A ballast pit for the HBR


As construction has progressed on the Flin Flon Subdivision work recently has focused on getting the lower staging (northern destinations) up and running prior to starting work on the Flin Flon smelter area which will be immediately above the lower staging.  Taking a break from the staging work, I decided to give the “switch to nowhere” at Flin Flon Junction a destination.  

Pelsea's picture

Painting Track


After some months working on revenue projects, I've finally gotten back to the layout. Current task is painting rail. Working on the time honored principle of fire, aim, ready, now that I've made a mess of it I'm seeking advice. Well, not that awful, and that's what chainsaws are for, right? But please share your tips/experiences.

What I've discovered:

Curving kerfed homasote roadbed


I have samples of two commercially available HO scale homasote roadbed that are available with kerf cuts to enable laying curves.  Given the tendency of homasote to break when curved (kerfs or no kerfs) I'm wondering how tight a curve is practical without cutting curved pieces to begin with?

Roger Litwiller's picture

Ballasting Complete on the Yard -Trenton Subdivision in N scale


I have completed the ballasting of the main yard for my layout, the Trenton Subdivision in N Scale.

In the photo you can see the general layout of the yard area.  The engine terminal and shops are located behind the yard in the top of the photo.  The entrance to the VIA Rail passenger yard is visible in the bottom left.

The yard tacks are arranged from left to right;

Length of Reversing Section


HO and DCC. Test layout will become lower level of larger layout, but I want to run trains on what I have. In the Rev_1 reversing section the track length from MANNY to the crossover next to MOE holds my longest train. But the route from JACK to MOE doesn't. I think this is OK, however, because the rails to the right of MOE and GERT are wired to busses the same way as the rails at JACK. See the little arrows. Am I correct that this arrangement won't derange an autoreverser? 

Pembroke: Staging


In which I muddle through construction of the staging yard...

Helpers on Helix


Hello all - first post on MRH.

I want to build a helix (major statement!) - on an existing layout. I have it basically designed. It is an oval shape, each loop about 248 in. long, 29 in. radius one end, 25 in. other. It is right at 2%, so roadbed-top to roadbed-top separation is almost 5 in. Except for the first 1/2 loop, the helix will be entirely hidden. I'm not in favor of little openings/windows along the grade - I just can't figure out how to make them look right. Maybe LED's or CCTV, maybe.

How expensive is your track?


Given the cost of just the rail, roadbed, spikes/solder, etc. how much do you think you're spending per foot of finished track? I'm curious about just simple track, switches/crossings/wiring/etc. obviously add to the cost but I'm just wondering how much folks are spending per linear foot.

How did these ties warp?


I've never seen this before. There are three tracks in this staging yard. Photos show the one rail where the condition showed up. Ties are warped up, most easily seen at ties # 3,4,5,6 from the feeder wire, and even better at ties #9,19,11,12.

At the feeder wire there is no sign of distortion from soldering. So why are any ties messed up, and especially why are there a couple ties in the middle of the run that look OK?


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