Sunday, September 29, 2013


With wiring completed for the tracks and switch frogs in the Eugene depot and classification yard area, it was time to move on to the manual throw switch linkages.  I use Blue Point ™ switch machines for the manual (vs. powered) switch throws.  As previously discussed in a post on my Springfield station progress (, I developed a switch throw using threaded rod, cabinet knobs and a small screw eye for the connection to the Blue Point throw arm.  The knobs are semi-recessed into the fascia, so an important task was installation of the fascia for Eugene.

Fascia top backing plates being installed at Eugene.

The fascia begins with a top backing plate mounted to the yard plywood subroadbed.  I use pocket screws to attach the 5/8 inch plywood plates.  A similar height plywood strip is attached to the base of the hardboard fascia.  When assembled, almost the complete hardboard fascia front is backed by the 5/8 inch plywood.  I permanently attach the fascia hardboard front to the backing plates using Liquid Nails for Projects ™ and brads.

Fascia hardboard front being installed at Eugene.

An additional back plate is installed behind the fascia top backing plate in places where manual switch linkages or magnet hatch controls will be installed.  A center or rod clearance hole is then drilled through the complete assembly followed by removing the additional back plate.  A hole saw is used to bore the recess holes for switch knobs (2-1/2 inch) or magnet knobs (2 inch).  With the recess holes bored, the final back plate is re-installed prior to installing the switch link rods.

RR-West Eugene fascia with knob recess holes bored.

Several of the switches are mounted close to the layout edge.  I needed to fabricate a bracket to attached to the Blue Point throw bar to lower the actuating rod attachment.  This accounts for the height below the subroadbed needed to clear my 2-1/2 inch knob recess holes.  The brackets were formed from 0.031 inch thick brass with styrene stand-offs to account for the depth between the Blue Point throw bar and the side of the machine.

Offset bracket for Blue Point switch machine

Offset bracket mounted on Blue Point machine.

Fascia recess hole with offset bracket for Blue Point switch machine behind it.

In addition to the five switch machines needing a height offset bracket, one machine needed a bell crank to provide a clear run for the actuation threaded rod.  The addition of switches for the Car Shop (Repair In Place) tracks masked a switch machine for the yard lead.  A simple lever arm and bearing mount was fabricated from brass strip and tube.  Sorry, I have no photo of this mounting (lots of ugly wires in the immediate vicinity block a clear view). 

Thirty-eight switch links were installed for Eugene Depot and Classification yard.  Magnet flip hatch actuators are to come using model airplane choke/control link tubing.  In the meantime, I can better check the Eugene yard complex using aisle-mounted switch linkages.

Switch link knobs mounted in the Eugene fascia.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Completing the wiring for tracks in the general area of my Eugene depot, the classification yard has been wired.  This included eight tracks, thirty switch machines, and seven power “blocks.”  All of the track in the classification yard is unsignaled, so all seven power “blocks” are connected to each other at the station panel under the layout.  Having seven distinct power “blocks” allows me to easily disconnect one for trouble shooting. 

Eugene Classification Yard.  The pair of GP9s to the left are on a depot “City Yard” track.  The GP9 in the distance is on the west switch lead and ladder.  Headlights are on, so the wiring has been successful!

I’ve been experimenting with structure locations and modifications to structures.  The industry buildings alongside the backdrop keep getting rearranged as I experiment with building heights and depths. 

Sharp eyes will spot the mock-up for the Eugene car shop shed near the water tower and switching GP9 in the photo.  As noted in a previous post (  on modifications to my Eugene track plan, I provided tracks for the Repair in Place (RIP) facility.  I was inspired by photos and track plans for Eugene’s facilities up until the 1960’s.  Though my car shop shed is shorter than the prototype, it will serve for this model railroad.