A Railroad with Relevance

Laying Track – Part V

Written By: Alan - Dec• 29•14

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!module 1 Between the holiday festivities I completed some of the wiring on the Brittain Yard throat module.

So far I have the three buses installed. The track bus interconnects and feeders are also finished. Notice the abundance of orange wires. 🙂 Control (blue) and accessory (green) wiring comes next followed by the fascia panel wiring. Wires, wires, wires!


The telephone pole idea worked swell. A pair of .125″ nylon clamps on a common screw hold the 12 ga wire beautifully. They also maintain a nice spacing between the conductors. Just to be on the safe side I offset the bare copper section of each bus wire.





A few of the bus terminals hold quite a lot of feeders.



The wiring looks a bit messy right now. Only a few wire ties and clamps have been installed. I want to get the rest of the wiring installed before I make any serious attempt to secure the wires in an orderly manner. For now, masking tape is doing the job.

Came up with a decent solution for securing the point rail feeder wires where they exit the throw rod slot. I drilled a pilot hole and glued into it a 3/16″ x 1″ wood dowel. In conjunction with a wire tie the wires are held safely away from the moving parts and are at a nice bend that will help the wire flex as the points move.


The first two of my homemade circuit breakers and occupancy detectors are installed although their wiring hasn’t been finished yet.


Amazingly enough all this wire terminates at a single point into only 3 pairs. These will connect with the power bus terminal strips on the benchwork.



Here, the bus lines are ready for attachment to the next module. This is necessary because the circuit breaker on the yard throat module feeds tracks on the next module.



The iron is hot and I have many more solder joints to make. See ya next post.


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  1. David Oyler says:


    Well done, sir! I continue to be impressed by your igenuity and planning. More impressive after seeing a previous response by you to a comment indicating you haven’t been building layouts your entire adult life (did you say this is your first since you were rather young?). Gives me inspiration for my upcoming efforts. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… I hope you don’t mind being severely flattered in the near future!

  2. Brad says:

    As always, I am very impressed at the level of planning, execution, and testing.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. Alan says:

    Thank you David and Brad.

  4. John says:

    I have to look at your posts on layout planning as it is obvious that you nailed this–as evidenced by how well things are going together.

  5. Scott Whittingham says:

    Alan the work you are doing just goes to show a little planning goes a long way.

  6. Art Armani says:

    As I have said in the past, you are setting the standard in planning and execution. I use this as an example for our club to follow.
    Are you planning any way to cover the bare section of bus wire once you are done soldering? I can envision myself accidently shorting something on the bare wire when working under the layout in the future.

  7. alan says:

    Thank you for the kind words. No, at present I have no plans to cover the bare bus wire. The buses will be about 4-1/2″ above the bottom edge of the cross members once the module is installed on the benchwork. That really minimizes accidental touching. One would have to be working between cross members at riser level to touch the bare wire meaning the work is deliberate in which case power would be off.

  8. Kevin Romine says:

    Hi Alan. Thanks for sending me the link to your railroad project. Very impressive! I am reading a great book right now; One Summer America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. It is not about RxR but does have a few pages about the time when RxR where so popular. Here is an excerpt that you may enjoy. “Trains in the 1920s had names, not numbers, which endowed them with a certain air of romance and adventure: Broadway Limited, Bar Harbor Express, Santa Fe De Luxe, Empire State Express, Texas Special, Sunrise Special, Sunset Limited.”

    Thanks for sharing. I will check out your progress periodically.


  9. James Miller says:

    I really like the 12 gauge wire “telephone polls” to connect the feeders to the bus. First time I have seen it and sure looks like a fast easy way to connect to the bus.

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