A Railroad with Relevance

Module #2

Written By: Alan - Mar• 05•15

It has been a long timemodule 2 since my last post. A family member has been in and out of the hospital lately. Trains don’t even make the list of priorities when family is not doing well. Recently, I had a few moments to complete what was almost done when the bad news hit.

The Brittain Yard module is complete and back on the benchwork. I changed course a bit and decided to give the track and ties a foundation coat of brown paint before placing back on the layout. This keeps the overspray mess out of the train room and eliminates all the masking of backdrop that would be required if done later. Rustoleum Camouflage Earth Brown #1918830 seemed like a good base color. Module #1 will be pulled back off and sprayed in the workshop as well. A lacquer thinner wetted rag on a fingertip cleaned the rail heads of paint.


The wiring is pretty simplistic on this module. There is only a single Tortoise and a few track feeders. There are two sets of track buses (org/wht). One set is for the main with an occupancy detector and the other set for the classification tracks without occupancy detection. The detector circuit is mounted on module #1 so the main bus carries over from that module and then onto module #3 to the end of the detection block.


As usual, everything is labeled. I sometimes can’t remember what I had for lunch today let alone what wire goes to what years from now. 🙂


On to module #3.


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  1. Rob Dove says:

    Alan the Layout is looking good. You have really taken the concept David Barrow talked about with his dominoes to a new level. I do not think he ever envisioned such a complete construction and wiring of the sections in his wildest dreams. In looking at your layout I was thinking that it reminds me of the beginning of solid state components in television sets. I remember the old ones would need the tubes changed and the new ones had the boards that would slide out of the chassis and be replaced and the set would be working again. Yours looks like the best of both worlds, easy replacement of parts like on the tube models but when a major repair is needed off to the workbench.

    I hope all is well with your family, and maybe the hospital visits will be over because who ever was ill has recovered, all my best

  2. alan says:


    I wasn’t familiar with David Barrow and dominoes. Had to Google it. I see now why you associate my style of construction with his. There are a some significant differences but there are many similarities as well. The most important similarity I see is we both focused on doing as much construction at the workbench as possible. That approach is paying handsome dividends for me and my back. Not working upside down or in awkward reaching positions is wonderful.

    Thank you for the concern about my family. It will be a long road back to health but the initial fear of potentially losing a family member has passed.

  3. Rob Dove says:

    I am glad for that Alan with regards to your family. I have gone through that with several members of my family (long term serious illness) and can appreciate how it takes over your life and changes priorities. I wish you and your family all the best and hope everything goes smoothly and ahead of schedule.

    The similarity of working at the work bench is exactly what I was talking about and you seem to have taken it to the next level.

    Again glad things are getting better with your family. Hopefully everything gets back to normal sooner rather than later.

  4. Scott Olson says:

    Alan, I am really enjoying going back through the blog posts. I have missed seeing the layout progress since the planning and early construction days. I have started a larger empire in my basement and am recognizing some similar issues/ growing pains with my layout that you have noted. I recently went to my local farm store and got a can of camoflouge brown paint and wil be trying it for a base color on the track. Thanks for the tips.

  5. alan says:

    Scott, do you have an online presence? I would be interested in following your build.

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