It has been some time since i spent some meaningful and productive time in the layout room but with the some time off over the easter break, a couple of long outstanding tasks have been addressed.
Firstly a start was made on the required lift out section across the doorway. This void in the landscape has prevented a continuous circuit of the layout being completed and with the lift out section in place will certainly throw down the mental gauntlet to getting on and laying some more track. The benchwork design to the right of the doorway ( when viewed from inside the train room ) has a roughly 45 degree angle as it protrudes from the wall and this has proved to be a pain in the proverbial when designing the lift out. I am not entirely sure how this stroke of stupidity made it's way into the original bench construction...I feel sure it most likely had a viable ( at the time ) reasoning...but that reasoning now escapes me. To square of this benchwork now, would incorporate far too much modification which may affect rigidity.
Ensuring continual alignment of the running rails across the transition between benchwork & lift out section is certainly a valid reason why some people elect to just incorporate a permanent duck-under arrangement...but with the sheer size of the layout room, coupled with the inclusions i have planned and the fact that i will be entering & exiting the room for a lot of years to come...I felt a liftout section was warranted.
The design... The deck of the liftout section is a common or garden 90mm x 35mm piece of dressed framing timber with 50mm x 25mm x 3mm aluminium angle being screwed to the sides of the deck to add long term rigidity plus allowing a modicum of safety to prevent errant locos or wagons from dropping to the floor if a derailment occurs. I could have utilised cheaper, mild steel angle iron... but the weight factor coupled with the fact I have plenty of this angle on hand ( thanks to the sign business )....dictated this decision. Mounting cleats of the same material were fashioned and attached to the existing benchwork coping. The last design element that needed to be achieved was my personal need to have independent adjustment of the deck so that as time goes by if there is any movement in the benchwork through seasonal changes or age...I will be able to adjust the liftout deck to cope with these fluctuations. To address this I have incorporated individual adjustment at the four deck bearing points via locating pins fitted with nylock nuts. This will give vertical adjustment as well as fine lateral adjustment across the deck if any mis alignment of the track occurs. If required securing nuts can also be fitted at each bearing point.
The next step will be laying the track in a continuous length across the span and approach benchwork, ballasting and then utilising the dremel to carefully cut the rail and ballast sections at the transitions. Wiring and plugs for powering the liftout will be incorporated as well. It will be interesting to see if this section is a success or I revert to the fall back position of a duck-under. I will post a follow up when the trackwork is in place and the liftout is fully detailed.
|Angled end of the liftout showing "bearing" points|
|Angle to be transitioned...|