I am posting every move I make with the Kato track as it may be useful to others. Today I am preparing the track on the scenic sections for ballasting or should it be ballasting between the tracks and on the edges. I have purchased two packets of compatible Kato ballast to use, but at £7 a pack for such a small amount I decided to put a further layer of cork in all places that will be ballasted later to save on the amount of ballast needed. The below photographs show how I cut the cork to size, glued it and temporarily pinned it down, the pins are Peco and all are salvageable.
I intend to do a small section to see what is the best way to glue the Kato ballast down. I will use sandpaper to make a chamfer on all the cork on the edge of the track, this should help the finished appearance. You will note that I have started to disguise the wiring for the board joins.
First thing this morning all the extra track turned up and I went straight out and fitted it all to the fiddle yard. I now consider that is the best I can do with KATO track system. During my learning on how to use the track I had assumed that they would produce various curved points! Sadly none could be found on any UK sites – so guess that they do not exist!
The final fiddle yard design finished, I made some between track templates based on the KATO point curved track supplied. Just to clarify, the middle six tracks are through tracks, the first and eighth tracks are sidings with a isolator halfway down each to hold two, two car DMUs etc.
The track will now be lifted and the backboard painted and glued down, after that the fiddle yard area will be corked. The track will then be relayed to the final design. I am looking to pin down the track if possible, if not I will have to investigate another way – we will see.
I had decided from day one of this project that I could not live with surface wiring and that all would be underboard. I also did not want to take the KATO point/power joiners off, I therefore investigated what was the smallest hole I could drill to allow the joiners to pass through, but still be out of sight and under the track. I think a 12mm or 13mm hole will do my wished for outcome.
At the moment I have not really decided on the viewable track at the front of the layout. I have had several ideas from friends including an extra curve in place to a few straights, a bi-directional passing loop or even a Stone Terminal. Whatever decided upon, the two main lines only will have overhead catenary.
Today I have been working on the scenic backboard, not an easy job with the rubbish wood I purchased from a large outlet. In the end I managed to get everything level on the backboard and also made a rear safety board to stop any fiddle yard accidents. I did have a few extra bits of track arrive today and they were duly put in place, the bulk of the extra track should arrive tomorrow.
The backboard is not glued down yet and will be painted both sides before fixing in place. Once glued in place I will temporarily take the track up and cork the whole fiddle yard.
Even although the layout is still to be corked, I just could not resist having a play with a potential track layout. This is the first time I have ever used KATO track so getting used to it seemed a good idea.
As the track is based on, but not a copy of the track between Ely Station and the North Junction, the main operational significance is that it is ‘Bi-Directional’ on both lines. There are no crossovers in this length of track giving each track its own fiddle yard in model form.
With the cork arriving next week it is just ‘play’ and things are bound to change. One of the main things I need to do is to get some stock and test the fiddle yard capacity. I also need to purchase a little more tracks to fill in the gaps.
The Baseboards for the N Gauge layout have now been put together in the Garage and on the newly extended trestles. I have decided to cork the whole layout after finding some good quality rolls on Ebay, it should arrive next week. This will be its home until finished.
Graham and John had a great day at the Show yesterday. The limitations of crowds was more than made up for by the interest in the layout with possible further Exhibition invites and even a possible Magazine appearance.
This morning Graham, John and myself put 4000 Yards – Area 5 up in the garden for a final run and check before its appearance at this Saturdays Show.
As well as checking everything out and a general clean, we also added two more trees and added some Shells and Boxes to a wagon. We also checked out the latest traction for the layout, a simplex open frame unit that Graham has 3D printed and assembled himself, my task is to now get it painted in 2 days!!! fingers crossed.