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Thread: Redoing trackwork advice

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    Default Redoing trackwork advice

    I'm in the process of redoing some trackwork and need some tips, tricks, or suggestions:

    This is what I started with:



    This is after tearing up the track:



    And this is what I want to do:



    Basically I want to add 2 switches so I have another entry/exit point from the spur line to the mainline. Track is code 80 and I have a few flex sections that I'm going to cut to size to fit.

    My question: is there some trick to use to connect to the existing track without bending or destroying the track and/or rail joiners? The existing track is still secured with silicon sealant so I can pull it a little bit to try and make the new sections fit after cutting them to size. Thanks!

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    If you mean how to insert a piece into a gap and deal with the joiners, remove enough ties from one of the ends at each joint so that you can slide the joiners all the way under, then slide them back when you have inserted the new piece.
    Moving coal the old way: https://youtu.be/RWJVt4r_pgc
    Moving coal the new way: https://youtu.be/QzmBQ4As_mc

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    If you have a metal paint scraper, you can use it to slide under the ties and cut the silicone. I have one that I ground a sharpened edge on just for that purpose.
    - Gary R.

    President & CEO
    Pinnacle & Western Railroad

    I don't always stop for trains, but when ... oh wait!, Yes I do.

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    One thing that really sticks out to me is the "S" curve you have on the left in the first photo. You need to get rid of that for reliable operation.
    Rodney

    Here is my build of my n-scale railroad
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...-50-8-quot-%29

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    It isn't 100% Kosher, but to expand on Nths suggestion, in NTRAK, we do pretty much the same thing, except we don't remove the ties, we just remove the clips/tie plates that hold the rail to the ties......since this is a "quick fix" you can probably just pop the rail off the ties at the end carefully, push the joiners completely onto the rail, set the piece of track in place and then push the joiners out onto the existing track. with a little luck, once everything is in place you should be able to push down on the rail where you popped it off the ties and have it snap back on. I works on code 55 Atlas flex.

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    In my build/resurrecting my 30+ year old layout thread in my signature, posts #77 & 78 on page two show exactly how I replaced a turnout, with photos. Just like post #2 here suggests.

    I agree about the S curve but it might also depend on your ops.

    Good luck.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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    Hello everyone and thanks for all the great idea's!

    I'll have to give the drop the track and slide the rail joiner in place a try, never considered that idea.
    @Stu - thanks for the pictures from your build thread, helped tremendously!

    About the S curve - that is on my son's HO section and is a side track leading to an engine house. I haven't noticed any issues with loco's going over that section of track, of course their going at a crawl at that point. Thank you for the suggestion.

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    When I did repairs like this in my previous layout, I never bothered with rail joiners on one end. I used railjoiners on one end like you normally would then carefully aligned and secured the other end (I used silicone, but you can also do so with spikes if you want) Never had any problems, although I should say that they were on straightaways and not curves.

    About the s-curve: it is on a continuous piece of track, really short, and seems to be a gentle enough radius that even with cars it likely won't be an issue. From an s-curve perspective, you are more likely to run into issues coming from the mainline (from the upper side of the photo) and immediately going right towards the spur. That's where slow speeds will probably be required.
    Serdar

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    Thought I would update as I got some track work done this weekend. I was able to finish up the mainline. I still have the 2 lines going to the yard to finish but that will be for a later date.



    I first started off with flex track cut to size but kept grinding down one side too far and wound up with a gap - had to repeat 3 times before I switched over to using a section of Atlas sectional straight track and cut that to size (frustration determined that decision ). For some reason, trying to use my Dremel to cut the flex track just resulted in too much movement of the one rail and resulted in uneven cuts. I may have to break down and get a decent pair of rail nippers.

    I was able to use the method outlined by several members to remove the ties, slide the joiner far enough, then place the track and slide the joiner over both rails. Worked perfectly!

    My next hurdle will be the 2 lines going to the yard - they will involve curved sections so I will need to practice doing cuts on the flex track while having it curved. I have been watching several youtube videos but need to practice on some scrap track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S View Post
    they will involve curved sections so I will need to practice doing cuts on the flex track while having it curved. I have been watching several youtube videos but need to practice on some scrap track.
    Always a good idea to practice, although when I did mine it was on sectional track, hence easier. In your practice(s), consider using C clamps or other handy devices to "encourage" stability in the flex track. Also remember that unless a joint is sincerely HUGE, it can always be gapped. The converse is also true: if the ends of the tracks are too tight together, there is the possibility of future issues as the track expands. My train room is subject to huge swings of temperature - while it is a finished room, its interior wall is against the hill the house is built on, the exterior walls have large windows, and we don't keep the heat on there unless I'm using the room. If you have a less demanding space, it may not be so critical for you.
    Monopoly & Octopus (modified & expanded) (starts on page 1, Post #29)
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?15459-Monopoly-and-Octopus-RR-Layout/


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    there is the possibility of future issues as the track expands.
    I will point out that it's not just temperature swings that can cause issues. Humidity can swell and shrink the underlying wood benchwork, so even in a room that has stable temperatures, you can have the unwanted effect of rail buckling because the wood it's attached to shrank under it. I learned that the hard way, and had to come back and cut relief gaps in rails in order to get them to straighten back out. Even if the room is controlled for humidity, it's still possible for someone to buy and use wood that has been stored in a more humid situation, that then dries out when used in the train room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    I will point out that it's not just temperature swings that can cause issues. Humidity can swell and shrink the underlying wood benchwork, so even in a room that has stable temperatures, you can have the unwanted effect of rail buckling because the wood it's attached to shrank under it. I learned that the hard way, and had to come back and cut relief gaps in rails in order to get them to straighten back out. Even if the room is controlled for humidity, it's still possible for someone to buy and use wood that has been stored in a more humid situation, that then dries out when used in the train room.
    Wood expansion caused by humidity is largely across the grain not along the grain so a piece of lumber will expand in width rather than length. Sealing the wood then painting it will add further protection. Gap every piece of flex track by .015 inches should be sufficient to handle a temperature increase of almost 100 degrees.

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    I recommend supergluing the ties to roadbed and rails to ties on either side of your cut so they don't move during or after the cut, and cutting with a Dremel cutoff disk or, very carefully to avoid pulling up the rail, with a razor saw.
    Moving coal the old way: https://youtu.be/RWJVt4r_pgc
    Moving coal the new way: https://youtu.be/QzmBQ4As_mc

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    Thanks for all the reply's concerning wood expansion - I'll definitely keep that in mind for my next layout. For now, though I think I am safe in that I'm using primarily foam board on a shelf type system so I haven't noticed too much movement due to temp and humidity. The layout is in an A/C room but we are in Florida so humidity could be a issue. I'll definitely keep a look out now that you've mentioned it.

    @NtheBasement - I like your idea of supergluing the rails and ties before cutting. I think that with Stu's idea of using clamps should help to get the track in the curve position I need for cutting.

    BTW, I have had the chance to run some trains over my newly laid track and am happy to report not a single issue with derailing or stalling engines. I did kind of over-did it with feeders...lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodsup9000 View Post
    One thing that really sticks out to me is the "S" curve you have on the left in the first photo. You need to get rid of that for reliable operation.
    I have to agree with the S curve thingy.
    Ken Price

    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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