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Re: HOn3 Flex trac

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  • bolsen187@frontier.com
    Surely someone has a greater selection. ME only has #6 switches.
    Message 1 of 16 , Mar 6, 2013
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      Surely someone has a greater selection. ME only has #6 switches.


      --- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, Kjb80401@... wrote:
      >
      > One brand will have the rail profile the same throughout their product
      > line. Although you can mix Peco and Micro Engineering products, I chose ME to
      > use through out.
      >
      > Keevan
      >
      >
    • railwayeng
      ... Railway Engineering has Wye s .... 6 s... 8 s .... curved ..... 12 s and all on real wood ties. I call that a selection. Complete finished ready to
      Message 2 of 16 , Mar 6, 2013
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        > Surely someone has a greater selection. ME only has #6 switches.


        Railway Engineering has Wye's .... 6's... 8's .... curved .....
        12's and all on real wood ties. I call that a selection.
        Complete finished ready to install.
        -Steve Hatch
        Railway Engineering
      • lloyd lehrer
        You need more details. What systems? Track/turnouts, decoders, throttles/brains, detection/signals, Lgirderbenchwork? On Mar 6, 2013 7:10 AM,
        Message 3 of 16 , Mar 6, 2013
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          You need more details. What systems? Track/turnouts, decoders,
          throttles/brains, detection/signals, Lgirderbenchwork?
          On Mar 6, 2013 7:10 AM, "bolsen187@..." <bolsen187@...>
          wrote:

          > **
          >
          >
          > It's time to chooses a system and I have reached analysis paralysis. Would
          > folks weigh in on the different systems. Does it make sense to only use one
          > brand or doesn't it matter?
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • bolsen187@frontier.com
          Starting from scratch after a 25 year absence so all your questions are the ones I am trying to answer. This is a whole new wold of modeling than the one I
          Message 4 of 16 , Mar 7, 2013
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            Starting from scratch after a 25 year absence so all your questions are the ones I am trying to answer. This is a whole new wold of modeling than the one I left. I feel like Rip van Winkle. "You need more details." Yes I do and a big thanks to those who are helping me collect them.
          • bolsen187@frontier.com
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Us6WB1vnY After seeing this I can t for the life of me understand why I am worried about a good track system.
            Message 5 of 16 , Mar 7, 2013
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              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Us6WB1vnY


              After seeing this I can't for the life of me understand why I am worried about a good track system.
            • Mark
              I think rail profile across the brands will be pretty much the same and so long as the code is the same you should be OK, at least I ve not had a problem with
              Message 6 of 16 , Mar 7, 2013
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                I think rail profile across the brands will be pretty much the same and so long as the code is the same you should be OK, at least I've not had a problem with it. In the end flexitrack is flexitrack and the choice is between Shinohara and ME - they're interchangeable.

                I used Shinohara turnouts at first. I've seen the PECO turnouts and they have good reports, don't know about the latest ME versions. I've also turnouts from Railway Engineering and a custom curved version from Trout Creek which needed a bit of jiggery pockery (mainly because of me) but now also works very well.

                Not sure about the availability of Shinohara these days but I would not recommend them as there is some slackness in the area of the frog which allows a wheel to drop slightly into the gap and can cause derailments. I'm swopping mine out.

                A friend persuaded me to have a go at making my own turnouts a while back using the Fast Track system in Code 55. The first took ages to get right but now I can make one in about an hour and a half. But it's not for everyone as the jigs are not cheap though there is good variety with the exception of a curved turnout.

                If I was starting from scratch I would pay the little extra and buy Railway Engineering. Beautifully made with real wood bases from a bloke who knows his stuff.

                My two pennies worth.

                Mark K

                --- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, Kjb80401@... wrote:
                >
                > One brand will have the rail profile the same throughout their product
                > line. Although you can mix Peco and Micro Engineering products, I chose ME to
                > use through out.
                >
                > Keevan
                >
                >
                > In a message dated 3/6/2013 4:25:55 P.M. Mountain Standard Time,
                > bolsen187@... writes:
                >
                > It's time to chooses a system and I have reached analysis paralysis. Would
                > folks weigh in on the different systems. Does it make sense to only use
                > one brand or doesn't it matter?
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Jim Spencer
                The main incompatibility between brands of rail or flex track (say, ME and Shinohara) is the rail joiners. ME rail joiners are too tight for Shinohara rail or
                Message 7 of 16 , Mar 9, 2013
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                  The main incompatibility between brands of rail or flex track (say, ME and Shinohara) is the rail joiners. ME rail joiners are too tight for Shinohara rail or flex track. This suggests the web widths are different, with ME the thinner of the two.
                  Jim

                  Sent from my iPad
                • gullywumpler1
                  Jim, I ve never had a problem with the rail joiners I just solder. HA! HA! Fred in TN.
                  Message 8 of 16 , Mar 10, 2013
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                    Jim, I've never had a problem with the rail joiners I just solder. HA! HA! Fred in TN.

