"The Quarry" Extension
The Quarry extension module provides a no-mess method of adding yet another dimension to your High Sierra N-scale model train layout. The hills and grades, roads and rocks, fields and streams, are all molded into a rugged sheet of polystyrene. The track roadbed is textured to simulate ballast and is designed to accommodate standard sectional track (Atlas SnapTrack), or Kato Unitrack with some modification. You'll also notice grooves molded into the roadbed indicating the centerline for the track and the track joints (more will be said about these later). A modified Warren Truss Bridge is included for use at the upper left corner of the layout (see track plan and "Notes on Laying Track" below).
The Quarry extension module is designed specifically to be operated as an addition to the High Sierra layout. It is recommended that Terrain for Trains extension modules (the Quarry or Town of Rocky Ridge) be mounted on light wood frames which allow the modules to be bolted together and aligned for trouble free operation. These frames can be constructed of light pine 1" x 3" or 1" x 4" lumber. Legs can be fashioned of 2" x 2" pine. Your hobby dealer has several good books which illustrate various types of table and benchwork construction techniques. Or, you can use the drawing below as a guide.
Repairing Cracks or Damage to the Quarry
Virtually any kind of crack or breakage is easily repaired. For cracks, simply apply glue to the inside surfaces of the crack and press back together until the glue has cured. If a piece of the layout has been removed (wrongfully cut or drilled, for example), sheet styrene purchased at your local hobby dealer can be cut to size and glued into place. Bondo automotive putty and Squadron Green model putty can also be used.
Framing the Layout
When creating a multiple module layout with Terrain for Trains components, it is strongly recommended that each module be mounted on a light wood frame as outlined below. The frames provide a stable base which allows multiple modules to be easily bolted together and properly aligned. It is very important that the roadbed surfaces, and even more importantly the railheads, line up perfectly for a smooth transition from one module to another. Track that rises or drops suddenly as it leaves one module and enters another will cause derailments.
The recommended framing plan utilizes 1" x 4" pine lumber which has been cut to the exterior dimensions of the module. Be sure to measure your particular module because the sizes tend to vary somewhat due to shrinkage in the manufacturing process. If you have a table saw, cut a 1/8" by 3/8" rabbet along the top edge of all the boards before assembly. This provides a shelf for the layout to rest on while still allowing the modules to be bolted closely together (Figure 1). The center cross-brace will need to be notched to accomodate the support pan.
Once the frame has been assembled, the layout can be placed on it and attached with super glue, silicon adhesive, and/or small screws. For effective attachment with super glue, lift the layout slightly off the small shelf and drip the glue onto the wood beneath the area where the layout will make contact. Use the thicker viscosity type of glue. If you are using silicon adhesive, apply a bead of glue on the top of the rabbet (along the 1/8" shelf) and set the layout in place. Add small weights or gently clamp the edge of the layout to hold it in position until the adhesive cures. After the glue has cured, lift the framework up on edge and add glue from the bottom, applying it to the point where the wood meets the plastic. typically, nothing more is necessary. Once the glue cures thoroughly, the layout should be quite solidly attached to the wood.
The Basic Steps
First, take inventory of all the parts contained in the Quarry's carton. These should include the following:
A. Support pan B. Main layout C. Pan reinforcement angles (2 black plastic angles)
D. Modified Warren Truss or Plate Girder bridge E. Instruction packet
Now, follow the steps outlined below and
you'll be running trains in a few hours (details for each of these
steps will be found in the pages of these instruction sheets):
1. Buy the track items listed in the Materials List on page 3 of these instructions
2. Glue the track to the Support Pan (Item A)
3. Install the Support Pan under the Main Layout (Item B)
4. Glue the reinforcement angles beneath the tunnel portals (Item C)
5. Glue track to the Main Layout
6. Connect power supply and run trains
Perform all track installation work with the Quarry layout resting on a solid, flat surface. If the layout is not flat while you are laying the track, the bridges may be inclined to buckle or break when the layout is placed on a flat surface.
The Quarry layout was designed specifically for any sectional track matching the sizes and radii of Atlas Snap TrackTM. These include Kato Unitrack with some modification (Kato does not manufacture the shorter straight sections required in the track plan).
All of the above mentioned track systems are offered in a variety of easy to use sizes. Straight sections range in length from 5/8 to 5. Full length curved sections are available in three different curve radii: 9-3/4", 11", and 19". Half-length curved sections are also available and are specified on the track plan as 1/2-9 and 1/2-11.
