Dec. 29, 2009 - Jan. 7, 2010
It was a bitter cold and windy day, and I figured why not take a ride in the warm minivan up to Southampton
PA and pick up some trackbuilding supplies today.  I had found a good deal on rail, joint bars, and frogs, and
I wouldn't have to pay exhorbitant shipping costs.  Southampton is a few miles north of Philadelphia, about an
hour and a half drive.
ALL PACKED UP - Peter Nuskey is the proprietor of Culp Rail, and he had
the order together and helped me load it in the van.  We didn't stay outside
very long!
HOME DELIVERY - About and hour and a half later I was unloading it at
home.  I got 40 10-foot pieces of rail, 40 pairs of joint bars, and a #4 and #6
CROSS SECTION - The oiriginal Real Trains rail is on the left, the new
Culp rail on the right.  Notice it's somewhat thicker, slightly shorter in height,
and slightly narrower at the base. Peter says it works out to a scale 115
pound rail, a very common rail size on the prototype.
PAINTING - The weather warmed up a little on Friday, so I used the
occasion to start painting rail.  It doesn't work well under 40 or 45 degrees.  
The paint I use is Rustoleum Satin, color Chestnut Brown.
TIE DRILLING TEMPLATE - This device is for locating drill holes for track
screws.  In this photo it is shown with a tie underneath.  A tap with a hammer
and you have four perfectly-aligned holes.
UNDERSIDE - Here you can see the four sharp spikes, the edge guide, and
the end guide.  Today I used this tool to locate drill holes in 60 ties, and it
seemed to go quite well.  When you build lots of track, every shortcut helps.
END RESULT - After tapping the template lightly with a hammer, you get a tie
with four small holes.  Drill with a 3/32 bit and the tie is ready for track
FIRST TEN-FOOT TRACK PANEL - After expanding the track panel
template 14 inches, I finished my first 10-foot panel on January 7th...the first
of many!
LOADED UP - Before the end of January, I had a total of 20 panels done.
Then the blizzards hit.  It wasn't until March 10 that I could drive them down to
the Red Zone.  On the second trip I managed to get 16 panels on the trailer.
TEMPORARY RESTING PLACE - The track panels are waiting in the Red
Zone for the grading crew.  In another month or two they will be part of an
enlarged main line.  In the background, the Camelback is ready for a trip to
the garage.