Yesterday Louis-Marie came to visit and give a helping hand to the project. He designed the wiring concept and made the bus wires and connectors. I only had to solder the feeders to the rails and connect them to the bus. A really straightforward job that worked just fine. I tested the track this morning and everything is running fine. Louis also taught me how to solder like a pro. Well, I knew most trick from my father, but seriously, you can't expect to do a nice job with an old pistolet-type soldering iron. With good tools, I was able to get consistent results. I think soldering is no more on my model railroading hate list anymore.
That said, while talking with Louis yesterday, it was apparent the need for a cassette was a nice addition, but lots of trouble to make working. The curve needed to connect the layout with the staging area shortened my already short passing track to 48" and it looked awful. Worst, some operation would have to be done on a 24"-30" radius curve, something I really hate. Seriously, the layout was starting to look like a toy trainset, which isn't my goal! For this reason, I said farewell to the cassette. While operating the mockup layout last week, I saw no need for it. Keep it simple! I'll stick with my gun and keep only the two modules I first designed. And I just got a few more hours to spend on the modules instead of wasting them on the module!
Next step is painting the track outside with a spray can. I hope I'll get my Detail West fish plates early this week. Once that done, I'll be able to permanently fix the layout in my room and start doing what I really want to do: scenery. I expect the concrete overpass to be the first big challenge. I'm seriously thinking about casting it in plaster to get the most realistic texture I can.