East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

April 2007

Fast Tracks Turnouts

One of the major shortcomings of my previous layout was the poor quality trackwork. There are a lot of important relationships in the geometry of a reliable turnout that evade my perception. Early on I was very careful in the construction of my hand laid turnouts, and they came out reasonably well. But with experience I became less careful, and made more mistakes.

The fixtures available from Fast Tracks address very directly the problems I had hand laying turnouts. All the angles and lengths are preset to exact standards. The fixtures themselves are extremely well made and easy to use

Here is my workbench set up for cranking out turnouts using Fast Tracks fixtures. Just out of the picture at the upper left is a small belt sander that makes quick work of shaping points and stock rails.

A completed turnout set in place at Meridian quarry. Three of these wyes will make up Glade Junction.

Homasote Roadbed

The Homasote roadbed is all trimmed out, and the pieces have been set in position to check fit.

Once I was happy how everything fit, I glued the Homasote down to the plywood subroadbed using Liquid Nails for Projects. Then anything and everything I could get my hands on to clamp the pieces together was brought to bear. First in the Shops Yard,

Then through Ariel Church.

The parade continues down the mainline to the Dust Mill site,

and around the peninsula to Glade Junction

and up to the end of track at Meridian Quarry.

Main Line Grade

Once the position and roadbed of the two complex areas had been secured in place, the time came to connect them with a winding mainline.

The mainline is a simple single track that connects the yard at Shops with the yard at the Dust Mill. I waited until last to build the mainline so it could be adjusted to fit, both horizontally and vertically, since The Shops Yard is at the top of a grade.

The curves have been determined and the subroadbed cut out. Risers were cut to establish the grade up the hill from the Dust Mill to the Shops.