Layout Update: Feb 28, 2019 – Georgetown Jct Overhaul

Well, a lot has happened on the layout since my last update, but some of the work would be difficult to spot unless you saw the before & after. Essentially the entire Georgetown Junction (GJ) area has been completely removed and re-worked. I spent some time talking to Matt R. and visiting the Junction area itself with Kelly R. After a lot of discussion and thought, I realized that my original track alignment worked for the model railroad only marginally; my prized Precision Scale B&O Q1c mikado would barely negotiate the curved turnout I had in place. This would not do. Also, I had used two successive Micro Engineering #6 turnouts; one LH and one RH, to create the team tracks and GB main. Not only was this not prototypical but it created a nasty S-curve on the main that looked wonky. I decided that it all needed to come out and the two ME #6’s would be replaced with two Walthers-Shinohara #8 RH turnouts and the curved turnouts would be replaced with wider counterparts. What I didn’t realize is just how much track would have to come up to achieve this goal. ALL of the track from where the staging enters the room down to the Rock Creek trestle had to be removed! All of it! I had to remove road bed (where I could) and reposition it. I had to cut away at glued-down-and-painted roadbed and add more to allow placement of switches. Track feeders were snipped and valleys filled with concrete patch and plaster of Paris. The outcome is that there are more curves and they are much more easy for the trains to navigate. The turnouts the team track yard at GJ is fantastic and looks a lot more prototypical. Downside- the trains switching the yard will have to utilize some of the staging track to perform moves. This is not a huge problem, as the access is not very limiting, but will require folks to move around a bit to get to their train. The good news is that switching the team track yard is not very complex. These were usually used for setting out large cuts of cars and not lots of elaborate moves. Here are some images showing my progress:

Here you can see how the main and the coal trestle siding have been re-worked at Geo. Jct.
All of the switches are being replaced and the alignment is being reworked to be more prototypical and flow better.
I am in the process of reworking all of the turnouts and track at the Junction.
B&O GP7 703 idles on the passing siding at Chevy Chase.
A view of the new turnouts at Geo. Jct. I replaced the #6 LH turnouts with #8 RH turnouts. Reworking the track required removing ALL of the track from the junction down to the trestle and re-positioning and rewiring it. Worth it, though!
All of the track here was reworked. I swapped out the curved turnouts for broader ones. I also completely realigned the team track yard turnouts and replaced them with #8’s. Previously, the turnouts were left hand. Now, they more closely follow the prototype and are right handed.
All of the track at Geo. Jct. was re-worked over the last couple weeks. Here you can see the west side of the area. Note how the main curves away further to the left to make room for larger radius curved turnouts.
This is the Chevy Chase section nearly complete. Track is not completed into the T.W. Perry siding to the right. I will be reconfiguring the team track siding a bit to reduce the curvature. I will also be building a scale model of the Rock Creek trestle to replace the temporary bridge.
Here you can see the lead coming off the Junction tracks. This is going to be a functional lead, as trains that are spotting/picking up cars at Geo. Jct. are going to need the space to work.
This shelf fiddle yard is my staging yard and future programming track. (the short stub at the bottom is electrically isolated) I will probably upgrade the switch machines to more robust hand throws. The Atlas throws are very flaky.
Trains span the doorway on this drop-down bridge. There are rare-earth magnets glued to the board and some lag bolts in the joists above so that the bridge lifts up and stays up when not in use. This is how trains access “Eckington Yard”, which I use for staging.

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