track laying questions

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by CAS, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I have finished building 2 sections out of 3 for my framework. So i thought i start to lay some track. I had used the RTS 7.0 track planner to design my plan. It is 7'x12' crossover dogbone layout. I am using mostly all Atlas code 55 flex track.

    My first thing i did was to draw my lines for my straight track that leads into my first 15 degree curve. I then soldered 2 peices of flex track together. I did solder the track will still straight. I then pinned downed a peice of flex track, connectted to a #5 turnout. Then i tryed to connect the soldered flex track to form my 15 degree curve. I followed my center marks i drew with a ruler. But it's not coming out right :cry: :cry: :cry: . I then took that all apart, started doing all my straight sections, and i will leave the curves for later.

    #1 - Should i keep pinning down the flex track on the 15 degree curve, or just lay the track first, then connect it to the remaining peices of track. Then pin everything down? The track is not kinking, it is not a smooth curve. I don't really want to use sectional track.
    All the post i have read about flex track says to keep the sliding rail to the inside of the curve. What i am doing.

    #2 - After all my track is layed down to my plan. All centermarks drawn. Do i take it all apart to lay my cork roadbed down. Or just take sections apart at a time and do the cork roadbed?

  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Sorry, but you're confusing me. If the track isn't kinking, and it isn't a smooth curve, then what is it?

    It could be that you've tried to fix one end of your soldered flex track. You can't do that - you need to lay the track, let the inside rail slide out both ends, trim it and then connect it to the next piece of track. The soldered rail joint fixes the rail at the joint - it can't slide any more, so that when you flex the track, the inside rail will want to get longer at both ends, and the outside rail will want to get shorter at both ends.

    Lay the cork down on your centre marks. You'll see the centre line of the cork, so you can use that as a reference for your track.
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Squid, ok so thats how you do it. I'm glad you posted that before I got a start.


  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Cas, two things I would like to mention. Precisely measure and lay out your yard first. The yard takes the most area, and to me, is the area that needs to be the most accurate. If the yard will not fit, nothing else will.
    Second, you say you soldered the flex track first and then tried to curve it. To me, that is the best way to avoid kinks on a curve. Now, it could be that when you tried to flex the track, the rail joiner hit on a tie when the rail moved. Thats the only problem I ever had laying flex track curves. If thats the case, cut off the so-called spike heads and trim the tie to avoid a bumb in the track.
    Ok, three things. If you draw out your trackplan accurately on the table, there should be no reason to lay your track, pull it back up, and then lay the roadbed. you should be able to see if there will be bad spots and correct them before you lay your track.

    Good Luck

  5. CAS

    CAS Member

    That is what i just started to work on.

    I did remove 2 sections a ties before i did solder. But it looks like i need to remove 1 more tie. It looks alot better now.

    Thanks for the help everyone,
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I wouldn't remove too many ties, or you may have gauge issues later on. You're better off (in my opinion) to leave the ties as close as possible to the rail joiner, and trim off the excess rail at the other ends.
  7. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    Dont remove the ties, just trim the opposing spike heads so the joiner can slide where it needs to. When I lay my flex, I trim nothing but the spike heads. I do this to avoid the "sectional track" look. I do even it up when I get to a switch. The most important thing to remember about flex is to line up the track as straight as possible, solder, then curve it where you want it. This will eliminate the kinks from soldering on a curve.:thumb:
  8. CAS

    CAS Member

    Thoroughbreed, did you use a razor saw for that? does the saw trim enough away, leaving it flat.

  9. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I use an xacto to shave down the spike heads and get under the rail. It may take a little longer to do it this way, but the visual effect is worth it.:thumb:
  10. CAS

    CAS Member

    Thanks Thoroughbreed,

    I will shave off the spike heads on the next installment of track.


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