After all track (except a few short lengths leading from the turntable, which will be dealt with later) was glued and had set for a few hours, I started drilling 1/16″ holes between ties on each side. These will be used to run short lengths of 22-gauge wire (feeder wires) from the tracks to the main lengths of 16 gauge wire (bus wires) under the layout. I didn’t want to drop too many feeders, as each will need to be soldered to the track and suitcase-clipped to a bus wire, but I also didn’t want to risk any dropouts. So I dropped feeders at 6″-10″ intervals and, of course, I had to feed each isolated section of track coming out of a turnout.
This week, I will start dropping feeders and hopefully connect the bus wires next weekend.
And, while this won’t be exciting to anyone except me, I slugged up some wires and soldered them to the headshunt, then cleaned the track with a Brite-Boy. This allowed me to program the 0-6-0 “Bellwether” to run back and forth on about 10 inches of non-isolated track. Really exciting to see it working. The Bellwether is running on address 6407, which is the loco number painted on its side.
As far as I can tell, the little engine runs beautifully; I can keep it at a very slow crawl.