My readers will remember that I had started a new HO scale railroad project in my attic some time ago. That space was expertedly reworked by Enterprise Home Solutions and that same contractor also did a superb job on the foundation and benchwork for my budding railroad empire. Back then I had decided an using Bachmann E-Z track. One of the reasons being the fact, that Bachmann turn-outs (switches) could be had already equipped with decoders for DCC operation. Unfortunately using E-Z track turned into a major disaster and disappointment, not to mention the significant amount of money finally wasted on that crappy "track system". (Read about those difficulties here)
What to do! I hemmed and hawed for quite some time, until I found this on one of my "what am I going to do with this" visits to the unfinished railroad scene:
Even the hitherto unaffected three foot sections of E-Z track had begun to seriously deteriorate. This was the proverbial last straw. This stuff was obviously junk made in China and I finally decided last week to totally rip it all out and replace it. However, immediately, a couple of snags reared their ugly heads! Take a look at this:
These photos show a twenty foot section of double track where I had put up catenary. It is the perfect place for putting in overhead wire: a long straight section, prefabricated track and relatively easy to reach. As you might have guessed, the straight and long sections are comprised of three foot E-Z track pieces. At the time I constructed this part of the railway, the idea of the prefab track, coupled with the catenary seemed absolutely perfect! Of course, now I am seriously concerned. Replacing this part is well nigh impossible and would be a nightmare scenario. It's not the track so much, as it is the catenary. it is a fully functioning catenary, made by Viessmann in Germany and hellishly expensive. Once in place, it is very difficult to move without damaging the incredibly feligrane masts and wires. I think, at least for now, I will take a wait and see attitude.
No such second thoughts about other parts of the lay out. Most other areas of the railroad have been torn up. The Bachmann garbage is being replaced with PECO code 83 track (who knew the UK still makes HO track!) and Shinohara turn-outs (switches). Supposedly the turn-outs are DCC ready, so I just need to read up on how to wire the switch machines.
As one can see there is still an awful lot to do. There is no landscaping to speak of. There is not even a single working track right now. However, I have sort of played with putting up a little town area in one of the corners of the layout, just for kicks! All the street and house lights still need to be hooked up, but I think this might just work...
It is a work in progress...so stay tuned!