With wiring tasks done for right now, I am turning my attention to getting sidings and passing tracks installed off of the Maine Central main line. First up was the small yard at Crawfords Notch. I pretty much followed the prototype by having a 3 track double ended yard. Operationally I will use this small yard to receive gravel cars from the LVRC that the MEC would use for ballast along the Mountain Division. These could be dropped by YR-1, but more likely I will have these delivered by a ballast extra, returning with empties back to Hardwick gravel on the LVRC.
I installed Walthers #5 turnouts and Atlas code 83 track here, but used a piece of Micro Engineering code 55 flex track for the far #3 track. Pictures show this track as being pretty light and somewhat overgrown in 1980 as it was not used too much I suppose.
After getting the track in and feeders wired in (aaahh, more wiring!), I ran a local MEC train through the tracks to see how they worked. Next I stalled Details West tie plates and turnout brace castings on the rails facing the layout edge. This is the first scene visitors will encounter when entering the layout room, so I want to make it look as good as possible. However I used up all that parts I had, so I need to get some more to finish up here. Also, the castings are too big for the code 55 track, but I might be able to install them and then file down what extends above the rail. We’ll see.
For turnout controls, I went with hand operated throws as this is right along the layout’s edge. I decided to give the Caboose Industries high level switch stands a try. I am not sure yet if I like these. They do look a little better than the standard ones in use on most layouts. But they are a bit delicate and I am not sure how they will hold up over time. I actually broke one by throwing it back and forth too much while getting the alignment right. We’ll see how it goes. I do like being able to add the target to the pivoting rod. That is neat.