To those with lots of track...

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by csxengineer, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    I am starting planning my 10th layout (I stopped counting, actually). I have been thinking about previous layouts, and problems I've had. The main problems have been derailments, switch problems, and dirty track. So I'm thinking of going with mostly single track & less switching. It will be more than just a loop, but at the same time, I don't expect an operating night with a dozen modelers, either.

    So do you guys who have these elaborate mazes of three track mains, and switching puzzles every regret your decisions, or is cleaning and maintance just a necessary evil that you don't mind?
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi CSX...All of the problems you have experienced can be remedied. I used to have pretty much the same problems (haven't we all at some time or another..?) in my previous layout. When I began my new version of the LC&P, I made it a point I WOULD NOT repeat my previous experiences. So, track was laid on a well made, sturdy base with cork roadbed. Perfectly (really...) aligned: no kinks, no bumps, no nothing....I used new Peco turnouts (Mediums and Large) throughout the layout, and they work flawlessly. In the 4 or so years I've been operating I have had less derailments than I have fingers in one hand, and that was because I ran trains into turnouts thrown the wrong way... :cry:
    As for dirty track...after the initial Bright Boying after track installation, I don't think I've spent more than 1/2 an hour over the 4 years doing any additional cleaning..I use my TRACK GUARD to keep the track clean...:mrgreen:

    Also...I use nickel silver throughout...

    So, it's possible to have trouble-free operation...Just make up your mind to do it..!! :thumb:
  3. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    If you design a layout with a lot of track and a ton of turnouts, then you have to be willing to do what the real railroads do - spend some time doing maintenance. I used a couple of boxcars with suspended pieces of masonite between their trucks, to help keep the rails clean especially track that was hard to reach.

    I found it also helps to clean the wheels on all the rolling stock, not just the engines, every so often. Some of my maintenance problems were aggravated by having the previous layout in an unheated garage.

    As you get older, the word "simplify" takes on a greater meaning.
  4. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Chartiers, How does masonite help keep the track clean? I have heard other people say the same thing. Isn't masonite just compressed cardboard? Hey CSX, I don't know if it was a good idea or not but, what I did was put a re-railer after every corner and after every switch. This is on my latest layout. 1st one in 20 years. I just finished the first line. The room is 15'-4" X 22'-4". The track goes above the door height and most will be hid by hills and mountains so I want no derailments. And it will be hard to clean, so I also need to find the best way to keep it clean. I started running the train this morning at 9:15 and it is now 12:30 and no derailments. Knock on wood :thumb:
  5. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    The little pieces of untempered rough masonite - which I don't know if you can even get anymore - were just enough to rub the rail surface and remove some of the crud in hard to reach places and tunnels.

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