break in curved track

I have built the baseboard and am now laying track. Peco Streamline OO code
100. There is a lifting flap, which means two breaks in the track. At the
(raised!) hinged end of the flap the track is straight until it encounters
the flap. So no problem with the track break, I just make it parallel to the
sleepers, and put a couple of PCB sleepers each side of the break so I can
solder the rail to them and make small adjustments with a soldering iron as
and when necessary. However, once on the flap the track commences a curve of
48" radius which continues up to and beyond the second track break (where
the flap lifts). Question is how best to make that break? Do I make it
parallel to the edge of the flap, such that it crosses the sleepers and the
rail at an angle, or do I make it parallel to the sleepers, an inch or so
into the baseboard side, such that the track overhangs the edge of the flap
by an inch or so? Would this make for better running over the break? Or
doesn't it matter?
Reply to
Ed Callaghan
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Just as an observation if you lay the track, solder it to the PCB and then cut it there shouldn't be any need for subsequent 'adjustments'.
The generally accepted wisdom is that rails should cross a join perpendicular to the join. Experience shows this can be taken as the preferred state of affairs but doesn't need to be rigidly adhered to if the track is secured as described above, i.e. lay, solder, cut. Personally I'd avoid having track overhanging the edge of the flap. Ensuring alignment would be awkward and it's only a matter of time before someone catches the loose track doing untold damage.
On the subject of soldering the track at a join to PCB we've not always been able to do this (often the problem is being unable to satisfactorily secure the PCB at a board edge). In these situations we've spiked the rails, then painted and ballasted the track before making the cut across the join. So far this has resulted in well secured track which has not yet suffered any damage. The joins in question are between baseboards on layouts which are regularly transported to exhibitions so I'd mention that this is always done with an end plate secured to the boards to prevent track ends being caught whilst manhandling the boards.
Reply to
Chris White
"Ed Callaghan" wrote
I'd want to avoid having a section of unfixed track at the join, especially on a curve, as even a small lateral displacement will result in derailments, so I'd cut the rails exactly at the baseboard edge. However, the join at the lifting end need not be parallel to the hinge line. If the angle is not too great, you could build a trapezium shaped lifting section, alternatively you could extend the trackbase a short distance over the join, to fit a matching cut-out in the trackbase on the fixed section.
Reply to
Terry O'Brien
The message from "Ed Callaghan" contains these words:
Overhanging track is looking for trouble. It's always ready to catch on something. I cut the track in line with the edge of the flap and main baseboard and use extra PCB strips as sleepers - don't forget to cut through the copper between the rails (BTDT!).
I assume you're using a timber construction for baseboard and flap, so you'll need to make allowance for movement in the timber. I use narrow strips of plasticard of different thicknesses pinned by one end to the main baseboard where the flap rests (a bit like a feeler gauge, if you know what I mean) so there's always a choice of packing pieces to keep the track smooth. I've had that system in place for 17 years and only a couple of times have I had to re-position the rails on the PCB.
Reply to
David Jackson
In article , Chris White writes
I'll second that if I may. On my exhibition layout, every single board- crossing is oblique, and this has caused very little difficulty over nine years showing. (and my ends are not as well protected as Mr White's)
The only other method I have seen to avoid this problem is the short bridging piece of track, but this would be awkward for a regularly used lifting flap, and is more difficult to integrate well into the scenery.
Reply to
Chris Brown

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