                    > ME rail joiners are too tight for Shinohara rail or flex track. This suggests the web widths are different, with ME the thinner of the two.
                    > Jim
                  • railwayeng
                    ... The problem with soldering rail joints is that the track can no longer contract in the cold without breaking. Those of us old timers have tried everything
                    Message 9 of 16 , Mar 10, 2013
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                      > Jim, I've never had a problem with the rail joiners I just solder. HA! HA! Fred in TN.


                      The problem with soldering rail joints is that the track can no
                      longer contract in the cold without breaking.
                      Those of us old timers have tried everything and we find that
                      the hair line crack in a soldered rail joiner will drive you crazy
                      because it will close up sometimes and open up other times.

                      If you want maximum frustration from your railroad, then go ahead
                      and solder your rail joints. Otherwise, the prudent thing to do
                      is put a feeder wire on EVERY piece of rail and let your rail
                      joints float in and out on their own. That means that you are going
                      to have to pre-curve all your rails so that you eliminate the
                      kink at the joint on curves.
                      But it is far less work to pre-bend and attach feeders than it
                      is to spend weeks or months hunting down defective connections in
                      your soldered rail joints.

                      -Steve Hatch
                      Railway Engineering
                      http://railwayeng.com
                    • kjb80401
                      Steve, and y all, I will typically solder 3 lengths of flex track together for a rigid 3 section length, no more than that. When I join two sections of
                      Message 10 of 16 , Mar 10, 2013
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                        Steve, and y'all,
                        I will typically solder 3 lengths of flex track together for a rigid 3
                        section length, no more than that. When I join two sections of these 9'
                        three-sections together, I leave a little 'breathing room' between the 9'
                        sections to allow for expansion and contraction. I use rail joiners between
                        all pieces of flex track to ensure their alignment. I do have to add that my
                        layout is in the basement where temperature and humidity varies very
                        little throughout the year.
                        Soldering sections together where they're placed on a curve is
                        particularly valuable. Lay the first section onto the roadbed and gradually curve
                        it. When the first section has been curved almost properly and spiked down,
                        solder to it the second straight one and then continue bending it around
                        the curve. When I get close to where the third section will be applied, I
                        solder it to the previous ones. I do this to make the smooth transition from
                        one section to the next so as to eliminate 'kinks' between sections on a
                        curve. Tweek as necessary at the joint area with a needle nose pliers to
                        effect a visually continuous curving
                        Each 9' section has a connection to the buss for insurance that they are
                        receiving electricity.
                        I don't allow 'cracked' joints as I have learned many years ago what a
                        good, and also bad, connections look like.
                        Keevan


                        In a message dated 3/10/2013 9:59:20 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
                        hatch@... writes:

                        The problem with soldering rail joints is that the track can no
                        longer contract in the cold without breaking.
                        Those of us old timers have tried everything and we find that
                        the hair line crack in a soldered rail joiner will drive you crazy
                        because it will close up sometimes and open up other times.


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • roundbellrr
                        I only solder flex track joints in a tight radius curve. This will maintain a smooth radius in the curve (no kinks) yet allow expansion give everywhere else
                        Message 11 of 16 , Mar 10, 2013
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                          I only solder flex track joints in a tight radius curve. This will maintain
                          a smooth radius in the curve (no kinks) yet allow expansion give
                          everywhere else where soldering is not needed. LocoDoc


                          In a message dated 3/10/2013 11:22:11 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
                          Kjb80401@... writes:




                          Steve, and y'all,
                          I will typically solder 3 lengths of flex track together for a rigid 3
                          section length, no more than that. When I join two sections of these 9'
                          three-sections together, I leave a little 'breathing room' between the 9'
                          sections to allow for expansion and contraction. I use rail joiners
                          between
                          all pieces of flex track to ensure their alignment. I do have to add that
                          my
                          layout is in the basement where temperature and humidity varies very
                          little throughout the year.
                          Soldering sections together where they're placed on a curve is
                          particularly valuable. Lay the first section onto the roadbed and
                          gradually curve
                          it. When the first section has been curved almost properly and spiked
                          down,
                          solder to it the second straight one and then continue bending it around
                          the curve. When I get close to where the third section will be applied, I
                          solder it to the previous ones. I do this to make the smooth transition
                          from
                          one section to the next so as to eliminate 'kinks' between sections on a
                          curve. Tweek as necessary at the joint area with a needle nose pliers to
                          effect a visually continuous curving
                          Each 9' section has a connection to the buss for insurance that they are
                          receiving electricity.
                          I don't allow 'cracked' joints as I have learned many years ago what a
                          good, and also bad, connections look like.
                          Keevan


