Wiring up the South Section

Tonight I soldered all the feeders to the bus wires. The frog feeders are still hanging loose, but all those stock rails are fed now. It is singularly uninteresting from a visual standpoint, and the photo came out blurry; so the photo below shows something else.

Wiring on South Section

Working from above, it has been easy to forget that the first two switches will actually be on the wide window sill. I think when I designed this, I considered those two switches almost as part of the staging yard, and thus it made sense to use ground throws as I will most likely do in the staging yard.

Seeing the track come together and as I’ve thought more about operation in the past while, that decision has become less and less palatable. From a visual perspective, the layout really does start at the engine house switch, and a non-scale ground throw will be something I will always have to explain.

Then from an operational standpoint, making the first two switches the same as the staging yard, might make them feel closer to the staging yard than to the rest of the layout. Staging is meant to represent Golden Lake, some 20 miles south. With ground throws, this place gets closer to Pembroke. Then as I think about explaining the layout to guests, it seems a whole lot simpler to say, “on the modelled part of the layout, the turnouts are thrown from the facia, while in staging there are ground throws.”

So, now I have to figure out how to fit the mechanism for the switches into the 1/2 inch plywood. Clearly there needs to be some sort of slider, and a slot for it to run in. The photo above shows this
slot. Note that the wires run through slots too, and will be trapped between the window sill and the top of the layout.

The primary purpose in flipping the layout over, however, was to drill out the holes in the switch rods. In my excitement to install them, I completely forgot to clean the support material out of there. Now this is done, tomorrow we can install the points, and then switch our attention to the north section.

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