Flex Track Question

I finally began to lay some roadbed and track today... and am using Atlas Flex Track where ever possible. This is the first time using
this product, and I noticed that rail joiners do not connect easily to it. It seems as if the last tie is too close to the end of the track. The only way I was able to connect the track was to cut the end ties off. Of course this leaves quite a gap between joints and will be fixed with a modification to the ties I have cut out and glue once I'm satisfied that the track is set permanently. What's the deal with this? Is there a valid reason for making Flex Track like this, and if so, what would that reason be?
Much obliged, Bobby
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Just cut off the spikes, and slide the joiner under

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Pac Man wrote:

Hey, Atlas! Offer a short slip-on tie section undercut for joiners for use with your flex track. Make it easier to use and you might sell more of it. I've made my own from 1" track sections by cutting them in half and forcing out the rails.
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may
Part number 598. But, why? After laying three or four pieces of track you're going to have spare ties coming out of your ears. I use my flush cutters to nip the rail clips - 2 seconds work, if I can find the nippers!
CTucker NY
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Rob wrote...

Can you explain further how you accomplish that with Atlas Flex Track? I thought that trick went out with the days of fiber ties.
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BobbyThistle wrote: I finally began to lay some roadbed and track today... and am using Atlas Flex Track where ever possible. This is the first time using this product, and I noticed that rail joiners do not connect easily to it. It seems as if the last tie is too close to the end of the track. The only way I was able to connect the track was to cut the end ties off. Of course this leaves quite a gap between joints and will be fixed with a modification to the ties I have cut out and glue once I'm satisfied that the track is set permanently. --------------------------------------------------- Bobby, that's the way to do it...cut a couple of ties from the end and after the track is in place, slide individual joiners under it. I trim the lip off the top of the loose joiners so that will slide under easily and not cause a hump in the track.
You might encounter a problem with the flex track on curves. It's best to preassemble the track and you might want to solder the track. I never found a need to solder, though.
Alexandre has a great tutotial with photos at: http://www.mrrkb.com/frame/frame.php?page=/kb/articles/a0001.php
Good luck!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Resources: Links to over 500 helpful sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore.html
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wrote:

Unless you are laying the flex track totally straight, you will always have too many (or not enough) ties. The minute you bend the track you have one rail longer than the other, and you have to cut and trim to fit. Pretty much no way around it - flex track is a raw material, and is made to be cut and spliced in whatever way you need to fit your track plan. The biggest problem when joining sections in a curve is keeping the rails in gauge at the joint, because as you discovered you have to remove some ties.
I recommend soldering the joints for a curve while the sections are straight, then bending them into the curve, and in doing so you may have to remove more ties. Trying to solder a joint in a curve is difficult and even with a snug rail joiner you can end up with a kink. Even a slight kink has the effect of drastically reducing the curve radius momentarily, which can cause derailments especially on long cars, or large steam locos. A rigid frame steam loco loves to find a kink and climb over it.
One thing I have thought about, but haven't tried (yet) is replacing the tie gaps with wooden ties, and then spiking the rail to the wood ties (while checking gauge). I've also considered hand laying, but my current plans are for a pretty good sized layout... and to get up and running, that means flex track. But I may also hand lay track in certain areas, particularly any focal point of the layout or any place I would want to take photos and have them look as realistic as possible. The quality and appearance of flex track has improved dramatically in recent years, but nothing looks quite as nice as hand laid track on wooden ties.
Andy
----------------------------------------------------------- http://www.duckcreek.org - Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
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Just use a steel or brass brush in a Dremel or like motor tool. Works fine!
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wrote:

White glue will secure wood to cork... normally I have worked only on a flat-top (plywood) surface, so I glued the cork with white glue (temporarily nailed/pinned in place on curves), and used small nails on the center holes in the ties to hold the flex track down. I tried using contact cement, but the resulting fumes made the train room uninhabitable for 48 hours and that was only 1% of the track that had to be put down. Since I will soon be starting from scratch, I'm going to be taking a really good look at every aspect of layout design and construction.

Yeah I know, it's very tempting. I really love the appearance of a hand-laid turnout though, and if they are done right will outperform almost anybody's fabricated one.
There are a few who have used fishplates in HO scale, but normally it's something you only see on O scale and larger.
Andy ----------------------------------------------------------- http://www.duckcreek.org - Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
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glue

Thanks for all the responses... at least I know that I'm not the only one who has encountered this problem. Actually, it isn't really a problem for me - but being so new to the hobby, I thought I was doing something wrong :-)
Bobby
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Bobby, If you are just putting down straight track, take an ex-acto knife and slice the spike heads off the last tie, on each section of track, then slide the rail joiner on and attach the next section of track. If you are doing curved track, then: Lay the first section and start the curve. I try to keep the sliding rail on the same side for all pieces. Take the next section and slide the rail through the open spikes on the first piece of track. Where the rail ends meet, slice away three ties worth of spikes, with the first under the rail end and the last under the other rail end. Then slide a joiner on one rail end and slide the other rail into place. This has the advantage of staggering the rail joints, and avoiding kinks.
-- From the computer of Frank A. Rosenbaum

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In a message on Sat, 05 Jul 2003 03:19:48 GMT, wrote :
BT> I finally began to lay some roadbed and track today... and am using BT> Atlas Flex Track where ever possible. This is the first time using BT> this product, and I noticed that rail joiners do not connect easily BT> to it. It seems as if the last tie is too close to the end of the BT> track. The only way I was able to connect the track was to cut the BT> end ties off. Of course this leaves quite a gap between joints and BT> will be fixed with a modification to the ties I have cut out and glue BT> once I'm satisfied that the track is set permanently. What's the BT> deal with this? Is there a valid reason for making Flex Track like BT> this, and if so, what would that reason be?
This is normal. Flextrack is not like 'fixed length' sectional track. Sooner or later you will need to cut it to some random length. You have to either remove a few ties completely (and shove replacements under later, which is what you are doing) or carve off the molded rail spikes to allow clearance for the rail joiners. You will note that as you go around curves, the ends won't line up. This is also normal (and a good thing as well as it staggers the joints).
BT> BT> Much obliged, BT> Bobby BT>
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Don
Sorry I do not agree with you on this issue. I find that once the roadbed is ballasted the track is not going anywhere. We have track that has been laid for more than 8 years and it does and has not kinked, though we are in a basement and the temperature and humidity are reliantly constant.
Kinks are caused by the temperature changes and does not have any thing to do with where the tracks are joined. I have hand laid track and have cut rail joiners in half to cut down on the size of the joiner to make it look better. No problems. Also Nickel Silver Track has a very little expansion rate (which I read on this newsgroup not to long ago.
The problem you might have in a long run you may have the problem of track (Ballasted) pushing out of their spike heads and gaps closing. We super glue a piece of styrene in the joint and then zap a gap it (super glue). I feel that the more ties you have with spikes the better (my opinion) on how the track attaches to the ties. When I do need to add ties I usually superglue them or spike them to the track.
Jerry F. Barnes
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Hi Jerry... no new pictures yet... I've been too busy laying track... but rest assured that I'm taking photos as I go along and will be updating the site in the near future.
Take care, Bobby
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