module track joint

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Bill Pontin, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Where my two modules join I want to make up my own 5" track joiners that blend with the main lines. This is only for the joint between my two modules, I know that our club will take care of the two ends with their array of sized sections. I've tried one suggestion where adding tape under the ties and ballasting over it. Seems kind of flimsy and I don't think it will stand up to many setups and tear downs. Any suggestions?

    Attached Files:

  2. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    The rest of the module joint is really a fault line :D

    Attached Files:

  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Bill, The part of the crack that's under the track doesn't show.
    Maybe make some little wooden wedges out of balsa wood and scenic the tops of them to match and them slide them into place when the modules are joined.
  4. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Hi Vic,
    I am not too worried about the crack or gap showing on the roadbed, that I can vary to some extent. I can tighten up the bolts that hold the modules together and close it completly. If I made everything up tight I could be in trouble with temperature changes. Members in my club tell me that I would be surprised how much a change there is in track length with temperature. I hope I've done it right - During the summer construction I left no gap on the rail joints and then about 3/16" joint, as you see, between the module edges. The colder it gets, the tighter I will make the joint. You are right, maybe I should make some provisions to fill the opening during warm weather. Maybe some very spongy rubber type stuff, contoured and painted to match.
  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hey Bill,
    I replied to your other post about the rail fans on that hillside before I saw these pics. Now I see how high up they are. The great looking mountain reminds me a lot of Barn Bluff in Red Wing, MN which overlooks busy Soo Line tracks in a similar manner.
  6. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Hi Bill,

    I think you are on the right track :D with wanting to create a more realistic transition from one module to the next.

    I was thinking that you could chop out a section of the module roadbed and then mount the three 5" tracks on a thicker and more durable base that you can balast.

    You would be making a piece about 5" x 3/4" x however wide you need to accomodate the three tracks. Then you would chop out a section on the end of the module to accomodate this "bridge". So you would chop out a section 2 1/2" x 3/4" x however wide you need to accomodate the three tracks from the end of each module.

    Build alignment pins into the "bridge" and alignment holes into the module to help secure it all in place.

    You will also want to make a block that will fit this chopped out section. That way, you will still be able to join this end of the module to other modules in the event that you only bring one of the modules to a meet instead of the two.

    As far as seasonal expansion and contraction go.... Wood and fibre components will expand in the humidity and contract in dry weather. It is a matter of moisture and humidity. Wood tends to swell across the grain, not so much along the grain. So you shouldn't notice any changes if you are using it strictly for framework. If you are using styrofoam. There should be no change at all.

    It is usually more humid in the heat of the summer and dry in the cold of winter.

    Metal is not effected by humidity (except for oxidization). The thing that effects metal (i.e. the rails) is temperature. It expands in the heat and contracts in the cold.

    As long as you are always setting up in an area that is close to normal room temperature. (70 F 20 C) there shouldn't be too much expansion or contraction.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I was in a portable/modular HO layout group for a few years. We used Peco track in the Peco roadbed. This is NOT suggested, as the foam roadbed does something weird after a few years. What we found was that we cut the joining sections to length for the first show in March, then trimmed a bit of rail off for each succeeding show, then next March had to cut a whole new set as they were far too short.
    I suggest that you get some plastic sheet the same height as your roadbed and glue the track to it, then ballast. This will also give some rigidity over your joint. Also have the joint adjustable and fill the gap in the scenery with something compressible like foam.

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