Subroadbed Installation Begun

I have the reference points of the main subroadbed (joints and end) secured. This allows me to exercise the advantage of the “cookie cutter” approach which is smooth grades. Grades, on a tiny switching layout? Yes, indeed. The end of the CNR GECO spur which serves as Comstock Road’s inspiration features a grade near its end that I estimate to be on the order of 6%, possibly more. Insane on a class one main line but not uncommon on industrial trackage where a switcher would not be expected to manage more than a couple of cars. I want to feature some small changes in grade to provide scenic interest and to capture the fact that Scarborough is not flat from a railroad point of view.

So, recent progress includes splicing the end bits of plywood on to the main piece. I used 3/4″ brass Robertson screws since those were what was on hand.splices

And installed supports at the main reference points using 1×2, 1×3, glue and yet more Robertson screws.trial grades

I mocked up a theoretical 8% grade for the back track. Eight feet doesn’t sound like much of a change in elevation but seen from the side it looks mighty high. I think I can ease that off to six feet or so and get the desired effect. Especially if I drop the front track a few (4?) feet to create a plausible slope.8percent

Speaking of Robertson screws, I thought my fellow Canadians would be amused by the fact that some of what I am using are the original product passed down from others. robertsons.jpg

For non-Canadians who may not be among the enlightened, what is the big deal about Robertson screws? Besides being near impossible to strip, this:tada

That screw and driver are horizontal. No magnetism is involved.

2 thoughts on “Subroadbed Installation Begun”

  1. Great progress, Mark. It appears to me that your elevated spur is all on a grade – or is that just a trick of the photography?
    – Trevor (Achievable Layouts blog)


    1. It is! I just clamped up the one support to get a rough idea. More advanced fooling about will be required to model the final grade with necessary flat bit for spotting.


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