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Author Topic: foldable track  (Read 5796 times)

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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2011, 02:04:03 PM »

i would agree with the 30" rule for switches, and yard tracks or industrial sidings.  with switches you have a potential derailment site, and with sidings and yards you are probably going to need to reach in there to couple or uncouple cars. a normal section of mainline track, however, can be further than an arm's reach from the edge as long as you provide a hatch of some sort to reach any derailed or stalled train.

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA

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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2011, 04:52:04 PM »

To keep my track aligned I plane on installing tapered brass indexing pins with receivers think of the extra leaf for a dining room table same theory/pratice this will align the base to the same location both vertically and horizontally every time.


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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2011, 05:15:04 PM »

Modular technique might be helpful (contact an HO, N or O scale module club to see what they do). In as much of a nutshell as I can, here's show it works: sections are standardized so that tracks meet, with about a 3" (sometimes 4.5" or more, but always standardized within the system) gap at the end of each section. You set the sections up on legs, then push them together. Use pegs or bolts in precise holes to line them up. Once they're all set up and leveled(with power connections plugged together underneath as well), you put in bridge tracks to span the gaps. A 9" standard HO section works with two 4.5" end gaps. Ordinary sectional track works just fine, but it may help to use re-raler track sections, just in case there's a tiny mismatch, usually in rail height. You just slide HO or N railjoiners back, put the track in place, and push the joiners into place.

As usual, do not rely on track to carry power long distances; connect eacah section to a 10 or 12 AWG power buss running under the system (with plugs, of course). Storage is easy: place two legless sections face-to-face (i.e., top-to-top) with enough clearance to prevent damages to scenery and structures, and lock them together with a set of bars from one to the other. HO moudkles at 4' long x 2' wide carry comfortably singly or in pairs, and the delicate scenery is protected by the facing pairs.

Standardization is your key. When it's done right, any module matches any other one at either end (kinda like playing dominoes with the same spots on every tile). Pegs and holes make line-up quick and easy. Adjustable-length legs compensate for wavy floors. Folding, I think, would be harder than pushing pieces together, because it's hard to adjust a hinge by 1mm. The bridge track, though, does let you put in a tiny side-shift correction that won't derail most cars.

O-scale modules actually don't need bridge tracks; careful alignment with precision hardwood ends and matching pins, is close enough (with maybe a 1mm gap) that the big wheels roll right along over the joint. HO and N, of course, have tighter tolerances, so bridges work best.

P.S. (Plug, Shameless): If you are in the Santa Fe, NM, area over the Columbus Day weekend, all this will be on display, free, at the XIV Santa Fe Model Train Show at 3229 Rodeo Road. You're welcome to come by and say "hi" Oct. 8-9-10.

Happy rails to you!


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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2011, 07:44:25 PM »

Thanks again everyone, and Railsider, I think the bridge track solves my problem.
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