East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

Against the Wall

With enough Fast Track turnouts built to lay the entire Shops Yard, I determined the best place to start laying track was in the area with the worst access. That way I could lean on the Yard roadbed and use it as a shelf for tools and materials without fear of crushing anything.

There is a stretch of hidden track that will connect the Piedmont Mill trackage to the Town Siding at Ariel Church. This surreptitous connection creates a reverse loop, making continuous running of trains possible. It is not to be used during actual layout operations, so it will be hidden from view under the scenery. The connection it makes to the Mill trackage is through the hole in the backdrop shown above.

I used HO standard gauge flex track to lay the hidden connection along the wall. The handlaid track starts where the hidden track curves away from the wall, comes out from under the scenery, and becomes the Town Track siding.

The Town Track is ballasted with a mixture of Highball cinders, Pecos and Brazos limestone, and sifted sand and dirt from my neighborhood streets. I smooth and spread the ballast with an inch wide paintbrush.

Once graded, I wet the ballast down with an alcohol/water mix, then glue it down with a mixture of white glue, matte medium, and water. Once dry, I scrape down any high spots in the ballast, then paint it with a thin wash of earth tone acrylics.

I sanded a strip of cardstock into a wedge to raise the level of the flextrack up to the height of the handlaid. Then I started handlaying track toward the Town Siding switch. Once these rails are spiked down, I will install the Town Siding switch, and then extend the rails from it up the siding to make the connection here.