P & C Railroad Version 3 - Progress Report - 2003-01 Report
01/29/2003
01/29/2003
It looks like a large block of snow has landed in the middle of the layout room!
2003-01 Report
The two tunnel portals are clearly visible. The upper one is for the reverse loop, and the bottom one is for the double-track helix line.
2003-01 Report
I then painted the entire mountain with my ground color. Note that the tracks were all covered, as is the rest of the neighboring portions of the layout.
2003-01 Report
And this is the mountain with all the ground foam applied.
2003-01 Report
This is the view from the back of the layout, from inside the closet area. It is an imposing structure, especially for N-scale. I'm not 100% happy with the look of it, but I do fit inside of it, though.
2003-01 Report
Speaking of which... This is what it looks like now from the inside. I'm laying on my back.
2003-01 Report
I really like the look of all this track work and the handful of scratchbuilt turnouts here.
2003-01 Report
OK, it is now time to work on the under-the-layout yard; the whole reason for the helix in the first place.
2003-01 Report
All the main yard tracks have been installed (i.e. glued to the cork).
2003-01 Report
There is a total of 71 feet (2.19 scale miles) of track in the yard! Eleven tracks in the yard. Did you know that eleven pieces of 3-foot long flextrack add up to exactly one scale mile? (11 x 3ft = 33 ft, 33 x 160 = 5,280ft, or one mile)
2003-01 Report
After ballasting the yard, I was finally able to put all of my engines and rolling stock in the yard. You might be wondering, where are the turnouts that lead to these yard tracks? Instead of having more than a dozen turnouts to build, I decided to try something different. I built a "pivot table" (see my article about its construction). It is a simple 15-inch long piece of flextrack that acts as a cross between a transfer table and a turntable. It was 15 inches long so that it can hold one locomotive and several freight or passenger cars. The idea is to pivot the track to point to one of the storage tracks and then drive the train on to the storage track. The area where all the turnouts were going to be was chosen as the location of this pivot table. The pivot table will have one track leading to it from the helix (both helix tracks will merge into one via a turnout), and at least eleven tracks leading away from it in a fashion similar to that of a turntable.
2003-01 Report
As you will have noticed from these photos, I have two duck-unders in the layout. One by the door, that always must be crossed, and one in the back of the layout by the closet (where all of my model railroading items are stored). One day I bent down to go to the closet area and my lower back just snapped. I spent a week on the couch (I couldn't even lay flat on our bed). During that time off, I studied the problem and realized that the layout was just a disaster ergonomically-speaking. My wife and I discussed it and we decided that the layout needed to come down. We spent some time discussing our various options, including moving (!). In the end the decision was to tear down this layout and build a new, but larger one.

The remainder of the photos on this page are just the last ones I took before we started the demolition.
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(for your bearings, I moved into the closet to take these next photos)
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This was actually what caused my lower back problem. I installed a new section of plywood to be able to make the siding long enough in the harbor scene to be better able to switch this area. I was working on this piece when my back snapped.
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