Frustrating track laying

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
Tom@Crewe
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Frustrating track laying

Postby Tom@Crewe » Sun May 03, 2020 10:50 am

My Dad id 87, Mum passed in January and then Dad had too much time alone with nothing to do so the family suggested a railway and as I have one I have helped him set one up.

Started with Hornby R1236 set, DCC, 2 loco's, good starter. He put it together on table top a it ran wonderfully.

He wanted some more track and to set it up in the spare room, worked out sizes and decided an end to end along two walls. I sent for some more track. Peco Flex, Peco insulfrog Points. (he had read about Hornby clips to feed the frog rails)

He built the tables (ply sheet top's)and fit the track together temporarily and all worked well. I suggested to use double sided tape to hold the track down and in place then the ballast can be applied to hold everything in place...solid.

He taped it down and tested it again and its all gone to pot, loco's don't run smooth, they stop on most frog's then move on without intervention.
I went to look (social distancing maintained) cleaned track, checked loco's with no firm result. Then lifted the track off the double sided tape and all well again. I cant believe the track is so sensitive and that having it flat causes problems.

Anyone had the same, and any advice how to proceed..........................?

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heda
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby heda » Sun May 03, 2020 1:46 pm

Just a stab in the dark but my thinking is – no double sided tape, all is well. With double sided tape the loco's 'stop on most frogs'. Try sticking the track down but not the points.
Dave

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Mountain
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Mountain » Sun May 03, 2020 3:41 pm

Two thoughts spring to mind. One is to check that the frogs have not raized slightly, and the other is to check the locos pickups can collect current when the wheels are at angles. It maybe likely that the track being loose on the layout allows a little movelemt near the joints so the locos maybe less effected, while when the track is fixed down and more rigid, it may more likely expose any adjustments that maybe needed with the pickups.
In the past though, I have had a few points where after being pinned down a little too firmly, the frogs raised. It seems less likely if stuck down by using other methods but nothing is impossible!
Just a final thought. Check the railjoiners have actually joined and not slipped under the rail. This can potentially cause a little bump which may effect running. It maybe stating the obvious, but it can cause no end of issues and can be easily overlooked if the track is normally viewed from above.

mjb1961
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby mjb1961 » Sun May 03, 2020 7:03 pm

Hi Tom@Crewe,,,if I were you I would forget tape and pin it down and then ballast ,the conventional way ,also it has been discussed plenty on the forums about points being flat ,unless you have your own method I would suggest drilling a small hole in the Center of the points and pinning it down flat ,this will no doubt give a more reliable running over them ,.mjb

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End2end
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby End2end » Sun May 03, 2020 10:05 pm

Common advice is to solder wires to all the rails for DCC and connect them all to a DCC bus running around under the layout.
Relying on the fishplates for electrical conductivity can give very poor running.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Bufferstop » Sun May 03, 2020 11:47 pm

Just to be different I'd stick down masking tape in the areas where the track will go make sure it's smoothed down then lightly pin the track down on the tape. Check it's all working then do the ballasting using that well known solution 50%PVA/Water with a dash of washing up liquid. I stick masking tape over the points and peel it off when the ballast is set putting spots of glue between sleepers and rails at the points and tamping the ballast down with the blunt end of a pencil.
The trouble with double sided tape is it's just about impossible to slide the rails around to get them into position. The points don't need much of an excuse to bulge upwards at the crossing that's why it's important you can slide them around when laying them. The old foam ballast inserts were just as bad for stopping them going down flat. You don't have to start with the masking tape, but if you change your mind about something after you've ballasted you can pull the tape up and leave the board clean. Scraping away ballast is a messy business.
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alex3410
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby alex3410 » Mon May 04, 2020 11:30 am

when pinning the track down be careful not to drive the pins in too much as this can distort the track causing issues, particularly on points

learnt that the hard way :lol:


@Bufferstop masking tape is a fantastic idea, will be pinching it next time I get a chance to play in the loft :lol:

Bigmet
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Bigmet » Wed May 06, 2020 11:40 am

Tom@Crewe wrote:...He taped it down and tested it again and its all gone to pot, loco's don't run smooth, they stop on most frog's then move on without intervention...

