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Have not done much. Things went down hill real fast with my back - upshot lower back surgery on Nov 20 (T12 down to L5). Never did anything in a small way...............

I am filling in some space in the back. My plan is an elevated section with an industrial building front (got a bunch of old Korber flats) plus a straight track not connected to the layout. I figure it would be a good place to store box cars rather then in a closet. I have enough room for a 3 inch side wall, docks plus the track.

Prescott Layout Nov 2018 001

Prescott Layout Nov 2018 002


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I'm back (no pun intended). Surgery was Nov 22. It took a bit to get into shape enough to start bending over the layout. Fortunately doc only needed to scrape bone on all 6 discs. My legs don't hurt anymore and that is a blessing.

I am trying something new for me on an elevated section of the layout. Jury is till out on how it will look. I had some Woodland Scenics vinyl sand mats left over so cut them into sections to lay over the foam inclines. I used a heat gun to bend the mat into place then hot glue on the edges to glue into place. I went over the edges with the heat gun again to remelt and flatten any rough sections. There is a seam I need to cover up. The plan is to place cork roadbed then ballast. Hopefully more sand over the seams plus scenery will work.

Guess we will see what happens


Prescott Layout 001

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Joe, Welcome back!!  I'm glad you got relief, but that sounds nasty what the doctor had to do.  I only have one bulging disc, but it is pressing on the sciatic nerve.  The doctor hopes a steroid shot will cause the disc to not bulge as much and get off that nerve.  We will see.

As to the layout, I think the vinyl sand mats looks great covering the foam risers.  So far, so good I would say!

Thanks guys

I was getting epidural shots. They work great until they stop working (that's why the surgery). I still get them - once every three months for my neck which affects my right arm.

I had some sand I purchased from Hobby Lobby a while back. I spread wallboard putty over the seam in a small section and poured the sand over it. It worked good except the sand is the wrong color. I have an email into Woodland Scenics asking if there is a fine ballast or some other product that has the same color as the sand mats.


Did a little work on the layout - actually backwards. As shown below my original intent was to glue the Woodland Scenics vinyl mats across the foam risers.

It was a neat idea that did not work out. No matter how hard I tried to glue the mat down it was always loose. Screwing the track down through the track bed and the foam risers will not work unless I could find #4 screws over 1 1/2 inch long. Plus I found out when placing the track bed the risers were too narrow (so much for planning ahead).

So I removed the vinyl, cut some pink foam and glued it to the sides of the risers. I then used a wire foam cutter to bring the pink foam down roughly to the height of the riser. By the way lay some painters blue tape on the riser when using the foam wire cutter otherwise the wire will go right through the foam riser. I finished off by hand sanding with 60 grit paper to smooth everything out.

I also cut away some of the vinyl mat on both sides of the riser (not shown below). I will tape in some paper next week to create an 'embankment' then try plaster cloth.

Prescott Layout May 2019 [1)

Prescott Layout May 2019 [3)

Prescott Layout May 2019 [4)

Prescott Layout May 2019 [5)


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Finally did some more work. I am going to try plaster cloth. I spent the last few weeks setting up for it. I found that if I spread foam glue between the paper and the risers it holds the paper better while I use tape.

I have come to the conclusion I don't know what I am doing but I am having fun not knowing...........


2019-07-14 Prescott Layout July 2019 006

2019-07-14 Prescott Layout July 2019 003



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Last edited by Joe Fauty

finally got back to laying track and promptly ran into a proble hopefully some one can help with. fist the update then the problem.

I laid all the track from the start of the incline all the way to the back of the layout at the end of the incline. As you can see I have feeder wires every where - probably overkill but I sure don't want to find 'dead spots' down the road. I usually use split jaw connectors but did not want to drill through the plaster cloth and foam inclines so I am going back to the rail joiner method for this portion of track.




Now the problem - I usually simply screw the track through the road bed to the plywood using Atlas O track screws. I even bought some longer 1 in screws from ACE. However these are not long enough. The screw will not hold down the track and road bed on the plaster cloth / foam incline (figure about 1.5 inches). I have foam tack glue I can use don the road bed to plaster cloth but what about the track????????????? ALL SUGGESTIONS WELCOMED!
What ever method is recommended I will try drilling the hole for the screws and filling with super glue then using the screws.




