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.

First length of flex is down

Track layingPosted by lennart Thu, April 01, 2010 20:29:04

The first length of ME flextrack has been laid, and it all went well. As I said before, the ME flextrack differs from other brands I have used in the past. Once you have bent the ME flextrack it stays bent. And if you over-bend it you must deliberatly bend it back again. If you are not careful and go too fast you will end up with track that does not form a smooth line but wiggles back and forth. But this is no real problem once you are aware of it. The advantage is of course that once you have shaped a piece of track it stays that way. And you do not have to use a lot of weights or pins to hold it in place while waiting for the glue to set. If your roadbed is smooth and you use a fast setting glue some light pressure for a short while is enough.

Other flextrack, which spring back under its own tension, automatically forms smooth curves once you fix the end points. That is a nice feature, but like an eel they are tough to keep in place.

Here is a picture of part of the not-yet-glued track (with some feeder wires attached).

In the picture you can see another thing about the ME track. When you bend it the ties not always come together on the inside of the curve. Some pairs of ties are instead farther apart under the inner rail than under the outer. The ties in the middle of the picture above has lined up that way. This would be great for a branch line or unkept siding, but not for a Class A road mainline. So I sat out to rectify the problem. I did that by sliding an X-acto knife under the rail, edge up, between the ties at the location where they were too close together. As in the picture below.

Some pressure on the rail, from above, cut the plastic under the rail, between the ties. Then it was just a matter of sliding them apart, as I have done in the picture below. Looks better, don't you think?

Sounds like a lot of complaining. But that is not true. I am very pleased with how the track came out so far. What sounds like complaints is just a report of things I noted about the ME flextrack, compared to other flextrack.

Once the first length of track was in I hade to do a test run. So here is a picture of the very first, and very short train, on this version of the Tehachapi Summit layout. It looks nice, leaning inward on the super elevated mainline track.

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