How To Use Flextrack

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Kevinkrey, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I could not find a thread addressing my specific problem. I need help with connecting two pieces of flextrack on a curve. The area where I cut off the ties wants to go straight, how do I make a even curve transitionn between the two pieces. As you can see, the MOW crew (with their vehicles) is stumped. And in the last picturre, is that the best way to apply white glue to attach the flex track?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Too flexable on curve...

    I think the consensus is you solder two together before you lay them on a curve... That just leaves the choice of putting the sliding rail on the inside or the outside - Here is a post detailing some pro's/con's:
  3. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    I've been taught that you solder the two pieces of flex track while its straight otherwise you will get kinked rail joints.

    I have also seen where people offset the rails enough so you don't need to solder them. IMHO, I don't agree with doing this because soldering has always worked for me.

  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Kevin, You have the right answers. Soldering first is the best way.
    Since you have that track layed allready, I would stagger those joints so there not across from each other, the way they are now is good. You can usually do with out 5 or 6 ties before the track starts going out of gauge. Keep the ties you remove to fill in later.

  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    There's no reason why you can't solder the new piece of flex tack to the old right where it sits. I would hack off the long rail on the in-place track so that it's approximately even with the other rail, then slide the extended rail of the new piece back into its proper position. Clean all four rail ends, install the joiners on the in-place track, then slide the ends of the new piece into the joiners. Let the free end of the new flex track fall where it may - don't try to curve it until you've soldered the joiners to all four rails. While staggering the rail joints is generally a good idea, here it's better to keep the joint close to the ties to ensure that forming the curve doesn't pull the rails out-of-gauge. Next time, stagger the joints (or not) but do all of the soldering before forming any of the curve. This is one area where spiking the track in place has an advantage over gluing, as it allows lifting the track during (or after) installation for removal of excess ties to accomodate rail creep as the curve is formed. You could using temporary spiking (not driven home) while forming the curve, then glue the finished curve in place when all the adjustments have been made.

  6. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Solder when its straight, UNLESS you use ME, which can be soldered bent, as it holds its shape, though I'd still recommend it being straight.
  7. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    ic your doing curves but Neat trick i tried for long straight sections like a yard, Too keep them straight while laying i lay a few 3ft sections upside-down and put a small blop of glue on the tie gaps all along, then stand the length on edge on a flat surface and let dry, you will have a perfectly straight 3ft etc section, i used clear plastic model glue and it holds just enough to stay straight during laying, but if needed can be curved again.
  8. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Hmmm, had not thought about glue to pin the rail... I usually get my 3' level and move it forward while pressing a rail to the edge as I adhere the ties to the roadbed since the level weights enough not to move around.
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Hey Kevin, so how is the track laying going? You get those curves done?
  10. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I did get the curves done. I had to stop though, because I needed to place a switch at both ends of the track I had laid. But I did get switches and have began to continue. I also have began wiring with my new Bachman 5AMP booster. I will post pics tonight on my missabe layout progress pagee if I remember.
  11. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I turn the track over and put glue on about every 4 or 5 ties. It holds well. I use toothpicks or push pins to hold the track in place while the glue dries.
  12. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Hey everyone, I want to reopen this thread for buisseness. I have more curves to do and I want to solder them together straight. But I want to know how to do this. Do I solder them with a rail joiner and then let the sliding rail on the outside, pull in on the two track pieces. ​
  13. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    solder them before you curve them, sliding rail to inside of curve (short rail) then when you curve it cut off the excess. you may have to relive the top of a tie or two next to the rail joiner depending on your curve.
  14. TCH

    TCH Member

    when I lay curved track I lay a length of flex leaving about 6" on the end which is left straight.
    then I solder on the next length of track after removing 2 or 3 ties keeping the track straight as I do so.
    I then curve the rail and continue in this manner.

    works for me.
  15. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    Just a note, when you spike your track and get the result you want, and then ballast w/ white glue or matte medium; the track and road bed become one and are solid.
  16. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member


    Hey, thanks again for saving me everybody. I plan on having a two man one controller operating sessionin tomorow and wanted to give the glue a chance to dry. But in a few spots the track is still on the cork but there are wide sections of cork where the track is not centered on the cork. When I ballast this it looks bad because the ballast must stay at the same hieght of the rail but goes out far. I can post a pic in the morning to give an Idea because I know I made no sense there. But Im calling it a night in a few minutes, so it will have to wait.​

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