progress on my layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by viperman, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    Ah, I just always use my dremel. Measure a few times, cut once, comes out a-ok

    Batteries had all night and day to charge, so I'll head down in a lil bit to snap a shot, maybe lay out some more track too. I just need to get these buildings before I call any trackplan final, to make sure it all fits right
  2. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Dremel works just fine...actually it's what I have used as well. Have fun laying out the track...I've always thought that it's one of those fun stages where suddenly benchwork becomes railroad and the gateway to scenic work is opened wide. Of course, there are those who finish basic scenic contours before even laying any track...I've never understood that, really, but hey, if it works for them then why not? Looking forward to pictures, and I hope to take a couple of my own tonight.

    Galen
  3. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    Ok, here's a teaser pic. Should be able to get the idea with this one
    [​IMG]
  4. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    And one with all the track laid out. Have to get all the lumber mill kits yet, to test fit everything, but I think this will be it
    [​IMG]
  5. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Nice...very nice, if I do say so myself!

    Galen
  6. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    best thing is Galen, its all 100% sectional track, and not one piece had to be trimmed! Thank you for all your help in coming up with a trackplan I like. I do like this one, and think I will get some great use out of it!

    Now, how do I make sure to put the roadbed down, in the same place as the track? Take a marker and outline the track?

    Oh, forgot to mention, there will be an incline around the outer track on the left, I'll play around with that one of these days
  7. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Yep, good ole Sharpie brand works fine if you can stand the fumes. But I'd recommend pinning it in place for now and living with it a few days or at least overnight just to make sure the placement is right. Find some boxes that approximate the size of any buildings, structures, etc. and set them in place, as well as anything you can use for scenic features, to give you an idea of what that would look like.

    Glad it's working out! It really does look great. What do you plan to use for roadbed?

    Galen
  8. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    I've been slowly aquiring cork roadbed. A piece or two here and there. I'll have to see how much wider than the track it is, so when I pull up all the track, I'll still be able to see the outline that I need to keep the roadbed within. Once I glue that down, I'll probably nail the track down, then glue with the ballast (eventually). I do plan to paint the rails and ties too, probably after nailing the track down, but definitely before ballasting
  9. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

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    How do you get your track to join/stay together. When i'm laying out my sectional track it keeps snaking around. I have pins etc but i'm not sure where to start pinnning to make sure i have the right clearances.
  10. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    I just use the little rail joiners. I don't have ANY flex track on the table, its all track made to be straight, or have 18"/22" curve
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Perhaps I should have been clearer...Use the sharpie to put a dot between the rails and ties so that when the track is picked up a rough center line is there. Most cork roadbed comes in two halves that can be lined up on the center line. You needn't worry about the edges except for clearance issues between parallel tracks or scenic/structure features.

    Galen
  12. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

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    O.k. but how do you make sure that the actualy rails connected by the joiners are lined up and stay lined up.

    I layed out my track and put all the joiners on but it's really wobbly and it moves around allot. I have rail spikes and i want to put them in but how do i make sure that my corners are true and centreed and my straights are straight :).
  13. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    The critcal points are the turnouts. Really, all the joints should be tight and 'square', i.e., without kinks. But one common order for putting down track is to start with the turnouts or groupings of turnouts then work from there. Then go with the major curves. If you work toward a straight section as the last piece, then if the length is off you can always trim or add as necessary. But if you end up on a curve and it's off, then you have to mismatch the radius or adjust somewhere else.

    In Viperman's specific situation, I'd start with the crossing and work toward the mill sidings.

    Also, consider soldering the curved pieces together to make one large curved section, and do this with all the curved areas. Work slowly and steadily and be patient and you'll be rewarded with smooth, trouble-free trackwork. How's your soldering skill?

    Galen
  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Also, do you have an NMRA track gauge?

