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.
I didn’t get a shot in of the platform after I moved it, but here is a pretty boring? view of the loopback board. I could’ve made a curved platform a bit wider than the track to better use the open frame benchwork, but that space always comes in handy to store something… and it has other benefits for someone like me whose plans are still evolving, more on that later.
The 2mm thick cork trackbed was glued down using copydex; smells dreadful but surprisingly good for the job as it is a rubberised glue. The cork was roughly fitted to fit the curve of the track (9″ radius fleischmann set-track that I already had) with the idea that it will be trimmed around the track later on.
And once more with the track fitted. The track had its fishplates removed and new ones fitted, to which I’ve soldered the dropper wires. There is a pair of dropper wires between two curves, and those two sets are connected together with metal fishplates. The point is powered solely through the fishplates and isn’t directly connected to dropper wires, this is partly due to where it sits on the loopback board and a sense that I’m alright relying on the lesser electrical connection there. The track to the right of the point is flexi-track. As you can see in the photo’s, it sticks out from the baseboard to connect to the station platform. This was planned, and while the connection and wires may look fairly weak, because both boards are firmly mounted to the bench there isn’t any stress in this joint; despite this, moreso to mount a small covered section over the track to model the tunnel, I’ve mounted a support piece in between the two boards.
I use these terminal blocks underneath the boards to wire in the dropper wires from the track. I’m not a 100% sure yet how I want to wire things exactly, and it never hurts to give yourself options down the line. So here I made a couple of wires with crimped on connectors to easily connect the station platform and the loopback board to my DCC controller. Because, after all, it is about running a train, even if it is a small stretch and you have to reverse back!