Monday, September 29, 2014


I’ve begun at last the capstone project for my railroad—the upper level staging at Crescent Lake.  My Crescent Lake will feature a twelve-track reverse loop staging yard, much as the Eugene Arrival Departure Yard will have for the base level below it.  I need to build and install Crescent Lake and get it wired while I still have full access to the floor below.  Future access will be more limited once the Eugene complex is built below. 

The test operating sessions conducted so far point strongly to the need to expand the mainline track and get more of Eugene built.   This is so vital that I cancelled a previously scheduled test operating session to make way for construction.  Step One is to get Crescent Lake built and installed.

The basic structure for Crescent Lake consists of open grid panels topped with plywood and an upper layer of cork.  I used my standard nominal 4 inch deep plywood strips for construction, as this will extend below the Tortoise™ switch machines that will control the switches.

Crescent Lake benchwork panels under construction.  They overlay the track plan on the floor.

The panels are topped in my usual fashion for yard areas—3/4 inch plywood with ¼ inch cork laid on top.  I left gaps in the cork at the panel joints.  These gaps will be filled with cork sheet once the panels are installed. 

Crescent Lake roadbed panels ready for track line layout and switch installation.  Most of the two switch ladders will be on the two panels in the upper right, with two final switches located on the corner panel in the lower right.

The panels will be raised to their final location over seven feet above the floor.  Edges along the walls will be supported by ledger L-girder, similar to the lower L-girder on the back wall in the photo above.  Out in the room, the panels will be hung from the ceiling.  Our house uses open truss floor joists for the main floor formed from 2x4 on the flat—broad—face.  This made for a wider target to locate for the suspension lag screws.  The lag screws hold “superstrut” pieces, which provided a way to span between joints and provide a nut for a threaded rod to be inserted.  “Superstrut” is formed steel channel often used by electricians and plumbers to route and support conduit or pipe.  Jerry B. used his power hacksaw to help me cut the “superstrut” pieces to length.  Thanks Jerry!  All are now installed on the ceiling.

“Superstrut” installed on the ceiling, attached to floor joists above.  Each strut in this picture has a special nut installed within the channel to take the threaded rod.  The upper level wall ledger L-girders are visible along the side wall.

More to come…

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