Track building after 40 years hiatus

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
colinglenister
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Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby colinglenister » Wed May 05, 2021 3:23 pm

I think i may have bitten off more than i can chew with the track plan of my new layout. I have a single slip feeding a 3-way tandem with a RH B6 off the LH track. After seeing how others on the forum have built their equally complex trackwork I'm not entirely sure if I'm up to the task i have set myself. I'd appreciate some advice please......

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John Donnelly
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby John Donnelly » Wed May 05, 2021 6:43 pm

colinglenister wrote:I'd appreciate some advice please......


I was in the same situation a year or so ago, never having built track before (other than a couple of turnout kits) my track plan involves two double junctions with singles slips, diamonds and plenty of turnouts. I decided that, as well as the pointwork, I'd build all the plain track as well with functional plastic chairs on ply sleepers:

Image

Best advice I can give it to get a Templot plan of your track done and cut all the rails using that before you install them on the layout. Don't be tempted to accept 'close enough' either - rail is relatively cheap so if you screw up, bin it, start again and take your time.

The track I've built so far is far from perfect but, importantly, nothing falls off...

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Tim V
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Tim V » Wed May 05, 2021 7:41 pm

No need for Templot (which is a learning cliff in itself) you can achieve what you want using the society's templates. People were building successful track long before Templot came along. Plenty of guidance on the 'old' way of doing things.

The gauges make it all quite easy, you can't have too many of them.

Suggest building some of the ordinary points first, before graduating onto the more complex formations. Don't forget, if you get it completely wrong, rail is cheap enough to 'have another go'.
Tim V
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Noel
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Noel » Wed May 05, 2021 8:18 pm

If you aren't entirely confident about starting with such complex pointwork, then why not build a small test track with one point? If that goes OK you can move on, with that successfully achieved; if not, it's a lot easier to work out what went wrong and fix it. And you end up with a useful test track which you know works, so if something falls off on the layout but not the test track, you know where to look for the problem.

On the design, it's worth remembering that the railways generally avoided complexity unless absolutely essential; complexity meant more expense, both in construction and subsequent maintenance.
Regards
Noel

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Will L
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Will L » Wed May 05, 2021 9:36 pm

I'm not sure I agree with the start simple approach. I think its a good idea to have something you really want in view. If all you want/have room for is a plank, then OK, but if you want a layout I think it best to go for it. What you do need is persistence, and not being afraid of the occasional failure to start with but to go on trying till you get it right. Many a now well respected modeller started from nowhere went strait for a worthwhile result and learned the skills we now recognise as they went along. As to producing track, there is no end of advice already on the digest sheets and on here you will do no better than search through Tony Wilkins posts.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Martin Wynne » Wed May 05, 2021 10:32 pm

Will L wrote:I'm not sure I agree with the start simple approach. I think its a good idea to have something you really want in view.

Hi Colin,

It will be an unusual layout that doesn't have a simple turnout in a yard somewhere, or an ordinary crossover. Start the grand project with the easy bits, and work towards the more complex formations as you gain experience.

cheers,

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

Terry Bendall
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu May 06, 2021 7:36 am

I am with those who have suggested that you start with something easy. You have an idea of what you want and one thing needed is a RH B6 turnout so build that first. Then progress to the other pointwork.

quote="Tim V"]No need for Templot (which is a learning cliff in itself) you can achieve what you want using the society's templates.[/quote]

Quite right. A template will allow you to cut the rails to length where required although I usually leave those at the ends a bit longer to allow for trimming to length afterwards.

If you are near to an area group then making contact would help even if at the moment groups cannot meet face to face. If you say where you are located there may be a member nearby would help on an individual basis.

Terry Bendall

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John Donnelly
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby John Donnelly » Thu May 06, 2021 7:44 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
Tim V wrote:No need for Templot (which is a learning cliff in itself) you can achieve what you want using the society's templates.


Quite right. A template will allow you to cut the rails to length where required although I usually leave those at the ends a bit longer to allow for trimming to length afterwards.


Each to their own obviously, in my case, using Templot was easier than trying to cut and shut printed templates to match the curve of the layout

ken kirk
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby ken kirk » Thu May 06, 2021 7:56 am

[quote="Tim V"]No need for Templot (which is a learning cliff in itself) you can achieve what you want using the society's templates. People were building successful track long before Templot came along. Plenty of guidance on the 'old' way of doing things.

