I don't have photos of the very early part of this layout's construction, because I didn't buy a digital camera until this month. So, we will start off with an overview of the entire layout as it stands. The frame work was made out of 1x4 pine, which were screwed together, to form a stand-alone module. Each module was bolted together. I had been reading so much about using insulation foam board, so I wanted to try that in this layout. I covered each module with a sheet of plywood and then put one layer of the foam board. In the Houston area we can only get 3/4"-thick foam board, so I had to build layers of it up from that. I also put the foam board up as a backdrop, so as to protect the walls. This first photo was taken as you enter the room and look to your left. This shows the yard and servicing area in North Ogle on the lower level, and North Ogle Pass in the upper level. All track is Micro Engineering code 70 and using their #6 turnouts. Turnouts are controlled via Circuitron's Tortoise switch machines. You can see the local control panel mounted in front of the layout, which has a track diagram and buttons to control the Tortoises. I use Digitrax DCC with plug-in (non-radio) throttles. The track in the yard in North Ogle is done and functional. The track in North Ogle Pass has also been installed. I have scratch-built boards between the tracks for passengers to be able to safely walk across the tracks when disembarking from the trains. A smooth surface has been set aside for the passenger station or depot. I painted the blue insulation foam on this first module, and the steep mountain has some basic greenery (Woodland Scenics) applied. The second module is still in the construction phase.
The track from the North Ogle yard leading into the mountain is in place. A small river is crossed before entering a tunnel into Bears Paw Mountain. The upper level track, which is supposed to go across a trestle bridge is not yet completed at this point.
Before we built this layout, my wife and I painted the walls in the closet (after I had taken out the doors to the closet). I trimmed out the rough edges of the closet with some nice oak wood, which I stained. In person it looks a lot darker than this photos shows (which was taken with the camera's flash on). The Closet Mountain frame is in place, but there is no track yet.
As a matter of fact, the bottom layer of foam is still loose. I took it off to take this photo, so that you can see the framework.
If you have looked at the track plan already, this piece of woodwork was the first attempt at putting track in the closet. The idea is that there is a loop going down under itself in this one corner to about halfway down the grade, and then another loop on the other side of the closet to get the track down to the ground level. The loops are to be hidden from view, and the center section of the closet was to be a set of bridges.
I have made a bit of progress. I put down the track (all glued down), and then started this layer-cake top of the mountain. The top is removable so that I can get to the lower level track should there be a derailment.
The track on the upper level has been extended into the closet loop. You can also see where the track has been extended on the lower level where the freight train comes out.
Well, I tried the loop in the closet and found that the grade and the curve was just too much for the equipment I have. So, that idea was scrapped. I have reworked the subroadbed to where it now more gradually rolls down to the other side of the closet. I have also installed several pieces of plywood on the lower level where the lower level track is supposed to go to the rest of the layout (where all the clamps and other items are).
This is a better view of the work done so far on the right-hand side of the closet module.