I've completed the wiring for two boards...well...the track feeds for the main running lines and Colliery headshunt anyway. I have 13ft of working railway!
Only another 11ft of main line and 20ft+ of sidings to go...The fourth and final board is also almost complete, it just needs the top fixing in place and corking (will I put that off for another 2-3 weeks?!)
Being a DCC layout it uses a Bus wired as a ring main with the droppers joined in as and where needed, but what is slightly unusual in my wiring is that I am wiring it exactly as you would find it in a house, ie: it is a 3 wire system consisting of 'Live' (red), 'Neutral' (black) and 'Common' or Earth (green). You may question why, and the answer is simply to save on wiring. 'Live' and 'Neutral' are the DCC Bus, while the 'Common' will be used to link every point motors negative connection meaning that each point motor requires only two wires back to the control panel, reducing the number of wires crossing the board joins meaning that I need smaller DIN plugs/sockets. I may also see if it will work in using the 'Common' as the return leg for any lighting that will be fitted to the layout, it's wired in 27A cable so should cope with my demands. The DCC works across the board join currently completed perfectly well, unfortunately there are no point motors fitted as yet so I can't test that the system will work fully; although I see no reason for it not to.
Something else I've done is start the ballasting!
I only intended on doing a small section to test the track weathering, but I got a little carried away and the next thing I knew I'd done most of the end board along the embankment! On the plus side, I now know that my idea of using a rubber compound (Bostick Solvent Free Impact adhesive) to glue the cork down works in retaining the corks sound deadening qualities once ballasted. Even with the track pins left in place it is only very slightly louder than an unballasted section of track laid on cork. Perfect for DCC sound locos! In addition to this, I've found the flux I'm using likes to attack the nickel silver rails, even though it's for soldering etched nickel silver kits. So to combat the corrosion I've thoroughly cleaned the affected areas and painted the rail sides and over the soldered rail joiners to prevent further oxidisation.
A class 40 gives the ballasted track a good thrashing with a short parcels service while a class 08 potters around with a few HAAs in the Collery headshunt. As can be seen, the rail sides are done in rust on the outside edges while the inner edges get a coat of grime. A final wash of mucky browny khaki stuff will bring the shades a little closer together as well as the sleepers, but it all should still be suitably different when done. I think the basket liner is about as good as it will ever be, it's been brushed and glued, then brushed and reglued to within an inch of its life, much more and it will start to thin out too much.