Thursday, July 7, 2022

Industries at Acca Yard

 Acca has had, and continues to have, a number of industrial spurs in the yard area proper.

In the era that I am modeling, I am utilizing a number of them. They are not in the exact location on the layout, that they are geographically on the prototype, but in general, they are nearby.

Most of the industries are the the northwest side of the yard in real life. The major exception that comes to mind, is Transflo, which is the transloading area of the yard. In a previous iteration, that area was used as a container loading and unloading ramp. 

On the layout, they are all put on the northeast side, off the number 1 advance track.

In this shot, we are looking railroad north and the NA interlocking is just above the center of the photo. You can see the bag of ties right above the scissors crossover - the NA crossovers are right there.

This track layout has 3 dedicated spurs - 2 for the concrete and gravel operation, and 1 for a lumberyard. The runaround area might be used as an offspot, haven't committed to that right now.

All this rail is code 70, from Microengineering.

Gluing ties down. 

I used a gray-ish stain for the ties around the concrete plant to give the impression of lots of cement spills and dust building up over the years.

I'm going to use a standard, dark brown stain, on the rest of the ties.

More photos on richmond-terminal's gallery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A word about handlaying and ties

 I use individual wood ties when I handlay. The ties I use currently are standard crossties for HO, from Mt. Albert scale lumber. Mt. Albert is now owned by Fast Tracks, but there are a couple other places that supply ties, if memory serves.

The ties are made from sugar pine, and are fairly soft, so you have to be a bit gentle when you spike, as if you slip, you can easily crush the tie and leave an unsightly mess.

You can stain before you install them, via soaking in stain, or you can stain after you glue them down.

I use plain white Elmer's glue, straight from the bottle, to glue ties to either cork or homasote. I put down a bead, and then use a finger to spread it out nicely.

I've installed ties one by one, which is doable, but super slow, and keeping consistent spacing can be tough.

Fast Tracks makes a couple of jigs to help with this, so here's two shots of the jig in use.

I do have a spot motion style video of me placing ties in the jib, but as I'm still learning the camera, it is only a second long, so seems pointless to post. Going to have to continue to experiment with that.

Ties placed in the jig

Final step is to you a thin strip of blue painter's tape to get the ties out and have a tie roll to quickly install them.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Structures? Inconceivable!

 I am building many of the kits that I salted away over the years for installation on the railroad. Certainly, I am not the world's best structure builder, but you can only improve by doing it.

I know this violates my "not a pound for air to ground" mantra about scenery, but as the layout presents significantly more finished than raw, unlike version 1, I think I should embrace the change.


Here's the concrete plant on the North end of Acca. Prototypically, this should be more towards the center of the yard, and on the opposite side of the tracks from where it is here, but as model railroading is a compromise, it sits here, on the end of what will be a long spur using smaller than mainline rail.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Handlaying track

 Long time supporters of the Richmond terminal will remember that there were a couple of fully handlaid track sections on version 1 of the layout.

Version 2 isn't any different, and if anything, more track is being handlaid than before.

Here's a segment inside the south Acca trackage that was haidlaid on individual ties:

And the North Acca industrial area, all handlaid code 70!

Another post will discuss this area, properly the number 1 advance track industries, in more detail.

Friday, July 1, 2022

South Acca Ladder Build

 The south end of Acca is intended to be the focal point of yard operations, as trains arriving from the south end staging yard will stop here to drop off and pick up cars for forwarding further north, and the locals will be built on this side as well.

The north side of Acca will be used to switch the industries there, and provide overflow track capacity for Northbound trains.

To support all this work, a fairly complex track arrangement was necessary.

Final track layout, and rail is being cut before the build begins.

Some of the turnouts built and placed in the general location of install.

I was able to reuse the classification yard ladder from version 1 on this side of the yard, speeding construction immensely.

Here is a shot of installation in progress:

More photos on the gallery on the full website.