Joining Track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ChadYelland, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

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    whats the bests way to join atlas flex track? i plan to solder the joints were possible, but what do you do with the ties, notch them or remove a few??
  2. railroader9731

    railroader9731 Member

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    for the ties you can remove them after you joint the rails you can place the ties that you cut off back under the joints.
  3. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

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    Chad, like railroader9731 mentioned you remove one or two from each section, then join the sections together, then trim the tips that hold the rain on and slide them back under the joint, you can easily glue them down with a little white glue. Soder all joints on curves so you do not have any bad alignments on the curves. Ron..
  4. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    One other point, on curves, have the sliding rail on the inside. That way you only have to cut that one rail. Otherwise, you must cut off rail AND track.

    Lynn
  5. Harpo

    Harpo Member

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    Good point, I hadn't thought about that. I guess I came at it from another angle...if the sliding rail is on the inside of the curve, the tie spacing will not increase or spread out the way it would if the sliding rail were on the outside. Maybe not an issue if one were using code 55, but with code 80 it might be more noticable.
    ______
    Harpo
  6. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

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    OK thanks guys, i have about 30 ft or "relitively" straight track are gaps for exspansion nessisary on an indoor layout? or can i solder pretty much all joints? one fellow said after 3 sections of 3ft leave one "loose" but solder a jumper wire on to insure good conductiveity
  7. railroader9731

    railroader9731 Member

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    depends on you enviroment. if you have a place where it will get hot/cold with the weather it will be just like the real proto type you must allow for exspansion and contraction. so maybe the jumper wire would be good. anyone else have something:thumb:
  8. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

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    iTS in my basement, aprox 20-22C deg lol
  9. railroader9731

    railroader9731 Member

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    in my mind id say solder 2 3ft sections then place a jumper wire just incase thats my opinion:D altho you might want to get some body elses opinion
  10. robt46

    robt46 Member

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    Hi, just reading the thread. I'm in the process of the same thing. Not to hijack this but could you expand on the sliding rail thing. This is the first time I'm using flex track for curves. Thanks Robt.
  11. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

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    Sliding rain to the inside of the curve i've allways been told, tha way you just clip off the extra.
  12. Harpo

    Harpo Member

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    If you look at the underside of the flex track, you will see gaps cut only under one rail in the tie molding. This is so that when you curve (bend) the track the ties will curve along with it. Without the gaps, you have a section of straight track, which cannot bend. The side with the gaps allows the ties to adjust to the curve... consider that a section of track bent to a circle, or part of one, is really two circles, with the inside circle (rail) smaller, therefore shorter, than the outside rail. The "sliding rail" just allows the tie structure to adjust to the curve of the rails when you bend it. This is more complicated to explain than to do. Just take a section of flex trak and look at it on the underside as you ...gently... bend it left and right. You'll be able to observe exactly what is happening...
    ______
    Harpo
  13. robt46

    robt46 Member

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    Thanks, Robt.
  14. nicknero

    nicknero Member

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    stagger the rails

    a buddy from work showed me how to do that and its almost seemless on my layout Derailments are a thing of the past even with underweighted cars takes a bit of work but it pays off to look more realistic
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    How much temperature variation do you get in your layout room? If it is in the house and temp stays pretty much between 65-80 degrees year round, you probably don't have to worry about expansion/contraction of the rails. Out here in the southwest, most don't have basements, and often the layout is in a garage or a building built especially for trains without heat/ac. A freind built a layout in a garage where he bolted the door closed, but didn't insulate. He had to redo some track that buckled because the winter temps get down into the 40's and summertime temps get to 100 or a little more.
  16. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    Why cut it? I keep my joints about 1 1/2 feet apart, that makes for smoother curves. The real railroad doesn't have joints side by side. It takes a little more work but it is worth it. When I come to a turnout I cut both sides put in the turnout and continue on with the piece I cut off keeping approximately 1 1/2 feet between them. When they start to get to close I just cut a piece off to separate them. When you go around a curve the solid rail will not allow a kink at the joint. I use a chisel blade X-acto knife to cut the cleat off of the tie at the joint. It takes a little trial and error to cut the right one or sometimes two. Try it you ll like it.
    Les
  17. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

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    never thought of staggering the rail but sounds like a good idea, i have about 30ft of track with just a few whistle stops, and or bridges, can i run fex right over the bridge, then maybe pull some rail out of another peice to use for the gard rails?
  18. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I used N scale rail for guard. And there was an recent article in MRR magazine about using flex track on bridges and how to make ties close together that I wish I had read about t10 years ago.
    Les