• Talkin' 'Bout My Superelevation...

    Welp, after much deliberation, and three long years since starting my first N-scale layout, I finally did it -

    I finally put superelevated curves on my layout!

    I began by making sure my ME concrete tie flextrack was properly curved, and the rail joiners were even. For (eventually-)DCC purposes I made custom joiners with black and red wires soldered on.

    Now I'm ready!

    1. The roadbed.

    I first made sure my WS foam trackbed was free of dust or other debris by wiping and vacuuming it before applying the track.

    2. Applying the caulk.

    Then I applied a bead of GE adhesive caulk down the center of the roadbed.


    3. Spreading the caulk.

    With an excess chunk of cork roadbed, I spread the caulk out, parallel to the ties, along the WS trackbed.


    4. Adding the styrene strips.

    Then I placed the track on, making sure all straight sections were straight and all curves were to design, and then shoved pieces of styrene underneath the outer rail ties. I began with a thin 50 (N-scale) foot-long strip of masking tape (placed before I laid the track down, followed by a 50' strip of .010" (actual)-thick Evergreen styrene strip, followed by an equally-long .015" strip, then a full-length strip of .020" styrene for the full superelevation.

    I had to work fast, lest the caulk would start to dry up!


    5. The styrene strips are in place.

    I used a pair of needlenosed pliers to lift up the outer rail and insert the piece of styrene, but learned later on that the caulk was getting drier and drier. So I went to the kitchen and got a wet piece of paper towel and squeezed some of the water on to the caulk to get it wet again. This allowed me to work on the styrene strips longer and not rush, though it got the caulk (having turned white again from clear) a bit wetter than intended. I used a hair dryer to hasten the drying process.

    Then I used the sharp end of a bamboo BBQ skewer to shove any protruding styrene strips into place under the outer endge of the tie.

    6. Holding it down.

    With wood pieces and anything heavy, I weighted down the rails for drying.


    7. Having a look.

    I placed a couple locos on to see how it went...


    8. Check out mah lean!

    Looks pretty dang good there! I think I did it!


    Lessons learned:

    - It's best to apply one section of flex track at a time.
    - If the caulk dries too fast, don't rush, just dab a bit of water on the track to re-wet it. It doesn't become permanent until it's completely dry.
    - This was totally worth it! And here I hesitated all this time because I was afraid I'd mess up!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. A-train's Avatar
      A-train -
      Thanks for great pictures!
    1. Fuzzflyr's Avatar
      Fuzzflyr -
      LOVE that mean lean!
    1. Jugtown Modeler's Avatar
      Jugtown Modeler -
      "Talkin bout my elevation"
      My favorite Who song.
    1. Quetzal's Avatar
      Quetzal -
      You could also attach the tape and styrene under the flextrack instead... That way you woulnt need to rush the installation.
    1. Michael Whiteman's Avatar
      Michael Whiteman -
      I used balsa wood strips under my ties. I thought it would be easier to taper the ends down with sand paper. Super elevation isn't difficult...just time consuming, but it's definitely worth it, especially on 180* curves.