St. Jude's Charity Build

As most of you know, St. Jude's is dedicated to help cancer-ridden children without any family ever receiving an invoice for the hospital's service. St. Jude relies completely on donations and so I decided to build a 3x6 ft N-scale beginner layout at my own cost and auction it off. The proceeds less the shipping/insurance cost will be donated to the St. Jude Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

With rough shipping/handling in mind, the framework is made of sturdy 3/4' and 1/2' plywood. This article will serve as a build-diary enabling potential bidders to follow the progress an the build.

The track plan is pretty simple. It is basically an over and under with a couple of industries to switch. The track plan is concepted for one train, but if you like a litlle challeng, you can also run two trains simultaneously:

3x6 ft Charity Build 3x6 ft Charity Build
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To save some surprise, I only printed a simplified track plan (less all the details I have in mind). Then I trnasferred the plan to the benchwork:

Track plan transferred to benchwork Track plan transferred to benchwork Track plan transferred to benchwork
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Today is dedicated to lay down the cork subroadbed and cutting out the ramps to the bridge.

Cork subroadbed is down Cork subroadbed is down
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Mapped out the track wiring and built up the ramps leading to the bridge. I also primed the layout deck to somewhat hide the "plywood - city" look.

Track wiring scheme Layout primed and ramps built up Layout primed and ramps built up
Ramps Layout primed and ramps built up  
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Obviously, there has to be a bridge to span the gap between the two ramps - and obviously that bridge has to be scratch-built as it is curved. There are no curved bridges in reality (except for concrete bridges, or viaducts made of stone), so I made a template to build the bridge on. The building material is strip styrene. All parts are "welded" using MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone). To glue the track to the bridge, I will have to use super-glue. The reason for that is the Peco Code 55 track I'm using for this build. Peco uses some sort of Delrin for its tie strips which isn't affected by the MEK.

Bridge template Bridge base frame  
Enough overhead clearance? Yep, even HiCube boxcars will fit here Added a splash of color and some lattice work
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I didn't get to do much on the layout yesterday as my home was invaded by ants... However, I finally won that battle (for now) and went back to the layout. Yesterday, I managed to spray paint the bridge's base and today I went on detailling and painting it.

Painted base Painted base Walkway and girder added 
 Walkway and girder added    

To be continued...