tacking down the track to see how it works out, it will make changes so much easier later on!
Looking forward to seeing it all come together...
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Wow, it's been over a month since I updated this!:eek:

I've been busy laying down track, trying to get something done every day even if it's just one piece of track.
I started with two turnouts back to back and have been building out from there.
Here's an overview of what I have done so far:
his is looking through the doorway toward the east, with the north wall on the left. The two tracks you see are the main on the right, and the passenger station track on the left.
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This looking from the northeast corner to the southwest.
The industrial area will be on the left, while the main and the passenger track will be on the west, across the swingout section.
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On the left are those first two turnouts I laid down. This is the main line, and the far turnout on the left will lead into the yard and engine service areas.
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Of those first two turnouts, the one on the bottom is the main, with a turnout leading onto passing/passenger siding. It is a Peco large radius turnout, and the top turnout is an Atlas #8. The frog on the Atlas will be powered. (More on that later.)
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The point side of that Atlas #8 connects to an Atlas #4, which leads down into the industrial area. If you look at the bottom of the track plan I posted on page 1, you'll see how this is working together.
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The industrial area and yard/engine service areas are going to wait a while, as the wolves have once again gathered around my door, and those areas are rather turnout intensive. Knowhutimean, Vern?:(

As you can see here, I have run both tracks around the curve and onto the narrow shelf on the west side. The main is closest to you, while the passenger terminal siding is in the rear. I plan to carve up swing gate top and have a water feature on that section.
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Working our way around toward the yard and engine service areas.
The track on the right is coming off the frog end of the aforementioned Atlas #8, and leads into an older Atlas #6, again the frog will be powered.
The two tracks here will be used to make up trains, storing part on each track. I realize this isn't how Uncle Pete really would have done it, but in my world that's how it's done. The right side siding is also insulated from the rest of the trackage, and will serve as my programing track.
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The turnout on the left will lead into the yard and engine service areas. After we round the curve, we are looking north along the east wall. The three tracks you see here are, from the bottom, the main, the passenger siding, and a track leading towards the wall, possibly to be used if the layout ever expands into the next room. (Don't tell my wife!) I can also back a train onto this track for storage. The turnout on the right is a Peco large radius, while the passenger/expansion track turnout is an Atlas #6.
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This view is looking east along the north wall. The passenger siding is on your left, while the main is on the right. In this section, I used some older flex track that I had laying around for the passenger siding. It didn't want to lay real straight, but I think i got it to come out OK. I have plenty of new flex track, so if I have a problem in this area, I will replace the track.
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This is the area coming off the swing gate section on the east wall. The turnout is a Peco dual radius curved right hand turnout. The diverging section is 30" radius, while the straight through section is a very large radius, and will connect to another section of flex track headed for the wall. The main, on the right, has a section of Walther's 30" radius track connected to 3 sections of Atlas code 100 24" radius track. The passenger siding on the left after the turnout is also Atlas 24" radius sectional track. These two curves, and the mainline curve on the other end of the narrow shelf are Atlas 24" radius sectional track. All the other curves are flex track. I'm not sure of their exact radius, but it's all larger than 24".
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Track centers on the straights are 2", while on the curves they are 2-1/2".
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My test cars on the curves
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and on the straights.
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This is where the engine service and yard will be:
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And this is where the town of Soggy Bottom's, Nebraska will be:
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The passenger terminal will be a flat 1/8 to 1/4" in thickness. I had to have the tracks close to the wall to be able to keep the turnout off the swing gate section.
I need to do some work to make a sure fire locking system for the swing gate, then I can lay in the last two pieces of track to complete the circuit, and start the electrical work. Then I can at least watch a train go roundy round!:D
 
