Can you buy this?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by BigJim, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. BigJim

    BigJim Member


    I would have thought so also but the picture in the "Track Planning for Realistic Operation has guard rails. Looks kinda cool with six rails going across the bridge.
  2. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Here are four shots of a gauntlet track. In this case it is used by a narrow gauge tramway whose double track line runs through a narrow passage (which must be shared with a road) under a masonry bridge.
    In this case no guardrails were installed. Also note that the nearer end of the gauntlet isn't symmetric at all.

    The third picture shows clearly that the ends of the gauntlet almost look like a turnout - but without any moving parts! For a symmetric gauntlet you'd have to kitbash two wye turnouts.


    Attached Files:

  3. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Cool pics, RailRon. Where is that located?

  4. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Galen, this gauntlet was laid in the Swiss town of Basel (in the extreme North of Switzerland), adjacent to the Zoological Gardens. The track belongs to a narrow gauge streetcar line (meter gauge) which extends out of the town into the countryside. Initially this stretch of track was single track.

    As can be seen, a gauntlet became necessary after double-tracking the line, because both tracks plus a very busy major street are sharing the narrow passage under a big masonry bridge. (This bridge carries another major road plus streetcar lines across the little valley where the Zoo is situated.)

    BTW: Although this is primarily a STREETCAR line (tramway), the gautlet is protected by RAILROAD signals - visible in the first and second picture.

  5. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    The track section has been made in the past. I have 1 hideing someplace. Look thro your old walters catalogs you'll find one.
  6. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Since I am new to this hobby I don't have any old Walthers catalogs. Searched the web and didn't find any that were not hand-laid. I did find that next month Walthers will be adding a scale & Building with a gantlet track but from the pictures no guard rails and the description seems to indicate that it is ready for you to "add the track". Not sure what that means.

    Looks like I will have to build it. Probably a good first project in hand laid.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    There are a couple of options:

    1. Make a quick jig, drill pin holes in the ends of the ties, cut a small piece of pin and "dowel" them together.

    2. alternative to above: slot the bottom and pin in a plastic spline with glue.

    3. 2nd alternative taken from carpentry: join with a beveled angle instead of butt joint. Cut tie at 45 degree angle - \ - slide ends together and glue overlap.

    4. Cut small, flat piece of thin, rigid plastic and glue along bottom of tie sections. I used to use playing cards, but you might have something more to your particular scale.

    Just my two cents worth for today. Hasta banana! :wave:
  8. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    that gauntlet track is cool! Never seen, or even thought of that before. Now I want to model one, but have no place or excuse
  9. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    The Gauntlet track

    This type of track was called the Gauntlet track because once you entered it a train might come along on the other and you know what will happen. It was like running a guantlet.
    I can not date it but Universal Models made a gauntlet track set. I can get a photo in the group in a few days showing it. I also have the paper work for it.They were refered to as turnouts.A left and a right came with each set.
    So the manufacture of the Gauntlet turnouts was.
    Universal Modle Product Co. (abrevated UMPCO)
    130 W Chelten Avenue
    Philadelphia PA.
  10. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Gaunlet track

    Yes you were able to buy it.
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    Looking at that may be a simple matter of removing a ready made turnout from its ties then relaying it, with a few minor modifications, on longer ties at the gauntlet end. Then the bridge section in between can be what BigJim has already done with the modified overlapping flextrack. Hmmm.

    Operationally, a guantlet track presents some unique challenges and opportunities...get's a track planner's juices flowing!

    Thanks for digging that up! Cool.
  12. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    re: Yes you were able to buy it.

    But are you willing to sell them?

  13. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Found the solution

    Two problems:

    One - the "pointless turnout". Purchased some PC board ties and a point form tool from Fast Tracks

    and freehand laid the turnout over a drawing using a toggle style hold down clamp and three-point track gauges. Made a few but here is a picture of the one with a 30" radius all the way through. Works smooth. Since this end will be in a a tunnel not worried about adding wood ties. The other end will be approximately a #6 right turnout with both points in the center position to keep the tracks separate.

    Since there are no moving points this was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I highly recommend getting the point form tool. Tried one before I got it. Not good.

    If you are ever going to consider doing any double crossovers in the future get the point form tool for these as it has all three angles in one tool so it can do the internal crossing points as well as the frog & switch point. I think it is $6.00 more than the standard two angle tool. Real easy to use and makes perfect angles.

