Rail Gaps

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by J. Steffen, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    I was glueing HO track to the roadbed when I realized that there was a couple mm gap between a set of rails. Now this stuff is set isn't coming up. Has anyone ever had any luck filling the gap with solder? Any suggestions?
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Jeff: First thing is to see if you can slide the rails around a bit to spread the gap amoung 3 or 4 joins. Afew small gaps won't be a problem.
    If you can't, cut a piece of rail 2mm long, file the flanges off the bottom and drop it in the gap. If you can shift the rail joiner enough, you may not nee to file the flanges. The short piece can then be soldered in place.
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    If you have NO gaps, it's asking for trouble (IMO). Whether from track expansion, roadbed shrinkage, or what-have-you, I've found that gaps tend to close up, and the track WILL buckle:curse: , just like in real life. Now, my experience has been with cork on pink foam. Other substrates or combinations may yield different results. I know that some folks here have reported no such problems, so I guess that it's kind of a crapshoot.:rolleyes:
    I like David's idea of trying to slide the rails aroud enough to distribute the gaps. Unless you're modeling welded rail, a little clickety-clack doesn't hurt!!
  4. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    The section is glued and set. This is the gap ***** *****. Don't ask, I have on idea how it happened. Not paying attention I guess. I didnt think about setting in a section of cut rail. it sounds like a great idea. Thanks.
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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  6. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    I thought I had problems....

    I'll just stick some rail clippings in there and tack em down with solder. Thanks again all.
  7. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

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    You might have some problems filling that big a gap with solder. I did. I finally ended up glueing a thin piece of plastic in the gap with CA glue and then filed to match the rail.
    Doc
  8. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

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    Even some track adjustments. I still had gaps. I just soldered them. Sometimes those gaps can derail a train!:curse:

    Andy:wave:
  9. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

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    i always leave gaps in ALL of my rails about 1mm to leave for expansion since temps here in Ohio go from -1 in the winter to 95 in the summer.i model 60 to 72 but I'm not that prototypical and don't mind the clickety clack,in fact i kinda like it.just make sure if you leave expansion gaps that you solder wires from rail to rail under the layout so in winter when stuff shrinks theres still power to all the rails.my father used to work for Cincinnati electronics and made a silicone rubber for the military that was as conductive as metal yet VERY squishy.he used it on an ho scale layout and wouldn't you know it ,IT WORKED!i don't know if its still made or even for civilian use but he did it and it worked so hope this helps.--josh
  10. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    It's a huge gap. I haven't ran it but something tells me it would go something like clickity clack, clunk, squeal, screech, rumble, bang, O My God, O my God we're gonna die!!!

    or I could be wrong...
  11. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    All I know, is that in the real thing we had a gap about four inches in a switch frog area and every time you would go through it it would go BANG clickety clack BANG clickety clack BANG etc, the first wheel would hit hard but the second would glide over it and then you would be fine. Made for a rough ride. According to the dispatch it was just under the mandatory replacement. Didn't make me feel any better sign1 Filling the gap seems like a good idea to me!
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I've mentioned it before, but a short piece of rail in a fishplate was called a "dutchman"; I don't know if that's still allowed. My definition of it was "a piece of rail shorter than a rail joiner".