EZ Track, yes or no?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by cmhockman78, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I wouldn't say it's for people with no talent...! More like for people who want to focus on other areas. Maybe like you they want to be up and running as fast as possible. Or it's for a temporary layout like around the Christmas tree. Or they prefer to put their energy somewhere else, like locomotives and rolling stock kits.

    The integrated roadbed tracks (EZ track, TruTrack, etc) can all be painted and/or ballasted as well, if you want to improve the look.

    The other thing about model railroading is there are often 5 or 6 "right" answers to every question...! Is EZ track the right answer for you?

  2. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I used EZ track because I thought my kids would tire of running my 22+ old trains around the floor. I was wrong...they still enjoy it. So now I've been ballasting, painting, weathering the EZ track to make it look more like "regular" track on our layout that moved from the floor as a "temporary" to a smooth door as a "permanant" layout.

    So decide not only what you'd like now, but what you can imagine you'd like later. There's no "right" or "wrong" answer...just what you'd like to do with the money and time you have.
  3. cmhockman78

    cmhockman78 New Member

    Herc I got a chance to check out your ballasted ez track. looks awesome and just as good as the other stuff.
    Now if only I can weather and ballast mine like yours, well once I build a permanent layout.
  4. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    You ask Ez Track Yes or no

    One word................NO
  5. rfmicro

    rfmicro Member

    I have to agree with Andrew that there is a place for modular, ballasted track made by vendors such as Kato, Atlas and Bachman to name a few. While more expensive it can ease the design and track laying tasks. It can also be ballasted just like flex track with the end results looking just as good.

    I believe it was used in the latest MRR January edition building the Black Water Junction I layout. That edition also has a good write-up on the hows of ballasting track. It might be worth a look-see.

    I will end up using both flex and EZ track on my layout. I find the flex track is better suited for some curves and especially on HO bridges and trestles where the modular ballast does not fit properly and flex track does. Also Walters sells track especially made for bridges and trestles. It looks very much like flex track except that it has the closer set track ties and derailers (I think they are called) for the bridge entrance and exit rails.

  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys,I am against any tape of "modular" track because its to limited in designing a layouts with that type of track..I suggest using the standard line of track for more flexible track designs.
  7. mscwolf

    mscwolf New Member

    EZ Track & Switches

    I've seen a lot of con & some pro responses to using EZ Track. I am just re-entering the HO model railroad hobby after a 15+ year hiatus, so I'm an essential newbie. I chose EZ Track because it get's you running fairly quickly, and helps you get an idea of what you want, before you go truly permanent. I'm not going to invest in CADRAIL or some other software program - I'd like to actually see what it is I'm trying to do - right or wrong, actual trial & error works best for me and I think that's the gist of what I want to say - if it works for you, go with it; if not, see what else is out there. I like the idea of modifying/adapting EZ-Track to mate up with Atlas or something else for broader curves. This leads to some questions.
    Right now, my layout is a "Bareboard Express" while my family & I figure out the "perfect layout". I have both the "Std" Remote Turnouts & a couple of #5 turnouts - still don't understand the difference, so if you can explain that, I'd appreciate it. I've actually had minimal impact with derailments (I think my problem is plastic wheels - changing them out as I go to Kadee Metal wheels). My question: Since so many say the switches/turnouts are awful, has anyone gone into "tweaking" or modifing them, or "cleaning them up?" I'm not gonna throw away $18+ pieces if there's a way to "soup them up" a bit. Should I file down the end of the points to a slight angle? Any and all info is appreciated.
  8. MacKenHat

    MacKenHat New Member

    I concur with mscwolf, I don't want to toss my $18 EZ track switches in the trash.

    I have tried filing the points to a nice taper and even did some contouring with a Dremel (the best tool ever invented IMHO) but still am having derailments. I am beginning to think it is all the slop in the riveted connections but haven't figured a way to correct it.

    I agree with Hercdriver, if you ballast it it looks great as it does on his gallery pics. It is fast to put together as well.

    It is easy to make non standard pieces by cutting the rails with a Dremel and then cutting the base in an old fashioned miter box. You create some space for the joiners by Dremmelling up through the bottom side of the plastic base.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Woo-hoo! ;) Thanks Trent!

    Those are called GUARD rails, and they prevent the train from completely leaving the right of way (most of the time) in the event of a derailment.

    Derails are little devices usually found on sidings the purposely derail cars that may otherwise accidentally roll out onto a main line, causing a major problem. Its a big chunk of metal that basically lifts one wheel up and over the rail, dropping it one the ground. It's a lot less expensive to hoist one end of one car back onto the track than it is to clean up a large scale wreck!

    Here's a picture: http://rna.urmc.rochester.edu/dave/derail.jpg

    Others are more elborate, almost like a turnout: http://faculty.simpson.edu/dick.tinder/www/061703Ottumwa/derail.jpeg

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I am not sure how you might do it with the integrated ballast, but if you can squeeze or tap the rivet pivot (railway poetry...? ;) :rolleyes: ) to tighten it up slightly, it might improve things. I had to do this with my Atlas snap switches.

    You may also want to file a slight indent into the inside of the stock rail so the (newly tapered) point rail can fit right into it.

    Lastly, if there is no spring action, you can make one with thre bends in some stiff wire to add to keep the points against the stock rail of whatever route you need.