    There are some GREAT videos on the site including one on the NMRA standards for turnouts. Very high quality animated CAD drawings that show the relationship between all the NMRA width standards. Highly recommended.


    Two - the track. Gantlet track needs 6 rails with both pairs of rails and the inside guard rails. The Micro Engineering flexible bridge track has wider ties with closer spacing than standard flex track. It also has space for "wood" guard rails on both sides outside of the rails. There are little bumps to help align the inside guard rails. The inside rail of the second track will go where one of the guard rails would be. The outside rail in the space for the wood guard rail on one side. Two guard rails in the middle. The only minor problem will be the reduced space for the wood guard rail on one side. I will either leave it off or have one wood guard rail closer to the rail and end of the tie than the other. I will put this side toward the back so I won't let it bother me that much.

    Planning on using very narrow pieces of PC tie between the plastic ties every 4>6". I will cut the copper foil to insulate the two set of main rails. With the ME style flex bridge track both sides move on the rails. This will let me move the plastic away from the soldering to avoid melting the joinrts with the tiesvand then move them back flush to the PC board. This should keep everything solid and gauge.

    I have heard a rumor that FastTracks is planning on producing a Gantlet track turnout fixture. My input to them is to have left, right and wye styles on one fixture. I will post more when I get status.

  14. Bones

    Bones Member

    Very nice work guys. I'd just like to add that BigJim is absolutely correct in ORDERING YOU! to use a point forming tool. I hand laid several unique sections of track 4-5 years ago, and until I made my own point form tool, I was ready to shoot the neighbors. As soon as I managed to make my own tool, it was smooth sailing.
    I no longer have the tool, and don't remember how I made it. I just wanted to chime in and say that it is indispensable!
  15. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Sorry if this is a duplicate but the system hung wwith my other reply

    After trying to make one I ordered the one from Fast Tracks. What a difference. It is very, very precise and solid. The two large hex head screws really clamp down to hold the rails in place. The one for the crossover has six slots for the three different angles. Two of the angles are the same as normal turnouts plus the special angle for the crossing in a double crossover. Well worth the 30 something dollars.

    Fast Tracks uses remote reps. Each has his own web site (link to main fast tracks site). When I first called in I happened to get one in my area. I have found Jim to be very helpfull. With a name like Jim of course he is :) . If you contact him from his web site I think you can get a "code" that will give you a discount (10%?).
    Fast Tracks |
  16. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    BigJim tries soldering a very small PC board rail to rail with an isolation cut. Large pain - looks bad compared to the very attractive bridge track. Slaps head - goes to LHS to get some rail spikes and a some small drill bits to connect the gantlet rails to the plastic ties.

    I will try - heating the spikes with a soldering iron and and pushing them into the plastic - drilling very small hole, heating the spikes and pushing them into the plastic ties - drilling a hole just smaller than the spikes and pushing them in without heat - drilling a hole a couple of 0.001s larger than the size of the spikes, cover them with CA glue and then push them into the hole.

    Test results to follow.
  17. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    At first look it would seem easyer and cheaper to just but in another track to keep the two seperate. But looking at what they had to work with in this pic there is a bridge piler where the track would have to go. Im sure this was alot cheaper and the wiser choice.
  18. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Two "pointless" turnouts and a little rail is a LOT less expensive than a second bridge. Without points, there is very little maintenance cost. Yes, there have been some good crashes on gantlet tracks and the railroads have replaced most of them but what fun is model railroading if you don't have a few places you can get in trouble. Treat it like a reverse direction passing track without points to throw.

    There is a good picture of a gantlet bridge in John Armstrong's "Track Planning" book. Different page depending on the edition number but I think it is in the 30s in the double track section.
  19. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Since gauntlets can vary greatly in terms of length and the separation of the "pairs" of rails depending on the amount of room available, I would be surprised if there was anything but the most basic of "kits" available to make a gauntlet. Even if you don't like to / are not good at hand laying track, this feature on a layout can be a real showpiece and hand laying would really make the nut for visitors.
  20. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Track done except for paint. Very glad I tried this project. I think it will be a very special addition to my layout.

    The additional four rails are held by rail spikes. #75 drill and medium spikes worked best. Using the Micro Enginnering bridge track was the good choice. Means only using the wood guard rail on one side but the look is great. Now on to finishing the trestle to support it.
    And painted:

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