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Duct and Track – 21st August

There are some who might say that it is a bit of a cheek to describe this as a Society layout but let us stick with it for the moment.

The concept started as a discussion about signalling and the lack of signals on many layouts.

A view was put forward that the topic was not widely understood and best avoided.

This seemed to be a challenge worth pursuing and following an article in the Society magazine – Exchange Sidings – a number of members have started a collaborative project to produce a demonstrator making use of semaphore signals.

The usual solution to this type of idea is to start with a plank of wood but we’ve decided to take the opportunity to investigate some alternative materials – in this case some PVC air ducting.

Some panels were removed from the underside of the ducting to gain access. This has not reduced the rigidity of the structure. The holes that you see were used to attach a template for the Dremel cuter. The swarf was removed with a power washer.

There are jointing pieces available and it was decided to use solvent to glue these to the middle ducting section and then to cut the top part of the joint to leave a flat trackway.

The three sections provide a three meter trackway – enough for a passing loop and two ends. We are using OO scale which will make the mechanical linkages to the semaphore signals more practical.

Even with a three metre length at OO scale, train options are limited. We are hoping that there will be enough space in the passing loop for a two car DMU but this may have to be reduced to a single car if necessary.

This week, a great collaborative effort from:- Dave, Malcolm C, Malcolm H, Martine, Ray and Shaun.

The linkage between the three lengths of ducting was completed and the top section of the joints removed.

The ducting was put on the top of the test track in order to plan the track laying. Dave led this phase with help from Shaun and Ray. The placement of the two points was decided and work stated on the bending of the flexitrack – this did not go so well as had been hoped. The flexibility of Bachmann track is significantly less than Peco. We all had Peco track – but as is always the case – it is at home.

So good progress but the glusing of the track to the ducting will need to be postponed until next week.