Trackwork Handbook


[Setup Checklist]     [Contents]     [Appendix 2: End Plates]


With input by Gregg Fuhriman

1.       Doing a lot of design and planning on paper up front is essential for even the simplest of modules. It helps to avoid the “Oh, I didn’t think of that” problem after construction begins. Using a CAD computer program is one way, but paper and pencil should work just as well.

 2.     Consider the legs as part of the frame, and design and construct them together with the frame.

 3.     Try to think through the whole process of building the module before even buying the materials. The planning process may go something like this:

 Establish size, shape, and track plan

 Design module frame in detail

 4.     Mojave Yard Examples: The following drawings give you examples of the module planning that Gregg Fuhriman (GF) or I (GG) did for Northern California Free-mo's Mojave Yard.

 Note: You will need to rotate the views appropriately when Acrobat Reader opens.

The track plan and subroadbed supports (GF): This drawing of the Mojave Yard throat drawn by Gregg shows the exact location of turnouts and throwbars. The drawing enabled planning for the location of Tortoise switch machines and support members underneath the full plywood top. The location of throwbars was so exact that slots for the Tortoise actuating wire could be routed exactly at locations shown in the drawing (see item 6 of Roadbed).

 Module construction details (GG): I made this drawing as a cutting guide for all the structural pieces of the module frame.

 Module #2 construction drawing (GF)

 Module #2 leg detail (GF)

 Construction details (GG): I made this drawing to explore some construction concepts that permit the subroadbed to extend across the end plate so that the likelihood of a dip or rise of the subroadbed (and thus the track) at the module end. Mojave Yard follows the drawing on the right of this page. Here is a photo of this construction before the top and corner block are installed. Be very careful to make sure that the corner block is exactly square. I have learned that not doing so risks warping the endplate.


When you've completed your module, consider using Gregg Fuhriman's technique to precisely measure your module so that layout planners can be assured that they are using an accurate representation of your module. See How to measure a module by Gregg Fuhriman.

[Setup Checklist]     [Contents]     [Appendix 2: End Plates]

Gary M. Green