Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Construction progress on the upper level of the railroad continued with the laying of track at Cascade Summit.  My Cascade Summit models  the steam era track layout which includes a turning wye for steam helpers.  The tail of the wye was contained within a single-ended tunnel.  Other features of Cascade Summit include the main flanked by two sidings: the “West” Siding for RR-Westbounds, and the “Lake” Siding used by RR-Eastbounds, so named as it was the track closest to Odell Lake.  A set of cross-overs provide for helpers to exit the turning wye and work over to the “Lake” Siding and the small “Beattie Spur” (actually a short siding).  A company spur for maintenance of way equipment or set-out of broken equipment completes the tracks at Cascade Summit. 

Cascade Summit Track Schematic.

RR-East end of Cascade Summit.  Foreground tracks are (left to right): Beattie Spur, Lake Siding, Main Line, West Siding.

Turning Wye. 

Cascade Summit RR-West end.

Cascade Summit Turning Wye.

Although my initial plan used a conventional #6 straight turnout for the wye switch, I eventually acquired a commercial #4 Wye switch.  This is a Shinohara Code 70 switch that needs modification yet.  Commercial Code 70 wye switches have yet to be redesigned as “DCC Friendly.”  This older design switch has the points rigidly tied together by a metal strap, making them electrically equal.  Better practice would have them electrically separate and of the same polarity as their respective stock rails.  I have yet to make that modification and others stemming from the same principle, so the wye switch and tail track are placed temporarily for now.  I am undecided as to the length of the wye tail track.  Historically, the tail was just long enough to handle an SP Cab Forward steam locomotive.  Engineers were known to try to “lengthen” the tunnel on occasion.  My sense is to keep the tail long and not introduce another operating headache, no matter how prototypical.

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