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About the Model Railroad

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The Randall Museum in San Francisco hosts a large HO-scale model model railroad. Created by the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club starting in 1961, the layout was donated to the Museum in 2015. Since then I have started automatizing trains running on the layout. I am also the model railroad maintainer. This blog describes various updates on the Randall project and I maintain a separate blog for all my electronics not directly related to Randall.

2020-02-22 - Napa Yard Work

Category Randall

Work has continued on the Napa Yard, and it is now operational again! I cut expansion gaps at the end of each track (before the foam block). On the other side, by the turnout ladder, I also made expansion gaps just before the turnouts for the 3 first tracks. This should prevent rail expansion from pushing the turnout rails and shorting like it did last time. Allen contributed and he helped clean the yard by vacuuming it and running the track cleaning train.

There’s still a bit of warping on the track under Bridgeport, in the area I was not able to access easily:

My strategy is to wait for the track to fix itself and then spend more time nailing it. Typical ways to avoid this is to glue the track (un-nail it, lift it, use caulk adhesive), and/or to ballast it like has been done for the track on the right side. That piece of track on the right side is technically part of the scenicked part of the Richmond yard that can be seen in the back, and it is interesting to note it has only been ballasted in the accessible portion of the track, and not under the Bridgeport yard overhang (which is out of arm reach to me). From this, I infer that the part that would benefit most from being glued/ballasted is the part out of reach, and not the place where I could actually do it. Which is why I have decided to not go that route for now.

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