Whupped Into Submission

Hallelujah, I finally got the entire high line sub-roadbed of the Spencer logging trackage installed.  Today I sanded out the drywall mud that I used to fill seams and screw holes, then put a coat of light dirt colored paint on top of it all.  Here’s a photo of the installation:

Spencer high line in the woods.The angled braces are temporary and will be removed after I get the rest of the sub-roadbed installed, along with scenery supporting structure.  The double switchback will connect to this level where the branch is coming off next to the clamp.  The switchback will extend about 10 feet, then will switch again to head back toward the camera, going downgrade the whole time.

This initial section along the wall looks quite simple, but it was the most difficult benchwork I’ve installed to date.  The problem was one of access, both for attaching the risers to the joists (less than three inches of working room, and at some risers, even less), and attaching the sub-roadbed to the riser cleats (not enough room to fit a drill motor needed to drill the pilot holes).  I had written about these difficulties earlier here and here.  My friend and assistant, Wayne, helped me get several risers in place, but I had to do the remainder single handed.  Not having those extra hands required me to re-think how to approach the problem.  Generally, I clamped things where they had to be, then removed the assembly from the main benchwork so that I could permanently attach those parts together with screws.  I did this in four sections until I finally got it all screwed together.

After the track switches are laid, I’ll have to remove the sub-roadbed once again (simply unscrewing it from the riser cleats) in order to install the Tortoise turnout motors and do the electrical wiring.  Again, the problem is lack of clearance to fit the drill motor needed to drill the pilot holes for the Tortoise mounting screws, and the (perceived) difficulty in getting everything aligned properly.  While this will be tedious, it will hopefully result in a much better installation of components.

Once the high line trackage is completed, I’ll put in the double switchback and the mainline run heading west back to the mill.  That should be considerably easier as that trackage won’t have anything below it.

I’ve also started laying track over in Monterey.  I figured the most critical place was the crossing located where the north leg of the wye crosses the mainline.  And that is where I started, laying the crossing, the north leg of the wye and the mainline coming in from the east, all as one unit.  Next I’ll install the north switch of the wye, and the curved switch that is at the entrance to the yard.  To see the trackplan, click this Louisiana Central Railroad link to open in another window.

I’m pleased that I’m able to make weekly progress, and with the fall approaching, I should soon garner even more time to put in on the pike.

-Jack

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