January 8th, 2018

Let there be spline! I had some time over the holidays to work on the layout. Had enough of building benchwork and wanted to get some spline put down. The area I started at was under the stairs, or the future town of Laws, CA. There is a wye here with a branch line that will represent a connection to Tonopah, NV. When first planning the layout, I was just going to have the branch line end just a bit past the tail of the wye, but as I built the benchwork up, it dawned on me that I could have the branch line curve around by the room entrance, cross the room entrance on a removable/foldable bridge, and connect in to the lower level staging yard. For operations, I could use one track of the Mojave Staging to represent Tonopah, NV and actually run a train from there, through the wye at Laws, and into Bishop yard. Swap blocks and then head back. Or even have a run through from Tonopah all the way across the layout to Reno! A fully functioning wye? Yes! At least in theory!

I also have been looking in to using LED strip lights for the layout this time around. I bought a few different kinds from Ebay and Amazon for testing. I have a piece of MDF about 3' long above Laws that will be the test bed for which kind will look the best, powered by an old desktop computer power supply. Just another excuse to start on some spline! Ha!


The spline roadbed starts! In hindsight I should have moved that ugly rolled up carpet.


This curve is about a 24" radius


Keeping everything nice and straight.


Temporarily hooked up an old power supply to run some LED strip lights.


This area will be the test bed for what kind of lights I'll eventually go with.


The beginning of the wye.


More spline, more clamps. I also put up a section of hardboard backdrop


The track will run at a slight angle to the edge of the benchwork, just enought for about a #10 or #11 turnout.


Gettin' there!


Main line to the front, Tonopah branch line to the rear


This curve is the sharpest on the railroad, 21" radius. This also is the transition from the town of Laws on the left, to Rock Creek Canyon on the right.


This long piece was salvaged from the old layout. It actually fit just right in this area! Amazing!


The rear leg of the wye. Nice smooth curve through the turnout.


Standing at the entrance to the layout room. The branch line will curve around to the right and cross the room entrance on a removable/folding bridge and end in staging to the left. The backdrop in center ends to give you a peep hole to look through.


Doing a little sanding to even out the spline. Can't wait to get some roadbed and track put down!


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