As usual with most model railroads things slow down in terms of layout progress in the summer months, and the Cahaba Southern is no exception. However, progress is still being made. With my last post the plywood subroadbed had been cut, and since then I have been putting in risers and connecting the new subroadbed to the helix. At this point the main lower subroadbeds are in place, and next are the remaining higher subroadbed for the double track mainline.
Here you can see the first of the subroadbed set to the appropriate height with risers, and then connected to the helix.
More subroadbed on risers in the town area of the layout. The higher subroadbed visible in the back is not attached yet to the risers, it is just laying on them.
Here you see the subroadbed leaving the town area heading up towards the coal mine. This picture shows the true beauty of using cookiecutter benchwork.. As the subroadbed starts to rise towards the coal mine the transiition is perfectly smooth, which will give a natural flow to the trains going up/down this transistion. The bend of the plywood makes it perfect.
Up until this point I have been installing the risers by clamping them to the joists, leveling them to the correct height, and then screwing them to the sides of the joists. This is tedious and takes some time. As I was getting ready to install the risers around the coal mine area I discovered that I was going to have to install some right over the wiring holes in the benchwork, effectively blocking them. No problem, I'll just cut those to the correct height and use pocket screws to mount those to the top of the risers........
AAARRRGGGGHHH!!! DOINK!!! Well DUH!! Why hadn't I thought of that before, it would have saved a lot of tedious work mounting those risers. I have the exact rise needed from CADRail, the grid benchwork underneath is level, and I have an accurate miter saw and the pocket hole jig.... this would have saved me about a days worth of work if I had done all of the other risers that way! Armed with my revelation I was able to knock out the remaining risers needed around the coal mine in about an hour instead of the 6-8 it would have take the other way.
I was then able to attach the subroadbed for that area.
I'm not attaching the subroadbed for the mine at this point, I'll do that afer I lay the track around the back of the layout behind the mine area.
That's all for now, next I will continue on the remaining risers for the mainline....