Monday 20 March 2017

A Point to be made

It was my own fault that I chose a curved point to build for a siding on the outskirts of Eden. The siding sits inside a 180 degree plus curve and will take around two wagons at the dock. My last workout on a set of points as explained in the post of February 18 was way back in my N scale days in the early 80's. Not having anything written down from the past episodes of point building I decided to bite the bullet and get on with making a curved point.
I needed printed circuit board (which is the usual medium for point building) and also some wooden sleepers. So I made a trip out to the Model Railroad Craftsman at Blacktown for some supplies. As I am using the Peco Narrow gauge track I even remembered to take a sample sleeper with me so that I could size it against what was available. I grabbed some Clover House copper sleepers and had to resort to some stripwood as they were out of wooden narrow gauge sleepers. In the end I just used the copper sleepers. A few other things were purchased there (as you do) and I headed home. I would vote this shop one of the best set out hobby shops in Sydney with plenty of various items, well suited for the scratch builder. (Are there any left?)
A start is made on the curved turnout
As I am using cork underlay on the main line section of track, I felt I needed something solid under the point, so I cut out some MDF to put the point on. It was prepainted in case it swelled up when I get to lay the ballast. I used a section of flex track to make the above point. The rails formed the outside tracks and then I used another piece of rail to make the frog section. So far so good, but even at this stage you can only test the track up to the frog with a bogie. Although there is a bit of slop in a bogie I used a NMRA track gauge to test the clearances. I actually had two track gauges when I was in HO but I think I sold them off. Even if I still have them I would never find them in the shed.
Nearly finished, raw and ugly
Well after a week or so I finally got close to finishing the point. It is laid on a 30" curve as can be seen by the nearly invisible track gauge next to the point. Thank goodness for the 30" marking on it, I spend ages looking for it at times, must put a dab of fluorescent paint on it. I still have to put the throwbar on. I also need to cut through the sleepers before I get to test it electronically. Some of the solder (read sodder in USA) needs to be cleaned up as well. But so far so good.
The siding takes shape.
In the above photo can be seen the joins between the two baseboards. It looks ugly now but I will cover it all up with ballast. As explained earlier I am building this part of the layout so that it can be taken apart and removed in the future. There is no point in demolishing a layout in the future when a little time taken now can avoid that issue. The point in the foreground will eventually head across a section near the door. For another day.
The first two wagons arrive in the siding

A view from the other direction
I am quite happy with how it is going so far. For narrow gauge the main track out of town on a 30" radius curve looks good. Even though there will be tighter curves elsewhere, this broad curve looks the part. One of the often asked questions in narrow gauge is "What is the minimum radius curve I can get my locos and rolling stock around?" I will never ask that question for my layout. I suppose I am not running 4 wheeled locos and rolling stock. Besides I don't have any empty biscuit tins that need filling with a layout. Pointless those types of layouts.
Nearly ready for loading

The whistle sign for the Main line level crossing is shown here, the wagons in the distance

Well I am happy with the progress so far. It has been slow but rewarding when I can see the progress made from this time last year. I'm sorry that the photos are just of general track laying and other construction, but I am looking forward to the scenery component, the bit that brings the layout to life.
Tomorrow I will be receiving a pack of goodies from Ian Lindsay models to further enhance the layout. With a pelican amongst other things, I might have to model some water for him around the Snug Cove area.
Till next time, enjoy your hobby.


  1. Bob,

    You've done very well to remember how to build your curved point. One of the challenges that I find with the hobby is that there are such diverse range of tasks and skills to master, but they are used quite infrequently. Consequently, one forgets the finer details that made the task easier. And this only gets worse as the years roll by!

    cheers Phil