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Originally, the layout was illuminated with 75 watt incandescent bulbs. Over time, more energy-efficient bulbs were tried, but the lighting remained uneven and tough on the eyes. Finally, a solution was presented, using 3w LED bulbs housed in used cat food cans. The illumination is now consistent and yet does not strain eyesight when viewed for long periods.
One of the main curves of the layout had a switch at either end of the single track which no one could keep straight, resulting in head-on collisions and derailments. The fix was to hand-lay and install a Gauntlet at that spot. This is how it went.
In Howard yard I have a narrow area to put in some side tracks to run some cars into to make the area more interesting to work. So I designed a building that would take three cars on one side and two cars on the other. This turned into a Z building that when using plastic kits ended up being 2 inches wide. Each of the sides ended up 8 inches long.
I needed to go from one height to another in a small area. The way to do this is to run the track back and forth on the wall or fold it over its self. The track is at a 2.3 % grade with the height between the decks at 4 inches in height. It took some planning to get the front tracks to clear the rear tracks going down the grade. Each on of the sections had to be leveled and set to 2.3 % grade.
The track on the right went behind the yard to the track on the right rear and didn’t stop at the yard. To make the railroad have a dual main line a set of switches had to be added. Ballast was pulled up so the track would go straight into the yard. The switches were […]