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Author Topic: Track Needs  (Read 4342 times)
yukon

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« on: March 27, 2014, 05:01:17 PM »

Hello everyone. I am new to the forum.

I am planning on purchasing a Bachmann "Echo Valley Express" DCC train set.

I have a 4 ft. by 8 ft. layout, with scenery, in my garage. The info on the Echo Valley Express says its layout of 38" x 56". I would like to elongate the layout and slightly widen it to fit into my 4 X 8 layout I already have set up.  The set comes with 12 pieces curved (I believe 18" radius) track and 3 pieces straight track. I will have to get some more straight pieces, and, I assume, some curved track less than 18 radius to widen the width of the track.  Any suggestions, and what Bachmann part # for the straight track and "less than 18" curvy track?

Next question, I would eventually like to put a couple of extra loops of track on each end. What Bachmann turnouts would you suggest (part #)?  I have tortoise switches, now, but I understand they won't work with the Bachmann turnouts. What electric turnouts will work with the EZ track turnouts, if any. If not, what manual switches will work?

I appreciate any response.

Yukon
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jward


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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 06:05:27 PM »

i would strongly advise going to the less than 18r curves. 15r is made, but it is too sharp for many cars and locomotives to negotiate. better to go with wider turns.

22r will fit on a 4 foot wide table, and is will allow you alot more leeway in what you can run.

as for the switches, i would stay away from the standard ones, and use the numbered ones like #4 #5 or #6. using those, it should be possible to get an 18r curve inside a 22r one, for a double track setup.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Bucksco

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 06:32:17 PM »

If you buy turnouts to go with the Echo Valley set you should get DCC equipped turnouts. You can operate them remotely with the EZ Command unit and avoid a ton of wiring.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 08:56:01 PM »

Yukon-

It's hard to know what you are asking since we don't know what you have right now. In any case, I urge you in the strongest terms to go no tighter than 18" radius curves. Even that is pretty short -- short enough that there are many locomotives and rolling stock which will not run on it. Fifteen inch radius curves are very limiting.

You can fir an 18" oval within a 22" oval, connecting them with crossovers. You can put some industries on the corners or inside the ovals. You can also build a small yard inside the ovals.

I think we can help you best if you tell us more about what you have now. Posting a track plan would be ideal.
                                                                                                                                                                     -- D
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yukon

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 10:20:18 PM »



Here is a rough diagram of my track plan.  The width (A to B) isn't a lot wider than the oval for the Echo Valley Express, which is 38" x 56".  It is about 40-41".The length of the outer track (C to D) is about 91". The distance from C to F is about 80 ". 

It looks like the main need will be straight EZ track to expand the length. I probably don't need many curved track to take the width to 90-91". Will 22 curved track work, along with the curved track coming with the train set? What about the inner track, inside the outer track to the right. Will 18 curved track work?

Yukon
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Doneldon

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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 11:08:22 PM »

Yukon-

Your diagram helps a lot. Now we can tell just what you have and help you with what you want to do. We'll have some good news for you and some not so good. Let's start with the positive stuff.

One thing to remember is that you don't want your trains tight roping along the edges of the layout. Derailments are inevitable; having no where for the trains to go but off of the table means breakage, which might be irreparable, is likely. However, you can use 22" radius curves for an outside loop with a small area at the edges, and an 18" inner loop. You can connect them with crossovers so your trains can move from loop to loop. Doing this also gives you a ready-made run around track so you can drop off and pick up cars from various places around the layout. You can still put some small sidings on the corners (or shorten your loops a little so you have more space on an end), some sidings or spurs on the inside and maybe even a small yard inside.

Now the not-so-good news. First, maximizing the width of your tracks, which I think is a good idea, means your rails will run parallel to the edges. This is not desirable from an appearance standpoint. Second, building a 22" outer loop means you will have to pull up what you have now and purchase the 22" curve sections. You won't be able to use all of the 18" curves you have on hand. You can probably sell the unused sections on eBay but you won't get a lot for them because everyone has 18" curve tracks from their train sets.

Please keep us up to date on your progress.
                                                                     -- D
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 11:09:11 PM »

Dear Yukon,

Download and use the AnyRail.com track CAD program. 

It's free (for the first 50 track pieces) and fun to learn. 

You can solve most track connection (geometry) problems with less than 50 pieces. 

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
ilikeconrail

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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2014, 12:42:47 PM »

Get the 3' long straights with grey rail bed. And I suggest get the 22" because derailment of long cars will happen less but never ever get 15" curve only thing that good for a like many switchers but yea you might as well make it a double loop with 18" and 22" if you gonna get dcc because 2 trains is so much more fun then one and good luck

-Ilikeconrail-
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