The plan calls for standard turnouts (switches). Electrically operated remote switches can also be used. Simply drill a 3/32 hole in the layout near the end of the switch machine housing and push the wires through.
Materials List and Track Plan
Purchase your track assortment according to the list below and be certain to have all the pieces on hand before starting the track laying procedure. The following is a list of all the Atlas track sizes and bridges you will need to bring your layout to life.
Straight Curved Turnouts (Switches) 14 #2501 5" 9 #2510 9-3/4" radius 2 #2702 Left-hand (manual) 4 #2509b 1-1/4" 5 #2511 9-3/4" radius 1/2 section (remote is #2700) 2 #2509c 5/8" 17 #2520 11" radius 2 #2703 Right-hand (manual) 2 #2521 11" radius 1/2 section (remote is #2701)
2 #2546 Warren Truss bridges 2 #2536 End bumpers**
2 #2548 Plate Girder bridges
Note: A modified Warren truss bridge or Plate Girder Bridge is included with the Quarry layout kit. You will still need two additional bridges to be used at the front of the layout.
** Using the #2536 End Bumpers is optional. Some model railroaders prefer a more realistic bumper, such as the Peco #841, which is has the appearance of a bumper fabricated from bent rail. A pile of ballast or old ties are often used by full-size railroads.
The basic track plan (below) indicates the proper placement of each section of track. The joint-guidelines marked in the surface of the layout are to be used as guides only -- follow the center-line markings on the layout and use the track plan as the final authority.
Notes on Laying Track
The easiest and quickest means of installing track on the Quarry is to attach it to the layout with glue. All the brands of track mentioned earlier have tie strips or roadbed molded of polystyrene which makes them compatible with any model glue sold at your local hobby shop. Since the layout is also molded of polystyrene, the glues will bond the track quite securely to the layout.
Start by placing all the track sections in their appropriate location, connecting them as you go, holding them in place with short pieces of masking tape (2 to 3) placed across the track and roadbed. Once the track is in place, double check your work, making certain that all rail joiners are properly installed and all rails are properly aligned. A misaligned joint will always derail your trains. With the tape holding the track securely in place, start applying the glue by dripping it between the ties, about 3 or 4 drops per track section. Work only a couple of sections of track at a time, using your fingers to apply gentle pressure to the tops of the rails to ensure a firm contact between the bottom surface of the ties and the roadbed. Fortunately, super glue and model glues formulated for use with styrene cure very quickly, so you need only to apply pressure for 30 to 60 seconds. Using a chemical accelerator such as "Zip Kicker" speeds the super glue curing time dramatically. Ask your hobby dealer to recommend one of the many brands available today.
Do NOT glue the turnouts to the layout. The smallest spot of glue can damage the turnouts, making them inoperable. Glue down each section of track connected to the turnouts and let the turnout "float" between them. If, several months in the future, a turnout should fail or break, it will be much easier to change if it isn't glued to the layout.
Where to Start
Before laying any track, test fit the support pan (Item A) into the bottom of the layout. The roadbed surface of the support pan must line up with the roadbed outside the tunnel portals. Minor sanding or carving may be required to help smooth the transition of the roadbed from the pan to the layout. DO NOT INSTALL THE PAN YET. Once the fit and alignment are assured, proceed with the track laying procedures outlined below.
While closely following the Support Pan track plan, install each section of track along the molded-in center line (cross-hair marks indicate the joints for the placement of the curved sections). DO NOT glue the last section of track at each end of the pan so that adjustments can be made, if necessary, when the support pan is installed under the main layout.
The support pan is installed (only after the track is glued down) by placing it under the main layout, fitting it into the "shoulders" molded into the layout at each end for proper alignment. The pan can be glued into place, which will make the layout more rigid and stronger, or it can be attached with screws.
Sometimes minor warpage occurs during the molding process, requiring you to gently push various parts into place and to hold them tightly until the glue has cured, usually no more than a few minutes. Remember, however, that allowing longer curring time will make the layout stronger. It is recommended that you hold the pan in place with C-clamps or small spring clamps and drip or brush the glue along all the contact points with the main layout. Keep the clamps in place until the glue has cured: overnight would not be too long.
Once the support pan is installed, the unglued sections of track at each end (two sections in all) will protrude from the tunnel portals. These will be glued down once the rest of the Main Layout track has been installed and glued.
