Flex Track Problem

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jawharp1992, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    I've been turned off of flex track for a while now. The main reason is that when ever I use it, some ties from the end (about 3-4) come off and it looks more tacky than regular track:curse:. I've been wanting to get over my "fear" of flex track for a while, but I just feel scared of it. Another thing is that I don't know how to keep it down. Do I use nails or glue or what? If you guys could respond, that would help me a lot. Thanks
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i glue mine down. Either liquid nails or carpennter's glue. You can weight it down or hold it to the roadbed with pushpins until the glue dries. Alternatively - you can tack it down using track spikes available at the hobby shop. atlas code 100 has holes in the center of the ties, other brands have holes in the ties near the rail. As for the missing ties at the joints, take an exacto knife and remove the spike heads from the ties that you cut off. Then slip 3-4 ties under the joint and glue them in place with white glue.

    BTW, the jawharp is quite the fun instrument to carry around in one's pocket!

  3. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    Thanks. That should help me in my "Quest of Model Railroading!" Actually, it's not a quest, and it's really in my basement, but anything goes these days!
  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I think ,if I remember you should put the sliding rail to the inside of the curve. If you look at the bottom of a flex track one rail is stationary and one slides
  5. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    OK. I've got a new problem. What code should I use? What I'm doing is making a small 4x8 layout. This is my first HO layout, so I'm not sure what I should use.
  6. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

    well there are black and brown ties in code 83 Iam prety shure some have holes and the other color has starter holes under the ties ,just for refrence , i some how found this out cutting them is no biggie and i keep the extra ties for fillers .hope this help's some what .
  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i would use code 100. It is the easiest to work with and most widely available. Sure, the rail looks a little big, but it is less noticeable if you weather it. If you want a little more realism, you can choose code 83. But on a 4x8 you may not have room for #6 switches, and I am not sure if there are code 83 #4 switches or not.

  8. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    Ok. 2 questions down, one more, I hope. What brand of track should I use?
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!


    I use Atlas code 100 and nail it down into a homasote roadbed. I use spare ties from scrap track to slip under the flex track where ties needed to be removed. Ballasting the track helps secure it firmly and makes it look more realistic.

  10. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Atlas makes very good flex track.
  11. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I used Atlas code 100 ns flex track back when I used to use flex track. I use all sectional now because of various medical reasons.
  12. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    Atlas code 100 placed with the sliding rail on the inside on either cork or homasote roadbed,also a trick i learned was to use small brads to hold the track....ballast the track and 24hrs later remove all the brad's and you get no transmitting of noise from the sub roadbed.
  13. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    OK. Now you are scaring me a little. Should I use sectional track or flex track? What are the pros and cons?
  14. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Atlas also sells ties that fit the end of the flex track i saw them advertised somewhere i'll have search my browser history to find it.

  15. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Flex track is in my opinion just easier to work with and pretty much available at every hobby store ive ever been too. I recomend flex track for a beginner.
  16. jawharp1992

    jawharp1992 Member

    Thank you Play-Doh! That's exactly what I needed to know. Here's something for everybody, though. If you have an opinion on anything we've talked about, I waloud love to here it. Three reasons. I'm bored, lonely, and I could use all the information I can get.
  17. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Our club standard is code 100 Atlas flex track. It works very well and is probably more forgiving when starting your first layout. As someone mentioned, you have better options for short switches (#4's) with Atlas code 100. I prefer cork roadbed under the track but have used Woodland Scenics foam roadbed on some sidings. I believe Jeff was referring to his medical problems being the reason why he went to sectional track. ( Correct me if I'm wrong Jeff.) Not that he was having a problem with the flex track. One great thing that I found for weighting down flex track while the adhesive dries, and don't tell my wife, I took the individual weights out of her strap-on ankle weights that she uses for exercise. They are about 6 inches long and fit neatly between the HO rails.
  18. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Not that there is anything wrong with gluing down your flex track. Many members of the gauge here have done it with great results. I myself chose to nail it down using track nails (available at your hobb store). I would just gradually work my way round the curves driving the nails into the the track.

    Both gluing and nailing your track down are fine...doesnt matter which.
  19. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Most of mine is held down with spikes or small brads on the outside of the rails -- a pair placed opposite each other. After I'm satisfied with the track arrangement I add ballast and glur it all down, then remove any spikes that I can still see. (Look, I have track that's been without ballast for 10 years.) My last extension I used the Woodland Scenics roadbed and inclines and glued the track on top (non-solvent contact cement) then ballasted.
    I use mostly Peco track. Most of the layout is code 100 (bacuse that was left over from before) but any new track is the code 75.
    Definitely colour the sides of the rail. I've used dark brown/grey/various other colours from the acryllic rack at the craft store. I'm trying a brown Sharpie marker now, but I think it may be a bit light.
  20. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Use flex track whatever brand and whatever code. But for the best results slide the movable rail about 1/2 way out to stagger the joints. This will make for better curves and smoother joints. The real rail roads stagger the joints. When you put in a switch cut the long rail and use it on the other side of switch to continue the stagger. It is a little more work but it is worth it.

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