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
My track finally runs all the way around the layout! I used my trusty moto-tool with a thin cut disc to make the cuts on the swing gate section. For some reason though one of the cuts on the inner loop came out a bit wider than I like, so I plan to put down a new piece of track and redo that. I haven't wired up the track on that section yet.
I did solder two feeder wires, one to each rail on a section of track and hooked them up to a DC power pack I got at the recent train show. Paid the princely sum of $1 for it, and it still had the factory tape across the terminals! Then I ran a train on my layout! Well, actually just the RI 2-6-0 Mogul, but still....!
I learned something. Peco Insulfrog turnouts seem to be power routing. The feeder wires I installed were on a section of track to the right of a Peco turnout, while the Mogul was sitting on the track about two feet to the left of the turnout. The turnout was thrown to the diverging route, which would have sent the Mogul down the track parallel to the section the feeder wires were attached to. I gave some power to the power pack and... nothing. I switched the Peco to the straight route and here come da' train! I know it's not just that one turnout because all the other Peco's on the track did the same thing. The Atlas turnouts don't do that, just the Peco's. As I plan to run feeders to each turnout and track section, it's not a big deal, but I wish I would have known that before I bought them.
Now, to replace that section of track and buy some bus wire and terminal strips. It's gettin' there!:)
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I suppose it's time for an update.
I've been plugging away at it when I can, but 58 hour work weeks don't leave a lot of spare time, plus nicer weather means outdoor "honey-do's" compete for what little free time I do have!
Anyway, I've been working on soldering some feeder wires about every three feet, plus at least two sets per turnout, before and after the frog. I plan to power the frog on all turnouts, and use Caboose Industries powered ground throws on all turnouts.
http://www.cabooseind.com/product-page/220s-sprung-w-contacts-165-travel-for-ho-and-n

In the meantime, I was FINALLY able to get some Atlas Code 100 #4 right turnouts to be able to finish up the yard and industrial area, so I took some pics of them mocked up to let you see what they will look like. I won't be permanently installing these until I get some 1/8" thick cork sheets. I want the yard and industrial area lower than the mainline, which will be on 3/16" Woodland Scenic's foam roadbed.
Here is what the yard will look like. At this point it is all just laying on the table, nothing's fastened down.
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The two tracks to the extreme left will be engine service tracks. I will be building a small triangular section to go under the track, so, no it won't be left dangling in midair! :D
The two short little tracks up by the curve will be caboose storage, while the two tracks on the right of the yard will be for switcher storage.
I would love to have the room for a big double ended yard, but we make do with what we gots!

I also mocked up the industrial area. I took the track plan from here:
http://www.gatewaynmra.org/2010/build-gateway-central-15-ho-scale-switching-railroad/

and modified it somewhat to give more industries and interest.
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The 'empty spot' in the middle of the turnouts will be filled in with a piece of flextrack to give the run around for the switchers. I will need to relocate the turnout control to the other side of the rear turnout.
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Looking towards the east. The runaround is comprised of the unattached piece of track in the middle, plus the turnouts to the east and west of it. I actually had this built once as a stand alone layout, and it works pretty well. The track to the right is the tail track for the switcher to back down, with a car in front of it, to position itself to serve the facing point industry sidings off to the right of this photo.
The track next to it, with the gondola on it, will be the siding for Rusty I. Beams scrap metal business. I have not yet decided what will be served by the two tracks to the left of Rusty's siding. At this point I'm leaning towards a stockyard, because I have some stock cars and need a reason to use them! To the left of that is the siding I will be using for my programming track. It is electrically isolated from the rest of the layout by plastic rail joiners.
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Looking towards the west we see the facing point sidings. The two tracks on the left are a 'build it and they will come' sort of thing. IE: I don't know what's going to go there! The team track next to it serves the Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment factory. I will probably be enlarging that door slightly when I actually make this out of styrene. I also need to find a photo of Doc Hudson and Photoshop him on there in place of Lighting McQueen to better fit my modeled era of the late 50's. The track to the right of the Rust-eze factory is another 'build it and they will come' industry.
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The upper management of the railroad has also decided that before any more work is done to the line, the mainline will be taken up section by section and the Woodland Scenic's foam roadbed installed. The reason is that management has decided that running all the feeder wires, wiring the turnouts, and all that ballyhoo, and then having to undo all THAT to put in the roadbed is not worth it. So laying the roadbed has begun.
Section 1 has been removed and the guide lines drawn for the roadbed. What I did was to take a black Sharpie and make a dot on the layout between each tie in the center of the track. This gave me my track centerline. Then I took up the track, cut the roadbed down the middle on the score line, and pinned it into place on the layout following the center line. I then used the Sharpie and drew a line along each side of the roadbed. I then removed the roadbed. I now had a dotted line in the center and two solid lines equally spaced on each side. Now I know where the latex caulk has to go. Why not just use the dotted line, you ask? Remember that old Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time"? It has the line it "When we tried to put in the bolts, all the holes was gone!" Well, when you spread the caulk out thin with your putty knife, all the dots is gone! But with the two lines on each side, you still know where the roadbed has to go. I am using the roadbed in 24" strips, and I have 72 feet of the stuff, so I should have plenty. When the caulk is spread out thin and the roadbed applied, it pretty well holds itself in place, but I'm still using 5 foam nails on each side of each section. The first two sections are drying as I type this.
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To power an Atlas turnout, a wire must be soldered to the frog. I don't know what material they make those frogs out of, but it doesn't take well to soldering at ALL!:mad:
The number 8's have a little tab to which a wire can be soldered, while the 6's and 4's have a small hole on each side of the frog. What I plan to do is tap that hole for a 2-56 x 1/8" screw, to which I will solder the wire. So last Sunday I went looking at hobby shops and hardware store for 2-56 screws. The hobby shops had nothing, and the train store is closed on Sundays. The hardware stores had some stuff in #6 and #8, plus a tiny smattering of #4. But #2? Nope, don't got it. So to the web I went. And found:
https://www.microfasteners.com/

