Saturday, February 21, 2009

Layout Progress as of 2/21/2009

In the last two posts I described how I mocked up the track arrangement in the Emerson area of the CSX Dixie Line layout by temporarily laying the track on sheets of 3/4" blue foam. The track was held in place with pins so it could be moved around to find the ideal arrangement. However, once I settled on a track arrangement, I needed a way to transfer the track centerlines to the benchwork below the foam. I thought about just tapping some finishing nails through the foam to make holes in the tops of the bracket arms, but I also wanted to make sure I could somehow capture the entire mockup in case I needed to refer back to it later when actually laying track.

To do this, I purchased a 75' long roll of 24" wide art paper and cut two 12" wide strips long enough to cover the track mockups. The benchwork is only 11" deep on this part of the layout, so the 12" width of the paper worked out great. I then pinned down the paper and made a few registration marks on the paper and backdrop so I would later know where to place the paper in relation to the benchwork. Finally, I used a black crayon to make a full size tracing of the trackwork. I then removed the foam, pinned the paper directly to the top of the benchwork (using the registration marks as guides) and marked the track centerlines on the bracket arms. These marks will be used to locate the risers for the laminated spline roadbed that will support the track.


The Emerson area with the completed track mockups on a layer of blue foam:

A long sheet of art paper has been pinned down over the South End Emerson area:

I used a pencil to make registration marks on the paper and backdrop:

I used a crayon to trace the track layout:

I marked the location of turnouts:

I repeated the process for the North End Emerson area:

Next I removed the paper, track and foam, revealing the bare benchwork:

I then used push pins to secure the paper track plan to the benchwork:

I tapped a finishing nail into the top of a bracket arm along the track centerline:

I peeled the paper back and used the crayon to make a distinguishing mark on the bracket arm across the nail hole:

The track centers have been marked on top of all of the bracket arms in the south and north Emerson areas: