Top Route

Ordered the tightest radius curves Kato makes for the attempt at a mining and logging short line.
As the Top route. (cuz the high route is going so well.)


Geomorphology - Beginnings of the High Route

Old Corner Module (right)
Sub-Module (left). Built from a legless left over T-Trak single.

Not yet a thing of beauty.

Lots of learning potential!

Tweaking the West Module

Well,… decided the engineering of the "Top Route" was getting unnecessarily complicated with the racks and "West Module" standing out from the wall so,… after some RaillModeler fiddling, the West Module is now attached to the wall (disconnectable) and the loopback is eliminated. It seems that this new configuration makes for more realistic and interesting operations capability.
  1. Dock Spur
  2. Barge
  3. Mill
  4. Quarry/Mine Chute
  5. Mill
  6. Passenger Terminal in City (2 spurs)
  7. Log Transfer (planned)

Update Jul 30 '13 image

High Route Inclines

Bought a couple sets of 4% Woodland Scenics inclines for the High Route.
The 4% incline seemed too tall at 4 inches and the last secton became unnecessary. 3% might have been better.
After test fitting the inclines the layout design/plan got a little tweaking.

29 July Plan Update

Update Jul 29 '13image

The high route becomes a very simple (straight) line across the West side of the layout.

Top Route Operations

Top route will now be a separate point to point logging and mining "line"

Mining Operations

hauling mine ore to the ore chute on the high route level dumping to a spur on the lower level. Inspired by this,…
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and this,…
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Logging Operations

The high route includes a transfer point for loading logs from the top route to the highroute.

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Sidewalks & Trees


Urban Module Work

A few pick-ups from eBay


and some "Down Town" buildings. Heavy paint and not quite "Square". (Not that I have any room to critique)

Moved the platform to the back of the station.

Trying different combinations of the buildings. And cleaned up the paint a bit.

I think the station will get a fancy roundabout like DC Union Station.

Another module on module approach for the city buildings.

Sandpaper "roads" - not bad.

The track in front is the dock line.

Saw Pit Store


Super Modules

4 x 3 ft
and 19" x 5 '


Installed, track transfered, and trains running.

I may reuse the old T-Trak modules for the HO Christmas train?

Module Re-Work

Chopped all 4 corners down to 2 3/4" + feet.

Pull the corners out.

I sawed them at the glue line (a bear) and then removed the 3/4 piece and glued them back to the plywood base.

Still a bit tall for the "std" but look much nicer lower.

Now I need to build the two new "super modules" and transfer the track from the existing modules.
Then I'm back on track (no pun intended)😉

Today's Planning Quandary

working Jul 15 '13

3 "Super Modules"

  1. The Yard Module (15x60)
  2. The Urban Module (18x60)
  3. The West Module (32x48)
At some point an "upper" module probably just for short logging trains

Issues to Resolve:

The current modules were built over-tall. The yard module is of reasonable height, the existing "Siding" and "Urban" modules will be scrapped, but the 4 corners will need to be addressed,…
  • Incorporate into "Super Modules" - limits flexibility (but is that an issue?)
  • Rebuild - worth a try. cut out a section of foam and re glue. <==
  • Build new - (I don't like building modules)
  • Use as is - would need to block up the modules.


My "goal" design has evolved to some form of finality but I am begining to recognize that the T-Trak modules are too small for a home layout.

working Jul 10 &#39;13 image

Modified (hybrid) Approach

Incorporate the "siding" modules into a new large 36" deep module which will include a new South Loopback (with an industry or two), and also support a segment of the high route track.

High Route

Start the high route off the outside "mainline" in the Yard module and reconnect with the inside "mainline", after a double crossover in the "city", connecting on the "duck-under" "bridge".
Still some "magic happens here" for the supports of the high route corners.

Kato #4s

Seems like if yer paying $30+ for a turnout ya shouldn't need to spend a couple hrs "tuning" it.
This replacement from FHS is faulty in yet another way. The cross piece on the end of the blades is "warped' or bent. The straight through blade doesn't touch the rail. Spent quite a bit of time to make is serviceable.

NW Transition Corner

I think Sir Toppenhat's Mansion will perch up here. Overlooking his station. While the trains rumble through the tunnel below.
Or maybe the once grand mansion is now restored as a museum and the surrounding area's now a park?
Hmmm, his lawn looks a bit scruffy.