I hated doing it, but the Milwaukee Road layout had to go. I never like giving up on a piece as I did earlier today and the short version is there was an issue with the track itself. On most layouts, these smaller desktop layouts included, I always add just a touch of superelevation, or cant, to most of my curved track sections. It’s subtle but visually it adds an extra bit of realism to a scene.
On the Milwaukee Road layout however, I added just a bit too much superelevation for a layout this size. A maximum prototypical amount of superelevation, or cant, is about 6 inches for a mainline railroad. This works out to 0.027 inches for Z scale. Unfortunately on his piece I miscalculated and the superelevation was more than I wanted, enough in my view give the track too severe an angle. Damn.
The trains ran fine on this track, very smooth actually, but for me it’s about the visual appeal as much as the operation. I’d been busy with other projects and had this layout on a shelf for a couple of months thinking I’d look at it again with fresh eyes down the road. Well, down the road arrived today and realized it just wouldn’t do, the superelevation was just too severe.
Since I build these layouts, overbuild actually, with shipping in mind I do tend to make sure nothing moves once completed. Given that the track cant could not be adjusted up on this layout, there was no choice, the layout had to go. As I said, I hated doing it.
I always try to take “when one door closes, another opens” approach to things and this is a good time to put this quote into practice. Yes, I had to discard the Milwaukee Road layout as it was, but this gives me a chance to create something new, and that’s always a good thing. And yes, this time the superelevation will be watched even more carefully during construction.