Author Topic: N Scale OEM locos on hand laid code 40 rail  (Read 2102 times)

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jhjonesarch

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Re: N Scale OEM locos on hand laid code 40 rail
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2021, 05:34:47 PM »
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This has been a great conversation.  Having hand laid almost all the track on my CNJ Newark Branch layout I have found this thread to be very enlightening.  I used code 55 for everything for the sake of durability, but the code 40 definitely looks great.

Jonathan Jones
Modeling the CNJ Newark Branch

robert3985

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Re: N Scale OEM locos on hand laid code 40 rail
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2021, 09:53:09 PM »
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I'm thinking that a quick pass over the fuzzy spikes with a propane torch would neatly "remove" it from the spikes.

@peteski   Peter, that's an interesting idea.  I'm sure it would work, but...failure to make it a "quick pass" could easily result in a major track disaster. 

On the other hand, having not ever done the "fuzz-burning-propane-torch" technique on ME Code 40 flex, my fears might be overstated....then again, maybe not.

I'll have to give this a try on a test piece the next time I'm gonna sand down spike heads.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore



peteski

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Re: N Scale OEM locos on hand laid code 40 rail
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2021, 10:33:14 PM »
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The keyword is "quick" and of course the area has to be devoid of shrubbery or static grass. Or cover the scenery with a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.
. . . 42 . . .

johnb

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Re: N Scale OEM locos on hand laid code 40 rail
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2021, 10:51:25 PM »
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Just don't say "Hold my beer!" before you do it.
shouldn't it be "hold my vodka"?

robert3985

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Re: N Scale OEM locos on hand laid code 40 rail
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2021, 11:02:08 PM »
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This has been a great conversation.  Having hand laid almost all the track on my CNJ Newark Branch layout I have found this thread to be very enlightening.  I used code 55 for everything for the sake of durability, but the code 40 definitely looks great.

Jonathan Jones
Modeling the CNJ Newark Branch

@jhjonesarch   Jonathan, from my experience of having quite a bit of PCB hand-laid Code 40 trackage on my portable layout, I have never perceived a difference in durability or robustness between Code 55 and Code 40 track, even when breaking down, transporting and setting up at shows several times a year.

On a permanent home layout, Code 40 PCB hand-laid trackage should be plenty durable if laid with a PCB tie every fifth tie.

I can't speak for or against ME Code 40 flex since I've only used it lately on my portable layout in one spot at the Emory/Devils Slide center siding...but so far, I don't notice any extra fragility due to skinny, short rails.

However, it must be said that I have also never used Code 40 as "mainline" trackage, preferring the height contrast between Code 55 for heavily trafficked track and Code 40 for lesser trafficked track over the generally more accurate overall appearance of the height of Code 40 rails (actually code 44).

Right now, I have 22 feet of new layout sections in the planning stage, which include quite a bit of industrial trackage (the Ideal Concrete Plant), a major UP center siding, and switching opportunities at the Devils Slide Station where the Ideal Concrete Plant spur begins.  In the back of my brain, I have been considering doing the whole 22 feet with code 40 trackage, and designating both heavily-trafficked mainline tracks and less-than-heavily-trafficked track with different tie proportions, tie spacing and spike head differences (yes, that's right...spike head differences) and ignoring rail height.  I'd do this using 3D printed tie strips instead of my old standby from my stash of Rail Craft Code 40  and Code 55 flex or hand-laying with the PCB tie protocol and ignoring a total lack of tie plates and spike heads as is done on the rest of the layout.

In my experience, it's the ties that make the most notable difference in the way track looks (up to a certain point)...which is well illustrated in this photo of UP mainline trackage in Wilhemina Pass, at "The Monument"...and the track is Rail Craft Code 70.  Still looks pretty good, and the much-too-tall rail height is barely noticeable.  Although I've posted this photo many times for different purposes, it shows the rail height in this scene very well...

Photo (1) - UP mainline trackage using Rail Craft Code 70 Flex on my Ntrak modules of Wilhemina Pass at "The Monument":


Photo (2) - Prototype UP mainline trackage in Echo Canyon showing actual perceived rail height:


To my eye, these rails look proportionally pretty close, even though I know that Code 70 rail in N-scale is several scale inches too high for ANY rail used on any railroad in the world.  Sooo....it's the ties on N-scale flex that make the difference in how prototypical it appears...and by "ties" I mean everything that's on the ties too...such as what structure is modeled to hold the rails to the ties, woodgrain, nail holes, etc.

These two photos are also good evidence for the growing idea of using Code 40 rails in my next 22 feet of layout sections.

Ah well...decisions decisions....

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore