For a while now I have been contemplating hand laying the track for Picton. After bugging a lot of people for information and then trying to convince myself that Peco code 83 is perfectly fine, I decided to take the plunge and ordered three No.8 point kits from the Proto 87 Store. I am not modelling in P87 however Andy (Proto 87 Store) offers high end 'Ultimate' point kits suitable for RP25-88 & 110 wheels.
Rob (Picton Blog) has built quite a few of these point kits and offered much advise. One of his tips was to utilise strategically placed copper clad sleepers in lieu of only using timber and glue. If anyone has built one of these only using glue and timber I would love to hear about your results and how robust the assembly ends up being.
The kit comes with a million etched tie plates which need to be cut then positioned between the sleeper and rail. These tie plates were soldered to the rail and sleeper very carefully so the spike detail was not lost in a pool of solder.
Using a Greg Edwards data sheet I found constructing the point fairly straight forward. It is not yet complete and not 100% perfect however for my first attempt I am pretty happy. I am having difficulty with gauge narrowing around the point blades. A set of wheels with properly set back to back dimensions have no problem tracking through however I still want my track work to be fairly universal. Maybe this is asking to much?
Well, am I convinced that I need code 70 and 55 track? On one hand I think it looks better and having prototypical NSWGR track work is a plus but on the other is it really worth the amount of effort? Hopefully I can answer this for myself after building a few more.
I have included a few photos of the build so far along with a comparison shot of a Peco No.8 code 83 point. I am glad I have had a crack at this as I have always put building track in the too hard basket. Still to go are all the timber sleepers, check rails and throw bars, still a few hours in it Arrrrrrrg!
While on the subject of learning something, I attended the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention yesterday. I had a great day and caught up with many people. One such person was Geoff, author of the Splitters Swamp Creek Blog. Geoff's scenery display was outstanding, I can only imagine how good the rest of his layout looks in the flesh! I will have to get up to Brisbane one of these days.
All the presentations I sat in on yesterday were very interesting. The military equipment lecture by Rohan Ferguson was impressive! I think Rohan probably knows more about armoured military equipment than the Army themselves! Very knowledgeable.
I think the operation lecture by Mark and Ben was very important. I don't think a lot of railway modellers have an appreciation of just how long operations take on 1:1 railways. It was great to get a run down on older era operations and an insight into marker light illumination meanings.
All in all a very good day and one I recommend to everyone. Thankyou to all the organisers, presenters and commercial stands for making it a great day.
Well that's it for now. Back to bashing my head on a wall in regards to track! If Micro Engineering made a No.8 point the decision would already be made. I used to be happy with code 100. What happened to that sensible bloke?
Thanks for reading this crap,
P.S. If I spelt anyone's name incorrectly in this post I am sorry. Your welcome to change your name so it reflects this post more accurately.