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Trackwork (Updated!)

The trackwork on the Colorado Front Range Railroad consists primarily of Atlas Code 100 flex track and Peco Code 100 Electrofrog Turnouts. There are some miscellaneous parts from shinohara and Microengineering.  The sub-roadbed (for mainlines) and roadbed (for spurs and yards) is Homasote ( a high density paperboard primarily used in expansion joints in concrete). The roadbed for the main line is a product called Flexxbed (available from Siding use Midwest cork roadbed availible at most hobby shops. Transitions from the cork roadbed to the Homasote sub-roadbed are 2% risers manufactured by Woodland Scenics.

The helix is a double track helix with an inside track radius of 28 inches and outside track radius of 31.5 inches. The helix is constructed from 1/4" luan plywood and 1/4"-20 All Thread.. The plywood was cut into 90 degree pieces from 4' x 8' sheets (8 pieces or 1 turn per sheet). This plywood sections were then  laminated together with Elmer's wood glue and were gradually built up over each other using the all-thread, washers and nut for supports. The track work in the helix was laid as the helix was constructed. The helix will be 11 turns. The first four turns on the outside track take trains from the staging level to the main level. The inside track takes trains from the staging level to the upper level. The outside track also takes trains from the main level to the upper level.  The ruling grade in the helix is 2.05% on the inside track. 

All turnouts have a  5/16" hole under the throw bar to accommodate the use of Tortoise Switch machines. All switches will eventually be equipped with Tortoises. All the mainline turnouts will DCC controlled (with the capability of local control) to allow for CTC in the future. See the Control Panels section for the local control panels. For more information on the DCC controlled turnouts see the Layout Controls section.