  11. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    it all depends on what specifically you want to do, my vote is for flex track if your perm in the basement. If its somehting that might be taken down and put up constantly, for the kid, use ez track for that. For kids, ez track is the way to go. For adults that want to start modeling my opinion is flex track. I dont even have flex track yet but I went to the hobby store and i learned a lot, im going to buy a lot of it soon to make my 4x8 layout.
  12. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    "Rivet Pivot"...LOL! I was thinking the same thing. Tapping down with a center punch or other tapered tool to flare out the rivet slightly. But do this ever so slowly and test the motion after each tap just to be sure it's not too tight.

    Also file (gently and slowly) the rail between the hinge and the frog. Often times the point rails are straight and the opposite stock rail leading to the curved route is not, creating a pinch point in the guage. Use your NMRA gauge (...you do have one, don't you?...) and check the whole turnout as you go. If necessary, you can ever so slightly bend the point rail opposite the diverging stock rail to keep it in gauge but ONLY if it needs it. Widening the gauge will not help if it causes wheels to drift toward the frog so that they pick the point. Clear as mud, right?

  13. cmhockman78

    cmhockman78 New Member

    well I already have a ton of ez track. I am going to stick with this for now
    if i ever want to do anything superior then I will switch to the flex
    I have about 10 switches, 70 9" straigh and 70 18 curves and some misc
    I would be willing to buy more
    anyone know of a site for layouts?
    anyone have any suggestions for starters?
    I know you all (most of you) hate it but got to go with what I got
    anything tips would greatly appreciated
  14. kokoracer

    kokoracer Member

    When I was getting ready to switch from the LL to the Bachmann track, one of the things that impressed me was the larger variety. MY LHS has curves ranging up to 35"along with # 6 switches and more. The 36" straights are great for long runs. He picked up some Model Power and was selling it a a steep discount. Seems to work fine. My #1 mainline is about half switched over. John
  15. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    Kato unitrack has even more variety, and the stuff actually fits together to make a layout. I have a lot of experience with the Bachman stuff, and the layout is almost always bent an inch or two. You could sell the Bachman stuff for a little bit, and use the money to buy the much cheaper, and better flex-track. I like Atlas Superflex code 100, there are many brands and codes in the Walthers Catalog to take a look at. Code 83 with Peco turnouts is very popular.
  16. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Since you want to stay with what you have, I will suggest the following. Clean the track.
    Anchor it down (there are holes in the sections for nails). Replace any loose connectors and make sure they are correctly installed when you join the sections. Make sure your wiring connectors are clean and tight. Run the trains and have fun.
  17. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I've used both N and HO scale EZ track. It looks very nice because of the plastic ballast. Bachmann use to have ads in model railroad magazines showing a modeller adding ballast to the tracks. Here's what I think about using EZ track for a permenit layout.

    1. The cost. It will cost way to much to use it compared if you used Atlat track and and seperate roadbed.
    2. I had N scale turn outs. They derailed the train all the time until I stated to experiment with the frogs.

    I sold the N scale track to a fellow Gauge member. I have alittle bit of HO track left. When I feel like running a HO train. I use that. If I ever I go back to a HO layout. I will use Atlas track.

    Merry Christmas,
  18. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    The HO turnouts derailed sometimes as well. A friend of mine had both Bachman and Kato in N scale, the Kato in N was better than the HO Bachman, because of the Kato Unijoiners. The Kato is even more expensive than the Bachman, but it is good for temporary layouts, and most DCC vendors and manufacturers use it on 4x8 demo layouts for their DCC systems.
  19. mscwolf

    mscwolf New Member

    EZ Track - It's all relative

    While I understand that "cost" is a a relative thing, dollar-wise, I look at the cost of time as well. I commute long distance every day and I am looking to do something with the wife & teenage kids, that is fun for the whole family. While I tweak and fix cars, my kids are doing a track layout, based on some websites for ez-track plans, and my wife & youngest are starting to work on scenery for a 4'x8' permanent layout. I've polled the fam & they think doing flex-track & cork roadbed will be for my "next, big layout" when it's just me "playing" with trains and they are off to college/military/whatever. No one wants to sit and watch me lay track - they're not interested in that aspect of the hobby - they want to run trains & I'm not rich enough to afford someone to come in and make me a custom layout. :rolleyes: Also, if KATO's product is better but costs even more - I have had to actually look at the ol' pocketbook, and see what's "good enough" for us. So, from what I get out of this thread is that EZ Track is good for a permanent layout, if it's what you & your family want and you're willing to put up with some challenges. :thumb:

    My big thing is "tweaking" the switches, so as to minimize the derailments (which haven't been many) as well as the two engines (Athearn Blue box units). Does anyone have any detailed instructions/piccies of filing down the points or other suggested tune-ups?
  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The place where mpst problems come are at the points. (this is true of any brand of switches) The inside upper edge should not end in a square cut. File off the corner and then taper the point part. Also check that the outside edge of the rail doesn't have any ragged bits that keep it away from the stock rail. If there's a bit of cutout in the stock rail, the end of the point should nestle right into it. The mechanism should move the point over and jold it against the stock rail.
    Like any device, the mechanism may stop working. You should figure out some way to remove a turnout that won't turn.

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