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2009: Building 6 New Modules

While building the original eight modules in 2008, we framed the tops of two 30-inch wide modules, but didn't get around to putting legs, track, or anything else on them.  The first project of 2009 was, therefore, to put legs on them.  Then Bob took them home to turn them into modules for the Gilbert Siding.  Their destiny was to display a selection of Gilbert operating accessories with some degree of visitor control and interaction.

Both modules will, of course, have the two standard S-MOD mainline tracks, plus an inner siding that lines up with the two original Gilbert Siding modules.  Operators will be able to switch a train off the mainline to load or unload cargo and then return it to the mainline.  Alternatively, a train will be able to move back and forth on the siding, independent of mainline operations.

The siding can also be used to stage a new train for operation on the inner mainline, or to remove a train that has been in mainline operation.

                      Click here to see more of the construction of these two new modules.

During 2009, the club also planned to build three new modules for a railyard and another module where the mainlines cross a trestle over a recessed stream.  On April 11, members of the club met at Roland's to begin construction of these four modules.  Four members attended the work session and completed the major part of the benchwork on the four new modules. One railyard module still needed the legs to be attached, and the
trestle module needed part of the plywood top to be cut and attached.  The benchwork for the other two railyard module was essentially complete.  Still to be done was the electrical work, installation of the foamcore sound deadening layer, track laying, scenery, and structures, so we had plenty of interesting things still to be done!

Mike, our de facto project engineer, arrived at Roland's with legs and module tops precut and ready to go.

Roland has the perfect workshop for module building!  To the right you see lumber he had bought for the day's efforts.

Mike had developed cutting plans ahead of time to minimize cutting loss.

Given Mike's plans, Roland and Peter got right to work cutting module frames.


Peter drillls a hole for the adjustable foot in a leg.

Before we knew it, we had all the parts cut for the four new modules and all the legs had feet.

Roland and Peter finish the frame for one of the rail yard modules.

Roland marks the angled corner on one of Mike's precut tops.  Since the rail yard  modules extend out from the front of the layout, we angled the two end corners for safety and for compliance with the S-Mod standard.

The module for the trestle is a lot more complex.  The 8-inch outer frame is higher than the other modules because the stream will be recessed below the track level.  The front of the frame will be cut down to reveal the stream from the front.

The ends of the module, however, are the same four inch height as the other modules in order to comply with the S-MOD standard.

The 8-inch interior baffles had to be spaced far eough apart to allow the legs to fold up under the module.

All-in-all, it was an interesting design and construction challenge!

Mounting the legs proved to be another interesting construction challenge.  They had to be clamped in place (above) so the module could be turned over to drive in the mounting screws (below).

Peter checks the mounted legs, and indeed they work beautifully!  Masterful workmanship.

Mike, Peter, and Roland show off two of the completed modules to cap off a fun and productive first workday on the new modules.

Here is the trestle Alex has been building to cross the swamp.  It looks fantastic!!!

Alex got the track laid and sent out this message to the club: "
Today we had our first successful launch of a docksider off the end of the trestle during testing. The launch was spectactular and unexpectedly resulted in no damage to the launch vehicle; however it caused some discomfort to the launch crew who was not expecting the vehicle to take flight. Special precautions have been enacted to prevent such premature launches in the future."

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