Bench Work

Main bench work is completed!

The South Elkins area is mostly flat. The Tygart Valley River has a large meander that borders the railroad on three sides. There are no other creeks and only one drainage pipe has been found on the valuation map. With this is mind, the landforms are two inch thick blue extruded Styrofoam sheets. These are painted a tan-ish latex paint then cut to fit. These sheets are glued onto the bench work grid with latex construction adhesive, but the sheets are also wedged between the backdrop and a Masonite fascia that extends fro the top of the foam to about two inches below the bench work.

The railroad does traverse a few minimal grades. Along these portions of the right-of-way, the foam is cut out in cookie cutter fashion and carefully raised the appropriate amount. The main grade is on the line to Belington in order to raise it above the staging level. Another grade lifts the rails out of South Elkins to cross the Tygart Valley River heading north. I noted a similar ramp on the prototype and thought it would be interesting to include. Two percent grades are the maximum.

Much of the track is laid directly on the foam with drainage ditches carved into the foam. Homabed branch line roadbed is used on the C&I line and the Belington line. On passing sidings and spurs the track ramps down to the foam level.

The far end of the layout.
These top three images were taken just after the crew left in September 2005. A good portion of the benchwork was completed on this day.
Staging will be on the right.
While it looks cluttered, once the benchwork was completed many items went onto shelving below.
The center section with the C&I line on the left side of the uprights and Mill Creek on the other side.
The center portion and end segments near the garage door were constucted of new materials. A trip to the local big box builders supply store revealed a disappointing selection of lumber. On the way out I noticed the three-quarter inch Birch plywood sheets for sale under $40. Hmmm....some quick thinking and calculating found that I could get 15 three inch width boards from a sheet for less than $3 per board. AND it was better than nearly all the lumber available that day. A sheet was loaded onto a hand truck and taken to the cutting area for ripping. Within a week the benchwork was completed with the help of my daughter. The image above was taken in early March of 2006.
  Back to the Construction Methods page.  
Another quality Hansmann Production.
Direct your comments and/or questions to:

All content and images copyright 2006 by EWHansmann, unless otherwise indicated.