Monday, February 28, 2011

Staging trackage installation-4

My staging trackage, in transfer table form, is now complete. I have briefly described the concept in previous posts with this title, in an introduction presenting the general concept, particularly the original inspiration from John Signor’s article on building such staging (here’s a link:, and in a follow-up post with specifics on the indexing method, available at:
     All twelve tracks have been installed and wired. I ended up including Atlas rerailing sections in the center of all the tracks, though originally I intended to have them only on the foreground tracks, as aids to adding cars to the staging tracks closest to the aisle. But I found with my testing that sometimes the end rerailing sections did not suffice to entirely rerail a consist crossing from the layout onto the staging table, and the center rerailer did the job. Accordingly, I went ahead and put center rerailers on all twelve tracks. The rerailers at track ends are halves of Atlas parts, as I described in my third post on this topic, at: I don’t want this to sound as though derailments are common, because they’re not, but when they occur, it’s nice to have a rerailer to correct them.
     An overall view of the entire staging table is included below. I have a number of trains staged in this view, along with some cuts of cars which have been added to or removed from mainline trains. The backdrop is for the town of Ballard, which will sit immediately above the staging table.

     My electrical arrangement is to bring track power in a single cable to the table front, and then arrange two six-position rotary switches to direct power to the twelve tracks. (A selector switch between the rotary switches determines which rotary is active.) This means that no more than one track can be energized at once, and with a DPDT reversing switch in place below each rotary, I can turn off even the track selected by the rotary. I made a temporary panel with Upson board, which is very easy to work with, and if the panel serves the purposes I want, and proves to be conveniently arranged, I will eventually replace it with a more durable duplicate, using a material such as Masonite (the material used in other panels on the layout). Here is how it looks right now:

Although the staging arrangements seem complete at the moment, continued operation and testing will tell me for sure if changes are still needed.
Tony Thompson

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