sodering track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by skiddgreen, May 4, 2003.

  1. skiddgreen

    skiddgreen New Member

    I've just finished putting together all of my sections of track for a given layout and ran locos and cars across the sections to assure no derailments. Should I soder the track sections together at this time with all of it layed out assembled or should I soder each section of track as I combine each section piece by piece?
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    What kind of track are you using - flex or sectional?

    For flex, the recommendation seems to be to solder the curves only, not the straights, and definitely not the switches. Depending on the temperature and humidity swings where your layout is located and the materials used, soldering everything can cause problems due to the expansion/contraction of the rails and of the surfaces the track is mounted on. And not soldering the switches make them easier to remove for repair/replacement.

    For sectional, I'm not sure if there is a standard recommendation - maybe they usually are taken apart and relaid out so often that they're never soldered. Sectional track is so rigid that I'm not sure that any soldering is needed, at least for mechanical reasons, if it is securley secured.
  3. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

    Track soldering

    I'm using code 83 flex track. I solder ALL rail joints including those to the switches.

    Whether block wiring or using DCC, you have to provide insulated gaps to avoid shorts. I cut these after all the track is laid with a cut-off wheel in a Dremel tool and fill it loosely with a piece of styrene, carved to match the rail profile. Glue it in place with ACC glue.

    My railroad is in the conditioned part of my home, but it does get quite toasty in the Summer. I've never had kinked rails.
  4. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    I've got some of my few bits of sectional soldered, simply due to electrical issues. I didn't bother with my Flex Curves, because I'm never joining 2 pieces of flex on a curve. I likely will solder the curves when I replace the 2 18" secional curves with flex.
  5. jasonboche

    jasonboche Member

    I solder all joints. Curves, straights, turnouts.

    I have no choice but to solder turnouts as I mate code 83 atlas flex track with peco code 100 turnouts. You gotta solder those 83-100 transition joints in order to keep them derailment free because there is a significant height difference between code 83 and code 100.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Welcome to the gauge, folks.

    Jason, just wondering, why are you using code 83 flex with the 100 turnouts? I woulda though you would use code 100 all the way or go with 83 flex and 75 turnouts. Course, you mighta got a deal on one or the other. :D I'm supposed to get a 12" diameter wad of flex track in good condition for free, so that will likely determine what I use:D
  7. jasonboche

    jasonboche Member

    My main reason is that I'm a glutton for punishment.

    My secondary reason is that I prefer code 83 track to code 100, howerver, I prefer Peco turnout operation to Atlas turnouts, and Peco doesn't make code 83, so I'm stuck with their code 100 turnouts, which ain't so bad anyway - just a little extra work. The Dremel tool makes it all easy anyhow. :)
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    hehehe OK. If you haven't bought the turnouts yet, you might consider code 75 turnouts, because it's closer to the 83 in size (appearance and fit). 75 should be .008" off from code 83 vs. .017" off from code 100 to 83. Of course, I could see choosing the code 100 if the 75 is skinny enough to cause operational problems.

    I wonder how the walthers code 83 turnouts are.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Walthers code 83 is Shinohara.
  10. philip

    philip Guest

    Hey : Any other threads on this topic of soldering rails?

    philip: :thumb:

Share This Page