Track Advice

As you may all have noticed, I am still rather new to this, ans want to make sure I have things straight in my head.
I am talking 00 here
I have seen slating of settrack here - AIUI that is the Peco equivalent to the hornby clip together stuff?
Streamline is "proper" track, and basically is available as points etc, or flexible, and you just flex the track to get the curves you want, using tracksetta templates if you need accuracy.
Am I basically right in this?
Ta, P.
--
Paul Matthews
snipped-for-privacy@cattytown.me.uk
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There are as many opinions on this as there are contributors but almost everyone will say avoid hornby points. A few will admit theres nothing wrong with sneaking in the odd hornby or PECO settrack curve, there was an article in one of the mags within the last year or so where someone had used settrack throughout. Nothing wrong with it. It all depends on your ability to lay track and how long you want to spend doing it. One or two may point out that Hornby flexitrack is much easier to flex in trainset curves than PECO - well it was for me.
On my 2nd attempt at a simple set of ovals I used PECO points, Hornby flex, and a couple of Hornby settrack curves. Only have running problems on one dodgy (cos of how its laid) point. Do wish had gone for electrofrog though.
So take all advice (except re hornby points) with a pinch of salt, mix and match as you wish and enjoy yourself.
Cheers, Simon
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I would suggest that in the interests of maintaining consistency and a consistent appearance that the "pinch of salt, mix and match as you wish and enjoy yourself" advice be avoided!
Graham Plowman
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snipped-for-privacy@gppsoftware.com wrote:

[...]
Well, Graham, I think that ballast and paint go a long way to providing that consistency of appearance - and add a level of realism that's absent in the out-of-the box products.
About the only advice I'd urge anyone to follow is to use the largest possible radii, avoiding anything smaller than 18" to 20", and even to simplify the track plan in order to achieve this. Smoother, more reliable running, and better looks are worth the sacrifice. Besides, most beginners plan much too elaborate and complicated layouts. It takes quite a bit of actual experience to discover that what you thought you wanted wasn't it after all. Start simple, and add complexity if and when you have learned enough to know just what you really want. And don't be afraid of ripping it all up and starting over - it is a hobby, after all.
HTH
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wrote:

I agree absolutely with the last sentiment. I find that crappy connections and kinky rail joints appear out of nowhere. This is especially true if a long range view is not possible -- in that case some form of aid is essential. I find that the drawing office magnetic flexy bars to be very useful for keeping a curve smooth. Personally, I find that Peco streamline is a good , reliable and forgiving system. If you use long radius for fast traffic, medium for bigger locos in slower situations and small radius for yards and small loco traffic then you will have no problems. The Set track is( like Hornby) rather constraining as it demands precise alignment to prevent kinking. To be honest these layouts always remind me of a kids drawing outfit product.
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Pinch a small mirror from the wife's/mother's/gf's handbag. Use it to look along the line of track back towards yourself... I once took up a complete 3 yard section of straight track after doing the mirror test - I then relayed it using a straight-edge, and it *still* looked dodgy. Curves are a bit easier, but it's quite difficult to get the transition from straight to radius looking right - make the transition as long as possible.
--
Dave,
Frodsham
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David Jackson wrote:

Actually, flex track will automatically assume an easement (transition.) to control the length of the easement, offset the centre line of the curve by about 1/2" towards the centre of the curve at the point where tangent (straight) and curve meet. (On an 180 degree half circle, you will need an extra inch of clearance - not much, eh?) Fasten down the flex track along the tangent to within 8" to 12" of that point, then bend the flex to meet and match the curve about 8" to 12" beyond that point. The flex track will take on a nice easement, and your trains will turn smoothly into the bend, instead of lurching like a drunken duchess.
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wrote:

Oh what a put down - I have a kids drawing outfit product. Thats ok though cos not planning to invite you round. Havent got any crappy connections, just the odd kink - but then thats like the real railway, was a lovely whack around Kilsby on WCML for many years. Agree with Wolf about paint and ballast, also if its part of a whole layout with scenery etc then dont get hung up on minor details its the atmosphere that counts.
So does Graham really suggest we shouldnt enjoy it !
Cheers, Simon
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Oh dear Simon, I've put my foot in it again! Never mind, it does not change my tastes in track layouts. Having limited space (7M x 3M) means being innavotive in order to not have an obvious tail chaser and yet make something realistic using modelling skills rather than pure cheque book magic. Like most people I plan, replan, argue with myself and then build it -- only to find self criticism in every glance and chance observation. Next step -- take it up and correct it! I have 5 kinds of track in use (only Peco points) for a rolling stock age span of 35 years and for ease of manipulation , pinning ( without fracture) and ease of un-pinning I find that Peco Code 100 fills all my requirements. If my rolling stock was less than 5 years old then code 75 would be terrific.
Ballasting, in my view, should come some while after the actual track laying is both settled mechanically and operationally, otherwise modifications tend to be rather messy. Painting is different in so far as it can be over painted easily but then like the "real" world , I have to engineer my solutions to overcome self made diffculties. That is what makes modelling so enjoyable and double pleasure when the traffic runs in an authentic manner due to these efforts
I must confess that when my Duchess of Atholl raced around our table in 1949 -- and all too often raced into space on the bends, that I swore to improve on that one day. I am rather sorry that it took more than 50 years.
Peter A Montarlot
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wrote:

Only teasing you - 7M x 3M limited space indeed ! One thing experienced persons forget is that the experience is gained by having a go and learning from mistakes. We must allow newcomers to make those errors - or at least some of them. Dont go for a perfect layout from the start, have a go and be ready to rip it up if required as some point. Took me 4 years to get a tiny running set of ovals, during that time I learnt something about the real railways, formed ideas of what I wanted to do and run. Almost ready for the big layout higher up - the loft that is.
Cheers, Simon
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snipped-for-privacy@gppsoftware.com wrote in

My office is built over a rail line, four track ex-SR (2x fast and 2x Slow), Thornton Heath S. London (aka a sh8thole). Not bad for looking at the chuff-chuffs though even though most of the stuff passing through is 3rd rail electric.
Anyway, the point to all this, the track is on concrete sleepers ... fine, so what? Well the sleepers are of *3* different designs (*) one of which is clearly to light for the job as it's submerging in to the ballast - I kid you not, looks like the stuff they used on the Tramlink and it's on the down fast line. Not only that, the two lines that share a common design of sleeper are of different colours, one being rust and the other being dark grey - due to differences in age. IOW all four lines look different.
Oh and just to cap it all in a few places the concrete sleepers have been taken out and replaced with shortened wooden ones in order to cater for drain covers and the like being to close to the track.
My point being "consistency" isn't necessarily prototypical. :-)
(*) I'll take some pics next week.
--
All the best,

Chris Wilson
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Chris Wilson wrote:

Oi, I take exception to that. I used to live there too. ;-)
Mark Thornton
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Mark Fornt'n from Fornt'neaf? Very appropriate :-)
--

Regards

John



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simon wrote:

I find Peco code 75 much easier to handle than either Hornby or Peco code 100 products.
Mark Thornton
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