So the track is back in place. So far its passed most of the tests:
- American Flyer Atlantics traversed the loop without derailing. (The turnout I left open that led right off the edge of the table doesn't really count - operator error on my part...and I caught it before it fell). This was a very basic test to confirm that the pilots and trailing truck would not derail.
- Showcase line SW-9 navigated the loop without incident. Another basic test with a short wheelbase locomotive.
- American Models GP-35 cruised around the back without a problem. A bit longer in length, but still a 4 axle locomotive.
- American Models SD-60 sailed around the loop. A long, 6 axle heavy hauler. Things are looking good!
- American Flyer 4-6-4 Hudson. A bit longer in the drivers than the Atlantic. A good test prior to running the Northern 4-8-4 around the loop.
- In most of these tests, the locomotive hauled a consist of Gunderson well-deck container carriers. The cars ranged from empty to double-stacked. No real problems - the empty cars seem to derail in one spot going clockwise. Its an issue that was present with the prior track that the rebuild apparently did not address.
The next tests will be the American Models 4-8-4 Northern and the American Flyer U33C pulling a variety of rolling stock.
Having the loop working has been a very positive experience. So much so that I laid the roadbed for 8 feet of the inner loop today. If I can keep up this pace, the roadbed and the track might be done before Christmas. Yay!
I'll work on getting picture and/or video of the new loop up in the next few days.