Working on the railroad

Lost Continent Railway, model train, train, HO scaleI spent a chunk of the afternoon installing this bit of bench work for the main railway station on the Lost Continent RR — finding the right height for it, leveling it off, screwing all the bits in place. It turned out to be a lot more fiddling than I thought it would. It always turns out that way.

I wanted to keep this part of the bench work as low as possible. The “bedrock” of the bench work is already chest-high, and the tracks climb seven inches as they make their way around the various turns toward the main station. But, I had to build this final piece of the bench high enough that I wouldn’t impede the passage of dome liner cars on the tracks underneath. I found the ideal height through a little experimentation — inching the posts up and down a quarter inch at a time, then pushing dome cars back and forth along the track.

With that settled, I had only to cut the lumber I needed, then screw it in place, easily the least enjoyable part of the job, requiring that I contort myself into all kinds of yoga poses I didn’t know I was even capable of to fit myself beneath the bench so I could drill out the needed holes, then drive screws into each of them.

About three hours later, with a short break for lunch, this 20 x 48 inch piece was finally laid in place. The passenger station will eventually be erected over five tracks on the near end of the plywood sheet, and trains will enter through a throat off to the left of this photograph, where I’ll have to raise more bench work soon enough. Not today, though.

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