The track plan for Holywell Town was developed using Templot, I’m still struggling with it as I don’t find it the most intuitive program to use but I sort of got there eventually. With the use of control templates, box files etc. swipe to this, delete to that , pegs and notches, I always seemed to end up with multiple copies of templates. I kept saving multiple copies so that when something went wrong I could go back to a previously known good setting. Although I’ve sorted out the track templates that I’m happy with I’ve not bothered with shuffling timbers for the interlacing etc. it’s near enough for what I want and any tweaking can be done when I’m soldering up the track.
I decided to build up the track in a few panels, unlike Scale7 at least in 2mmFS I can get a couple of turnouts on one build without it becoming too cumbersome. The plain interconnecting track is going to be Easitrack but main approach track on the curve has a check rails all the way along which can’t be done easily with EasiTrack so this was built with copper clad PCB sleepers. So I used the etched slide chairs from the 2mmFS Association to provide a wide base to solder both the running rail and the check rail to. The first effort was scrapped ironically for not using enough solder!! The slide chairs have a slot etched into them for some reason, I had soldered them to the PCB with as little solder as possible and then cleaned then up for soldering on the running rail. Unfortunately all the debris from cleaning the etched plates got in the slots and this made soldering the rail on a real pain in the ass, I just couldn’t get the solder to flow between the rail and the chair plate properly. Rather than persevere I scrapped it and started again. Second attempt I soldered them on with enough to fill the slot with solder and I didn’t clean them either so the solder was clean. The rail soldered on quite easily this time. Finally all soldered up with the check rail – the first panel is complete!!
I then moved onto the next panel – the point and catch point on the approach. Whilst setting out the sleepers I noticed that one of the PCB sleepers had not had the central slot cut fully so I thought it prudent to check the electrical insulation for each sleeper prior to soldering any rail on.
The track work build progressed slowly – there’s only so many chairplates I can solder on to the PCBs in one go before I need a break and do something different.
Once that was done it was a case of making up the various components. Joggles in the running rail etc. the 2mm Association book on track work provides all the required details of required jigs and filing methods.
The crossing V’s were silver soldered so that when soldering it to the chairplates it wouldn’t fall apart. After filing to shape I soft soldered the two rails in position with a bit of scrap PCB sleeper strip and then used a tool clamp to hold them in place whilst they were silvered soldered.
The next main panel is the remaining three turnouts which I decided to do as one panel, a luxury possible in 2mmFS, the lengths of rail I have are just long enough to cover all three but I’m going to have a short break on other items before I can go back to soldering on 100’s of chairplates.
To build the three turnouts to the right of the bridge in one unit including the catch/trap points in the middle turnout meant 5 pairs of switch blades to file etc. Rather tedious but in 2mmFS it didn’t take that long to be honest.
Once the track building was finished and I then painted it with rust for the side of the rails and then sleeper grime to cover the PCB. I then laid down some foam underlay from Exactoscale on the baseboard which was glued down with a copydex/water mix. I then soldered some wire droppers to the rails and using the templot template drilled some holes in the appropriate places for the wires. The track was laid in sections, again with a copydex/water mix. A word of advice – don’t forget to wash out the brush as soon as you have finished. Once it’s dried it’s not coming out of the brush! You’d think I’d learn after the first one but no, there are now 3 wrecked brushes in the bin. It’s a good job they were the cheap ones I picked up when the local art shop was having a closing down sale.
The track is all glued down although I’ve still got to fit the tiebars and none of the wiring is done underneath.
One defining feature of the layout will be the bridge – I imported a couple of photos into QCAD and adjusted the scaling to match known dimensions. I then drew out the bridge outline to the photo and now I’m cutting and adjusting the profile to get something I’m happy with. So now that the track is laid I can play around with the heights and clearances. I’m not quite there yet so a few more adjustments will be needed, when I cut out the bridge the gradient didn’t look steep enough when looked down on it, however the photo from above the end retaining wall actually seems to match quite well to the photos.
One final aerial shot.