Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

About this blog

This blog is about my current model railroad layout project; The N scale "Summit" layout, which is a freelanced interpretation of the Southern Pacific Tehachapi tunnels and their surroundings. Or at least, that is what it is meant to be. What it will turn out to be is another matter. The banner photo above shows what I want to recreate in N scale.

Turnouts and ME flex

Track layingPosted by lennart Wed, March 31, 2010 21:16:00

Yesterday my Micro Engineering flex track arrived (thanks N Scale Supply!), so I turned my attention to track laying. But I did not start with the flex, but instead with the turnouts. I wanted them in place first, aligned with the earlier installed switch machines.

For each turnout I started with a few beads of "No Nails" type of glue across the track center line. I of course avoided the area under the actual switches.

I then smoothed the beads with a putty knife.

And then laid down the turnout, making sure it was sitting exactly where I wanted it.

A light pressure was all that was needed. Then the glue held it firmly in place. But all the same, adjustments could still be made for a few minutes. Great product that glue! I recently started using it for various purposes, and not only model railroading.

At this point the Tortoise actuating pin has not yet been thread through the throwbar. Ill do that later, when the glue has set firmly.

As I already said, my Micro Engineering flex track has arrived. Code 55, wood ties and weathered rails. I have used ME rail before (for hand laying), but not their flex track. It really looks good with nice detailing. Here is a picture of it.

The weathering was a lot darker than I had expected. I think I at some point used weathered ME code 44 rails, but they were not that dark. Or perhaps I am mistaken, and have never used any weatherd ME rail? I have not yet decided what to do about the dark color of the rails. The ties need some paint (to get rid of the shiny plastic look) and the rail tops need to be lightly sanded (to expose the bare metal), so perhaps the rail sides well get some kind of treatment also. But I still think the general appearance is great.

Another unexpected thing was the way the track acts when bent. It stays bent, and does not flex back under its own tension, as other brands of flex track do. I knew it was to be that way (people have mentioned the fact), but it did that in a way I had really not anticipated. Hard to explain. It just felt different from what I had expected. I assume this behavior has its advantages when laying curves. I am not that sure about tangent track though. It feels as if it can be tough to get the track excatly as straight or smoothly curved as you want it to be. It feels a bit unforgiving, if you see what I mean. It will be exciting to see how it comes out.

Last is a picture where you can compare the ME code 55 track, an Atlas code 55 turnout and some ME code 44 rail.

The unweathered code 55 track looks a bit taller than the weathered track. But that is just an illusion. A consequence of the weathering I guess. The code 40 rail is slimmer, both in the photo and in real life. By the way, I have more or less decided to do the siding using code 40 rails.

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