About the MFR

The Metaline Falls Railroad (MFR) is a proto-freelanced model railroad based on the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad located in northern Idaho and north eastern Washington State. For the very latest on the layout, please visit my YouTube channel and follow along with my Instagram account.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Construction Photo Dump

While I was cleaning up and organizing some photos on my computer, I ran across a number of older layout construction photos that I've neglected to post on my blog.  These aren't the greatest photos ever, but I'll go ahead and dump them all here for those interested in seeing how the sausage was made.

So, shortly after I had built the benchwork and glued down the foam surface, I began laying out the track and sizing up my options. At this point in the process I had my track plan pretty much solidified on paper, but I was unsure of how well it would fit into the actual available space. I laid the track and turnouts out carefully on the surface and found that I would have to modify few of the turnouts by shortening them in order to make best use of the space available.

After carefully marking the locations of all track and turnouts on the surface of the foam, I glued the cork roadbed in place using wood glue and thumb tacks to secure the cork and red wine to lubricate the brain.

Here the track is being laid down.  For this step I switched to white glue. This type of glue holds the track firmly in place, but allows me to easily pull the track up off of the cork if adjustments or repairs are required, no nails needed! (Note the boxcar which I used to test the transition between turnouts and flex track to ensure that everything flowed as smoothly as possible.)

All of my rail is code 83, but to give the impression of lighter, less-used rail I removed every 3rd or 4th tie from my flextrack and spaced out the remaining ties to fill in the gaps.  To aid in the process, I created a template to help keep the spacing fairly consistant though I did adjust the individual ties a bit to allow for some larger gaps and kinked a few of the ties to simulate old, worn-down track. (Note the difference in tie spacing before and after adjustment between the ties on the left and right side)

I eventually got tired of looking at that drab, brown, unpainted backdrop and so I grabbed a quart of greyish-blue interior house paint and a small roller and got to work.

After the paint dried I glued several lengths of painted wood trim to the top and sides of the hardboard to nicely frame the backdrop as well as to help prevent warping over time (hopefully!)

Well there you go, If you have any questions about any of the steps I took along the way, Just leave a comment below!


  1. Sometimes it nice to look at older pics to be happy with progress you have done!

  2. Shannon, thanks for posting the pics and comments about the track work. I have been setting up then game plan for my modules this summer. Once the shop building is done, I can build a railroad!

  3. Great job! These pictures make a good sense to any professional involved in construction photography. I am also an photographer and these pictures are inspiring to me.