These are not expressions one normally associates with “staging”, but my friend Chris Abbott and I decided a flip up shelf was just the (train) ticket for providing the space required for the few minutes needed to turn locomotives via a flip-around cassette. Chris visited after work last night and installed the shelf while I glued down ties on the sector plate.
Here’s the shelf in the down position – ready for use. The locomotive cassette has a piece of green tape over its ties. (You can also see my ties on the sector plate.)
And here’s how it works:
When a train arrives, the crew will connect the cassette to the end of their arrival track, uncouple from their train, and then drive the locomotive onto the cassette:
The cassette is disconnected from the sector plate and turned end for end by sliding it on the shelf:
The cassette – now with turned locomotive – is then connected to a clear track and the crew drives back onto the sector plate:
When not in use, the cassette sits next to the sector plate, while the shelf is stored upright:
This will prevent equipment from being driven off the end of the staging area.
Flipping the shelf up exposes its cabinet hinges and a brace that contacts the end of the staging benchwork to provide support for the shelf:
Chris plans to install some hardware on the brace to provide for fine adjustment, so the shelf is flat and properly aligned with the staging area’s base.
Using a flip-up shelf also provides unimpeded access to a chest freezer in the layout room – helping to maintain a healthy domestic situation:
The shelf can even be unclipped and removed:
This will be handy when working on track in the staging area: It will allow me to sight down the rails, and will prevent me from using the shelf as a resting place for tools and materials during work sessions.
We’re still working out the details of connecting the cassette to the sector plate, and powering the rails on the cassette. But we’ll get there. Meantime, I’ve stopped adding ties about an inch from the ends while we ponder the problem.