                          In a message dated 3/10/2013 9:59:20 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
                          _hatch@..._ (mailto:hatch@...) writes:

                          The problem with soldering rail joints is that the track can no
                          longer contract in the cold without breaking.
                          Those of us old timers have tried everything and we find that
                          the hair line crack in a soldered rail joiner will drive you crazy
                          because it will close up sometimes and open up other times.

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Richard Hull
                          In my situation, in the eaves of my roof, 7 feet off the floor, it is the devil s own work to get a smooth curve with flex track on the outer-most back edge of
                          Message 12 of 16 , Mar 11, 2013
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                            In my situation, in the eaves of my roof, 7 feet off the floor, it is the devil's own work to get a smooth curve with flex track on the outer-most back edge of the layout. Standing on the long bench, 2 feet off the floor, the layout is at a great viewing angle, but your arm pits are about at table height making an easy reach to the back of the 2 foot shelf layout nearly impossible, certainly impossible for extremely accurate curve work. (note:  A one foot step up is used to elevate me farther up to where I can lean over the shelf a bit, but my head is almost against the roof peak.)  It is no fun at 67 to do this for protracted periods.
                             
                            I tend to use the fast tracks templates, but do pre-solder two sections of flex track together.  This is about the longest section that I can maneuver in the small space as the eaves tumble-in.  I start the effort by flexing the curve into more or less the correct curvature based on penciled in radius line on the bench work.  I then insert the fast traks template in the central joint area and nail down the central joint area ties on both sides of the joint.  I next insert ties under the joint area where I had to tear out ties and hand spike the rails to every tie to maintain smooth curvature based on the template/track gauge.  It is only when this is done and the critical joint is smooth and fixed that I move the template along, flexing and nailing as I go.
                             
                             After less than half of each piece of flex is nailed down, I put my most tempermental and easily derailed loco on the track (an old United PFM K-28) and clip lead the DCC to the track.  I then run the engine along the track and joint in both forward and reverse at slow and max speeds to make sure the track is good.  The outer curves on my 2 foot shelf layout are just impossible to reach for critical track work once the scenery is in place.
                             
                            Richard Hull 

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                          • Jim Spencer
                            I guess I started something. My issue only centered on incompatibilities between rails and rail joiners by different manufacturers. But for my own layout, I
                            Message 13 of 16 , Mar 11, 2013
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                              I guess I started something. My issue only centered on incompatibilities between rails and rail joiners by different manufacturers. But for my own layout, I follow Steve Hatch's recommendation of using all unsoldered rail joiners and then providing a feeder at every rail length, even really short lengths.

                              An added benefit (and no one seemed to mention this) is that unsoldered rail joints allow flexibility for changes. Over the life of my railroad, I've relocated or realigned probably a dozen or more switches, along with several major curves where added easement or a broader radius were needed. It also helped me address what turned out to be "S" curve situations. I originally built the track work from my CAD plans and then operated it -- only to find glitches -- then moved the trackage to address the glitches.

                              Finally, I install all my track (both flex track and the Central Valley CVMW tie and switch strips) with double stick tape, no glue. The double stick tape is Scotch permanent double stick tape, not the thick foam tape, and I typically use the 3/4" width. That allows the track work to flex and work itself to a point of equilibrium. Then after operations show the track work is okay and I like the design from an operational standpoint, it is time to ballast it in place. That locks it the same as glue would. ......... but.... by leaving the tape embedded, it also allows the track later to be removed by inserting a thin (bread knife or similar) flexible blade without serious damage. The track and switches are then available for reuse.

                              The double stick tape on my layout has been in place without ballasting in most areas for 4 or 5 years and I have found very little movement.

                              BTW, my layout is all on 2" extruded polystyrene foam with masonite or door skin plywood bonded under the foam. The foam is highly stable toward temperature and humidity changes and the masonite provides secure anchorage for the wall support and for things like wiring and switch machines. The track work is on cork roadbed or sheet cork (yards). Overall, it is quiet and light weight and if I ever move, I can disassemble and easily lift it to its new location. The benchwork is all cantilevered from the walls and is thin in overall profile -- leaving more vertical height for the future lower deck.

                              More food for thought.
                              Jim


                              James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA
                              trainmanjs@...







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