Original benchwork 1991: Longmont staging yard on far wall with center peninsula suspended from above with a plywood gusset. Masonite pads are screwed to wall studs to protect drywall — backdrop will be glued to these pads with construction adhesive.
End of the floating center peninsula with Burke's Hill roadbed in the foreground: open grid construction and gusset drywall–screwed in place. The gusset top is likewise screwed into the floor joist above. Backdrop will form around the gusset and short 1x2s.
Ara Wye with UP staging track at bottom: the rightmost switch was my very first handlaid turnout. The two closest joists are the center joists of the peninsula. Here at the peninsula base, they rest on the short L-girder screwed into wall studs.
Another view of Ara Wye before there was a backdrop: You can never have too many clamps when you build benchwork. My friend Doug loaned me the large brown clamps and a pile of smaller ones. Note the 4:1 track plan printout on the wall where Boulder will be.
In a view similar to the first photo, the sky blue backdrop is now in place in Longmont and around the peninsula. Track is complete to Louisville. The train is at Valmont, above a remnant of the 30-inch wide metal flashing I used for backdrop.
View down the Louisville aisle: The train is in the siding at Louisville, which is
end of track. The track into Longmont staging and Track 1 are at left. In 17 years, I will expand the layout by pushing the two track levels at the end of the aisle through the wall behind them.
Expansion into the adjoining room began in early 2008. In this view down the Louisville aisle, a wall section between the rooms has been removed and the metal backdrop peeled back to reveal the new territory. Hecla Mine at right appeared in the July 1999 Model Railroader.
As in the original room, the lower deck benchwork is open grid, with a gusset
sky hook. The benchwork thins on the right to bridge a file cabinet. At that point, the benchwork supports track on both sides of a center backdrop — very narrow right-of-way indeed.
Where the right-of-way is very narrow — it's just 5 inches wide at Dry Creek in the closet — benchwork consists of just a single beam. The endwall of the closet (behind the photographs) has been removed for the growing benchwork and aisle.
Upper deck benchwork, roadbed, track, and electrical is complete in this view of a train at Clear Creek. That's a crawlspace access door behind the train. Niwot is on the lower deck, fully operational with fascia in place.
This view from the very end of the serpentine aisle looks toward two boxcars at Broomfield in the distance, nicely showing the two decks above each other.
Both decks in place with North Yard on the top deck, left. The gusset now holds up the upper deck as well.
This final photo shows the long aisle back into the original room, with North Yard on the right. Its stub-ended yard tracks will eventually end at a mirror — to great effect.