When your trains get a little kinky

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Eddie Landreth, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Eddie Landreth

    Eddie Landreth Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've had some pretty cold temperatures here the last few days, and my basement has gotten down in to the 50's. Apparently it's enough to cause the benchwork to contract somewhat and here's the results (see below). Obviously, I'm going to be spending some time the next few days cutting in some expansion gaps. :mad: So, for all you guys just now laying track, take heed - if the track has no where to shift to, it will flex outwards.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    0
    OOOOOooowwwwww....that hurts :eek:
  3. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks prototypical to me.....nice detailing!!!
  4. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Turk...You must live on the old Burlington Rt. in NE Colorado. When I used to take the train E. out of Denver, the first hour the train rode like that track looks, really wobbly and rough. What made it more noticable was the fact that the dining car closed an hour out, so if you wanted to eat dinner, you had to try doing it on that track. I was once told by one of the train crew
    that the Burlington had laid that track a long time ago, and didn't do a very good job at maintaining it. I haven't ridden it since the merger so I don't know how it is now.

    Dick
    Texas Chief
  5. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    I live in Green Cove Springs, Fla. in Reynolds Industrial Park. The Park was a large Naval Air Station during WW11. It's full of track, and it all looks like Eddies pic.
    There is a (I believe) CSX car shop on the base just a short distance from where I park my RV. The had a string of at least a half dozen locos there a couple of weeks ago. The track is so kinky going to the shop that I'm surprised the locos don't derail getting to the shop. It's definitely a slow bell section of track. Wish I had a pic.
  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow! I've seen that happen, but not that bad.
  7. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, too! I've seen heat kinks on the real railroads like that but never a cold kink, that's some serious contraction there Eddie. :eek: Good luck with the fix, I guess the MofW will get doubletime and a half for holiday work!!!! :cry:
  8. PRR-4-6-2

    PRR-4-6-2 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    You could add a couple of bomb crater and start a ww2 layout.
  9. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    0
    I haven't seen track like that since I worked for Penn Central (Indiana Divn.)...... "the Home of the 10 MPH Track Order" !!!

    Bob :oops:
  10. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yipes! Good luck to you with your expansion gaps, Ed - Sure looks cool, though. [​IMG]
  11. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, Eddie. THat's nasty looking!

    I think you may need to look deeper than mere temperature here. I broke most of the rules laying my flextrack - soldered most of the connections, only a few expansion joints... etc... My train room regularly goes down to the 50's or even 40's and I've never had anything like that happen... I think you may need to ponder how you're laying the track if you don't want to face this issue repeatedly...

    Kris
  12. Eddie Landreth

    Eddie Landreth Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's a pic showing the joint after I pulled the nails out and separated the joint. You can see how much the rails were trying to move against each other. When I laid the track back this summer, I butted the rails up against one another, so now it looks like I need to nip a little off and rejoin. So, this summer I guess I should expect to see a small gap there now. I thought about using some latex caulk, but I like being able to reposition track as needed. Hopefully, nipping a little here and there will solve the problem.

    [​IMG]
  13. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    If, yeah, but your'll only get gaps upto the size of what you remove, obviusly, so it wont be too bad.

    - also, if you need to, you might have to chop a lenght if rail in half, so that there are to expention/comtraction joints sharing the diffrence.
  14. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ha Eddie, I think your problem is more due to loss of mosture than temperature differance. Basements collect mosture during the warm mouths, and loss it in the winter. Also your plywood was new then, which means it will shrick some as it "cures". If you seal your plywood top and bottom with a good exterior paint, the rexpansion should be minimal. (just the thoughts of a woodworker)
  15. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    2,593
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott beat me to it, I've had trackage like that, it is due to the wood drying out, in my case due to the furnace running in the winter. It dries the air very much, and like most basements it is quite humid in the summer. The wood contracts as it dries, pulling those track nails closer together. I pulled the nails as required, used a dremel cutoff disc to cut a gap, usually that was enough to shorten the rail sufficiently. Added drops if required. When the wood swells those nails will go back to where they were and you'll have some gaps. I painted my wood subroadbed after that but that doesn't completely prevent the problem. I used regular latex paint, perhaps something specifically for sealing would work better. I found the problem existed primarily where track nails extend into the wood. My handlaid track, spiked into homasote, never has had a problem. Some handlaid track for a track in the street scene, where I spiked directly to some pine, had the same problem. I haven't tried it, but avoiding track nails and glueing instead might help. I now only lay track during the heating months. I haven't experienced any problems with excessive gaps opening, yet. Hope this helps.

    Gary
  16. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow!!! That's pretty intense Eddy!!!! I'm glad I'm laying my track this month, with the furnace cranked!! My plywood has been sitting in the house for almost a year now, so it should be good to go.

    Val