They have all kinds of small screws, bolts, nuts and washers. And they have pretty good prices, too. A package of 100 2-56x1/8" black oxide pan head screws was $4.50, compared to the arm and leg Du-Bro would want for that many, and the $4.98 that Athearn wants for 24 plated round head screws of the same size. I ordered $45 worth of various lengths of #2 screws, plus flat washers, toothed lock washers, and nuts on Sunday and had them here from Pennsylvania on Thursday. Check them out if you haven't already!

Well, I hope I didn't bore you too badly with my rant!:)
More to come eventually.......
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
What a maze of turnouts. I thought my yard area was crowded. Looking good. Keep the updates coming. Like what I'm seeing here.

Chet
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
As I mentioned in my previous update, railroad management has made the decision that no more track will be laid until all the roadbed is installed. The track crew has been working on this task, although progress has been rather slow this week.
The crew did finish laying roadbed for the mainline from the northwest corner to the northeast corner, and has begun work on the passenger terminal siding. They 'inlaid' the roadbed for the curved turnout into the roadbed of the passenger terminal siding rather than just abutting it onto the side.

The curved turnout leading to the passenger terminal. The straight route heads onto a future expansion track. The mainline is to the right and the track is not fastened down, just sitting on the roadbed.
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The roadbed for the expansion track has been inlaid rather than abutted. This was done for two reasons:
1. Management feels that this gives a cleaner look to the roadbed, and
2. Straight cuts are easier than curved cuts.
The crew cut off the bevel on the right side of the expansion track roadbed where it met the passenger terminal roadbed, then the passenger terminal roadbed was cut out to allow the inlay. Management is not sure why some of the roadbed is striated (passenger terminal roadbed) and some is smooth (expansion track roadbed).
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The roadbed glued with cheap latex caulk, pinned and drying.
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The trackage across the swing gate will have its roadbed laid and track installed to align with the passenger terminal siding and the mainline before track laying resumes. This is because, while adjustments can be made on the fly for most of the the trackwork, the trackage across the swing gate must align perfectly.
Management appreciates your continued support!:)
 
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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Wow, as Montanan said, what a maze of tracks - am glad it is you and not me having to hook all that up :D Looking darn good though flyboy!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Here is what the yard will look like.
I would seriously consider removing the last two turnouts of the ladder. Looks almost like track for the sake of having track. Those short tracks will be of very little use.

I also mocked up the industrial area. I took the track plan from here: http://www.gatewaynmra.org/2010/build-gateway-central-15-ho-scale-switching-railroad/ and modified it somewhat to give more industries and interest.
I think if you used a crossing it would be more interesting and easier to work at the same time instead of just sawing back and forth.

