Basic question - flexitrack

Flexitrack comes without fishplates (or the stuff I have does). Now, as I
understand it it's arguable that with flexitrack you don't use fishplates
but I want to; at least for now.
How do you fit fishplates to flexitrack? I've tried easing them in under
the sleeper chair but they don't want to go. Do I need to cut the sleeper
or chair, if so where and with what tool?
Reply to
Graham Harrison
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I use a Stanley knife to cut the chairs off the last sleeper. Be careful, however, as you ought to reduce the thickness of that sleeper at the top by the thickness of the fishplate, otherwise the rail will not sit level at the rail joint.
Alternatively, leave a larger gap in the sleepering at the fishplated joint, and slide some thinner sleepers into the gap to make it look good later.
Reply to
Jane Sullivan
I usually lose the first sleeper and cut the rail such that the joiner is in the clear. When all is settled and running OK I go back and slip a single sleeper (minus its chairs) under the joiners and fix it with a spot a weak glue. More than one sleeper being removed however poses a real risk of over gauging and finescale wheelset will fall into the hole - especially on curves! A normal modelling knife is quite adequate for the amputation procedure.
Reply to
Sailor
If a flextrack joint on a curve is unavoidable, it's best to solder the joint before bending the track.
Reply to
MartinS
I wanted to say that, avoid flexitrack joins on curves like the plague but as Martin says solder and cut to rails to final length, before fixing down, also fit one piece of track then t'other to it, - then fiddle about with them. Theres a modest atricle with couple of useful points in this months BRM - by Nigel Digby hence is useful. Not aware of any arguements against fishplate join with flexitrack - is anyone else ?
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
For curved use of flexitrack, remove the rails from the sleeper and bend them in bending rolls(Yes, I know, _FLEXI_) Use WD40 to slip then back into the sleepers.
Reply to
gareth
I can see me butchering a couple before I get it right! Thanks for your replies.
Reply to
Graham Harrison
I do more or less this but I use a 6mm chisel at 90 degrees to the rail instead of a Stanley knife, it's easier to get the blade (the flat side of the chisel is uppermost) parallel to the sleeper and slice through the chair without slicing through your fingers.
- -- Guy Chapman,
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Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?
Not entirely necessary, IMO, but I rarely make curves less than about 36" radius. I preset the last few inches into a curve by gripping the rail at the web with a pair of end cutters and bending just past the elastic limit at intervals of a few mm. I also pin the last sleeper with chairs (i.e. last but one if chairs removed for join) and the next but one to it, so there are four pins in close proximity to the joint. Sometimes I glue the track and remove pins once set.
- -- Guy Chapman,
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Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?
Graham,
You don't say what scale you are working in, but if it is N scale and you are using Code55 Streamline, Peco actually supply spare sleepers to fill in the gaps at joins. To join the track, you cut away the sleepers to let the fishplates fit on the rail ends, then you use (normally) a couple of these spare sleepers to fill in the gap in the sleepering. The spare sleepers have adequate cutaway to clear the fishplate.
I don't know if they make a similar product for their 00/H0 products - can't find a Peco catalogue online. :-).
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
A fishplate by itself isn't enough to keep two rail ends aligned when they are sprung to a curve. (ie a join between two flexitrack curves) The rail (as opposed to the track) can be bent to the required curve if it's impossible to avoid such a join. Put a little length of solder vertically between two rail ends on top of the fishplate and heat with soldering iron while pushing the rail ends together. That will result in a rigid join.
Greg.P.
Reply to
Greg Procter
Try that with code 55.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
If you don't use flex-track on curves, how do you handle transitions (or easements)?
John
Reply to
John Dennis
But of what value is a transition on a non-ride-on model railway, for if there are unprototypical tight curves. the appearance of trains on the tightest part of the curve will be unaffected by any transition leading in?
Reply to
gareth
You do use flexitrack on curves, just try to avoid joins. Or to rephrase try to use single length of flexitrack for curve even if means have to cut shorter straights before and after curve. It can mean extra work but is well worth the effort.
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
Apart from looking more prototypical, it "steers" the train into the curve instead of throwing it into it.
Reply to
Christopher A. Lee
Who said anything about not using it on curves?
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
.com...
Also, with some layouts you can have the transition in the visible section and the tightest curves hidden from view.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
I have found that I can make even insulated joints in flextrack on curves. I remove the last sleeper from each end, and copiously pin the track leading up to the join so that the join itself is straight and the bits leading up to it a tiny bit more curved. The results are good and reliable, at least on all the joins I've made this way so far. This is on N scale, down to 315mm curve radius; on tighter curves things would obviously get hairier so I would avoid insulated joints on sharper curves.
For non-insulated joints I always solder the fishplates anyway.
Reply to
Ian Jackson
It works better, the train runs more smoothly into the curve. It also makes the curve look less tight than it actually is.
- -- Guy Chapman,
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Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?

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