Hand Laid Track for On30

To hopefully add a suitable backwoods look and feel to the layout, all the track for Britannia Creek is hand laid, using hand cut sleepers and short Microengineering rail spikes. The rail is taken from various Code 100 Peco track already on hand. 
I had noticed that the slats in our wooden venetian blinds were made from a suitable wood (Bassword) so I stressed some excess slats then used a cutter to cut them to size. An ink wash is used to colour the sleepers and when dry they are glued in place.

A spike applicator makes placement easier. I use the Spike Insertion Pliers from Micro Mark. 

Testing for correct rail separation is carried out frequently as our Bachmann Shay is very, very fussy on this issue. Initially I find it better to only spike on every fourth sleeper in case adjustment is required. Looking at old photos of the Britannia Creek area I have decided to place four pins on every second sleeper, which seems to be what was done for real. This is done once smooth running of the various locomotives is confirmed for the section of track. 

The rails are painted various rust colours prior to laying and touched up afterwards. The spike heads are also given the rust treatment. Sifted soil is used between the sleepers, which is glued in using a PVA/water mix applied with a syringe or small light spray applicator.

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