Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Simplified track plan - again!

A new and final version of the track plan was prepared last week after a lot of discussions between Jérôme and me. At his suggestion, we simplified the track arrangement at Bell’s Road and St. Malo to reflect better the prototype. This also means the signal bridge with be prototypically placed on CPR mainline and not CNR.

Also, we decided to remove most of the double track mainline. It was not only unprototypical, but also more or less useful to run the layout. In fact, it gives us more room for scenery and free us from a hard to reach turnout near the closet (behind Bell’s Road peninsula). The compromise was to connect the yard lead after 1st Avenue overpass to have enough room to switch without fouling the main (which happens on the prototype because it’s the end of the line and passenger trains have their own track). Working out the geometry of 1st Avenue’s twin girder bridges with their curved track isn’t easy but should work fine.

All in all, the layout has now only 20 turnouts, which is a good thing. I took a time to check up Joe Fugate’s formulas to evaluate a layout’s potential. It looks promising. However, these formulas seem to be mainly designed for large club layout with crazy working schedule and not for a typical shelf layout. These big layouts always seem fantastic, but at some point, they feel like playing a video game simulation instead of a modelling project. Definitely not for me! 

Jérôme also designed the new railway signals arrangement according to the prototype.

The scenery was also finalized with most buildings finding their location. It’s not cast in concrete, but at least gives us some ideas how things will work together. I made a mock up out of foam board to represent Natrel dairy plant (ex-Coca-Cola bottling works) on 1st Avenue. I’m quite satisfied with the result. Proportions are good and the scene seems to come together perfectly. I also made a printer paper model of a typical Shawinigan Power electric pylon. These are staples of old electric line found along railway tracks in Quebec City and Three Rivers areas. Next club session, I’ll mock up the Canardière’s Road scene. Both scenes will require slight benchwork modification. I honestly don’t expect to run trains in Hedley-Junction in the near future. Anyway, we still have to decide if we will use PECO or Atlas Code 83 flextracks. Atlas is much easier to use but not perfectly compatible with PECO. It’s a shame Code 83 isn’t as standardized as is the now obsolete Code 100.

 The scene near Dufferin-Montmorency Expressway is also completed. The small town house is an exact replica of the sole surviving working class cottage of Hedleyville - a village destroyed to make room for Limoilou Yard circa 1905).

By the way, I received my four Atlas RS11 locomotives and stripped their paint yesterday. I’m now ready to bash them into RS10/RS18. I’m still wondering if I’ll use my fifth one (Atlas-Kato) to make another one… I’ll see.

The GP9 are also almost completed before painting. I only need to add small details like cab sunshade, Sinclair antenna, new brake wheel housings and lift rings. Hope my order will come soon.

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