A Railroad with Relevance

Connector #4

Written By: Alan - Nov• 15•15

Another connector finishedconnect 4 location and installed! The railroad is getting longer bit by bit. For the first time, you can no longer stand in one place and see all of the finished trackwork. Somewhere it disappears behind a view block regardless of where you are. I’m going to count that as a milestone. 🙂


east market street illustration

Connector #4 is the only connector that has a switch on it – the spur for the furniture warehouse on East Market St. That made the wiring a little more like a module rather than a connector. It is also unique in that it has short transition tracks at each end rather than the whole connector being a transition track. This is due to the fact it is so long. I didn’t want to give up the luxury of working in a comfortable position at the workbench and it wasn’t realistic to split it into a module and two connectors. So, a long connector with transition tracks at each end it is. The transition tracks can bee seen in the above picture. They are the short track pieces with masking tape on each side. The tape is there to keep them flat until the time comes when they will be permanently affixed in place. For now, they have to remain removable should I need to take the connector out for some reason.

Connector #4 is also the first river crossing I have come to on the railroad. This is the Little Cuyahoga River where it crosses East Market Street and runs beside the RCA Rubber Company. In the referenced link it states:

The Little Cuyahoga River is an urban stream currently not meeting state water quality standards for biological and recreational uses.  The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) identified several reasons for poor water quality in the 2003 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study including marginal habitat, poor substrate, minimal riparian quality, bank erosion, and legacy sediment pollution from past manufacturing.  However, the overriding reason for poor water quality was the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from the City of Akron.

I can attest to this fact. The river, more like a little stream, was nasty. Even as kids we knew enough not to get near the water. It reeked of chemical and sewage smell. Modeling all the trash in the river should be fun. Everything from rusted 55 gal drums, discarded tires, and basic urban litter to the occasional grocery store shopping cart could be found there. If the river wasn’t bad enough, as soon as it crossed under the street it passed by a rubber factory which had a big pipe with a continuous flow of yellow water coming out of it. Yuck.

To accommodate the river depth I notched out the benchwork. This is only a rough cut. The fascia panel will blend it into the terrain profile. Now you know why there was never 2″ foam in this spot on the layout. Cardboard web and Sculptamold will be the ticket here.


On the backside I added a strap plate to reinforce the benchwork member. Sorry I didn’t take a photo of it directly but you can see it in the lower left of this picture:


The sub-roadbed was narrowed where the bridge will be:


The bridge is a plate girder type. Long gone now but here is a picture of the same style bridge also over the Little Cuyahoga.

plate girder bridge  bridge

I left the plywood sub-roadbed in place and am going to build the bridge into the scene rather than the usual other way around. The construction style of the bridge allows me to hide the plywood inside.

Not real exciting I know but it does represent progress. Next up is module #6 on the bench ready to be built.




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  1. Rob Clark says:


    Great to see you “back in the saddle”, model railroad-wise. I was beginning to think you had deserted the hobby!

    Any trains running yet 🙂

    Rob Clark (C&A)

  2. Alan says:

    It is great to be back at it Rob. Nope. No trains running yet. Have to finish all the upper deck modules so I can install the fascia so I can install the fascia panels so I can connect the controls. Sounds like a Rube Goldberg machine, huh?

    The issue is all the unconnected control wiring from the completed modules. I’ll get there.

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