INSTALLING the ALATOONA SIDING
The Rectangular Structure
In this next shot, loose track is being laid out to get the feel for how to install the siding. I rarely use measurement tools, math or other metrics to size up this work. I like the hands-on approach. This could answer a whole lotta questions about other work of mine!
Choosing the turnouts
I inquired extensively about using a curved turnout. Most everyone advised against it, especially if using a stub because of the potential derailments. This being a period layout however, stubs were a must. Working with Hobby Masters train's manager Steve, we perused the Walther's catalog. The coolest find was that Shinohara makes a CURVABLE, turnout; not curved but curvable. I went with this if nothing else to see how it might work. It is simply a straight turnout built as flex track. The beauty of this is that you can line it up so it fits according to the radius already in play. It required loosening the approach track and some maneuvering to line it up. For straight turnouts I simply lay a straight edge along the approach to the turnout. On the curve it is all eyeballing.
These two photos below show the curvable turnout before and after bending the rail. The head block has been attached to the approach rails to hold the gauge and is ready for linking to a Tortoise. Again, the bending was strictly continuous adjusting and eying up the cleanest transition possible between the approach, or fly rails, and stubs.
Here you can view the other end of the siding, the north approach, which happened to be nearly straight ;-) going into the siding.
After cutting the inside ends of the ties just above the frog I was able to bend the straight rails about 3-4 degrees, just enough for a clean joining of the rails into the siding. I applied the same technique using Homesote for a base as described in my section entitled Stub Switches. The length of the siding was determined partially by the length of train I wanted the siding to hold, but mostly by what I could safely fit while keeping a reasonable distance between it and another stop or station.
Once the track is in its final position, a light coating of PL300 is smeared onto the insulation foam to secure the track, then weighted. The fly rails were adjusted for a cleaner entry to the stubs; here they are still too straight.
Stay tuned, even though it'll be another month or so (how about New Year's) before the next posting, hopefully you'll see the addition of the cut as well as the towns of Kingston, Dalton and Chattanooga coming to life as well as the completion of the Howe Truss scene.