As my railroad settles in, I have found a couple of roadbed
issues that demanded attention.
The first was a hump in the roadbed and track in the middle of my
Cruzatte location. This one
developed because I fit a modest width plywood roadbed piece between two
eight-feet long pieces without proper (e.g., full width and beyond) splice
plates underneath. As I set the
grade through Cruzatte, I allowed this filler piece to form a vertical kink—a
Cruzatte roadbed hump.
Short filler roadbed section is on the right.
The hump became very obvious once I built the mountain
operator platform and we began walking along this stretch of railroad. I built the roadbed through this area
using ladders and stools—not the best spots from which to observe something
like this hump.
The correction of the hump was straight-forward. I removed the track. Since I lay track using Dap 230
adhesive caulk, I have found I can flood such an area with alcohol and then
easily pry up the track using a putty knife. Once the track was removed and the area dried overnight, I
used my belt sander to sand down the cork roadbed. Final trimming was done with a Stanley Surform®
and a sanding block. Relaying the track and re-installing the track feeders completed
Cruzatte roadbed shaved down to remove the hump.
Cruzatte roadbed hump corrected.
Salmon Creek roadbed dip at the RR-West end of the bridge.
Correcting this dip required removing a couple of pieces of
track, including half the track on the bridge. That took some care to avoid damaging the bridge
handrails. In the end, the piece
of track from the bridge needed to be replaced, as the ties broke away from the
rails in several places.
As it happened I also had a section of track lifted up from
the roadbed just up the line from this area, so another section of track was
removed. The track had bowed up
because the roadbed shrunk a bit over the past month, likely due to the dehumidifier
in the basement as part of the house maintenance issue cited in the last
post. I could work on both
problems (the bridge dip and the track lifting) at the same time.
Track hump caused by roadbed shrinkage.
With the track removed, I started filling the roadbed dip
with balsa sheet glued on top of the cork roadbed. The balsa lends itself well to shaping with hand tools and
is plenty strong enough to support the track. I needed to install about a quarter inch of filler material
at the deepest point of the dip.
The top layer was a relatively smooth section of 1/32 inch thick balsa
Roadbed dip filled with balsa and sanded to fair back into
the existing roadbed.
Salmon Creek mainline ready for service.
As noted above, I had a couple of instances of track popping
up off the roadbed, likely due to roadbed shrinkage with the dehumidifier used
in the layout space as part of the house maintenance issue. I had quite a track bow at
Wicopee. In the end, I needed to remove close to
1/8 inch of rail from one piece of track to refit the track.
Track bowed up at Wicopee.
Adjustments to the roadbed are known issues for new
track. Both the full-size
railroads and model railroads go through these adjustments. Indeed, the prototype Cascade Line was
not cleared for passenger train service for at least six months after line
completion as the roadbed and track settled in. For my model railroad, it will be good to just run the
current railroad with only modest scenery efforts for a year or more so I can
more easily spot and correct any more roadbed settling issues.