Colin Parks wrote
Your account of the tribulations caused by gauge-narrowing of the Flexitrack is a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Having read of your experiences with it, I have decided against the stuff for my (extremely modest) layout.
I've probably missed something here, but why does gauge narrowing happen on flexi-track? Or does it only happen on particular brands of flexi-track?
The one thing you have to remember is that we have been building this layout since we were in short pants, which means we are back to the original issue of the make of trackwork chosen for Slattocks in the first place. This was C&L, when John Pottinger was using polypropylene as a trackbase. Our problems of painting this have been well documented but what we never envisaged was the problem of gauge narrowing on the curves leading into the fiddle yard. The chairs in the track base were simply not strong enough over time to hold the rail in place. The conditions inside Dean Hall could hardly be described as extreme but I suppose the temperatures can vary quite a bit. and this constant expanding and contracting of the track eventually loosened the rail in the chairs. So, does gauge narrowing only happen on particular brands of flexi-track? I think the answer is probably, "yes", and since the type of track we used is no longer manufactured, it should no longer be an issue. But.......will we ever use flexi-track again? I think the answer has to be, "very unlikely", since it makes further adjustments virtually impossible without a lot of work!!
As a footnote to all this we have since learned that there are now techniques which would have made the painting of the track a simple matter. That's progress for you, but we still don't regret changing the layout as we did - and the LMS twins hauling a 23 coach train at that speed would definitely not have negotiated the trackwork on the original layout!!