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  1. Hi all, I've built a few model railways over the years but haven't touched any of them for quite a while. One that I started but never finished was a model of the Enoden so I have a bit of history with Japanese N gauge and the bug appears to have bitten again. I'm in the planning/experimentation stage for a model of the Hakone Tozan Mountain Climbing Railway. It's extraordinarily pretty: Link to photo on Flickr by rainbow_bread It also has several interesting switchbacks and a very close distance between adjacent tracks. I don't know exactly what I'm doing plan-wise but I'm pretty keen to have one of the switchbacks (and maybe just that?) So the first thing was to figure out how that would work. None of the commercial track systems have pointwork that fits together so closely, but Peco's small radius turnouts are about right in curvature. I thought I'd see if I could modify them as the idea of laying my own track is way too scary. I cut the rail with an etched saw, which was very neat but quite hard on the saw teeth. I had to re-cut them with a file after each turnout! With the rail out of the way it was easy to saw and clip away the sleeper web, although a bit mind-mangling thinking about how the mirror image cuts would fit together. Then repeat all the steps and use a file to true up the edges so the turnouts fit together into a crossover. Makes quite a big difference compared to the unmodified crossover! and my Tomix EMU negotiates it happily enough I've made up both crossovers now, so have enough for one switchback. But I'll need to trim them back at the other ends when I figure out how long they actually need to be Hopefully some more interesting/less technical stuff to come, i.e. scenics, but I've got a fair bit to do first. Track plan is probably the big one, I need to decide between a single module, potential future modules, or something that captures more features of the real thing but is a bit more caricatured? Cheers, Will
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