Help needed First Layout-maybe

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jonz12, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. jonz12

    jonz12 New Member

    I am a retired Caterpillar worker new to model RR and have several questions to ask.

    I have read many of the threads and I am sure these questions have been asked before but I am still confused. My layout will be in N gauge.

    1. I have limited room so I am thinking of going with an 8’ by 3’ layout. I would like to use 9 ¾ radius turns. I plan on running Diesel locomotives, 1freight and 1Amtrak. Would I have a problem with this radius or should I go to 11-degree radius?
    2. I am going to use insulation foam over plywood and would like to know what color foam to use?
    3. I would like to know how to solder the tracks, what kind of solder and do I solder the track or the clips?
    4. I have purchased quite a few gasoline and oil tankers cars and would like to setup an oil refinery or storage area. Can anyone tell me where to get pictures?
  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    What type of diesels? Are they 4-axle or 6-axle? If 4-axle, 9.75" will do. If 6-axle, 11" may not be big enough. If you're intending to run Amtrak passenger trains, even 11" will be very tight for passenger cars.
  3. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    From what I can tell the 9 3/4 turns are fine for most deisel loco's . The 4 wheel truck variety are best. The passenger cars could be a little problem though. They tend to be quite long and all though they will likely make the turns you might want to go with a wider radius for looks . I used 9 3/4 radius' but I stayed with 40 and 50 foot freight cars and 4 wheel deisels. I don't think the color of the board matters . you will likely be using building materials and paint on top of it so I doubt color will matter.

    A typical 50-50 soldier works just fine to answer that question. Remeber the flux.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Welcome to the Gauge.

    Regarding foam, use the "extruded" type. Either the blue or pink stuff. The white beaded foam will cause problems and it's not worth the few dollars you'll save in using it.

    Regarding soldering, you can solder to either the rails or the joiners. I solder all my joiners, some others don't but I'm looking for a good mechanical connection as well as a good electrical one. I solder in the middle if I'm using a long run of flex track and have no rail joiner nearby. I have solder we used in our manufacturing busines. It's 60/40 and works just fine. As you've been told, use flux on you joints. Do not use plumber's solder, nor flux that you buy in Home Depot. Use either rosin or water-soluble flux. The same for your solder, rosin-core is the easiest to find, I use the water-soluble core because it's easier to clean up, and mostly because that's what I have a lot of. If the suface that you're soldering is oxidized or dirty, it should be cleaned first.

    Hope this helped some...
  5. jonz12

    jonz12 New Member

    Thanks for the information. I think I will go with 11-degree radius on the main line and 9.75 on switching operations. I plan on just using 4 axle locomotives. Once again THANKS!

  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Unimportant note: It's 11-inch radius, not 11-degree. Degrees aren't a distance unit, but an angle unit.

    On real railroads, however, degrees are used as a measure of curvature, where the value given is the angle the track turns in (I believe) 100 feet. 9.75" radius in N would equate to a 44-degree curve in reality. By this measure, larger curves have a lower number. But modellers don't use this system. When your tracks fit on a tabletop, radius is easier to measure...
  7. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Another Welcome to "The Gauge". I have seen plenty of refinery photographs using the Google search engine. Walthers has a nice refinery kit for N Scale. Good luck on your Railroad and most of all -- Enjoy it!:wave:

Share This Page