February 2010 Status - Upper Level Beginnings

Chuo Train 1811

The “village” section of the River Crossing scene has been painted, with cork and basic ground cover (plaster cloth) applied. Much remains to be done, including the stonework of the embankment against the river, before scenery is likely to progress beyond this. But the goal of hiding the pink foam here, and getting the track in place, is done. The “phase 2c” Construction page has been updated to contain all of the details, and a few more photos added to the Construction photo album.

As part of this work, I made some changes to the track on the curve, shortening the inner loop straight section from 310mm to 277mm (248+29). This positioned the inner loop bridge (green bridge in the photo above) to line up with the second section of the viaduct station used in the Urban Station scene, which simplified the track leading into the station, although it did require moving the crossover between the outer and inner loops into the viaduct station (the only remaining place with sufficiently long parallel tracks). The track plan has been updated to reflect these changes..

I’ve also assembled the full viaduct station (there’s a photo on the Urban Station page linked above), which has ten 248mm segments three sections deep and two more (one at each end) two segments deep. The revised track spacing allowed me to extend the platform of the inner loop to to just over 2.7 meters (106 inches), which allows for a full 16-car Shinkansen or a pair of 10-car commuter/express trains on each track. The two inner platforms (on the Commuter loop) can hold 12-car trains, which allows for a full 11-car Yamanote line train, but not the 10+5 sets used on some lines.

The viaduct station track plan was the last uncertainty. With it settled, I can now turn my attention to building the upper-level plywood return loop on the end without scenery, to link the far end of the Urban Station to the Riverside Station. And I can start working to glue down the foam of the latter, and apply plaster. A working railroad is getting closer to actuality.

One last problem remains (well, I’m sure there are others): I need to find a way to hold up the viaduct station, which is not light, and keep it level at the appropriate height above the subway tracks. This is higher than the usual Kato viaduct supports. I have some ideas for how to do that, and will be exploring them in the coming days. I also need to get serious about installing the insulating unijoiners to break the track up into electrical blocks, and that means completing all of the feeder wiring (at least to the bus; DCC and its circuit-breakers are a ways off yet, I think).

Another month done, but this one felt like more progress was made than either of the last two. That’s mainly because I now have some actual (nearly-)finished scenery to look at, plus a mock-up of the viaduct station, although that’s going to get disassembled soon so I can start working on building the supports and painting the foam there.

Other site changes:
  • I added a new page on track elements to the Unitrack pages to contain information about switches and other special types of Unitrack. I also added a Unitrack photo album to contain larger versions of these photos.

  • I realized that my page about prototype passenger stations in Tōkyō had never been linked from the Background or Home pages (there was a link to it from the Scenery page), so I added links there. This is still mostly empty, but will be added to in the future.