The Roster

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tunnel Portal, take 2

Here's the back story, in 2015 I had finished the landscaping for the tunnel. It was done. Materials put away and I'd moved on to finished the yard. In the fall, I ran a double stack container train onto the track and routed it into the tunnel.


I was not expecting that to say the least. The top container and clipped the top of the portal entrance and would not fit. It derailed five cars, spilled containers all over the track and caused a coupler pocket to explode.  I should have taken a picture - it was an accident worthy of an FRA report.  I was in shock - how could this happen. I knew I had run the train over this track before and never had a problem.

Yeah...before you installed the final tunnel portal. Idiot!

Yep, it's true I'd not tested the track after installing the last portal. It was a converted MTH portal and had been cut down to be closer to S gauge. When it was cut down, it was clearly cut down to an older clearance standard and not the modern standard.

This weekend I finally fixed the portal. Ripped out the old portal and installed a new one from Pre-size model specialties.  It was not hard work, just something I did not relish having to do.

The old portal, all nicely landscaped into the layout.

Overview showing the framework that comprises the tunnel.

Close up of the same space. I was able to leave most of the landscape in place.

The Plasticville church normally in the space beyond the trees was moved for this repair.

The new portal was much thinner than the old MTH version. This required inserting a styrofoam spacer to the portal,. It did not have to be pretty as it would not be visible once the potal was installed.

The spacer plugs in place.

Yes, I would forget which one belonged on which side.

The angle of the portal needed to be tweaked, so some spacers and cutting took place to support the desired placement.

The double stack car fits into the tunnel!

Checking the portal clearance for the double stasck cars.

Sliding into the installed tunnel portal. Still have to finish the painting and landscaping..

Here's a video showing the clearance test of the double stack car.


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