First Track Laid for Liberty Village

Another week, another layout milestone. I was having a rough day the other day, lots of things going on with work and just got home feeling beat. I was looking for something to put a smile on my face in the layout room. I’ve held off on doing any track laying until my switches are built so I can make sure everything lines up at the staging sliders. Despite this, I realized there is some track I can lay in a corner of the room that is scenic only. To hide a corner in the closet at the east end, I have room for a couple of fake tracks to represent the Canadian Pacific Parkdale Yard.

img_7184Cutting foam roadbed and track to fit in the corner to represent Parkdale Yard.

To do this little bit of trackwork, I decided to use up some old Woodland Scenics Foam Roadbed roll. I used this on my previous layout built circa 2003 in my parents old house in Georgetown when I lived at home for a couple of years after finishing university before I was sure my job in Toronto was going to work out, and to let me pay off some student debt before paying rent.

The roadbed in place, with DAP silicone caulk and then track put in place.

The foam roadbed was glued down using Gorilla Wood Glue. I had done a series of tests with a bunch of adhesives to check that it would bond to the pink foam and not melt it with spare off cuts of foam and roadbed. I decided that the Gorilla Wood Glue was the best for these materials. I have to do the test again with the cork roadbed for the working tracks, but that’s a down the road matter.  I have room for two full tracks across the angle of the corner, which I can put some freight cars on to be a visual block for the join between the benchwork and the backdrop. The yard was obviously much bigger than this, but a couple of tracks provides a bit of extra staging and a visual filler for the space.

First rolling stock on the layout on track actually affixed to the benchwork (and yes, I know it’s a CNR Caboose in a CPR yard, I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered to dig in the tubs of stored equipment to find a CPR caboose!!)

While I wait on my switches being finished for the serious track laying to commence, the next time I feel the need to do something, I have a bit of track I can practice painting, weathering and ballasting before the main layout work starts. Happy start to my weekend as well writing this post!

Tuesday Train #134

img_6777Used Geep Lot in Cambridge. We’ve been here before… but this time a pair of GATX Locomotive Leasing GP38-2’s were parked up on the weekend in Cambridge. Since the previous visit, the service is no longer provided by the Goderich & Exeter Railway, but by Canadian National which has taken the line back over. Clearly they don’t have a lot of small units on the roster anymore as they’ve leased these units to provide switching services.img_6779

Filling in the Last Gap around the wall

When I originally designed the layout, I didn’t plan to use all the space in the closet for extra tracks in staging, I didn’t think I needed to, and didn’t want to have to mess around fitting pieces around the shelf brackets. Then I discovered even in the areas I thought the brackets would clear, they didn’t (See here and the fix here). Today I finally had a chance to swing by somewhere with a table saw, and cut a little bit of plywood to fill the last gap we left in construction back in August.

img_7168A hole in the layout, left because the old shelf supports blocked the area, now gaining some extra layout real estate.

Once I test fit the little bit of plywood into the opening, I took it back out and pre-drilled and countersunk where the screws would go, I got it back in, and because of the low overhead height, I hand drilled pilot holes into the cross frames. Once one hole was drilled and a screw put in, the other three were easy.

Hand piloting the holes because of restricted space, and the filler piece installed.

With the plywood in, it was easy work to cut down another bit of the pink foam, and tack it in place with No More Nails cauk. All told, probably took me an hour including cleanup to finally have the around the wall portion of the benchwork all done. Nice way to do the first layout work for 2019!

img_7172Ready for roadbed and track. No more room for a train to fall down behind the layout anymore!

Tuesday Train #133


The view at the Canadian Pacific Railway yard in Smiths Falls Ontario from VIA Train 53 en route to Toronto on Christmas Eve 2018. A leased CEFX General Electric AC4400CW No.1059 leads a Norfolk Southern AC44C6M No. 4111, which is a recently completed (October 2018) rebuild of a GE Dash-9 Number 8861 to convert it from DC current motors to AC current motors and completely modernize and extend the life of the locomotive instead of buying a new locomotive.


And, to top that off, as interesting as the pair of locomotives up front were, the entire train they were hauling was oversized loads. Sections of Wind Turbine tower manufactured by Vestas being shipped somewhere that a wind turbine farm is being built. Some days it really pays to be attentive to whats outside the window while you’re dozing on the train.