flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
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steve howe
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flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby steve howe » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:14 pm

Just started building the trackwork for my Cameo Layouts Challenge project http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/137565-sandsifters/?hl=sandsifters - well better late than never - the theme is Light Railway circa 1920 so for a change I'm using Code 55 steel FB rail on copperclad sleepering. I am wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of some general advice on working with FB rail? I've built plenty of track over the years with code 75 BH but this is a new departure for me and from experiences arising from my first stab at a turnout this afternoon, there are clearly some fundamental differences to be observed, namely, dealing with the foot of the rail where switch closures occur and splicing the crossing vee together. Its going OK.... but any advice on specialist techniques would be most welcome.

Steve

David Knight
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby David Knight » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:52 pm

I’ve done some work with code 55 FB for a light railway I built a few years back and it was great fun. The best advice for the point rails is to study prototype photos if you can get them. Mostly it comes down to file and fit, the first one is tricky, the next one less so. The main thing is to resist the temptation to file a Peco-like gap in the stock rail. I can dig up some pics later if that would help.

Cheers,

David

Andrew Ullyott
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:31 pm

Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby Andrew Ullyott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:00 pm

I agree with David. Having built two WCPR light railway layouts using code 55, you just have more filing to do. The Sanders jigs won’t work of course but the triangular and mint jigs work fine.
I would advise gapping the sleepers and testing each one with a meter before you assemble track though as it’s easier to spot shorts at the beginning rather than the end. Ask me how I know that...
I gapped the sleepers just inbound of the rail on the viewing side then it’s hidden from punters.
There’s some track building stuff on my Clevedon WCPR blog on RMWeb. I’ll try and post a link but I’m using the phone right now.
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/1156-clevedon-wcpr/

David Knight
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Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby David Knight » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:24 pm

Pics as threatened ;)

The model photos are from my light railway currently in rebuild mode, the extra check rail is apparently prototypical. The prototype shots are from an ex-Canadian Pacific line still in use by the Guelph Junction Railway. The rail is rather heavier than code 55 would depict but the idea is the same.
IMG_0865.jpg

IMG_0866.jpg

P1010006.jpg
A general view of the frog end

P1010003.jpg
CPR point, detail 100 lb rail

P1010001.jpg
CPR point, detail 100 lb rail

P1010007.jpg
CPR turnout, 100 lb rail



HTH

David

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steve howe
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Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby steve howe » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:35 pm

Mucho encouragement, thanks guys,

That track looks great David, how did you attach the rails to the sleepers? (assuming they're not copperclad!)
Steve

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Flymo748
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Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby Flymo748 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:47 am

steve howe wrote:Mucho encouragement, thanks guys,

That track looks great David, how did you attach the rails to the sleepers? (assuming they're not copperclad!)
Steve


Steve,

There is also a post by Andy Reichert in the Guest Book which may be useful to you.

https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6199&p=65395#p65395

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

Terry Bendall
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:46 am

Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:21 am

Scalefour News 174, September 2011 contains an article I wrote on building flat bottom track and turnouts using the components that were available at the time from Society member Colin Craig. This may be of use although it was using heavier rail suitable for main line use. No filing was used since for turnouts all the stock and switch rails come ready machined which is helpful since there is lot of work to get the stock rails right.

There are some very useful articles written by Colin available on the web site of the Manchester Model Railway Society www.mmrs.org.uk/technical/track.html Again directed at heavy rail but they give a good background to the topic. I have been invited to give a demonstration on the topic at Scalefour North.

Terry Bendall

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steve howe
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Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby steve howe » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:28 am

I never thought of P87..... :? the idea of using steel plate as a base for the template and magnets to hold the rails down is a corker :thumb off to try that one! the tricky bit I'm finding (ageing eyesight notwithstanding) is keeping the rail upright during fitting and soldering, its very easy to get an unintentional cant.

All part of the "Learning Experience" :D

Steve

Enigma
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Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby Enigma » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:23 am

There is plenty of advice on FB trackwork building on American websites and this one (Model Railroad Hobbyist) is good as an online source. It's a 'magazine' format and lots of it is probably of little interest to a UK P4 modeller but some of the 'technical' features are interesting and useful.

Address is - mrhmag.com

David Knight
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Re: flat bottomed rail - advice please!

Postby David Knight » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:39 pm

steve howe wrote:Mucho encouragement, thanks guys,

That track looks great David, how did you attach the rails to the sleepers? (assuming they're not copperclad!)
Steve


Thanks Steve. Hot glue is the binding agent, an idea I picked up, IIRC, on E4um many years back. It involves running a bead of hot glue from a glue gun on the foot of the rail, heating the rail with a soldering iron to level the glue out then placing the rail on sleepers in the desired location, reheating (again :shock: ) and the job is done. I built the frogs off the layout with scrap etch as reinforcement and fastened in the same fashion to the layout. It holds up remarkably well, the layout is a portable and did a couple of shows per year for about ten years with no significant damage. If a rail got sprung out of place it was out with the iron, reheat and hey presto fixed! I’m in the planning stages of a smaller replacement layout and intend to use the same method for fixing track. If there is a weakness it is a lack of realism as compared to Andy R’s P87 track but given the amount of grot and vegetation on my track I was prepared to live with the shortcomings.

HTH,

David


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