Finishing the Trackwork in Clearwater and Building the Clearwater Saloon

Yipes!!!!!! I can’t believe that another month has gone by and its time for another update. Well March 21 2007 was a milestone day as the first train arrived in Clearwater and switched the town, but I’m getting ahead of my self here.

I built and installed a 4′-0″ x 9″ extension to the end of track presently located in Clearwater to let me use both ends of the passing siding for switching Clearwater. The last piece of track work to be built in Clearwater was the curved turnout at the east end of the passing siding. Originally it was going to be a 24″/18″ radius curved turnout but being a proud owner of a forney made me rethink this choice. You see the forney is by far the most finicky locomotive I have and any track work it doesn’t like causes a derailment. While my other locomotives have no troubles the forney finds trouble, so now it’s my locomotive of choice for finding imperfect track work.

I also didn’t like the swing of the rear truck and coupler on the forney and figured that coupling/uncoupling required in the 18″ radius portion of the turnout would be asking for trouble. I decided to put in a 30″/24″ radius curved turnout instead and wouldn’t you know it, another track alignment change was needed. So, up came the cork and new cork roadbed was laid to accommodate the new turnout geometry.

Once the curved turnout and three feet of track was laid in the new bench work extension it was to cross ones fingers and see if the newly laid track passed the test. First up, my shay locomotive, no problem, 2-6-0, no problem, railbus again no problem, forney, oh ohhh, big trouble, the rear truck didn’t like the turnout. After two evenings of fiddling and adjusting the turnout, the forney goes through with no problems.

Now it was time for the big test, switching the town of Clearwater. Things were going great until the forney derailed through the curved turnout. OK, what the problem with the switch this time (grumble, grumble), oops forgot to align the switch, final reports states that operator error caused the derailment. If you want to see pictures of this momentous occasion you can find them under the “Clearwater Telegraph” link

Now that the track work is done its time to move onto other things, mainly finishing the backdrop, building some buildings, ballasting the track work, and doing some scenery. As you can see there is a lot to do. Right now I’m building the first building for the layout , the Clearwater Saloon. It seems that the citizens of Clearwater needs a watering hole or else nothing else will get built. It seems the little people don’t mind sleeping under the stars, switching imaginary industries as long as there is a place to wet their whistles.

On an other note I was approached by the payout planer for the upcoming NER chapter of the NMRA if I’d be interested in opening up my layout for the NEW convention planned for April 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It seems that I have modeling skills that need to be shown off. I said I would be honored to be on the layout tour so I guess I had better get going on the layout, need to ballast the track, add a backdrop, build some buildings and add scenery (the list is long). The good news is I have a year to do it. Nothing like a deadline to motivate you.

Well that’s all there is to report for now, till next time keep having fun.

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