An excellent first question to ask of any design project is: what’s the intent?

Mill Road is portable but not meant for regular travel. All I wanted was a way to easily separate the modules when and if needed. Of course this means dealing with section joints in the track.

Originally, I ran the rails up to the edge of each module and butted them together (first photo below). The alignment depended on getting both modules lined up and in place, which isn’t a huge issue with the shelf support system I use. With only three track joints to deal with, it worked but I wanted a better solution.

In actuality, this layout will seldom be moved or separated, so why am I making the design more complicated than it needs to be? I decided to run the code 125 rails of the new module past the joint of the framework for a length of three to four ties and spike it in place. This eliminates the alignment issues and makes for smoother track. I can still separate the sections by just sliding them apart.

The first question to ask of any design: What’s the intent?
Butting the rails at the edge of a module works but can be a fussy connection.
Because this piece of track has feeder wires already installed, I removed a short length of roadbed to expose the rails.
I marked and cut back the rails on the existing cameo module and slid the new section of track in place using the old spikes and tie plates to align and hold the exposed rail ends. This makes for a smoother transition.

It’s interesting how we default to certain solutions without thinking the situation through. If this layout were intended to travel, a more robust and repeatable way of aligning the track would make sense. However, since the layout isn’t going anywhere, that seems like overkill.

I make no claim that this is the ideal solution. This craft is what you make of it and there must be a half dozen ways to handle a joint like this. When thinking of a situation like this one. it’s good to consider the intent of any design before worrying about the mechanics.