Hedley-Junction is moving toward the last track upgrade phase. Yesterday, we ripped off all remaining Atlas Code 100 track and started to implement new Peco Code 83 tracks. The returning loop is now part of history after more than a year of debate. It was no longer useful to operate the layout, so it met its demise.
Gluing tracks with white glue (PVA) was a wise move and made removing the old track and ballast a piece of cake. I soaked the track with water with a spray bottle and started to pull the track less than 5 minutes later. Removing the ballast was as easy and the cork roadbed is now as smooth as when installed many years ago.
I also started to fit my newly-built structures for Donohue. Sidings had to be relocated to fit the new buildings. I also replaced the right hand turnout on the runaround with a left handed one to free more space for structures. All in all, I much prefer the new track arrangement. Funny how slightly realigning a few tracks can change the perception of an area. At least, now we have a better vision of what Donohue will look.
On the other hand, Jérôme replaced track in behind the furnace. Only two lengths of flextracks, but what a pain to install them in a less than 4 inches wide space!
On a sad note, we won’t be able to use Peco curved turnout to build Clermont’s siding. At least, partially. Instead, we will have to rely on Shinohara curved turnouts. Not my favourite brand, but we have very little choice left since we decided to keep the peninsula dreaded 24 inches radius for many reason. Oh, well… I feel this is gonna be a challenge... and we thought relaying the peninsula would take maybe one evening!
We also tested a few locos that never ran on the layout and were kept in their boxes. First one was Atlas new S-2 in Canadian Pacific scheme. The new improved version is awesome, the sound is excellently Alco-ish and details are very fine. This one is going to be bashed into Donohue’s switcher.
The other locomotive is a sound-equipped Atlas C424 in wet noodle scheme. It is an excellent performer, but plague with serious pick up issues. That will have to be addressed because the model is almost useless. Once again, the sound decoder by LokSound performs quite well.
Next challenge? Complete Donohue structures, mainly the woodchip unloader by bashing lots of bits and parts. Also, Louis-Marie recently travelled on Murray Bay Sub and came to the conclusion he wants to redo his rock faces on the peninsula.