The Prewar T-Rail Layout

(click on any pic for a larger version...)

The diagram above shows the t-rail portion of the layout. The main board is 33' x 7½'. Track in black is the loop and yards on the main level. Track in green is a t-rail dogbone. It begins underneath the existing SG layout, emerges at zero elevation and then climbs a 3% grade, looping once around the mountain before disappearing to the upper reversing loop (inside the mountain).

Higher up the mountain (indicated in dotted track) is the Lionel OO dogbone. Both reversing loops are hidden inside the mountain, so you'll only see two levels of the train looping up the top of the mountain. Track in blue are hidden sections where I'm cheating by using Marklin T-Rail to suppliment my stock of vintage Lionel T-Rail.

If it all works as planned, the 700E Hudson with freight set will emerge on the right side of the layout, chug up the grade, climb around the mountain a couple of times, and disappear. Moments later, its OO clone will reemerge at the top of the mountain, continue the climb, and disappear again. After a suitable interval, The OO construct will come back down its grade, disappear, and reappear in O gauge to complete the descent. We shall see...


Five Days' Construction
(November 12 - November 16, 2018)

After years of talking about it -- and fiddling with layout design with RR-Track -- I finally made the trip to Home Depot for lumber with best-friend-Bob and got the blasted thing started. I only had 5 days (and only 4 hours on three of those days...)

End of Day 1

3 sections...

End of Day 2

5 sections...

End of Day 3

7 sections...

End of Day 4

All 8 sections, a base coat, and the first part of the dogbone grade... (OK, I'm a sloppy painter even with masking tape.)

Well, it's not a lot - but at least it's a start. And FYI, bolting those tiny fishplates onto the track with even tinier nuts & bolts is slow goin' -- at least for my less-than-nimble fingers. And of course, every 75 year-old track section and fishplate had to have old hardware removed and the conducting areas wire-wheeled clean; turnouts tested and oiled... Well you get the idea. It wasn't exactly like snapping fasttrak together. But it will be WAY cool if/when I ever get it done.

It's about 45 running feet of track so far. We finally quit at 1am when I ran out of fishplates.

Once the T-Rail and OO sections are complete, A Gauge-1 loop or two goes in the large empty section in the center of the layout. And then the Leland-Detriot monorail goes above the whole thing. But those are projets for aother day (year... decade...).

So a hundred more fishplates, and 200 nuts and bolts are on order. I have a four-day window right after Christmas to carry on. We shall see!

Comments? Corrections? Tips?
clint@clintjefferies.com