Now that the time, place, and benchwork for the railroad were established, it was time to lay some track. Because I knew what brand of trackwork I’d be using, I downloaded some switch templates and printed them out. These were helpful in establishing clearances and appearances for the actual track components:
When time came to lay track on the actual table top, they worked as well. I started with positioning turnouts.
Then there was the laying and cutting of flex track, which had it’s own challenges. Given the nature of flex track, once it’s cut, it has to lay in that position for the rails to be flush. This isn’t easy to do with multiple fittings. But I got everything pieced together. I used a motor tool with cutoff disk to cut the track, and this worked well. After dressing the rail ends with a file, joiners slipped on easily. In fact, I had more trouble with the factory rail than the cut rail as far as joiner use.
I made liberal use of pushpins to hold the track in place,. With N-Scale, this works especially well as the pushpin diameter is the same as the gauge; 9 mm. After laying the track out, I put together a train of various car types and sizes, with the lightest at the front, and pushed it through all the trackwork with a class MHP (Massive Hand Power) 0-5-0. No derailments due to track. Trackwork should flow and look smooth. I was happy to see that everything appeared to be going well.