Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Hooray! we are back on track.

Now that the shelving of personal injury project in the front room has been completed to the satisfaction of the domestic authorities, I can get back into working on Victoria Street.

Back running services.

The  Ammo Factory module is taking a rest at the moment while I tackle the construction of the road surface of the junction and the Depot.

My method of paving tram tracks involves the use of a lot of dense corrugated cardboard and several cereal boxes. I have tried various forms of plaster/filler in the past, but find the process extremely messy and it usually plays havoc with the electrical side of things with ordinary running results.

After pinning and glueing the bog standard code 100 track to the board, I build up the surrounding road surface with a couple of layers of dense corrugated cardboard (usually sourced from boxes of new small appliances, beer cartons while plentiful , are too corse and spongy for the task).  This is glued into place with PVA glue, the aim is to build to just under the rail head height.

In between the rails, strips of cereal boxes cut into 10mm wide strips, which are glued directly to the sleepers/ties. These strips are cut to smaller lengths (20-25mm) for the curves, which are glued in a brickwork like fashion, depending on the card three to four laminations are required to bring it up the under the rail head height.

From little things, big things grow.
The start of the road base.

The road surface for the tram tracks is made up of strips of cereal boxes that are 80mm wide, which are glued at right angles to the rails,  I draw a pencil line along the strip of card that is placed across the rails and with my fore finger I press down and run it along the rails underneath so the score the card with a mark that can be used as a cut line. The pencil line is a reminder of where you intend to glue the strip.

The first twenty foot wide slab being cast.

I score, mark, cut then glue each part of the strip as I work across the tracks, in between the rails the aim is to have a sample that is 14mm wide, so to allow for the flange ways. I like using PVA glue, because it allows the panel of strip to be 'floated' into position.

Scoring the strip parallel.
Checking for size.
Steady as she goes.
As I have not mastered the art of cutting a smooth curve with scissors, (most of my efforts look like the edge of a fifty cent piece), I knock the 'corners' off with some 240 grit wet/dry.
As with anything track related, testing while installing is a must, just in case one little install results the rollingstock going off for a wander. Here is a small gallery of the 'works in progress'.
Albert Rd and Victoria St
(Ammo Factory Junction)
waiting for the 'tarmac', 400 grit wet/dry sand paper
with office paper line markings.
The Depot, just waiting for the between the rails fit out.
While this may not be everyones cup of tea, the other reason I prefer this method, is that if there is any drama with points, track or wiring, I can apply a few drops of water, soften the PVA, then remove the affected part without resorting to a hammer and chisel.
This Easter Weekend marks the Hobsons Bay Model Railway Club Exhibition, this one exclusively exhibits layouts which are of Australian prototype, so no Thomas, British, or US, just Australian. Always a good exhibition to enjoy.
From amongst the road works at this end of the layout.



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