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Some progress

I ran an experiment. I know Woodland Scenics foam tack glue will work on cork roadbed to the plaster cloth but I was not sure about Atlas O plastic ties to the cork. Fortunately I also have Mod Podge Matte I use for other purposes. So I glued some spare track down to scrap pieces of cork, let it dry overnight under weight. The next day I tried peeling the track from the cork. That glued with foam tack glue came right up. That glued with the Mod Podge stayed put.

I have glued down some road bed and will keep working on it. The track is not glued down. I used it to align the road bed especially on the curves. At first I stuck Woodland Scenics foam tack pins through the roadbed and into the plaster cloth so the roadbed would not move. Then I placed the weights on the track. After about an hour or so I move on to the next set of road bed.

I am using MidWest cork. I like this stuff. It stays pliable even after paint. I don't remember the other brand I used but it turned so stiff after paint that it would break when one tried to use it on a curve.


Prescott Layout 08-18-19 [1)

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Last edited by Joe Fauty

All the cork has been glued down to the plaster cloth. I have just started gluing the track to the cloth using the Mod Podge. I also dripped some super glue on a track screw and drove it into the foam. I'm not too sure how this is going to go.


I thought about dropping in ballast while the glue under the track was wet but decided against it since the track is fairly loose and needed to be weighted down as soon as possible.

Once I finish gluing track U will be going back to wiring. I have three independent power districts each with its own power brick and powermaster (I am only running Legacy). The basic wire scheme consists of running power and ground from each power brick through the powermaster. The grounds from the three powermasters are connected to one terminal. From there I have wires running to various terminals under the layout. In effect all track has a common ground. Power goes from each powermaster to its own terminal board. Power is then routed to other terminal boards within each power district. For spurs I want to control power to I run power to a toggle switch on a control board to a dedicated terminal then to the track. It's overkill but I am using 10 watt SPST toggle switches.


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Finally got run some trains in a circle - for me an event!



I will start wiring for the inside loop next week. This is mostly Atlas O track so I am reserving the Splitjaws for this track. I bought some Ross pins / pigtails and spent the afternoon soldering extension wires on them. These will be used for the various yards where Ross track governs.


The white wires on the track are for non-derail of Ross turnouts.

Took an aside and photographed a small diorama I have on the layout. This is a scrap yard sort of. I purchased a Lionel tool shed that has a crane sound package inside. I also bought a couple of Preiser packaged figures I will place in the diorama. The gantry crane is a Lionel command control. I thought I was not much on motorized accessories but this crane is a bunch of fun to run and it works/looks great on the Gargraves gantry track! The traveling crane, wood water tower, maintenance shed and inspection stand are my designs.







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Remember that old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Well I decided to fix it. There are some O54 Atlas O turnouts is hard to get areas so I decided to replace them with Ross O54. Only I forgot that Atlas O are 22.5 degrees and Ross O54's are 30 degrees. So out went all the Atlas O O54 curves - I could recover by using two 1/3 O81's but decided against it. I also did screw up and ordered a O64 Ross turnout which turned out to be fortunate since it is a 22.5 allowing me to use Atlas O stock.

I did some reconnoitering and came up with a fix that involves no new purchases and also solves an issue I had with a siding (no way to bring in or remove cars - I wanted a resident locomotive there). I put the Atlas O turnout back where it belongs and am using the three Ross turnouts in the siding are to the left. Down the road I will start replacing the Atlas O switch motors with Z-Stuff DZ1000's. This way one isolated rail and one wire will control non-derail.

timesaver 2d rev 2 054 Ross 1a


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I wired in one siding over the weekend that consisted of all Ross track. I used something new for me to connect track power and ground. Not sure if these are Gargraves or Ross product. They are track pins with wires soldered to the bottom. The jury is still out on these. If the pins are pushed too hard into the rails the solder joints shear and break. If one pulls too hard on the wires after installation some of the joints fail. However once installed since the wires go straight down they are almost impossible to see.

I also place these pins at the ends of the spur where they excel. I can also attach the bumper lights to the pins. I will hide the wires later with ballast and scenery.



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