I agree that Templot is a learning cliff but I'm not wired up in a way that can understand it. for those who can, it's a great tool to use. In the EAST MIDLANDS AREA GROUP, we are fortunate in having TONY WILKINS and HOWARD BOLTON (JFS) to give guidance. Tony did a series of tutorials to the group some time ago and both have done Templots for me and others. Thanks chaps and good luck to colinglenister.

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Will L
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Will L » Thu May 06, 2021 10:15 am

Will L wrote:I'm not sure I agree with the start simple approach. I think its a good idea to have something you really want in view. If all you want/have room for is a plank, then OK, but if you want a layout I think it best to go for it. ...
When I said that I wasn't precluding the idea that you'd start with a simple standard point rather than the slip but that you shouldn't let that limit you ambition. It is well within many peoples ability to move from beginner to competent in one layout.

Lindsay G
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Lindsay G » Thu May 06, 2021 10:19 am

Templot can be a distraction if you allow it to become just that (guess how I know) but is a very useful tool if you wish trackwork to flow beautifully. Reverting to cutting and shunting individual templates seems like turning back the clock several decades, ignoring progress, and tools that are readily available. If getting up a learning curve is a step too far, mightn't there be fellow members of a local group that could assist? That's one of the great benefits of local groups and one that has come to my assistance many times over the years (and still is).

By the same token I'm also unsure why some still build individual items, whether turnouts, diamond crossings, or whatever and then piece them together, just as we once did with Triang or Peco items, rather than building manageable sections of track which again helps towards nice flowing trackwork.

However, each to their own.

Lindsay

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu May 06, 2021 10:56 am

John Donnelly wrote:Each to their own obviously, in my case, using Templot was easier than trying to cut and shut printed templates to match the curve of the layout

Exactly. The Society templates and others are great, and some are very detailed (Exactoscale). But almost without exception they are all straight:

Image

The difficulty in curving and aligning them to known radii to create pointwork on flowing curves was my original reason for developing Templot, see:

https://85a.uk/templot/companion/2_yes_ ... _track.php

The supposed difficulty in using Templot is a myth, if all you want is a curved turnout template. It takes just a few clicks to print whatever you want, as demonstrated in this video:

https://flashbackconnect.com/Default.as ... 4kwp6LaSw2

more info about that: https://85a.uk/templot/companion/your_f ... mplate.php

The greater difficulty is that fewer and fewer folks still have a home printer, but it's equally easy to export a PDF file from Templot for taking to a High St. copyshop.

cheers,

Martin.
40+ years developing Templot. And counting ...

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David Thorpe
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby David Thorpe » Thu May 06, 2021 12:09 pm

Do beware of possible gauge narrowing when using Exactoscale (or C&L) plastic chairs. To avoid this happening, you should use the "correct" type of track gauge. Others on here will probably be able to tell you what that is.

DT

Winander
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Winander » Thu May 06, 2021 1:00 pm

David Thorpe wrote:Do beware of possible gauge narrowing when using Exactoscale (or C&L) plastic chairs. To avoid this happening, you should use the "correct" type of track gauge. Others on here will probably be able to tell you what that is.


The problem arises as the chairs are designed to hold the rail at a prototypical 1:20 cant. If you use a triangular gauge it has 'legs' that grip the rail at each corner. These may be too long and grip the foot of the rail, forcing it to be upright. Removing the gauge allows the chairs to impose the cant causing the track to become under gauge.

Examine your gauge on a section of rail. The legs should extend no more than the web of the rail, they only need to hold the head where they will not oppose the cant imposed by the chairs. If they are too long file them back.

Good luck, take care and ruthlessly reject any component you believe is not good enough.
Richard Hodgson

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Rod Cameron
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Re: Track building after 40 years hiatus

Postby Rod Cameron » Thu May 06, 2021 1:00 pm

Colin, I assume you have seen this
https://www.scaleforum.org/demonstrator ... ron-lewes/

Actual track building starts at slide 14. I'd never built diamonds or tandems before but following the same principles and being methodical it seems to have come out OK.
Rod


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