To power an Atlas turnout, a wire must be soldered to the frog. I don't know what material they make those frogs out of, but it doesn't take well to soldering at ALL! ... the 6's and 4's have a small hole on each side of the frog. What I plan to do is tap that hole for a 2-56 x 1/8" screw, to which I will solder the wire.
A 2/56 screw will make that hole way thin and very hard not to brake. A 1/72 would serve you much better. I tap for 1/72 screws, get brass 1/72 washers, solder the wire to that, then use the screw to hold the washer. I cannot remember if I used 1/8" or 3/16" length.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
The track crew continues to lay the roadbed, using cheap latex caulk to glue it down with. Management realized that one corner of the layout would need to have a triangular piece installed to prevent trains from experiencing a long fall to the canyon floor. The trouble is that the area in question is where the tip of the swing gate needs to be when not in use. Management made the executive decision that the swing gate will be converted to a lift-out, or more precisely in this instance, a slide out then lift out.
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Therefore the hinge was removed from the left side of the swing gate.
A gate latch of the same design as that on the right side was installed on the left side. When slid into place and the latches fastened, the lift out is very stable with no play in it.
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When not in use, the lift out will be stored hanging vertically from the wall on the left. I plan to get some threaded rod and some toggles from some toggle bolts to make a couple of hooks which will fit into a pair of holes I will drill in the left end of the lift out.
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The track crew laid the track across the lift out as well as the track immediately adjacent on both sides. Originally the same latex caulk was used to secure the track as was used to secure the roadbed. Management (picky picky picky) decided that white caulk under the track was not a look that was desirable, so the decision was made to go with a latex/silicon caulk that would dry clear. The adhesive chosen for the job was DAP ALEX PLUS clear latex/silicon caulk. The track foreman made a run to Home Depot to acquire a couple of tubes. Preliminary test results are positive. The caulk goes on white, as on the upper track, but dries clear as on the lower track.
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The regular latex caulk can be seen on the two pieces of track in the right of this picture. Management has decided that removing and relaying those pieces of track is not feasible economically nor in terms of labor, so they will be left as is.

The adventure continues.......
 
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
My projects for today were to make a place to store the lift out section, and also to add a triangular piece to the southwest corner of the layout.
AS I mentioned in my previous update, I used some 3/8" toggles from some toggle bolts and a 6" piece of 3/8" threaded rod, sometimes referred to as All-Thread, because it IS all threaded rod. I made a mark 1" from one end and bent it in my vise, using a piece of pipe as a "persuader". Then on the long straight end I put a 3/8" hex nut, a lock washer, a 1-1/2" diameter fender washer, and then the toggle. I drilled a 1" hole for the toggle, (the middle hole will have to be filled in or patched, my stud finder lied to me), then inserted the toggle into the hole. I then tightened up the assembly to a point where the "hook" was 2" from the wall. This was done for both hooks. I then drilled the appropriately spaced holes, using a 3/4" bit, into the left end of the lift out. I used a larger bit for the holes to make finding the hooks less irritating, because when the lift out is against the wall you really can't see where you're aiming. Once I got it on there the first time, I made a line on the wall on each side of the lift out to use as guides to get it on the hooks. It works very well and there is plenty of room to get by it without hitting it. I did this because horizontal space is a scarce commodity in the layout room, so go vertical!:)

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The triangular piece is needed to support the track around the curve. This is why the swing gate became a lift out.
The framework done and the 2" foam glued down and drying.
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My four year old el-cheapo 18 volt cordless drill from Menard's finally gave up the ghost and departed this world in a blaze of sparks! So I made a trip to Homey's Depot and got a Ridgid 3 piece 18 volt drill, driver, and radio combo on sale for $160.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-X...r-Combo-Kit-3-Tool-with-Radio-R9601/203810442

The batteries are only 1.5 amp hour, which isn't great, but I won't be using these in a professional capacity anyway. We use Ridgid cordless drills on the press line out at work and have been very pleased with them, so I think these should last a while. I found out quickly that when driving screws with the driver one needs to be careful because it VERY easy to overdrive the screw into the wood!
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That bottom screw is probably 1/8" deep in there!
Work shall soon resume on laying the roadbed.
 
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
The entire mainline is now in place and glued down.
I started gluing down the main at the lift out section and worked my way clockwise from there, ending with the section in front of the industrial area. Due to the number of turnouts in this section of mainline, and the fact that the turnouts are already wired, this section of double track mainline basically needed to be installed as one big piece.
I had removed the trackage from this area and set it aside, labeling each section with painters masking tape (low adhesion) and a sharpie. Then I installed the roadbed. After the roadbed was installed, working from under the benchwork I located the holes for the turnout and track feeder wires and drilled them from the bottom up, thus putting holes in the proper locations in the roadbed. I next carefully replaced the track, feeding the appropriate wires into their respective holes. The stiffness of the 18 gauge wires held the track off the roadbed in most places, although I did have to prop the track in a few spots. I then laid down a bead of Alex Plus caulk and smoothed it out to a thin layer. I then gently pulled and pushed the track onto the roadbed and aligned it all up. Then I weighted it down and let the caulk dry. After I took the weights off the rails I gave it the old "give the box car a firm push and see if it rolls across the rails without derailing" trick. All trackwork passed with flying colors!:)
Next will be installing the main bus and wiring up what track is laid to this point.
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In this spot I have two turnouts frog to frog. to avoid a gap between the two sections of roadbed I took a small piece the width of the gap from shoulder to shoulder. I inverted this piece so that the two 45 degree angles mated with one another on one side. I then cut off the 45 on the other piece of roadbed leaving two straight sides to butt up against each other. Came out pretty good, I think.

