Raparapa trackwork completed

Last time I talked about the Raparapa trackwork was back in November, when I posted a nice photo of the crossover I was building. Well since then much has been going on.

Soon after the trackwork had been constructed, the maintenance teams moved into Raparapa and quickly ripped out the old track.

It then sat like that for some time, as wedding planning took priority. However Rachel was a little dismayed that her beloved town of Raparapa no longer had a functioning railway station, and so time was found late in November to install the new trackwork.

First I cleaned out all the old ballast and carefully cut the rails to the right lengths:

The new trackwork was then lowered into place and secured with a lot of glue and many pins and weights:

A week later the electricians came along and installed track feeders in the appropriate places, and soldered up the connections between rails. A grinding team then carefully ground down the tops of the rails so there were no big bumps.

Next a ballast cleaning team came through and removed all the old ballast from all of Raparapa.

Soon after a ballast train came through and deposited a fresh load of ballast, and the workers then carefully raked it all into place... always a fun job!

Then along came the ballast gluing team and secured everything in place. I use an eye dropper with a nice mix of PVA, water, and IPA to thin it out a bit. Seems to work pretty well.

Finally some the mechanical department came along and added in the point mechanisms, though that is a subject for a future post.

At long last, after nearly two months, the first train rolled through the completed trackwork. There were a few hiccups and a couple of extra solder joints needed, but residents of Raparapa were overjoyed to once again have a working rail connection!

The crossover works very well and ever since Raparapa has been lulled to sleep by the sounds of TGVs and Shinkansens speeding trough, as the station now forms the crossing point between the single and double track segments of Utrainia. Now we just need a few signals!

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