With the subroadbed built, I moved on to installation of cork roadbed and track installation for the mountain extension into my nook space. Track laying is very satisfying as it provides visible, tangible evidence of an advancing railhead. Major tasks of switch machine installation and wiring remain to place the track in service, but the extension into the mountains is taking shape!
As I worked with the cork roadbed, I dealt with several height changes. Secondary trackage ends up mostly on thinner N-scale cork roadbed. An extra strip of the N-scale cork provides the needed width for HO-scale. I created ramps out of balsa to transition the heights. I used a Stanley Surform ® for the primary shaping of the ramp, followed by coarse sandpaper. The Surform ® made quick work of the ramp. I then had the idea of using it on the cork to finish the transition once the cork was glued to the ramp. This also was fast and very controllable. I’d forgotten just how handy that tool is! I also checked side-to-side level throughout the construction process—when sanding the spline for a smooth surface and for smoothing the cork after gluing. I even checked the side-to-side level as I laid track. Yes, I had an issue on earlier track, so I now check continuously.
Take a look at the new track expansion, beginning with the climb up out of Oakridge.
Climb out of Oakridge. Salmon Creek Bridge is just visible in the distance to the left. The foreground curve will provide space for Rooster Rock and Tunnel 21.
East McCredie Springs. The beginnings of the rock bunker for the quarry I added are seen in the corner in the top center of the photo. The mainline and siding curve around to the right.
McCredie Springs depot area. The house track is nearest the aisle, followed by the mainline, siding and “Track 3” back towards the wall. The train order station will be close to the aisle and company housing for train order operators will be towards the rear of this scene.
West McCredie Springs. The track has climbed 13 inches above Oakridge. The mainline descending from Cascade Summit overhead is 24 inches above. Both tracks will curve around the corner toward the main east wall of the basement.
Continuing the tour from the upper end of the railroad at Cascade Summit, we first encounter Trapper Creek at the immediate RR-East end of Cascade Summit.
Trapper Creek Bridge. The bridge abutments and plywood base are much deeper than needed. The creek will be much closer to the bridge when completed. The bridge is a Micro Engineering 50 feet plate girder with a ballasted deck fabricated from Evergreen styrene strip and sheet on top. The abutments are built up using Evergreen sheet and strip.
Continuing beyond Trapper Creek, the railroad enters the future site of the summit tunnel. The tulle (veil material) sandwiched between the cork roadbed and plywood subroadbed is very evident in this photo.
Descent from the summit begun.
Descending mountain grade sweeps around the nook corner. Part of this area will have a long open-gallery rock shed as can be seen on the prototype line even from Highway 58.