Team Track 1

Immediately adjacent to the coal trestle was to be a team track, so that was the next project. After reviewing the literature, and considering my abilities, I decided to use 0.040 styrene to build the structure.

Most team tracks are concrete pads poured on the ground with a track running through the pad. My modeling effort was complicated by the fact that I’d mounted this spur on roadbed. I’d decided against mounting the track on the table surface because the siding was too short to allow a reasonable grade and still keep the 3 car capacity of the Inglenook plan. I decided to use stone facing on the trestle side of the pad, but didn’t think wrapping the whole structure in facing would look terribly realistic. I’d have to find a way to raise the ground so I could use a more prototypical 6″ foundation.

I measured the space, then drew a plan with all the dimensions. Then on to cutting styrene:

Cutting team track triangle

The protractor was used to get the angles right. Next I taped the surface sheets together to make sure they’d line up:

Tem track surface fit

Then I cut the sides:

Team track pieces

Next I test fit the pieces in the space:

Test fitting team track

My biggest concern was getting the sides perpendicular to the top surface, but this turned out to be easier than expected. After the two halves were assembled, I added interior bracing:

Team track interior bracing

Earlier this year I’d experimented with various ways of representing poured concrete, knowing I’d need at least one such structure on the layout. I found that combining a couple of suggestions worked well. I sprayed a coat of Rustoleum’s Desert Bisque, which gives a nice texture but doesn’t really look like poured concrete, followed by a coat of grey primer, which looks like concrete, but on its own looks like grey painted styrene. During that experiment, I found that unbraced styrene warps when painted; thus the braces on the structure.

I elected not to texture the center strip, as I was concerned about wheel and coupler clearance. Given that N-scale track is 9 mm between the rails, I cut the center strip to 7 mm, figuring that 1 mm a side would be enough for flange clearance. It was.

Team track leveling

The gouged areas adjacent to the track are where I had to do some minor excavation to level the pad. Just like the prototype! In order to get the structures tight to the rails, I had to remove a couple of tie ends. I also had to make a cut in the foam along the perimeter of the lower section to get it to sit flush with the railhead.

Test fitting eam track pieces

The structure in place:

Team track weathered

The upper side is shimmed with a piece of paneling I used to face the layout. I weathered the surface with a wash of India Ink, letting it sit for a few seconds before wiping the surface.

Next: Installing a fence, ground cover, and weeds.

RFI: if anyone can tell me how to clean the rails in this type of installation, I’d love to know. I watched several videos on building and weathering concrete pads, and nary a mention of cleaning the track.

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