M&K Junction Railroad

M&K Junction Railroad
Another train of eastbound coal crosses the Cheat River

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hidden Storage

Sometime during this past year, I got a harebrained idea that I could put a John Armstrong style reverted loop off of the lowest level of the spiral on my track plan and tuck some single-ended storage under the yellow portion of the track plan as seen in the last post. Trains stored in the hidden staging could enter or leave the eastbound main from storage. If I could pull this off I could significantly increase the train watching capacity of the layout. (This addition to the layout is not shown on the track plan)

Putting a lift-out section at the door severely curtailed the length of trains that could be stored, by about 12 feet - or about 14 40' cars. But I estimated that it was worth doing anyway.

Now that I was building on the other side of the basement door, it was now or never to start building the staging. I did not need this diversion prior to the open house on Jan 8, but it had to be done. Three tracks could be fitted in against the basement wall underneath and to the rear of the main line. Because I was pressed for time, I took no in-process photos, these after-the-fact pictures will have to suffice.

The photo above is looking from inside the doorway towards what will become the ladder into hidden staging. The third track on the left is curtailed even more then the other two by the bracing which reinforces the opening in the benchwork at the door.

The track is the old (1970's) AHM sectional track; roadbed is Woodland Scenics foam. While this track is not acceptable by modern standards (it's not even American prototype) I had a lot of it on hand and no one will see this track in hidden staging. The waviness in the track to the right was caused by my reliance on the plastic interlocking tabs in the tie strip. It caused an unavoidable waviness. On the track to the left, I cut off the tabs and the the alignment is much better. On subsequent tracks in staging, I used the Fast Tracks 'Sweep Sticks' to get even better alignment.

Here's a low-level view of the same section. Every rail joint is soldered and there are electrical feeders about every other of the 10" sections.

This is a far as I got before the open house, but it is enough. There is room for 2 more (even shorter) tracks towards the front part of the benchwork, but those would have to wait for later.

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