The “Last Spike” on Liberty Village

Last night I reached a fairly major milestone on my layout. I laid the last piece of rail. I say the “Last Spike” as that is the railway vernacular, but there are actually no spikes anywhere on my layout!! All my track is glued to the benchwork, no spikes for handlaid rail or holding the track down! Maybe I should paint an HO Scale spike gold and put it in as a reminder (though where it is will be buried in a road eventually!)

The last piece before and after gluing down and sliding on the rail joiners.

After the Saturday work session with some friends, and follow up on Sunday, this was actually a fairly short and sweet task, but no less important. From bare room in June 2018, to benchwork in August 2018, to track complete in January 2020, its been a journey. I’ve learned a lot about track planning and translating that from a computer to the real world, about installing track, wiring, and soldering.

Academy Award winning content…or not, but I tried!

To capture the video, I set my DSLR up on a tripod on the benchwork and pointed it down at where i was working, it was a rather ungainly looking setup, but I couldn’t figure out another way. It was a one and done thing, if the video had been much worse I wouldn’t have posted it, but its just bad enough that I’m ok sending it out to be foisted upon the world!

IMG_1241DSLR on a tripod with an LED work light wrapped around the camera strap for lighting.

Tonight, to follow up I started to get track feeders soldered onto the rest of the rail that was laid but not ready for wiring. I drilled the holes and placed the wire last night after the Last Spike Ceremony (me standing by the layout with a dumb grin realizing that I’ve actually hit a pretty awesome milestone). Tonight I got down to two pairs of feeders that I couldn’t easily install without moving the bookcases beneath the layout again, as I need to be able to fiddle with the wire from beneath to get the tinned end bent into an L shape beneath the rail and to push up while I solder that to the bottom of the rail. They will only take about 5 minutes to do whenever I pull the bookcases out to connect all the new feeders to the DCC bus.

Feeders and connectors going in for the peninsula now that the track is laid.

The rest of my week is fairly busy, so I probably won’t get much layout time for the next few days, but the weather forecasters are saying 20-25cm of snow on Saturday, if that doesn’t sound like a day to stay inside and work on models, I don’t know what is!