With all the house work and improvements complete and behind me now and the winter weather approaching I can finally start building the new layout. I spent numerous hours during the summer and fall drafting the track plan which is still in the works. I have the basic plan complete but still have some minor operational changes to make but in no way will affect the bench work and the west end of the room where I am starting. The bench work will be the same as my previous layout being L girders and joists. First up is laying out the L’s and starting to securing them to the walls.
Securing the L’s to the studs in 3 to 4 places with a spacer and good long screws will ensure the strength needed to safely support the layout for years to come. Making sure they are level and at the right height being 36.5″. The bench work is the foundation to the layout and taking the time here to ensure everything is level and good and strong is well worth the extra time. Moving on to the rest of the bench work is done the same way and where necessary, support legs are installed and securely fastened to the L’s and floor.
The bench work should be about a foot inward from the aisle as to leave room for the joists and fascia boards down the road. This layout has been designed a little differently than the last. With a larger space I am able to achieve 3’+ aisles which will make public viewing during the layout tours more comfortable and much easier to handle larger groups than my previous 2′ aisles or less. With half of the layout L’s in place, I started to install the Joists. I am working on this half of the room first as it will house the hidden 6 track, 12 train staging yard loop which is also the lowest section of track being “0” or 43″.