Well, it’s been awhile since I updated the blog. I have pretty much completed laying the track and necessary wiring. In fact, I’ve been doing some switching already. Here’s some pictures…
Finally at a point where I can set my layout back up. I am starting with the North End of the “L”-shaped layout. I really wasn’t happy with the original track and wiring so I am starting over fresh but with basically the same plan.
The new floor is installed and it came out great! I can now start setting the layout modules back up.
I’m having new flooring put in the room where the layout resides. This meant moving everything out. Fortunately, it was easy to disconnect the modules and move them temporarily to another room. This is exactly why I decided on building my layout based on modules. Of course I have to admit that the reason I need to put in new flooring (vinyl tile) is because it was difficult to move the modules on the original carpeting. It should be much easier with the new floor. Here are some “BEFORE” pictures. The “AFTER” will be posted when the installation is done.
Since this is an O-Scale layout I wanted the surface to be solid so I installed MDF board on each module. I hinged them so I could easily work on the wiring rather than crawl underneath. I used standard door hinges from the local big-box hardware store. I have found that once I finished the wiring and tested everything I would rarely need to mess with it again. My prior N-Scale layout used thin plywood for the surface. I also had remote switches controlled from a control panel. This current layout only has manual Gargraves switches. This means the only holes in the surface are feeder wires to the track.
This photo shows how tightly the modules join together…Nice!
The second locomotive on the Helotes Switching Company layout is the SW-1500. The EMD SW-1500 was a 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) Diesel-electric locomotive intended for switching service and built by General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division between June 1966 and January 1974. 808 examples were constructed.