Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Monday, January 09, 2017

Morrisville Turnout Work

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am adding a turnout in Morrisville at the suggestion of my operating crew. It will provide a second (and longer) runaround/passing track, as well as give access to the south side of the mainline from the eastern approach. In watching operations and trying some moves my self, I agreed the suggestion had merit.

My main concern with making this change though was how long would this take to get completed, and how long until I could schedule the next Op Session? One thing was certain though, nothing would get done unless I actually started the work!

With the required curved turnout in hand, I found I had a little time to get started with this the other night. I knew I would not finish this up in one session, but it seemed best to get started and chip away at the overall work.

I cut the rail with a Dremel tool, then pulled up the flex track. I cleaned up the surface of the Homasote roadbed. As there was no good subroadbed under the area that the new turnout would lead to, I cut out a section of scenery. This was only a piece of foam with some scenic material on top, so it wasn't too tough to remove.

Track on the LVRC mainline as well as the parallel grain siding has been removed, and a new hole  opened up to add subroadbed. Luckily a cross piece was right under this are to help support new subroadbed.
Using a scrap of 3/4" plywood, I traced out a subroadbed piece using the newly opened up hole. I clamped a support up from the cross piece below, and then leveled out the new piece. On the yard side, I had a small piece of support for the existing roadbed to tie into.

With a solid base I can now add sections of Homa-bed (2 pieces here were used to make sure the height was correct). this will support the new track off the curved turnout, as well as the track going back in for the grain elevator.
This took about 1 hour to get done, but was a crucial first step. Next time I can drop in the Homa-bed and get the turnout locations situated. Holes will be drilled for the Tortoise switch machines and I can cut new flex track pieces to tie it all together. After soldering the rail in and adding the track power feeder wires, I'll have done enough to support testing trains and restoring operations. This will be without turnout controls of course. Another session to get the Tortoise machines installed, wired and a control throw installed, and I'll be ready to schedule the next Op session. I wait until after a trial run with the next Op Session before starting repairs to the scenery.

I think the takeaway form this is to break down work that might seem daunting and time consuming into smaller sub projects that can be accomplished in smaller segments of time. It was unlikely I would find the multiple consecutive hours do this work completely in one shot. But tackling it in 3-4 sessions was very do-able.

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