Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by rich maiorano, Nov 8, 2002.
Are you not worried about the track warping or kinking up on you?
Heat is a consideration for what Tyson said - track warpage. I put most of my track down this summer in my train room in the basement in an unairconditioned room. Did what I thought was a very good clean job. This past week with all the very cold weather I have been using the wood stove in the basement to heat the house. To my dismay I have lots of bulges in the track in most of the straight track areas. Only the yard has survived without a bulge. The heat expands the track more that you would imagine. I have started to "nip" out these pesky little creatures but it sure spoiled my fun.
I put a bridge (4' 6" long) across the fireplace in the basement. We put an electric fireplace in the opening. When it runs, I've had my track rise an inch or so above the bridge (it's just flex track laid down.) Guess I need some scale expansion joints.
quess I got to find some heat with temp control on them so they don't all the time I quess some insultation too before I get started would help thanks guys for the help rich
I have had the same thing to happen. What I can not figure out is that the track was but down last January, when the heat was on. I did not have any problems in the summer except for one time. The outside temp reached 98-100 for a week, I forgot to turn on air conditioner. I have soldered all rail joiners except the one's for the turnouts. To prevent that for happening again, solder rail joiners on curves only and on all straight track do not solder the rail joiner and leave a .020"-.025" gap for expansion. I use a piece of .020" thick styrene as a gauge.
hey tyson you and vic are not off the to come up and help and on the way pick david up he just got drafted rich
tyson how did you make out with ice storm you guys got down there we got amost 10 inches of snow
We just got rain , but from 50 miles east all the way to the coast they got the worst ice storm in history. 1,000's still don't have power and temps this morning in the teens.
Thanks for the tip. I am doing a lot of "gapping" now. I have taken the affected sections back to the first switch and adjusted the gap from the switch to the section of track beyond the "bulge". Still have 3 sections to go.
Rich, sounds like a work session. "Killian Red" will usually attract a crowd I still have snow and ice to contend with, kind of like you. We are off the beaten path in our city so the roads do not generally get touched until 3 or 4 days after the storm.
Take care and stay warm
Dave, My layout is in my basement and I had the same problem. IMHO, It is not temperature so much as humidity. This is not to say temperature won't cause problems, it will if the variences are extreme. But in my case the temp only varies from maybe 60 to 85 degrees. The humidity on the other hand varies greatly, from very dry during the months when the furnace is being used to very humid during the summer. I started my tracklaying with my bottom staging yard during the summer. Fortunately I suscribe to a very conservative approach to layout building, and never build over a section of layout for at least a year. I want to give every area exposure to the full range of temp and humidity changes before I constuct anything over it. By March, I had significant bowing on much of my straight track. I had started noticing it much earlier, but it kept getting worse. It had nothing to do with temperature. What was happening is this: The wood I layed the track on was expanded due to humidity. I used Atlas code 100 flex track secured with track nails. As the heating season progressed, the wood got drier and drier. This caused it to shrink. This in turn brought the track nails closer together. This is what caused the bowing. I did not pull up the track to start over. I used a dremel with cutoff disc to cut the affected rails. Often , this removed enough rail to straighten out the kink. Sometimes I had to remove just a tad more. It doesn't take much. On some bad areas I pulled the track nails for several feet made the cut, straighted the track and renailed. I have gone a couple years now without further change.
Humidity has apparently caused another problem which I hadn't figured out till recently. I have a handlaid yard with many turnouts which use Tortoise machines. One of my solder joints must have been bad and I needed to resolder one of my point rails to the throwbar. Afterwards, one of the routes thru that turnout was dead. I use the switches on the tortoise to supply track power to my frogs, and in this case with a stub ended yard track, I used the frog to power the length of track as well. Because the dead track only became apparent to me after i had resolded the throwbar, I assumed that i had resolderd it just a bit off, just enough so that even tho the turnout was throwing fine, the internal switch in the Tortoise wasn't throwing. I should mention that some time had passes between when the solder joint had broken and when I eventually repaired it. I repaired it during the summer. I hadn't done anything to fix the dead track issue, not being in the mood. I simply started using a couple cars as a handle to reach the clear point. The other day I ran a loco beyond the frog and fully expected it to stop. It didn't. I now have power in that track again. I think I won't next summer!
Folks who use foam for roadbed should never have this problem.
Gary, thanks for the information!
Chalk one up for the foam guys. I have all plywood and homasote with cork road bed. I wonder if that may also be contributing? I am doing pretty much like you did with the Dremel, except that I am putting a small gap in each straight rail section at the joiners if I haven't soldered it. I will let it set for a few days and see what the heat does to it and then decide where to go from there.
I have the rail set with track nails everywhere but the yard and the yard has not seemed to have any problems. I was using the nails until I put the ballast on. I intended to put glue under the track before I put down the ballast and pull the nails for visual effect. I may have to do a little "glue test" fo see if that is one of my problems
I'll keep you posted.
Rich, are you taking notes?
Why bother with a helix my friend, if you are going to use the top level for a logging area why not have a switch back on steep grades ala 6%.
gade to hear that you made out alright tyson david am always taking notes on here and kiilins red a good choice and am buying that and a jug of tysons shine we be all set don't know if we get any work done and will be using foam for sure found some I thinks its only 1/4 inch thick and come in a bi-fold 4 foot wide and 50 feet long for the road bed and its the pink stuff so its will work with the thicker stuff and no nails well onlt till the glue dryes rich
ps shamus do you know how much a n-scale shay is
It aint't the heat, it's the humidity.
My Wednesday night guy has a gate into the layout, flat at the hinge side, angled at the opening, with two tracks on two levels crossing it.
Every summer something expands and we have to really push the gate into position to line the tracks up.
Somebody on the Clambake forum suggested that, even if you get the benchwork, scenery and track to expand and contract evenly, the ROOM will change size.
If one does not want to use foam, does a spline type of roadbed help with expansion and contraction? Should I have painted the homasote on all four sides first to seal it?
Marty, I still don't use foam. I do the following and I have had little problem so far: I still use my standard plywood with homabed. I paint all sides with regular latex paint. Most important, I only lay track during the heating season! Originally when I discovered the problem I wrote about I thought it was the track nails being pulled together that caused the problem, and I think it is a major factor still. However, i then stupidly went ahead and handlaid during the summer, thinking no nails every 6 to 8 inched would be much different than small spikes every inch. Well, the problem was nowhere near as severe, but did cause a problem on one of my turnouts. So, now all trackwork is done in late fall thru early spring. What little time I spend on the hobby in the summer is kit building and such. I think working during the heating season and puling any track nails upon ballasting along with sealing the roadbed with paint ought to prevent problems.
Thanks for the info Gary.
they paul that got me thinking how about a nolix in in place of the helix and mt just release log cars for the logging tooo that way I dont have hide that much track rich
heres a link for the idea the area near the closet is a nolix
this will go along the wall with the helix what do you think guys i like it better then the helix rich
I like that idea also. It will also lengthen the run.
Rich, That's much better. Should look very nice.
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