Saturday, August 20, 2011

Campbell: Current Progress

The new track in Campbell is in. I'm not feeling very definite about it, though - the new Shinohara switches I got for the new trackwork seem to stick a bit and hold their position til the Tortoise switch machine's almost at its end position. That's going to be a likely source of shorts when I finally power the frogs.

I also had a bunch of problems because both locations of new track are on top of scenery (sculptamold over styrafoam), not over real benchwork. The existing ground wasn't level, so I scraped, carved, and eventually yanked out bits of the scenery to make sure I had a smooth base for the track. Both sidings (like all of Campbell) are on a bit of a slope and the freight cars want to roll away. While some brightly-colored block erasers can stand in for brakes on the freight cars, I suspect I need to play around with the height of the layout to cut the slope on the Campbell side.

But the track's in, and it looks like it'll make Campbell a more interesting place to switch. The team track will allow more regular freight cars to be dropped in Campbell, and the extra two or three spots at the Hyde Cannery and Sunsweet packing plant ought to make the Campbell cannery job a lot busier, especially when some cars need to be left behind. The water tank is now getting squeezed out of the scene; I'd intended for the team track to be a little further away from the cannery, but ran out of flex track and positioned the team track switch so I'd waste less track. I'll also need a railroad tool shed between the team track and the station.

Still to be done on this scene: beyond just finishing the canneries, there's lots of interesting detail on the station side. The Campbell station, like San Jose's Market Street station, had a small garden with palm trees and grass between the station and Campbell Ave. Railroad Ave. should be between the station and edge of the layout; the SP valuation map shows the SP's property only extended fifty feet from the tracks. The team track should be set in pavement. If I'm really clever, I'll embed the rails from the Peninsular Railway, the Santa Clara Valley interurban, into the pavement. The interurban stopped running in the early 1930's, but signs of its existence ought to be visible.

Next bit of work: the Sunsweet dried fruit packing house, which is the largest (3 story) building next to the tracks in the photo.

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