Month: April 2016

Electrical Upgrades

During the early working sessions the work crew experienced some issues with the electrical power supply in the layout room. January temperatures required some space heaters to be used. Benchwork construction required the use of various power tools, all which draw lots of power when in use. The existing power supply was only sufficient to run one item at a time without blowing a fuse! After the lights went out a few times it was decided that an electrical upgrade was needed.

With the help of Paul Parent and Al Melanson the existing electrical power supply of the Heritage Center was reviewed. They suggested installation of a 100 amp pony panel with multiple breakers to supply power to the workshop and layout room in the basement. This would provide adequate voltage to run power tools as required, appropriate heaters, and provide separate power supply for the layout itself.

The electrical upgrades were approved by the museum board and installation proceeded. A hole was cored through the concrete floor for the power supply cable to the pony panel in the basement workshop. The new panel was installed and then new wiring installed. This work was completed by Paul.

Electrical wiring has now been extended to the layout benchwork and multiple electrical outlets installed at various locations.

In the foreground of the photo below, Paul discusses electrical upgrades with someone off camera. One electrical drop from the ceiling to the layout can be seen in the background between Dale and Wayne.


Plywood and Grades

By the working session on January 30, 2016 the construction crew had made good progress on installing a plywood base over the majority of the benchwork.

Track centerlines were drawn for the tracks on the turnback curve near the entrance to the layout room, and creation of the roadbed grades to elevate the tracks to the rear of the layout was started.

Plywood installed on layout sections:



Some homasote installation has begun:


Adding planned track centerlines to the plywood and homosote. These will help to determine the section of the plywood that needs to be raised.




Turnback curve in center peninsula was raised to allow installation of temporary trackwork so mainline tracks can be wired and tested. (the trestles and bridges will be installed here at a later date)



Cutting the plywood to install the grade around the turnback curve:


Riser installation to support the roadbed grade:


The completed roadbed grade:


Top end of grade around turnback curve:


Testing the clearance at the bridge location where the mainline track passes over itself:



This posts describes the planned trestles and bridges on the turnback curve of the peninsula in the center of the layout.

Location of turnback curve when initial modules were laid out:


Initial benchwork constructed for this area to support future bridges and trestles as well as the scenery structures:


The sketches below show the intended trestle and bridge layout for this section of the layout. These items will add nice visual interest to the layout and will help to hide the column at this location.

trestle sketch

As the initial track and benchwork progresses, temporary tracks will be placed in this area until the detailed bridges and scenery are constructed.

Benchwork Progress

Great progress was made on the construction of additional sections of layout benchwork during the week of January 13, 2016. Wayne Cowan and Ian Clegg have spent many hours constructing these additional sections.

Additional benchwork constructed next to the box culvert. This section of benchwork connects the yard modules (left of photo below) to the set of modules that form the peninsula in the center of the room (right of photo below).




Initial benchwork for the turnback curve at the opposite end of the center peninsula:



Stay tuned for more details of what is planned for this location in a future post.

More Scenic Features

Introducing the vertical separation of the mainline tracks between the rear and front of the layout allows many more scenic elements to be added that make use of this feature.

The following concept to add a tunnel at the first corner was developed:


3D rendered view of the proposed tunnel: