Re: [z_scale] Track
> Are there any tricks to getting smooth curves?----- to get a goodFirst, thanks to Jeffrey for saying the nice things about one of my uploads
> transition from a flextrack curve to straight standard Marklin track?----
to the group files. The method still works well for most folks' hands.
Cliff, there are many methods of emulating the real railroad's "Transition"
curve technology. Simply stated, its a piece of track that is absolutely
straight at one end, and curved to the desired curve at the other...and
in-between is some of the darnest mathematics you've ever seen....to keep
freight cars from "lurching" from centrical force when entering the curve.
In model RR's, some folks still use the "bent stick" mechanical method of
getting that "special section of track" -- by bending a thin piece of wood
which is fastened only at one end. It gives a reasonable logarithmic curve
very close to a true Transition curve.
I'll share a more computerized way with you. ATLAS model railroad company
does not make Z scale anything. But they do have a nice track layout
software package called "Right Track Software" (RTS) that is absolutely free.
Since track centerlines are all I'm ever interested in (not graphic
mountains, virtual buildings, and 3D rotations) it works fine in Z scale.
Centerlines do not know "scale" and only concern terms like radius, length,
straight and curved, etc.
Many of the modules we use were laid out on RTS, to help with visualization
to insure correct curve radius, calculate track to purchase, and make all
layout revisions on the screen and not with power saws, glues and the
expression of unspeakable words after committing a design to lumber. We
print out the final drawing full size (1:1) and trace it on the plywood then
lay track on the centerline.
RTS does do a nice centerline calculation for you on centerlines, which can
be printed out full size and traced to your layout very nicely.
So, I uploaded a RTS RAL file on the Z_Scale Files sections. IT IS DATA
FILE, not an executable file. It cannot carry a virus. It is just a text
file meaningful only to RTS when drawing the centerlines on the screen. You
have to get the executable part from www(dot)atlasrr(dot)com by downloading
the freeware from their site. They also have a ton of N Scale RAL files you
may wish to also download, for track layout ideas in Z.
If you bother to do get the RTS software, just load and print the RAL file I
uploaded out full size (about 6 sheets of paper). You'll see the transition
piece quite clearly. By double clicking on the track, you can change the
radius, etc., to any radius you care to use on your layout, without having to
learn RTS in the process.
> best way to trim rail length?Of the many "preferred" methods folks use, I use Xuron rail nippers (under
$10) and cut the rail from top to bottom. No file work was ever been
required to a cut, so far. DO NOT use the Xuron cutters for anything else
(cutting wire, styrene, wood, paper) or they will be useless for track
If that doesn't make sense, ask your wife if you can use her prized cloth
cutting scissors to chop up some cardboard. She'll explain it to you quite
Hope some of this helps.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Of perhaps limited interest and circulation, but the Modelling the
Railways of SA Convention notes include two fantastic articles
arguing that 'track is a model too' and suggesting a variety of ways
of replicating the look of Australian track.
On the mainlines track is well sleepered, but Australian branchlines
are infamous for light rail and widely and unevenly spaced
sleepers. On many narrow gauge lines with wood sleepers, every
fourth or fifth sleeper would be steel, the intention being to hold
the rails in gauge.
In Z, modelling it would require the use of code 30 rail at least,
but code 25 would be better.
> Here in Australia we have a variety of track.. nice laid beds ofpre
> fabricated concrete ties, laid in such a way as it heats up orcools
> down in the desert, it moves out on the curves.