February 2018
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Archive for the ‘Track’ Category


Yes there has been some progress since my last post. I have installed parts of my yard ladders at each end of the yard (13 turnouts so far) enough so that I am able to lay out my three Arrival/Departure tracks and enough to get a start to the Classification part of the yard when I’m ready. I have soldered all my PC ties and rail together to make up the three A/D tracks and prepared to start laying the wooden ties. I had a bag of 1000 ties so this would be enough to get the three tracks done and a start on the Classification part later on……………… or so I thought 😳 I was short by 8 ties of completing only Two of the A/R tracks, TWO!!!!! Holy Smokes!!! This is going to take way more ties than I first thought so I immediately ordered 5 more packages. This gave me the time to get the mainline all laid back down so all I have to do now is connect the feeders and install three Moles for the turnouts and I’ll have the Main line operational again. Hopefully between this weekend and the first of next week I’ll get the trains running again.

One thing for sure, you will not win any races by handlaying track as it sure is time consuming. I will also say that I’m undecided as to whether handlaying N scale track is therapeutic or the start of total insanity!  😎 I think I’m doing this more for the reasons of I never thought I would ever hand lay track in N scale, I’ve been told by more than a couple friends “I’m nut’s” (which is no great surprise anyway) but most of all “Because I can”!!! 🙂 Probably the biggest reason I keep going with this is because I kept telling everyone I was going to do it so I guess I just better do it, right? I’ll post photos later as there is more to show

Yard Started

I had to lift the mainline between both ends of my yard in order to lay down my cork roadbed for the yard. The cork is all down and I have started my yard ladder. All the track-work in the yard will be hand-laid. A printed template and a metal straight edge helps me keep everything straight………. I hope! 🙄

My current plan is to get these ladders completed so that I can at least have my Mainline back together and the three Arrival – Departure tracks. Once this is done I will then start the Classification part of my yard.

West ladder

West end of Yard

East Ladder

East end of Yard

The Moles are Taking Control

The Moles have started moving in folks. As stated in a previous post I was having difficulty controlling two Bullfrogs with one control rod due to the lack of space requires for the linking control rod having too sharp a radius. A friend of mine showed me a link to The Mole’s and I thought why not and purchased three of them to give them a try. The Moles are not very big at all and quite convenient which was what I was looking for however once I received them they were still just a little too long to work in their intended installation method. Hmmmm what to do? The Mole comes with two control rods connected to a rotating shaft, one to control the turnout and the other to route the power to the frog. What I did probably voided any Warranty but then again that’s what model Railroaders do….. Right? I decided to mount the Mole sideways so I drilled an additional hole in the shaft so the control rod for the turnout was rotated 90 degrees from its original location.


The Mole before I put it together but after I drilled the  extra hole.

The Mole before I put it together but after I drilled the extra hole.

Not very big huh?

Not very big huh?


Completed Mole

Completed Mole


Completed and installed (Carpet tape version)

Completed and installed
(Carpet tape version)

My first attempt at getting these attached to the bottom of the layout has proven interesting and I may have to rethink how I fastened them to the layout. My first attempt was to cut a narrow strip of thin plywood and fasten it to the side of the Mole with Carpet tape. I would then adjust the Mole into the perfect position then screw the strip of plywood to the layout. The tape on one of the three Moles let go after a week or so. I’m not sure if it is a sign of what is to come or I just didn’t apply enough pressure when I fastened the two pieces together. A good friend of mine told me to use two part epoxy and Velcro as he has used it without fail on his layout. For now I am going to do this to the one that fell off and wait and see if the other two hang on or fall off.  I’ll call it an experiment but if you want to call it lazy, I’ll accept that too 🙂 I am using a rotary switch to control these and when I actually build the proper control panel I will also use LED’s to show the position of the turnout.   Now I have to clean up my tools and everything else that has migrated to the top of the layout so I can start laying out each town and also start my Yard. That is going to eat up some more Moles for sure!!!


See Ya