08/05/2002 Progress Report
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July 2002 was not a very good month for progress on the Shenandoah Division, but now that it is August, I have hopes that the rate of construction will increase. :-) 

A good bit of July was taken up by non-railroad activities. The time I did have to work on the railroad was largely spent experimenting with various switch machines to determine which ones would work well. I needed to know this so that I could figure out whether or not I needed to pre-drill holes in the subroadbed as a I lay the turnouts. I've decided powered turnouts will likely use Circuitron Tortoise machines, and that I'll use a technique published by Lionel Strang in the July 1997 Model Railroader so the holes for the turnout linkages can be drilled after installation.

A potential issue with the Atlas code 55 turnouts was then  pointed out to me, so I also did some work to determine that various Atlas locomotives having wheelsets to the narrow side of being in gauge have difficulty tracking through the code 55 #5 turnouts. It appears from my experiments that regauging the wheelsets allows the locomotives to traverse the turnouts with no problems. 

With those two issues resolved to my current satisfaction, I proceeded with the installation of the first track on the layout. On August 4, 2002, I installed 3 Peco code 80 turnouts, an Atlas rerailer, and 1 section of Atlas code 55 flextrack at the north end of Wadesboro yard (south end staging yard). 

The code 55 to code 80 transition was made at the rerailer by soldering the code 55 track to the top of the code 80 rail joiners. The code 55 track is the start of the mainline north of Wadesboro into the Salem Terminal. With this transition installed, I can now make progress northward on the (visible) mainline and southward into the staging area.

Progress as of August 4, 2002

The curve in the foreground is laid with Atlas code 55 flextrack. The mainline will become visible just to the left of the vertical support. The track transitions to code 80 at the rerailer in the middle of the picture.

Here's another shot of the first track with the test "train" moved forward to reveal the turnouts that have been installed.

This page was last updated on 01/01/11.


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