Laying the Track

Track-laying needs to be a job that takes time and care. I used Peco HOm gauge flexible track and live-frog points. Never having used a narrow-gauge trackage system before I had to learn about clearances, minimum radii, etc., so it wook a while to come up with a suitable practical and Swiss-looking layout. I printed point drawings off Peco’s website and laid them out on the baseboards to design the station trackwork and then drew the track plan directly onto the boards in order to guide the placing of the cork underlay. Each point was then laid loosely in place and checks made that, for example, there was sufficient space between the release crossover points and the end of the platfrom road for a locomotive to stand, and that my longest train, the Glacier Express, would fit into the platform.

Laying out and pinning down the track and pointwork

For control of the points I used a system which I’d never used before, with the point motors attached immediately beneath each point, requiring a large rectangular hole in the baseboard, each of which took some time to measure up and chisel out and left me with a visible aperture which would need to be closed up as much as possible when ballasting the track. It does give great results in terms of simplicity of operation but was not simple to fit, and to my mind the ballast really does not quite hide the hole. It looks OK to the casual observer, but I know it’s there. Further, the MDF of which I made the boards does not take well to being chiselled, even with brand-new sharp chisels, and chunks of material broke off the underside on breakthrough. Still, it is OK now and works well, much to my relief.

Published by Mark Warrick

amateur photographer | railway modeller | rail travel blogger

2 thoughts on “Laying the Track

  1. Hi Mark,

    Great to see all this detail. Are you going to paint your rails rusty brown? At what stage is it best to do this?

    Best wishes, Chris


    1. To be honest it might have been better to do it before ballasting, and certainly before installing the overhead line equipment, but I didn’t 🙄 so it will be done soon, in sections to avoid monotony, along with painting the OHLE silver-grey.


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