Constructing Our New Layout

By 2017, a working track diagram (above) had been developed by then president Tom Wiggins. The path of the new layout followed some of the old layout, starting in Rochester’s Goodman Yard, passing through Pittsford, Fairport, Lyons, Geneva, Auburn, Skaneateles Junction, Camillus, and ending in the eastern Syracuse Industrial Park.

Benchwork was constructed using an open grid design made from 4″ wide plywood strips and 2×4″ legs (designed by our current president Don Ackley-Perot). Sheets of plywood were then screwed to the top of the open grid followed by a layer of 1″ foam glued to the plywood. Features of our design, although not unique, include:

  • A 110V electrical line under each “leg” of the benchwork with individual circuit breakers and a master switch/breaker box
  • Electrical outlets every 4′ to power DCC power supplies, layout accessories, and tools
  • Holes drilled into the plywood cross members to accommodate color-coded wiring
  • Shelving to hold and organize DCC command station, boosters, and power supplies (NCE)
  • Layout organized into 6 power districts, each protected by NCE EB1 circuit breakers for each track sub-bus
  • The use of a primary track bus and sub-bus plus a separate bus and sub-bus for turnout motors (Tortoise)/controllers (NCE))
  • Assigning all turnout controllers (NCE Switch-It or Switch-8) unique accessory addresses
  • Fascia panels for controlling turnouts using toggle switches and Tortoise motor-inline LED indicators
  • UTP Panels spaced around the layout for plugging in cabs (NCE Procabs and Cab06) plus wireless capability
  • Traffic control 3-aspect LED signals connected to NCE Light-It circuit boards, controlled by Procabs and/or JMRI
  • A central train control (CTC) elevated platform that will be used in the future as a JMRI operator’s station

Construction of benchwork skeleton, plywood and foam overlay, laying cork roadbed, and leveling track.