Saturday 19 November 2022

Relaying the track

After removing all the old ballast and track I then had to carefully remove any leftover impact adhesive from the old track. Once that was removed it was a case of smoothing it off with a wooden block and some medium grade sandpaper and it was ready to go.

Then it was a case of cutting up the sleepers with a razor saw. The early Cartwright and Russel book on the WLLR states that the sleepers were 6' x 9" x 4.5" at 3' spacing. That meant they should be 24mm on the model but as the track gauge is 1mm smaller than it should be, I decided to cut them to 23mm to keep the visible ratio correct. I used a razor saw and the wooden ones were easy but the fibreglas ones were hard work. Thankfully I only needed 6 - two at each end and two at the track join.

I then went over the trackbed and marked out 12mm spacing and a line of where the far rail should be. the expectation was that I would lay the far rail first and then lay the second rail spaced off that. The first rail was glued to the sleepers with impact adhesive, doing around 12 sleepers worth a time. Once glued and aligned it was weighted down with a metal block.

  After that the second rail could be glued down and spaced off the first rail using the 3 point gauges which were themselves held down with the metal block. Again, I could do about 12 sleepers at a time, and chose to leave the weight on for around an hour before moving to the next section.

Eventually, once it was all down, I just had to solder the track to the copper clad strip, reconnect the wires and run the first train.

The impact adhesive is a messy way of laying track and I am not sure I would continue to do it the same way for a larger layout. that said, it was all made a lot harder by being an afterthough and having to work within the fascia.

Onto the ballasting, a job that very few people like...

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