Flex Track Question

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.
Reply to
Richard Schumacher
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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
Reply to
Bobby Thistle
Just cut off the spikes, and slide the joiner under
Reply to
Rob
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:
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Good luck!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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Reply to
Bill
Can you explain further how you accomplish that with Atlas Flex Track? I thought that trick went out with the days of fiber ties.
Reply to
Mark Mathu
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
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
I remove only as many ties as I need to, then solder the joint. Before I ballast, I DO slip in wooden ties (Mine are MilScale, but Campbell profile ties would work well too), glued to the roadbed with Elmers, to fill in the gap. I paint them to match the Atlas ties before I ballast (Ceramcoat "charcoal" if you're using Atlas with black ties). After ballasting you can't tell which are plastic and which are wood without looking REAL close. I rarely find it necessary to spike the rail to the wood ties, but I HAVE done it on occasion, works fine.
Don
-- snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net
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Reply to
Trainman
Bobby Thistle wrote in news:Xns93AEED50AB51bobbyt9999yahooca@205.237.233.50:
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
Reply to
Bobby Thistle
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
Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum
Yes, this is the customary method for laying flextrack - on straights, you remove one tie, on curves, you remove three ties, and then you can put in dummy ties to fill the gaps. On curves, you need the extra space because the joints in the rails will be staggered the more pronounced the curve. If you remember to leave about six inches of straight track at the end of each section before adding the next section, and then solder the joint, you'll have nicely curved track, even with a relatively large section with no ties.
-- The Conductor Digital Railroader LLC snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com
Reply to
Digital Railroader
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>
Reply to
Robert Heller
Just don't buy the pre-weathered ME track - it's a bear to solder to!
-- The Conductor Digital Railroader LLC snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com
Reply to
Digital Railroader
The only drawback there is, it's easier to have smooth track if you DON'T have the rail joints exactly opposite each other.
You don't want the joints in the rail to line up with other, or to a joint in the roadbed, or a joint in the sub roadbed, or any combination thereof. To do so invites kinks in the trackwork in future years as things expand and contract.
Don
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Reply to
Trainman
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 -----------------------------------------------------------
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
>Just don't buy the pre-weathered ME track - it's a bear to solder to!
Reply to
Jon Miller
Tried a "manual" brass brush, and it obviously didn't work well enough. Will never buy pre-weathered again. Just too much work.
-- The Conductor Digital Railroader LLC snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com
Reply to
Digital Railroader
Actually I think Atlas used to offer just that! I know I've seen them, may be Roco too.
Don
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Reply to
Trainman
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
Reply to
Christian
"Jerry Barnes" wrote in news:JnCNa.39046$ snipped-for-privacy@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net:
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
Reply to
Bobby Thistle
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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| > Bobby | > | > I read through the thread and I have found that the best looking way to do | > this is as following. | > | > (1) I first punch out the Tack holes from the bottom side of the Track. | > | > (2) Then I take a Zona saw and cut the spike heads off the first tie on | both | > ends. | > | > (3) I lay and spike the Track. | > | > (4) Repeat 1 - 2 | > | > (5) Install and Carefully Solder the Track. I found that the heat from the | > Soldering will indent the ties under the rail joiners. | > | > (6) On curves I lay the track almost to the end bend the track to the | > roadbed curvature and cut off the protruding rail. Repeat 1 and 2. Then I | > add the rail joiners (do not spike) Solder the new track section to the | laid | > track (do not bend the track let it stay straight. I found this is the | best | > way to keep the track in gauge on curves. | > | > I am in the process of laying approximately 200 plus feet of code 83 track | > replacing code 100 at our Olympic Model Railroad Society club layout. It | > looks very nice and you don't have to go back and fill in the ties. I also | > do this on switches. | > | > Have you posted any more pictures? | > | > Jerry F. Barnes | >
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| | The only drawback there is, it's easier to have smooth track if you DON'T | have the rail joints exactly opposite each other. | | You don't want the joints in the rail to line up with other, or to a joint | in the roadbed, or a joint in the sub roadbed, or any combination thereof. | To do so invites kinks in the trackwork in future years as things expand and | contract. | | Don | | | -- | snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net |
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Reply to
Jerry Barnes

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