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Cottonwood Complete

By June 16, 2023April 20th, 2024Track2 min read

June 16, 2023

An eleven hour work day saw the completion of Cottonwood, town #4.  There is not a lot of industry there so the work went faster.  I did add to the length of the track servicing the lumber company to make the switchback to the rock/coal yard easier to switch.  It now will hold a consolidation and 3 cars.

The curve connecting Red Bluff to Cottonwood was finished.  RibbonRail gauges were used to get a smooth curve.  I have a 18″ and 24″ straight gauge.  The 18″ is a little loose and allows the track to wander – a problem I had in Red Bluff.  (Just chalk it up to California earthquakes.)  The 24″ was too tight and I gently drug it thru fine sandpaper until it fit.  Now my favorite.  The curve was to be the minimum 36″ radius, but I had to go to 34″ so track was not right on the edge.  There are easements at both ends.

When installing track, all switches are glued down first.  Then track is glued in from each side.  When firm, the middle section is put in.  I found this worked better than starting at one end and aiming for the other.  I accidentally picked up a tube of year old white DAP and it was used in Cottonwood.  It was much thicker and grabbed more quickly.  I liked that except that it was white.  Guessing being a year old led to the consistency being different.

I really like Micro Engineering Code 70 rail joiners because they are so small.  They are impossible to get on unless you grind the end of each rail a little.  I usually put all of them on a switch assembly before gluing it down.  If you forget, a bent rail with a beveled end makes it an easy task.

You might notice some of the wood is painted brown.  That I brought to Texas and was the floor on the mushroom layout.  The glue tracks at one end of Cottonwood had Homasote glued on and is also from the layout #2.

The last photo show the completed trackwork.  For some spurs, I removed every 5th tie.  A look at the top of the photo shows how the LED lighting is installed.  The LED’s are the only room light and has had a thumbs up from all visitors.

Lightening the sky toward the horizon was stopped at the curve over the entrance to the dispatcher’s desk.  Hopefully I’ll decide to finish it soon.

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