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Layout benchwork is primarily L-girders with some open grid. Some of the single track mainline is supported by a homasote spline-type roadbed on risers spaced at 16" intervals. The majority of the roadbed is 3/4-inch plywood subroadbed with 1/8-inch Upson board roadbeds. All visible curves on the mainline  at least of 6' radius. Mainline grades are kept to 2% or less. Branchline radii are no less than 3' with grades less than 3%. Turnouts are all andmade with Tortoise control and have a wide range of frog numbers of 4 or greater.

Mainline track is Micro Engineering code 148 with code 125 used on the branchlines and handlaid code 100 applied in some coal loading/unloading storage areas and spurs. There is a 2-3/4 turn helix that connects the upper and lower decks. The helix has an inner radius of 6' and a coil width of 8" that accommodates 2 parallel tracks. The grade is 2%. This allows for simultaneous up and down travel. During operation, we will use the helix for staging trains.

A preliminary track plan for the entire standard gauge railroad is shown under the Track Plan tab. A track plan of the ON30 portion of the railroad is under development.

Structures are a combination of scratch built or kitbashed and have been chosen based on photos of Appalachian homes, local businesses, trackside buildings and coaling operations.  Scenery construction is in the early stages and most of the initial rough plaster coating is completed.

Dispatcher-based train control is to be applied through handheld, DCC (digital command control) throttles. We favor NCE products with five power stations. Why DCC? Well, it would seem most appropriate in the 21st century for prototypical operations modeling. DCC allows complete individual operator control
anywhere at anytime all over the layout.

Electrical. We use color-coded #14 solid copper wire for the DCC track buses. We have five power districts supplied by 10-amp power stations. We use #18 - 20 solid copper wire for the track feeders. We have installed one feeder per section of flex track and one feeder per about 40 inches of hand-laid track.

All rail sections are soldered to each other at the rail joiners. We have cut expansion joints as needed.


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