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I noticed an ugly curve in my trackwork the other day and made a mental note to improve it at some point. I was surprised that I would have put it in that way, but my memory isn’t very good and perhaps I was rushing it.
Then yesterday I was looking for a photo to illustrate student activity on the model railroad and happened across one that I took last year, indicating that the track originally had a more reasonable curve that had apparently moved considerably.
There are several factors that may have contributed to this particular kink. I try to be very meticulous about leaving expansion gaps at every rail joint, but this particular piece of ME code 83 flex track is at the hinged end of my enormous rolling swing gate, which has not yet been fitted with proper alignment plates, pins and latches. Although it’s barely apparent the photo on the left was taken with the gate open, the one on the right with the gate closed in “operating position.” That task has not been a high priority since the gate works fine with manual alignment and clamps and only needs to be closed for operating sessions, which have not happened since students went home at the start of distance learning last March.
That kink has reminded me of how sad I am without the kids to share and learn with. I’ve been making “progress” on the layout (things in the first photo like the fascia and push-pull knobs controlling the only four non-finger-flick turnouts on the layout, a critical junction and yard throat I call “South Idora Tower,” and a few other minor details and features, but the theme of the enterprise has always been that the layout is built by students, so I’m reluctant to proceed without them.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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