Favourite Photos...

Favourite Photos...
Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Crossing installed & Operational...


Hi All,
well today I managed to install the crossing and get it working, and after about an hour of pulling what little hair out I have left I managed to get it working as well without the auto reverser being needed too!
The crossing has been track pinned into position and tested with the smallest switcher I have a Atlas MP15 with sound, which ran flawlessly across the crossing in both directions.  



Next step will be to paint the styrene an earth colour and ballast & weather the ties.
Now that I've completed one, I'd have no hesitations in doing another, this method worked quite well and I'm sure after completing a few more than will be even easier.
Jas...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Latest Crossing Update & Newer, Improved Version...


Hi all,
Well over the last two weeks I have been slowly working on the new crossing for the L&T branch, and one thing has become clear.  The method I was using to secure the crossing (PECO Code83 ties) were not working, the track spike details are to fragile to secure the track with all the work that was being done to the crossing.
So last night I decided to try another angle and started from scratch with the base, after researching the Fast Tracks method of tie placement for crossings and a photo supplied from Alan (LK&O), and a further thread post from Tim (FastTracks - Thanks Tim...) I decided to use a fully scratch built base using styrene.
As I had soldered all the rail crossing sections (bar one guard rail section) I took these sections of the PECO ties and redesigned the base tie structure to reflect what Tim Had mentioned and seen in Alan's photo.
This is the scratch built base with the rail crossing sections sitting in place...


The base is 0.74mm Evergreen styrene sheet, and the ties are Evergreen HO scale 8x10" ties.  They are spaced at the same distance as the PECO Code 83 Flextrack ties.  The tie configuration has worked perfectly to pick up sections of the outer rail and inner guard rail sections that were unsupported using the PECO flextrack ties.
The added advantage of using the HO Scale Evergreen ties has been I have been able to get the tie wood detail in by scrapping the styrene with an Exacto knife to simulate the tie grain.  The next step was to finish off the remaining approach guard rail and secure the whole crossing section the ties using CA glue.  I will once the crossing is in place and working and tested secure it down including the rail with track pins through the ties and into the sub roadbed.
The crossing in place and connected to the other sections of rail...
I have cut the electrical isolation gaps into the crossing based on a wiring diagram for PECO Electrofrog Crossings and the Fastracks template for a 60 degree crossing.
I have also tested the crossing with an NMRA gauge and ran both a single truck through and several pieces of rolling stock.  The crossing has performed perfectly with all the rolling stock across so far.  The only issue I'm facing currently is the electrical wiring side, and I am seeking some advice.
The whole L&T branch is a reversing section and both ends that meet the outer loop of the JL&T mainline are protected by a PSX-AR auto reverser.  My question is do I completely isolate the crossing and place another auto reverser (I have a Digitrax AR-1) onto the crossing and have it change just the polarity of the crossing for the few times it is needed or can I wire it another way (by either isolation or wiring) that will not require an auto reverser?
Overview shot showing the turnout from the L&T Branch and through the crossing, the 90 degree crossing is a PECO Insulfrog Crossing...
To date I haven't added any track feeders to the crossing, the only power being fed to the crossing is from the L&T turnout (through a PECO Insulfrog), from the 90 degree crossing (PECO Insulfrog) and from the JL&T Module track from the right.  Prior to the installation of the turnout and the crossing all DCC power was working fine, and no shorts or dead track was being produced.
Hopefully someone can explain the way to wire this to prevent any issues.
Cheers,
Jas...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Scratch Building a Crossing - Part 3...


Well some more progress tonight, guard rails installed, and almost ready for wiring...
Once the wiring is sorted and the auto reverser is functioning correctly, I will pin down the rail and ties with track pins this will aid in ensuring all the track is aligned.
Jas...

Scratch Building a Crossing - Part 2...


Hi everyone well today I managed to get some work done on the scratch built crossing for the L&T Branch.  Today was about aligning the the track better as recommended by Alan (LK&O) and doing the ties again, I also cut the remaining electrical gaps into the crossing.
The biggest stage was to glue the ties down to a thin piece of styrene, this allowed me to better align the rails and ensure that when placed on the layout the whole crossing will remain in gauge.
The track alignment is now much better and runs fairly straight from the tangent of the #5 turnout, the siding will hold upto a 60' boxcar.
The remaining steps include adding wiring feeders to the crossing for the addition of a auto-reverser (I already have a PSX-AR) and am looking for recommendations as I think our current one may be overkill if I get another.  The other steps are the additions of the guard rails to the four approaches and the centre square guard rail, once these are added I will run a few locomotives & switches over the crossing to ensure smooth running and no DCC power issues before securing the whole crossing down with PECO Code83 Track Pins.
More to follow soon...
Jas.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Scratch building a Crossing - Part 1...


Part 1...
The angle that the crossing intersects with the JL&T module line was not going to work with a pre made 90 degree crossing.  So I started the scratch build last night, and have made the basic form of the crossing.
I first placed a piece of sheet styrene under the section of rail that the crossing would go, I then marked the rail alignment onto the styrene, and then added the intersecting new section and marked that onto the styrene, this then gave me the template to work from.
I then used the PECO Code 83 ties as the guide to hold the rail while I cut the rails to fit, this also included filing down the outside rail bottom so that the other section of rail finished flush with the other rail and allowed it to be soldered.
Once the crossing was soldered and secured it was time for a test fit...
The new crossing next to existing L&T branch crossing (90 degree PECO Code 83)...

Overview shot of the new siding, turnout & crossing...
The plan is to next glue the ties onto a thin sheet of styrene to lock in the configuration and keep the track in alignment and gauge.  Then I will glue the rails in place onto the ties and spike too, once this is done I will use a Dremel tool to cut the gaps in the rails to isolate each section.
At this stage everything is hinging on the rail staying secured to the ties after I cut all the gaps, I will add some small angle braces made from brass and solder these on once the electrical isolation gaps are cut in.  I have already ran a few pieces of rolling stock & locomotives over it and they all went through with passing colours.
Jas...