That 'stops and restarts' without intervention is a clear signal that the decoder briefly lost track power. So the decoder stops when this happens, but if the loco has rolled on even slightly to a location where power collection has resumed, then the decoder restarts after a brief 'time out', usually quarter of a second; and when it restarts does so from speed step 1, building up to whatever speed it was doing before, so the pause though brief is noticeable.

Now why does it happen with the track laid better - held flat by tape is better - than it was before when laid loose? Here's a thing to try. Run in the dark and watch the crossing as the loco moves over the point. If you see a spark at the crossing, there's your trouble, the wheelsets are easily wide enough to momentarily bridge the rails at the crossing, and if this doesn't trip the system's short circuit protection you can then see the described effect of the decoder on the loco momentarily losing power due to the localised short. With the point laid flat this bridging is ironically more likely to happen...

One 'quick fix' worth trying. Take the traction tyres off. Better chance of more than one wheel each side picking up.

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Mountain
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Mountain » Wed May 06, 2020 11:45 am

Ooh. Something which may solve the issue is to dissable the back EMF and the inertia settings on the decoder (Or set them to zero etc). Then if the loco decoder looses power for a fraction of a second, it wont restart its inertia etc, and is less likely to do a dead stop.

Tom@Crewe
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Tom@Crewe » Sun May 10, 2020 10:37 am

Seems it may not be the track, Watch this from 30 min mark!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVyB1qStq1U

How to fix that??
Never enough time...........

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Bufferstop
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Bufferstop » Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 pm

Are you sure you have the right URL 30 minutes puts you in his awarding of stars, 30 seconds in his opening credits. I don't give him too much credence, I have found on too many occasions he doesn't do his research before speaking out.
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Tom@Crewe
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Tom@Crewe » Sun May 10, 2020 2:32 pm

33.06 after he awards the stars...I show exactly what is happening to by Dad's loco's.

Could it be pickups maybe needs stay alive cap.
Never enough time...........

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Bufferstop
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Bufferstop » Sun May 10, 2020 3:08 pm

Looks like a framing glitch to me! I think Geoff's stalls needed a bit longer to restart. The other thing is Sam uses Hornby points which are all dead frog and taken faster to try to coast through.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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Bufferstop
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Bufferstop » Sun May 10, 2020 3:09 pm

Looks like a framing glitch to me! I think Geoff's stalls needed a bit longer to restart. The other thing is Sam uses Hornby points which are all dead frog and taken faster to try to coast through.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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Dad-1
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Re: Frustrating track laying

Postby Dad-1 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:19 pm

Such a failure is obviously electrical pick-up when on the point frog area.
This is why so many of us migrate to Peco live frog points, Hornby points have
a longer insulated section than Peco, which at times is good and others bad !!

First the good - Hornby points have a wider gap between the two rails that come
into the Frog 'V'. This reduces, or eliminates the shorting from wide wheels on many
Hornby locomotives, in particular earlier and therefore railroad models.
Second the bad - they have a larger plastic insulated section between the two rails
giving a longer distance without some wheels having any pick-up.

A stay alive capacitor may well eliminate the power feed stalls, so long as it has
enough storage.

Now to compare the Peco insulated point.
the bad - a shortened plastic frog that can bring the two rails close together and increase shorts
that will cause stalls, Reduced clearance by check rails that will cause many older locomotives
to jump as they bounce through.
The good - mostly in choice of lengths and types of point. improved running for most
modern locomotives, but watch older stock.

However the Peco Electrofrog, or live frog do need the frog switching so you always have live
rails under your locomotive. well worth the trouble of adding those switches.
The only possible disadvantage is old stock not liking the reduced clearance by the check rails.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a


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