Ranuska trackwork

Work continues on Ranuska, albeit rather slowly. Somehow the entire week just disappeared in a cloud of work. Yesterday however I managed to squeeze in half an hour to battle once again with Templot; against all odds however I managed to achieve the right combinations of hot keys to get my reverse transition curves all lined up, the spacing between sidings consistent, and the forth turnout into the right place.

Then I printed out the track plan on 9 sheets of paper, stuck them together, and started filing point blades.

Today I got well stuck into it, and by the end of the day I had soldered up four turnouts, and a good deal of the track in between too! I've not run out of blank PCB to mill into sleepers, so that will complicate things somewhat. Perhaps it's an omen, a subtle suggestion that I should instead clean the garage tomorrow, since I spent half an hour searching high and low for my track gauge in there today.

Anyway, here is the current state of the trackwork. The track enters Ranuska from the left and straight away goes into three turnouts. The upper ones go to the beach. The lower ones form a passing loop around the back.

And here is the whole view:

My Christmas soldering iron from Rachel came in super handy today, well and truly earning its keep, once again. It's temperature controlled with a very fine tip, so it has the power and precision to happily solder up track work. And as an added bonus, its handle doesn't get hot at all, making it very comfortable to use for long periods. What a great present!

As for why I spend hours battling with Templot, which is clearly the least user friendly program ever invented... I discovered a while ago that a few hours of pain in front of the computer would produce absolutely beautiful printouts that produce perfect trackwork every time, with wonderful flowing curves and curved turnouts that I could never achieve with commercial track, or if I were drawing up the plans myself. I'm looking forward to moving the track into Ranuska and beginning scenery.

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