I finished the work inside Stares Tunnel. See the test run of a short train in the video below. I use Atlas O scale flex track to speed things along. A 30 inch radius curve is about the limit of sharpness of what you can except from O scale flex track. It was tricky to get the joints on the curves without kinks.
I lined the roadbed with strips of hardboard to act as guard rails. This will help prevent rolling stock from plummeting to the abyss in the event of a derailment.
I also finished the sub roadbed from Clairborne Creek to Stares tunnel. I was concerned about how to tie the new roadbed into the splines I used in this area before, but there was no problem. I was able to cut away the spline roadbed and bring the new plywood roadbed adjacent to it without issue.
I was able to use most of the existing bench work with just a small extension at the width of the curve.
I was happy to see that the terrain piece for Battery Shaefer will fit in the corner with just some minor adjustments. I am trying to reuse as many of the details from the old layout as possible.
Finally, I used a thin strip of hardboard to visualize the alignment of the track between Stares Tunnel and Falmouth. This is the place where I am thinking about the big bridge. But I am leaning more and more to just a track running through the country. I think I will build some kind of cabinet or shelf unit under this section as I will need more book shelves at the rate I am going with book acquisitions.
One other thing that a friend brought up but that I really hadn't considered. It might be possible to install a temporary track from Falmouth to Burnside's Wharf for a continuous run. I've never missed having a continuous run before, so I wonder if it is worth doing. The only trick to doing it would be to make sure the tracks are at the same elevations. That means the track exiting Stares Tunnel must climb 3 inches.
|Mock up of the new track alignment.|