Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Track in at Crawford Notch

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.

I also plan to use this yard in a somewhat freelanced way by having a local out of St. Johnsbury travel to the yard, pick up any cars for North Stratford dropped by RY-2 and then run around the train to head back up the line towards Whitefield, taking the switch to North Stratford. This will then travel to a section on a shelf above Groveton to interchange cars with the North Stratford. I’ll post more on this later when I build that small section. It will make a nice model railroad operational job, although it is not prototypically accurate.

Next up will be adding the interchange tracks in Whitefield between the B&M and MEC, getting the B&M mainline track in place, descending downhill, under the MEC line and into a hidden section that turns back and heads to Groveton. Here is a look at the Micro Engineering bridge on the MEC and the B&M roadbed underneath. I attached Chooch abutments here although I need a small stone block to reach the bridge footings.


Wayne Woodland said...

Great to see the updates Mike. Looking forward to seeing more.Cheers.

Wayne Woodland

Rob D said...

Awesome Mike!

Cam said...

Your moving at a good pace, are you going to have the Gilman tracks set like the actual Mill? The module I made of the Mill a few years ago was fun to switch like the prototype.