Today I didn’t do all that much, but to me it looks like so so much. I’ve started the village board! I didn’t take any pictures of the process since it is so incredibly simple… It is a piece of rectangular ply that I’ve cut a bit off at an angle. I measured the distance to the wall on the left and right side of the station platform back wall, and marked that on my ply (I calculated the length as well, but the difference with the diagional was negligible at 5mm, as expected), clamped a piece of sacrificial 1×4 to the ply to act as a guide between these two points.. and simply sawed it off with a hand saw. Who needs fancy tools eh?
The buildings I put up there aren’t going to be the buildings I will eventually put up there. But they do show what I had in mind with this station platform when I started working on it (I built the platform before I even had the materials for my benchwork). And I have to admit, it is so inspiring to see that image I had in my head in real life. The board is still just clamped in place and not fixed down, I just wanted to be able to see what I have to work with before I continue.
Next up is going to be the two bridges for the platform tracks to continue past my signal box, and the road underneath that leads down to the harbour. I have quite a ramp to build… But I’m sure it’ll be delightful to work on it.
So continueing from where I left off; to add the two tracks to the fiddleyard to store trains, and to put in the reversing loop. Even though I don’t have a reversing module yet, I wanted to get the track in so it is easy to put in the module and have it operational, without the need to put in more track when the time comes. The reversing loop is intended to be used with my future harbour (of which the board with track is candidly visible sometime, though I’ll write that up once I can actually start work on it in earnest).
Time for a little Review
There isn’t much to say about installing this track, it was similar to the other track I put in. But that does lead onto my experiences putting this track in so far. There are a million tutorials online on how to lay track and flexitrack, but I find that the vast majority of them use Peco track. However, since I already had some Fleischmann track and points, and already being familiar with their track system, I continued using that. A shame there aren’t any tutorials that use Fleischmann flexitrack!
I wonder why…
It is lovely track, it comes with a decent looking trackbed and the flexitrack uses a type of rubber for it which I reckon actually helps reduce noise transmission into the baseboard. The points are high quality and no fuss really, plus their propietary point motors handily slot into them ensuring a perfect placement.
But… it isn’t all good. If a point is faulty, like the one shown in the previous post, it is very difficult to repair. I didn’t manage. There is a small spring inside of the point that is extremely finicky to place, and it has a strong tendency to come out when removing and fitting the underside of the point. The flexitrack, while the rubber ballast makes it look pretty with no additional effort, is a double edged sword. The majority looks good, but where you have to join it to points or other track, you’ll have to cut it back, and you will have to sort that area out yourself. Try getting those areas to look the same as the rest of the pre-formed ballast. On top of this the flexi-track, while flexible, actually doesn’t flex all that easily. I find it difficult to even approach 2nd/9″ radius curves, so difficult I had to resort to using a piece of curved set-track in the above reversing loop. And just to add insult to injury, Fleischmann track is 2 to 3 times as expensive as Peco track.
Putting the upsides next to the downsides of Fleischmann track; it is no wonder most tutorials use Peco track. Their range is more extensive, cheaper and just a guess based on the number of people I’ve found to speak ill of their track products, far easier to use.
Think I won’t be using Fleischmann track on my next layout. And as bad as it may come out in this review, I’ll continue to use it for this layout. The majority of the track is already down after all.
The plan for my layout doesn’t include a fiddleyard, but they’re handy to have to store trains and rolling stock off-scene. Since I don’t intend to run a whole lot simultaneously, I figured I put in a small hidden fiddleyard. Normally you’d have to accessible to swap out rolling stock, but again, I don’t intend to run a whole lot of variety on this layout, so a hidden inaccessible one should be fine for my needs.
So there is still work to be done on the fiddleyard. There is more track to be put down, put terminal blocks in to wire these tracks up to my controller and ofcourse, run more trains!
So a problem I’ve had is that I put my station platform in the middle of my table. While that is a nice focal point, trying to fit any sort of loopback in proved to be very difficult.. maybe impossible? The only realistic solution was to move the station platform over to the right. The benefits of this change were just too many to ignore; I can fit a loopback on the lefthand side, I can remove the loopback from sight with the backscene which coincidentally reduces the amount of resin I need for the water as well as making it easier to put in the illusion that the cliffs don’t protect the pier too much from the ocean.