CN Blackwater division
Change of plans. I know I had decided to make the turnouts operate with the home made springs because I didn't think I had enough room for the caboose throws. I did a bit more thinking and figured out how to still use the Caboose throws by using them remotely. I had already done this when I re-laid my HOn3 branch a couple years ago:
      

I basically routered a trench in the plywood, big enough to run a piece of styrene tubing through. Inside is a wire attached to the turnout and throw. I'll have to do this a few times with the yard but I think it will be worth it. 

   

This will be the longest remote, under two adjacent tracks but it shouldn't be too difficult. I'll have to engineer all of this before I lay the track.

Speaking of laying track:
   

I made over 250" of tie strips, ready to my laid down. I started with the larger city's yard but then also made some for the sawmill complex that's going in on the other side of the river.
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Looking good.

Nice solution to your issue with the caboose throws.
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
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Thanks Tom. It wasn't too difficult, I just had to make sure the brass rod was stiff enough to move the turnout points without bending.

All the turnouts have been set up with the caboose throws.
   

I used some 3/32 styrene tubing that the brass rod slipped through easily without being too loose. The styrene is glued with epoxy so it stays put and locks everything in place. When the glue dries I'll use some drywall filler to fill the grove that I routered in the plywood.
   

I had to repeat the rod and styrene tube for three other turnouts. Either because the throw was on the wrong side, or non existent.  I made 'concrete' pads for the caboose throws out of some basswood.
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Looks good!
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
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Thanks Tom.
I'm a couple steps closer to laying rail. This week I filled in the 'trench' that I buried the turnout throw rod in:
   

Some quick-drying spackle and my saner did the trick, followed by a repaint.

   

Then I laid the ties down for the sidings. I spread a thin-ish layer of carpenters glue and laid out the tie strips that I had made.  I pressed them down with a short straight-edge that also held them down as I pulled the masking tape back up.
   

I like the look of hand-laying in the yard and sidings where not all the ties are perfectly aligned and straight, just like the real thing. My plan is to connect the short space between the two turnouts first, then sand the ties lightly to level and weather them a bit. 
I read an old article in MR by Tony Koester where he stated that he ballasts the ties before laying the rail. I'm thinking there might be advantages to that so I'm going to try it on the Warehouse siding to see how is works.
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Looking good. I envy you that you are able to hand lay your track.
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
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Thanks Tom. I wouldn't say that it takes any mad skill to handlay track, just patience. As far as I know I'm the only one of my circles of Modellers that hand lays and I pretty much taught myself after reading a few articles on the subject.

I've been thinking of ballast. In the past I've ballasted the mainline in shades of gray, and the yards in browns. However, looking at photos and Google Earth Satellite pictures, most yards are ballasted in the same gray as the mainline. The yards can be a  different gray in places due to the fact that cars and engines are parked there and will stain and re-color the ballast over time.
      

On the right is Woodland Scenics Gray blend ballast, on the left is their gray. I'm using the gray blend on my mainline and passing sidings. I think I'll go with the gray, which is slightly darker, for the yards and sidings. I have already ballasted part of my stamp mill/ logging spur with the brown ballast but I figure that will be okay as that was probably built at a different time with rock from either leftover mining debris or a different quarry on that spur.
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Only once?
I went from HO to N, then when I moved it all came down and became N in the new house, then I got G so the N was all sold off and I built the G scale.
It lasted about 10 years and I re-designed it to what I've had for 20+ years.

Your design looks good. Take a day or 2 away from it and then go back and look at the design and see if you can improve on it. You'll always find something you'll want to make better. Smile Smile
~~ Mikey KB3VBR (Admin)
~~ NARA Member # 75    
~~ Baldwin Eddystone Unofficial Website

~~ I wonder what that would look like in 1:20.3???
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I ballasted the ties in this week:
   

I'm using WS fine gray as mentioned before along with my home-made scenic cement. After the cement had set up I went back and sanded the tops of the ties with 200 grit sandpaper wrapped around a wood block. This evened out the ties, removed any ballast that had become glued to the tops of the ties, and produced a nice weathered look. 

   

I also ballasted around some of the turnouts, but not around the points. Still figuring that out. These still have to be cleaned up around the rails, frogs, and tops of the ties.
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(08-07-2022, 10:27 AM)cnrglen Wrote: ...I also ballasted around some of the turnouts, but not around the points. Still figuring that out. These still have to be cleaned up around the rails, frogs, and tops of the ties.

I've found that a nice 1" brush with soft bristles is a good way to spread and level ballast, without flicking granules all over the landscape, as would be the results using a brush with stiffer bristles.  I usually keep the brush handle close to the ground, dragging the ballast rather than pushing it.

When ballasting turnouts, I apply a little plastic-compatible oil atop all of the ties over which the points will be travelling, then park the points mid-throw within the turnout.   If necessary, use some scrap wood or strip styrene to keep the points away from the rails.
I then mist the groomed ballast using tap water with a few drops of dish detergent add, then use a small squeeze bottle to apply the diluted white glue.  On slopes where the ballast is deep, the setting time can take over a week.  

Wayne
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You advice worked great Wayne:
   

It needs a bit of cleanup but the turnouts all work the way they are supposed to and the ballast stayed where I wanted it. I do spray with the 'wet' water before but I used diluted Mod- Podge as my scenic cement. 
I am about to start laying the rail. In fact I have soldered the first two rails in but I decided to take a short break and work on another project:

   

I wanted to make a scale layout plan for the section that I'm working on so I can figure out streets, buildings and other details. I watched a tutorial or two on line and drew this in a few hours. I know it's not perfectly up to draftsman standards but it is a fairly accurate schematic. 
The scale is 1" to 1'. I went online to Printable rulers.net and found an imperial ruler that was divided into 1/12th on an inch and that helped with scaling down the layout. After that all I needed was a straight edge, a square, compass and a French curve. I added the warehouse and station buildings since I already knew where they were going.
I also hope this also helps to plan the engine facility down the road as I am still toying with the idea of a turntable, if it fits.
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I'm glad to hear that the ballasting advice was useful Glen, and your work applying it certainly looks good, too.

Wayne
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