    Galen
  15. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

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    I don't have an nrma gauge, i'm pretty good at soldering but i'm not too keen on the idea of soldering my track right yet. I want to move around the layout some. I also want the kids to be able to take their loops apart and design and build their own loops.

    I guess what i'm driving at is that after installing my joiners i can still "move" my tracks. They don't stay still. I went and bought a box of push pins to hold the tracks in place while i adjust etc. Then i'm going to put the spikes in once i've got everything all lined up i'm going to use the track spikes and nail everyhting down.
  16. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Sadly, that's the reality of sectional track. Hence, the wise decision by Bachmann, et al, to create their own brands of locking roadbed that holds the track together.

    Another trick - twist ties. Put the two pieces of sectional track together then loop a twist tie around through the ties and twist it tightly, folding it down to stay out of the way of the trains (couplers, axles, etc). Sure, it's unsightly, but flexible and it does the job of holding them together. An old trick from my sectional track days of setting it up on my friend's linoleum floor. It was his laundry room...so we needed to be able to pull it all up after we were finished.

    Galen
  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    While tracks pulling apart may be an issue (i have an diecast O-27 steamer on old lionel pin rail, so this is commonplace every christmas) , I am positive regular track is still better as far as track goes.

    The big problem with the Bachmann EZ track is that while it holds together, i find that it has to many imperfections. the rails don't line up at joints in many cases. I just set up my EZ track under my christmas tree, and have been plagued with problems (although to be fair, i am using some new equipment in my trains, which are equiped with scale kadees/Mchenrys, as opposed to the kadee #5 majority)

    In any case, i find myself spending more time weeding out bad pieces, checking to make sure all railjoiners are correctly placed, and recombining track sections to which matches up best like a puzzle for hours before i can get a train to run reliably around the oval more than 3 times.

    I think normal sectional track probably lines up better in the first place. as far as a christmas tree train goes, i wouldn't be opposed to the twist tie idea if i had any sectional track not on my layout. thanks for the tip!
  18. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

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    That is a great idea!! Nice and simple. i think i can find black twist ties cheap.
  19. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    The supermarket produce variety are usually white or green and paper, not plastic. You want the nice black plastic coated variety...unless your ties are brown or concrete, of course!

    I've had a loop of some sort of locking roadbed type track for a while now...came with the cheap Harry Potter set (no platform 9-3/4, only 2 cars) and that ran without any trouble. The other type I have came with a Disney World train set and likewise, it has had no trouble either. But it has a 'sideways' locking mechanism and no actual rail joiners connecting the rails. I expected trouble from it, but so far have had none.

    Also, both loops are steel rail and black roadbed. Each would need some serious paint work to get them looking closer to realistic...a someday project if I ever do anything with them. I also have 'Flitz' polish, but haven't tried it on the rail. Supposedly it'll make steel rail worth using. Not sure how it is supposed to stop any corrosion. I had always heard steel just wasn't worth much, down there with brass rail.

    Galen
  20. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    the harry potter set is the Bachman EZ track, and that is a hundred times better vareity wise then the life-like style track of the disney world train set ( i think its snap-loc or something along those lines).

    the problem with the ez-track and others is that the railed don't smoothly but up with one another where they connect, among other weird issues. Maybe you haven't had problems yet, but its certainly a problem for alot of people i've talked to.

    additionally, their switches and things cause a billion and one different derailements. I'm not sure where the problem is to fix this, but every once in the while, (usually the second or third car in my passenger consists) will diverge onto one of my #6 crossovers when going through it, even though i repeatedly check to make sure the points are lined up and all of that. its very frustrating.


    as for steel rail... i have it on my layout, and its usually not a problem. I do notice my steal EZ track gets dirtier faster with black grime and grease stuffs, but as far as corrosion goes, there is very little corrosion on my steal tracks. Brass track is the only track that seems to get dull and corroded any more than any other section of track i have, and even then brass track doesn't give me any problems. I always wonder why people freak out about brass track so much.