More flex track questions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    How sharp of a curve can you put in flex track? If the ends of your layout were 4 feet or maybe just a few more inches, like around 50", would you still have to use curved sections of track at the ends? I'm having a slight problem from time to time with track connections possibly not tight enough. Is there ever such a thing as a bad section of track?
    Also, Iv'e been wanting to ask, when flex track is used for, say a large curve and then connects to the next section, don't you have to trim the end of the inside rail to match the next section? I'm going to use the flex everywhere possible and just need some guidelines here---thanks----John R
  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    Hey jr was experiencis with model power flrxtrack is you put roadbed down,then track and curve it.i think the smallest radius they said was 15R but if its 18 or 22R it should be fine,but if the inside rail is to long make sure the end that fits is correct then trim as can have bad track but its not normally screwed up curve wise,it can be twisted or the rails not in gauge or even a smal deformation.ive never had problems but im only one man.hope this helps--josh
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    When Peco brought out their Streamline track in the 60s, they had a display stand where they tied the track in knots and twisted it along the length and generally showed that it was more flexble than you could need. I'm not sure about the "curved track at the ends".
    Yes, when you bend flexible track one rail starts to stick out (or the other starts to retreat.) This is basic grade school math. All you can do is cut the extra length off and file the end smooth. Some people advocate sliding the rails around and only trimming at the end of the curve but adding the rail joiner not at the ends is a lot more work than trimming. (Some flex track is very stiff; I know there's one make where only one rail slides.)
    There can be bad sections of track, but the problems are usually loose rail joiners. Joiners that have been used a few times may not be tight anymore. Also, some are badly designed and are a bit large.
    I would suggest starting the curve by soldering two lengths together and putting that joint in the middle of the curve, then bending the rail around. if you need more track, trim, then solder the next joint with the last few inches straight, then bend again.
  4. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    hey im using flex track, im using 18 radius curves minimum for my turns. Ill get some pictures in a moment...
    And yes when you use flex track on a curve you cut of the excess with a tool:
  5. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Hey Josh, David,---What has me puzzled, the new 2-6-6-2, has one rail joint that gives it a hesitation, if it's going slowly, it stops there. The headlight flickers at a slightly higher speed, it hesitates, then runs fine around the rest of the oval. Five other engines don't notice a thing thru this same section. Is the 2-6-6-2 just more sensitive, more distance between the pick-ups?
    I'll sure be glad when I am laying permanent track so that I can eliminate as many joints as possible. John
  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member


    The two outside curves are like custom curves, one is about 22" or 24" i forgot :p the other is like 21.3563" (lol) The inside inside cork roadbed that terminates has an 18" curve on it before it goes straight then terminates on the left side of the picture. I have put track on this and it works fine. I wouldnt go much lower than 18" on HO but I think I saw somewhere that people use 15" sometimes but I bet rarely.... 18" is probably the lowest you want to go.

    PS: You must solder the rails together on curves of it wont be a smooth curve where two track sections meet. It will be like a point, like a V. You want it to be a smooth curve like a ) not a > lol...
  7. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    prodigy 2k7---Man, you snuck in there while I was typing! But then, it's not hard to sneak in while I'm typing cause I'm a little slow on the keyboard. Something tells me that this flex track is going to be fun. It will certainly simplify some things. Looks like I'm going to have about 14 to 16 ft long by maybe a little over 4 ft wide to work with. One whole side of the workroom.
    She says stop buying engines and start building a layout so thats why I looking for flex track advice. So anything else you can think of, let me know---Thanks again guys--John
  8. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    BTW my board is 4x8, you can get a max of 22-23 " radius about for curves
  9. JR&Son

    JR&Son Member

    You can do sub 15 inch, but it really doesnt like too.
    I have 7 engines, 1 Bachman doesnt like 1 of the curves (2 curves at either end are identical) but will generally run ok.
    1 other Bachman, derails every time I run it North South Clockwise.
    North South CounterClockwise it is fine
    South North Clockwise is fine, as is South North CounterClockwise is fine
    Go figure?

  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    Thats why I dont do 15s it just sound too crazy for me :p I like to stay safe and not go below 18

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