The Ridgid drill you see in the 2nd pic is part of a 3 tool set i picked up on sale at Homey's Depot for $160. The other two are a 1/4" impact driver and a radio. That impact driver will really drive the screws, let me tell ya! The 6" long 1/8" bit that's on the drill has come in really handy on this project!

Now, to get myself psyched up to tackle the wiring.............:(
 
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Well, I think Old Man winter has finally arrived to stay for a few months.:(
We MIGHT see some sun by Tuesday. Monday may bring 3-6" of snow. So I guess it's time to start working on the railroad again.
I got the main bus under the benchwork, and built a panel for the NCE Power Cab. My 2nd Power Cab. The first one will stay in the workshop at the test track bench. This one will be just for the railroad. I also wired up the auto switch for the programming track, NCE part #5240226. You do not want to wire it as per the instructions, or things don't work right. Well..... they work RIGHT, just not as you may want them to. What the switch will do is go from main to programming track, but only one will be powered at a time. When the main is powered, the programming track is off. When the programming track is on, the main is off. So you can't run a loco onto the programming track, program it, and the drive it back onto the main. At least you can't if you wire it up according to the instructions.
NCE has posted on their website an alternate method of wiring it up so that you CAN drive off the programming track back onto the main. You can find this diagram at:
https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201656579-Auto-SW-Auto-Switch-for-Powercab

and open the PDF labelled Auto-SW Live Program Track.pdf (10 KB) .

I realized that before hooked up the programming track to the track out terminals on the Power Cab, I needed to put down the pad for the industrial area, as my programming track is actually going to be an industrial spur. I had thought about using cork for the pad, but it's a bit pricey. I have 3/16" foam roadbed, and I want the industrial tracks and my yard track to be a bit lower, both for prototypical reasons and to help prevent stray cars from rolling onto the main. I decided to use something 1/8" (2/16) thick. Looking at the websites for the three major home centers, I found some 1/8" hardboard sheets, 2' x4', on sale at Menard's. So I bought 6 of them.
I trimmed a couple of sheets and glued them down with Liquid Nails. I put plenty of weight on top, and will let them dry for 24 hours.
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The panel for the NCE is 1/4" plywood. I plan to fill in that gap between the panels and then stain them.
The yellow cord is a power strip that is fastened to the rear of the benchwork. All I have to do is flip the rocker switch and it'll shut down the layout.

I'll have to trim some more hardboard pieces to fit some more places around these two. That will be for tomorrow. Then I will lightly sand the surface of the hardboard so the paint will stick better. Then I'll lay the industrial tracks.
My plan is to get the tracks laid, then start wiring sections and turnouts, testing them as I go.
It's gettin' there!
 
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flyboy2610

Loveably weird
I finally decided how I plan to do the water feature from whence Soggy Bottom's derives its name. It will be constructed on the lift out portion of the layout.
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I will have two bridges on each track, a deck bridge followed by a Warren truss bridge. You can see what I mean by looking at the box that the deck bridges came in.
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The Warren truss bridges are on their way. I also bought two packages of bridge piers. (I bought two packs in case I screwed one up.)
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The deck bridges are built, but I need to paint them before I put the track deck on.
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There will be a carved bridge abutment on each side of the river, and a pier supporting the bridges in the middle. For this pier, I am using two of the Atlas piers. I measured the centerline of the track on the lift out, and it is at 2-3/16" on center, or another way to put it is 2-6/32". So from the middle of each pier I measured out 1-3/32" and marked a line.
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Then I used my rotary tool and cut each pier on the line. I carefully trimmed each pier until they matched up fairly well and the marks on the center of each pier are 2-3-16" apart.
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Next I cut some strips of .060 styrene about 1/2" wide and marked down the center. I glued one strip on each side of one of the piers. I will let this dry overnight, and tomorrow I will glue them together.
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I will have to get some modeling putty to fill the gaps, then try to carve and mold as best I can to match the concrete block pattern of the piers. Hopefully after some paint they won't look too bad! :eek:
 
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