My “transfer table” staging drawer, with background explained in the first post with this title, is now in place and mechanically complete. This post expands on the first post with some details of construction (see: http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2010/12/staging-trackage-installation.html ).
My locking mechanism (or, if you will, indexing) uses aluminum strip, 1 inch wide and 1/8-inch thick, which is a size available in many hardware stores. I simply cut it to length to match the width of the table. Along its center line, I drilled 5/16-inch holes, spaced to match the spacing of my staging tracks, 2-1/4 inches. The hole size matches the bolt diameter of the two barrel bolt mechanisms I purchased at my neighborhood hardware store. The idea is that when the bolts are engaged in these holes, the table is locked both vertically and horizontally. I now have this arrangement at each end of the table.
Here are two photos of the arrangement:
The upper view shows the barrel bolt engaged in the aluminum locking strip, in this instance locking Track 3. The strip stands off from the L-girder to which it’s attached by means of a spacer of 1/2-inch Homasote. The lower view is a bit more distant and shows the upper surface of the table. The reason for the stand-off is evident, as it permits the bolt to extend securely through the locking strip.
I used Atlas rerailers, cut in half, on each side of the gap between layout and table, facing so as to re-rail any wheels which wander in crossing the gap. I’ve experimented by operating deliberately derailed cars through these half-rerailers, and they do work as planned.
So far this arrangement is mechanically very solid and dependable, and I’m continuing to test with various locomotives and rolling stock. Electrically, I have arranged wiring so that only one track can be energized at a time, and it’s possible to turn off all tracks. This is useful if one doesn’t want DCC decoders and sound to be energized on an entire yard of stored trains.
If further developments occur with usage of this staging arrangement, I will post further.