Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Shumala extension -- Part 2

In the previous post with this title, I briefly described construction of an extension of my layout to enlarge the town of Shumala (see: ). In the present post, I address tracklaying and electrics.
     In the previous post, it could be seen that the track into the extension area has to curve to the left. I also wanted to have two industrial tracks. The obvious way to accomplish this efficiently is with a curved turnout. I chose a Peco “Setrack” turnout for this location, because it has a true curve through both legs of the switch, as well as having sufficient curvature. Peco trackwork also has a good reputation for being well-built and dependable. I used their model ST-245, an “Insulfrog” turnout, which means that it is an “all-live” arrangement, rather than power-routing, and the frog does not have to be gapped, as in a power-routing turnout. Your hobby shop probably carries Peco, but if not, they can be obtained direct from Walthers or other on-line hobby merchants. For more on the fine Peco line of turnouts, you can visit their site at , or you can get a convenient summary of data on the entire range of Peco turnouts (all scales and gauges) at this Australian site: .
     In the table just cited, you will see, among other things, that the Setrack ST-245 double-curved turnout has an 11.25-degree frog angle, which is equivalent to a Number 5 turnout, which I have tried to maintain as a minimum on my layout.
     When installed, it looked like this.

     As I always do in preparing a new area to be scenicked, before laying track, I painted the baseboard area a medium brown. There have been recommendations in some published articles by modelers to use a beige or tan color, but my experience has been that any chip or scratch in the scenic material revealing such a color really stands out, much more so than use of a medium to dark brown. I like a Rust-Oleum color called “Nutmeg,” which is water-based and available in small cans. Here’s a view of the extension area after painting. At upper right will be the rise of a hill, so I didn’t need to color that area.

     Next I carried on with tracklaying. This is all flex track, with rails prepainted Floquil “Rail Brown,” which later will receive additional color variation.

     The “all-live” Peco turnout leading into the area meant that all rails are powered from the turnout, but I added feeders partway along these long industrial tracks, to ensure good electrical supply.
     This concludes what I want to summarize in this post about work on the Shumala extension. I already have structures underway to use here, one of which will be the packing shed kit which was described earlier (at: ), and I will probably post more about them as work progresses.
Tony Thompson


  1. Really disappointed that as good as your layout is ... your rail is all yellow. Not earth brown like the true prototype rails are. I keep a 1" cross-sectional piece of rail I found on a ballast of a track to remind me of the correct color. piece on Looking forward to seeing this correction soon.

  2. You are right about the rail color shown in the photos, which is just a prepainted color. In addition, the ties are still all the same color. Both will be changed as I go forward. I will ballast the track, too, which will add to the appearance.
    Tony Thompson

  3. Hey Tony,

    Good to see you modeling this part of the PE :o) I am working on the Chatsworth Spur as well and having a good time trying to get the flavor of the area.

    Looking forward to see what you come up with.