Saturday 29 February 2020

Passing Track Replaced

Along the GTW line, I recently lifted out this left-hand Peco switch and the just over 6 feet of track beyond it that make up the rest of this passing/runaround siding.  The switch and the track beyond it was Code 100, which has now been replaced with Code 83.
This passing/runaround siding is long enough to hold 7 86 foot cars, plus one 6 axle locomotive.

The entire layout was all Code 100 at one time, but a few years ago I began something of a program of replacing everything with Code 83.  I saved most of the straight track, and all of the switches, and managed to sell it all off to help offset the cost of the replacements.

The view from the opposite end of the siding,  after replacement of the track, ballast, and scenery.

To make it easier to lift the old track out, I first sprayed it with water to loosen the glue.  However, doing that led to an unforeseen small problem at the scrap yard. Most of the "steel" fencing there is made of paper glued onto styrene sheet.  The bit of water that I sprayed managed to come into contact with some of the paper and stained the paper fencing. Here is a look at the result of that little mis-step. I should have known better. Lesson learned.

Back to the track replacement:  There is now only one piece of Code 100 remaining on the layout, which is this 19 degree diamond. The leads into the Midwest Plastics plant and another place-holder type industrial building cross each other at this diamond.  I'm not really too crazy about this track arrangement, but it's a model railroad, and space is limited, so it's the best I could come up with.
I painted the diamond with the same Rail Brown that I used on the surrounding tracks. If you look closely, you can kind of see the .017" difference in the rail height from the diamond to the adjoining tracks.  And yes, the cars and locomotives that run across it are noticeably jolted by the height difference, just as they had been at the switch in the first photo.

I'm going to hold off on ballasting any more here for a little while.  There's a train show coming up in Woodstock sometime in April, and you never know, I might be lucky and find a 19 degree diamond in Code 83 to replace this one.


  1. Trackwork: the bane of the full-size railroads too, hah!

  2. Take a small file and file away the higher portions of the code 100 crossing. You don't have to remove the crossing to do it. Just be careful not to aggressively file and mistakenly remove some from the main line in front. It is pretty quick and easy to do.

    1. I've considered doing that very thing with a file. I can lift the diamond out without too much trouble if I decide to go that route with it.


  3. You're probably right about that Dave.


  4. Interesting track arrangement for the code 100 diamond. I had a layout in the past that I used this arrangement to service 2 opposing direction industries from a main line. I don't think it would have ever been done in reality, but like you say - its a model railroad and I used it because of space constrains as well. Cheers.

  5. Thanks Wayne. I figure it must have been done somewhere for real.