Author Topic: Thoughts on a new track product line  (Read 3222 times)

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DKS

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Thoughts on a new track product line
« on: February 12, 2013, 03:02:02 PM »
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I'm starting an open discussion for the purpose of evaluating a potential new track product.

My recent failure handlaying Nn3 track spawned an idea. Well, in truth, I've been contemplating this for a couple of years now, with an eye toward producing a line of Z scale track. But I like the idea of Nn3 better as a test.

The concept is to laser-cut one-piece tie components. The ties would have built-in tie plates, which create slots for rail. The rail would simply be glued into the slots.

I quickly threw together artwork to laser-cut an acrylic master, which I then cast in tie-colored resin. (The rastered woodgrain effect came out better than expected.) Then I cut and glued pieces of rail. It took all of about 20 minutes to assemble a proof-of-concept prototype.

There are a great many hurdles to overcome before this could be a viable product. Tolerances need to be tweaked, artwork improved, and accommodations for functional points need to be made; the prototype is not functional, although a Z scale truck does roll through it perfectly, so it's not too far off the mark.

The rail is secured with thick CA, although I think Pliobond might be a better choice. I might also be more sanguine if there was a PC board tie in between each section of track (this would also make electrical feeds easier). The frog is not soldered, and I don’t think it needs to be, although for electrical reliability, both rails should be powered.

I'd like to see what the inhabitants here thing about this. If there's no potential commercial interest, I won't be heartbroken—I'm doing it mainly for myself, so I can have some decent-looking Nn3 track for my layout that's easier to build.











“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

bbussey

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 03:13:40 PM »
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Why not N scale also?
Bryan Busséy
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DKS

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 03:20:48 PM »
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Why not N scale also?

It is N scale. Nn3.

Or did you mean standard gauge? Gotta start somewhere.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 04:44:48 PM by David K. Smith »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

ednadolski

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 03:22:32 PM »
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The concept is to laser-cut one-piece tie components. The ties would have built-in tie plates, which create slots for rail. The rail would simply be glued into the slots.

What would it take to do standard gauge, concrete ties for code 40 rail?

Ed

wcfn100

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 03:23:35 PM »
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I'm definitely interested!  My dad had sort of the same issue with laying track so he actually paid the set up fees for a new line of laser cut bonded track.

I will eventually inherit my dad's Nn3 stuff and would surely put together some sort of layout.  Living in CO makes it a big interest as well.

But I'll tell you up front that my interest rests on some sort of thought put into tie length, spacing and positioning.  I won't be interested in any sort of arbitrary or whimsical approach. 

What ever you do, make sure you include a dual gauge option.  That will probably bring more people to the table than anything.


Jason


PJPickard

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 03:25:39 PM »
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I like this a lot, its like the old "truScale" wood track base, sort of...

Seems like it could also work with your code 30 flat rail too.

Paul

DKS

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 03:39:35 PM »
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But I'll tell you up front that my interest rests on some sort of thought put into tie length, spacing and positioning.  I won't be interested in any sort of arbitrary or whimsical approach.

The ties in the test piece shown were traced over reference photos of an actual narrow-gauge switch.



I even took note of how many spikes were used on average.

Is that good enough?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 03:47:38 PM by David K. Smith »
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wcfn100

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 03:50:07 PM »
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I'll just stay out of it and see what you come up with.

Jason
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 03:56:55 PM by wcfn100 »

Chris333

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 03:59:54 PM »
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I'd post over at the Yahoo Nn3 group.

I don't have a need, but if I built a Nn3 layout I'd sure try it.

sirenwerks

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 04:10:17 PM »
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I definitely like it, and would even more if I were into Nn3 or Z scale.  When it hits the market in N standard gauge, if the price point and selection is comparable (turnouts and crossovers) with Atlas ready-made and early adapters give it a thumbs up, I'd be all over it. Especially a code 40 version. You might also consider a flex version for non-turnout use.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 04:12:05 PM by sirenwerks »
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ryan_wilkerson

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 04:10:48 PM »
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I think this is a great idea. I'd like to see such detail in N for non-mainline trackage. The grain and the variation of placement and condition of each tie adds much realism. I've always wanted to have the jointed rail look and a future product like this could fill the void.

C855B

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 04:21:19 PM »
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I'm in. I won't be making a lot of hay in Nn3, but in the "gotta do" plans for the GC&W is a narrow-gauge cement plant quarry line. I would be good for at least a half-dozen, maybe more. You possibly thinking of this as a concept for doing the same thing as a flex-track tie base? The slim pickings for Z/Nn3 pre-fab or what I call "project helpers" is an impediment to the niche.
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Cajonpassfan

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 04:32:51 PM »
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David, although I have a soft spot for narrow gauge, and own a bunch of freight cars, personally I won't be interested unless and until there are narrow gauge locos available on par with the rolling stock for less than insane prices. Right now we have neither. But, if you we're to do standard gauge code 40, I'd be on board!
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Sokramiketes

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 05:01:41 PM »
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Does anyone have any drawings of narrow guage turnouts?  There's some funky things in that turnout that don't make sense, but my reference is AREA and railroad standard guage drawings. 

Tie spacing varies through a turnout by design, but I'd be worried that a museum screwed that one up versus a typical in service turnout.  It wouldn't be the first time someone copied a poorly restored museum piece though!

Mike

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avel

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Re: Thoughts on a new track product line
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 05:19:43 PM »
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How pliable is the resin when cured? Would it be possible to make the cutouts slightly deeper so that the tie plates snap over the web of the rail and fake the appearance of smaller rail. Kinda like how Peco code 55 is just code 80 with a second "web" embedded in the ties.

Could you attach the points the same way that you attached them when making the code 25 Z scale turnout by bending the point rails so that they want to come together and grip a small protrusion on the throwbar.
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