Author Topic: Track Laying Quandary  (Read 1541 times)

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BCR751

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Track Laying Quandary
« on: March 04, 2014, 04:19:12 PM »
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I have to hand-lay some track across a bridge that I'm building.  Total scale length is 160ft. with a bit of hang-over on each end for connecting to existing track.  I have two issues that have me stumped.

First, I do not have one of those three-point track gauges so I'm not sure how to ensure the rails will be in gauge.  I do have an old Kadee coupler gauge that has rail guides on the bottom for checking rail gauge but it only works on the inside of the rails.  I also checked the possibility of using one of those tools for straightening flex track but the slots are so wide I wouldn't trust it to keep the rails in gauge. Any other ideas how I could do this?

Second, I'm not sure how to connect the track to the ties.  I tried using N-Scale rail spikes but they just split the wood ties.  I even tried drilling pilot holes first but that didn't work either.  I considered using PC board ties spaced evenly across the length but since I'm using proper bridge ties, they are too tall for the PC board ones and it looks crappy.  Maybe Pliobond applied to both rail and tie then heated?  Suggestions?

If there are no other possibilities, I guess I'll have to break down and purchase a proper track laying tool(s) :facepalm:.  Fire away.....

Doug

Kisatchie

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 04:26:01 PM »
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Micro Engineering makes code 55 flex track for bridges, if you don't have to hand lay the track:

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Micro-Engineering-N-55-Non-Weath-Bridge-Flex-Trak-p/mec-11-112.htm


Hmm... I went and used
it for my entire layout...


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wcfn100

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 04:27:45 PM »
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A track gauge could be milled out of some aluminum.

Pliobond would work.  The thing I would worry about on a bridge is that it's a little messy and I think the chance of little pliobond 'strings' hanging down between the ties under the rail is quite high and would be pretty visible if it's an open deck bridge.


Jason

Scottl

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 04:37:27 PM »
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I have used CA to glue rail to wooden ties and it is very strong.  I stained the ties first and the CA is not visible afterwards.

Gauging was easy with an NMRA gauge as I went along, and I kept a freight car nearby to test the track as I went along.  I would not hesitate to do it on a bridge (and seriously considered it for my Cisco bridge, but I had ME bridge track handy).

ednadolski

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 04:39:55 PM »
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A track gauge could be milled out of some aluminum.

Ugh... sounds like more trouble than it's worth....   Just buy the gages.


Pliobond would work.  The thing I would worry about on a bridge is that it's a little messy and I think the chance of little pliobond 'strings' hanging down between the ties under the rail is quite high and would be pretty visible if it's an open deck bridge.

Fasttracks sells those fine-point plastic tips, for controlling the amount of glue that comes out.


Ed

garethashenden

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 05:07:46 PM »
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The ME track gauges are $5.25 each. Get two. Even if this is the only thing you ever use them on it's worth the cost to get the track in gauge.

BCR751

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 06:14:36 PM »
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Micro Engineering makes code 55 flex track for bridges, if you don't have to hand lay the track:

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Micro-Engineering-N-55-Non-Weath-Bridge-Flex-Trak-p/mec-11-112.htm


The problem with ME bridge track is that the ties are not standard bridge ties.  They are just their regular ties with closer spacing and they are also not long enough.  I'm going to use proper bridge ties that are 7"x9"X12' with the long edge vertical.  Otherwise, believe me, I would definitely be using ME bridge track.

I agree about the stringy stuff when using Pliobond.  I pretty well seize up when I use CA but I do have a respirator now so I think I'll give it a try and use the gauges I have.  I'll do a test section first and see how it goes.

Film at eleven.......

Doug

Scottl

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 06:17:02 PM »
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I added styrene pieces to extend the dimensions of the ME bridge track.  It took forever, and I would not do it again.  I would handlay and use wood ties. 

I did it last summer when I could glue outside on the deck to dissipate the fumes.

PGE_Modeller

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 06:52:25 PM »
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Doug,

When I built my Cheakamus Canyon Mile 18 bridge WAY back in 1975, I glued PC ties to stripwood that brought the height up to the same as the wood bridge ties and used the modified PC ties about every 5th tie.

BTW, I agree with others:  buy a couple of 3-point track gauges!

Cheers

jagged ben

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 10:52:12 PM »
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The stringy pliobond stuff can be picked away and removed with a good pointed tweezers.  Tedious perhaps, but doable.

The PC tie method strikes me as better in any case.

up1950s

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 11:31:43 PM »
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If this is a deck bridge everything is easier , except you need to have extended ties for escapes .

It is easier to get arrow true rails in gauge on a table than on the bridge , and there are guard rails too.

I would PC the 2 rails every 6 inches or so , one then the other making sure they are perfect in every respect .

Then Epoxy the ties , and as you go remove the PC ones .

Then epoxy the track to the bridge on 4 corners and 2 dots midway . This allows adjustments , but do that really fast .

Weight it with a single flat piece of something unbendable but not too heavy and let dry over night .

Then go back with ACC and or epoxy areas you can reach , let dry again .

Install , then add guard rails that extend 5 inches before and after the bridge . 

BCR751

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 07:08:49 PM »
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Some have said they use CA to attach the rail to the ties, others have said use epoxy.  I tried CA (the thin stuff) and, although it does wick under the rail nicely, it doesn't adequately attach the rail to the ties.  I can pop it right off with minimal force.  The gap filling stuff won't wick under the rail.

I can't see how epoxy would work because you have to put it on the entire length of the rail, or on each tie, prior to putting the rail on the ties.  The epoxy dries so fast there would be minimal time to adjust it if required. Plus, you would have to do both rails at the same time to maintain gauge and I just can't see how to do that with epoxy.

The quandary remains.  I need more information :?

Doug

davefoxx

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 07:29:09 PM »
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The problem with ME bridge track is that the ties are not standard bridge ties.  They are just their regular ties with closer spacing and they are also not long enough.  I'm going to use proper bridge ties that are 7"x9"X12' with the long edge vertical.  Otherwise, believe me, I would definitely be using ME bridge track.

I'm not so sure that I agree with your statement that ME bridge ties are just regular ties with closer spacing.  I just put a scale ruler on it, and my ME bridge track ties are a scale 10' long.  My standard track (I use Atlas) has the correct 8'6" lengths.  There is enough length in the bridge ties to add the outer guardrails that wouldn't fit as well on standard ties.  Granted, if you want 12' long ties, they are too short for your purposes.

Without shooting a new pic, this is the clearest shot that I have:


Definitely not standard ties.

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BCR751

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 07:46:31 PM »
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I sit corrected.  The ME bridge ties are indeed longer than their standard ones but, as you have surmised, I do, in fact, require 12' long ones.  I should have caught that one :facepalm:

Doug

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Re: Track Laying Quandary
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 08:56:09 PM »
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I can't see how epoxy would work because you have to put it on the entire length of the rail, or on each tie, prior to putting the rail on the ties.  The epoxy dries so fast there would be minimal time to adjust it if required. Plus, you would have to do both rails at the same time to maintain gauge and I just can't see how to do that with epoxy.


Epoxy dries hardens fast!?  Besides the 5-minute variety, there are lots of other epoxies available in hobby shops. There is a 10, 15 and 30 minute epoxy. Then there are even slower ones.  JB Weld is an epoxy and it, IIRC, takes 12 hours to harden.

How about 1 rail at a time?
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