After installation of the support pan, you can begin laying track on the main layout. Start securing track with masking tape at the tunnel portal near the center of the layout, and work your way to the front of the layout, including the sidings and switches. Continue laying track until you come to the portal at the far right side of the layout. Again, double check all joints and connectors, then glue the track to the layout. BE SURE THAT ALL TRACK CONNECTORS AND RAILS ARE PROPERLY ALIGNED BEFORE APPLYING THE GLUE. DO NOT GLUE THE TURNOUTS. THE SMALLEST DROP OF GLUE IN THE MOVING PARTS WILL DESTROY THEIR OPERATION.
The polystyrene used to form Terrain for Trains layouts experiences varying amounts of minor shrinkage during the molding process and may cause slight variations in the track plan. If necessary, adjustment can be made by inserting an Atlas #2509c straight section (5/8) at the star on the plan.
About the Bridges at the Front of the Layout
The elevated track across the front of the Quarry extension module is designed to accommodate the Atlas Warren Truss or Plate Girder bridges. Use one of each, if you wish. Once the track is in place, up to and across the bridges, glue the bridges securely to each bridge abutment. Do not attempt to move the layout until the glue has completely cured. Twisting the layout before the glue is solid will cause the bridges to come loose.
Unless you are skilled at soldering electrical connections, youll find the Atlas Number #2539 Terminal Rail Joiners the easiest way to bring power to the track of your High Sierra/Rocky Ridge/Quarry layout. One set of terminals, consisting of a pair of rail joiners with a wire soldered to each of them, will be adequate to power the entire Quarry module (single block all track powered method). Install the Terminal Rail Joiners at the arrows shown on the track plan (upper right).
If you wish to park locomotives on any of the sidings, the sidings must be isolated with insulating rail joiners, installed near the switch, then powered at or near the mid-point of the siding with a pair of terminal rail joiners. A double-pole single-throw toggle switch must then be installed on your control panel, allowing you to turn off the power to that siding.
Be certain that the polarity of all your electrical feed wires matches the polarity of any other layout modules that will be connected to the Quarry.
Several good books concerning the electrical elements of a model railroad are available at you local hobby dealer. There are many different ways to handle the circuitry for the High Sierra layout and all its extension modules but it would take a separate book to detail the various options.
Track Plan for Quarry Layout and Support
(Glue track to support pan, represented by the dotted lines below, before the main layout.)
Drawing not to scale
X indicates the modified bridge included in the layout kit
Paint and Scenery Tips
Your hobby dealer can supply you with a variety of paints in a wide range of colors and finishes. They can be brushed or sprayed with an airbrush, or sprayed straight from aerosol cans. How and where you apply the colors is entirely your choice. Generally, a dull or matte finish paint will give the most realistic results. Glossy rocks and grass are not natural looking. The only things that shine naturally are water and glass.
The truck entrance to the quarry passes under the mainline and can be cut open with careful use of a utility knife. The same is true for the highway which passes through the rocks at the front of the layout. To block light from passing up from the bottom of these short tunnels, glue a piece of black styrene under the layout where the tunnels are created. Sheet styrene is available at your local hobby dealer.
Buildings, trees, and bushes are easily attached to the layout with styrene glue or super glue. Woodland Scenics, makers of a wide range of scenery materials, offers tree kits which are very easy to make with equally pleasing results. To realistically "plant" a Woodland Scenics tree, drill a small hole the size of the pin molded in the bottom of the trunk (usually 1/16 or 1/8 depending on tree size). Place a drop of glue on the pin and insert it into the hole.
Woodland Scenics clump foliage and net foliage can also be used as bushes, vines and ground cover. Various kinds of turf, available in natural shades of green and brown can be glued to the layout surface with diluted white glue or artists matt medium. These glues are white when applied but dry to a clear and dull finish.
Browse through your local hobby shop and you'll find large assortments of detail accessories, all designed to help make your layout more realistic. The addition of signs, barrels and crates, cars and people, can bring your layout to life. Some model railroaders install "sky boards" on the back of their layouts. This is a flat piece of masonite or foam core board which is painted sky blue and dotted with white clouds. There are commercially printed backgrounds available which can be glued to a sky board, adding a great deal of depth and realism. Ask your local hobby dealer for details.
If you have any questions, drop us a note in the mail, or visit our web site at www.terrainfortrains.com. Many frequently asked questions are answered on the site.