Over the weekend, I prepared the layout for accepting the cassette. I carefully measured and marked the foam base. I had to cut it just deep enough so that when the cassette is put in place, the rails line up with the layout.
I clipped the rails and then very slowly and carefully cut the foam with a hobby knife. It still wasn’t a clean cut. My hands weren’t very steady I guess.
I also realized that I didn’t cut it wide enough. I really needed to cut the entire width of the WS roadbed. The height of the rails were a good match, but the horizontally the rails didn’t line up.
So, I shaved some of the foam to make sure the rails fit. I then took a pair of rail joiners to align the rails. I tightened one end and inserted that end to the rails that are part of the layout. The other side I loosened a little bit for easy connection of the removable pieces. I then test fit the cassette and the removable spur and they both fit easily and the rails aligned perfectly.
Here are a few videos of the testing. This first one shows how simple it is to switch back and forth between the cassette and the removable spur.
Here’s the very first test of rolling a train off the layout and into the cassette, removing the cassette, putting it back and then rolling the train back onto the layout. This first test was with a single engine. You can see that I’m not that used to connecting the rails yet.
Here’s another test with an engine and a hopper. For this one, I didn’t cut the power to the track before I removed or reconnected the cassette. This was about the 5th or 6th test. You can see that I’m getting much better at reconnecting that cassette. Yaaay!
Now that the concept is working, I need to build more cassettes, cut end pieces and attach grooves to the storage drawer to hold the cassettes.