Car ferry wharf addition

Almost the final bit of construction!

Just when I thought the sawdust was over with, I decided to add more…

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

This was always planned, but I had not anticipated doing it just yet. This is a wharf that will also have a car ferry slip on it. Like the name states, this railroad is near a Port, and nothing generates interest and traffic like a car ferry dock, so I had to have one.

Since building the original Port Kelsey module 13 years ago, I have never been able to run a train through the module, that is, a train coming from one end, and going off the other, even though this was always the plan. With this addition, I will finally be able to do just that!

I decided to go ahead with this addition now as I am getting ready to start some form of operation, and the town of Port Kelsey will generate lots of branch line traffic. It is now connected to the rest of the layout at one end, but the other does not offer enough length to run around a train. To solve this problem the addition of the car ferry dock was needed.

As soon as the layout is complete, I will post an accurate trackplan, until that time, any trackplan I draw up would just be an illusion. I have never been one to be able to visualize on paper, I wish I could, I have a great deal of respect for those that can, but I can only work in 3D. I prefer to outline the layout, and add in the details after. And this wharf extension was no exception. I did, however, make a basic drawing of the space to confirm that I could fit what was needed in this space, beyond that, I layed it out onto the plywood base once it was built.

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

There will be enough room for 4 tracks on the dock, one inbound, one escape and two storage tracks of 8 cars each. This will work well for servicing the car ferry, and the town of Port Kelsey. The town of Port Kelsey will have its own local crew to handle the switching work, and will also service the car ferry dock, should be a great area to operate! There will be a couple of turnouts right on the dock, should be an interesting scene.

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

Once the “heavy construction” was complete, I got started on track laying in earnest. Looking at the layout of the module this was being added to, it became obvious some real interesting trackwork could be added, so it was decided a curved 30 degree crossing would be a nice addition….

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

I fired up the computer and whipped up a fixture for this crossing. Whipped up meaning 4-6 hours of design and manufacture time. But in the end making a fixture for this crossing really paid off, it runs absolutely flawlessly, and provides a very interesting focal point at a spot on the layout that is very visible.

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

Just past this crossing will be two curved turnouts. It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, or the other way around, but I needed to be able to make some curved turnouts of an undetermined radii. I have some curved turnout fixtures, but I preferred to have a more “fluid” method of building a curved turnout.

What was born was a version of a flexible “QuickSticks”, based on a #8 turnout, that can be curved to any radii necessary. This worked so well that I will be adding it to our line of products very soon! In addition to these will be a “Frog Helper” fixture to aid in soldering the two halves of the frog points together at an accurate angle. The picture below shows the first of the two curved turnouts. These are a great for building curved turnouts, but require a bit more skill than the fixtures. I have layed out the spiking holes on them so all they will be in gauge without any effort. More on these items later.

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

Once complete, this area should be lots of fun to operate! Keep checking in for updates, as I am hoping to stay focused on this area until it is completed.

Image copyright 2005 Tim Warris

Posted by: | 05-30-2005 | 08:05 PM
Posted in: Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Some of the finest trackwork I’ve ever seen. I ame partial to your docks. I’ve done a N.Y. Contained apron transfer bridge modeled after the Lehigh Valley pair that was located on the Morris Canal north of the CNJ ferry terminal in Jersey City. I could send some pictures, if you like. Elliott

    Comment by Elliott Janofsky — 3/7/2007 @ 5:50 pm

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