Monday, July 12, 2010

Tortoise Horizontal Mounting Bracket

I wanted to mount the Tortoise switch machines horizontally so I built some brackets from 26 or 24 gauge sheet metal.

If you need some brackets for your layout, print the template at full size.

You will have to solder the leads and install the linkage rod and set screw before mounting the Tortoise to the bracket.

Sheet metal can slice through skin like a razor, please be careful working with it. Wear eye protection and gloves at all times; build jigs to hold the work while drilling.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Victory Blvd. Crossing

This is the crossing at Victory Blvd. It's 4 lanes of traffic, with a center turning lane, and parking on each side. The crossing, as far as I know, has always been protected by only two RR Crossing flashers, one in each direction. I do not recall any gates ever being present at this location.

I was reminded that the traffic signals were also tied in with the grade crossing, they would flash red.

The model will be protected likewise.

In this view the entrance to Zero corp is to the left,Just past the tracks, and the entrance to Terry Lumber is to the right, just before the tracks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Crossover

The crossover seems to be the starting point of every project so far on the Burbank Branch; so it is with Turnout linkages and Tortoise switch machines.

I decided to use a very old and common linkage that is very versatile.I drill a hole through the road bed centered on the track centerline just behind the throwbar. The hole is just big enough for a 1/16th inch brass tube to fit snugly. I bend a piece of .032 music wire to act as a swing lever and thread it though the brass tub inserting a pin into the hole in the throwbar.
From there the Tortoise switch machines will be linked to the music wire linkage.

The crossover requires special consideration because I don't want a train to run into a closed turnout. The two turnouts need to be linked together in such a way that the 2 sets of point are thrown together so there is an open path through the crossover.

Thanks to the Tortoise and a few RC plane parts, the linkage is not to difficult to construct.
It consists of some balljoint couplings and two 90 degree bellcranks.

In the above photo you can also see the bottom of the brass guide tubes for the music wire and the music wire linkages.

Track Installed

The last couple day have been spent installing the roadbed and track. I drew centerlines for the track on the table and used silicon to attach the 1/8" thick roadbed. I cut the roadbed from cork gasket material I purchased at True Value Hardware. This is a switching branch and the roadbed profile is not that defied, if at all in some locations. The standard HO road bed would have been too tall.

After the roadbed had dried, I sanded it smooth, and made transitions to the lower spur tracks using a finishing sander to get a smooth grade. I cleaned the area of dust and sealed the roadbed with latex paint.

While waiting for the paint to dry, I prewired all the turnouts. Red wire to outer rails, Black wire to inter rails, and White wire to the frog. I also added feeders to the points for a total of 5 wires per turnout.

After the paint had dried, I installed the track. Since the most tricky part of the track work is the crossover, I started there. I fit the crossover to have a 2" parallel track spacing, and drilled holes in the roadbed for the turnout wires. I then spread a thin even layer of silicon over the road bed and pressed the track into the silicon. I avoided spreading silicon at the throw-bar locations so they would have free play. I used thumb tacks to hold the track in position as things dried. I added track in a similar fashion until it was complete.

The whole process went very quickly and I was able to finish all the track work, after the road bed was down, in abut 2 hours.

Next up are turnout linkages and Tortoise switch machine installation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Construction Photos

Track Plan

This is the track plan.
Siding capacities and car types
Oroweat: 4 cars; Airslide Hoppers
Zero Corp: 2 cars; Box and Gondola
NH Depot: Two cars; Team Track
Terry Lumber: 2 cars; Flatcar, Alldoor Boxcar, Centerbeam Flatcar, Bulkhead Flatcar
The future shelf will include Red Barn Feed, and the Canoga Citrus Association packinghouse
Eventually there will be a 4 track staging yard to the left of the current track plan.

A Redesign

I have been at a stand still for a while and decided to redesign the Burbank branch. The new design is not a prototypically accurate portrayal of the line but does include more of the industries and will give a general feel for the line.

I'm now using an adaptation of David Barrow's Domino benchwork. I tried using 2" foam for benchwork, but found that it was very uneven and the track and road bed required too much shimming to get a level path. I'm still following the Free-Mo standard.

The track plan was adapted from Byron Henderson's San Jose Switcher plan. I had built an N scale version of this layout a few years ago and loved it. It is now the basis for the new 2X13 foot HO Burbank branch.

The industries and features that will be included are Zero Corp, Oroweat, Victory Blvd. crossing, North Hollywood depot, Terry Lumber, Red Barn Feed, and the Canoga Citrus Association Packinghouse.

I will be posting a layout drawing and photos soon.