Measure Twice, Cut Once, Get it Wrong Anyway

Clearance Problem 2001

Some days it doesn’t pay to go into the railroad room. I had spent the weekend carving foam for the hillside that separates the Urban Station scene and the Riverside Station scene from the large river. Just before I was ready to glue it down, I decided to check the clearance of my subway tunnel, and found it seriously wrong. After realizing that my “two-inch” insulation foam was 1.75 inches thick (and I’m sure I measured it before), and raising it up with a chunk of gatorboard (barely visible above, on the left below the pink foam), I still had a bit of a problem.

Somehow, even with the foam at the correct height, I’d managed to forget to count the thickness of the tunnel roof (which is going to be a 1/4 inch layer of gatorboard inset into the foam so its top is flush with the ground). As you can see in the above picture, a commuter car with raised pantographs will fit, but it’s a very close fit. Any measurement error in constructing the roof (measurement error? Me?) could cause a gatorboard edge to snag a pantograph, derailing and damaging the train. I think I’m going to need to raise the foam another 1/4 inch. This will cause grade and alignment problems all over the place. Not insurmountable ones, but I’m not really looking forward to it. I’ll think on this a bit more before I make any decisions, but it’s the only real solution I can see.

On the plus side, I did finally settle on the shape of the hillside, and I found some different material for a retaining wall that approximates small square stone blocks. There’s been some progress, even if it did reveal more problems to solve.

You can see more photos of the carved foam, the new retaining walls, and more description of this problem, on the new Phase 2f Construction page. I’ve also added photos to the Construction photo album.

Other website updates:
  • I updated the track plan to show the roads and buildings atop the hillside.