Fixing N gauge track.

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
abenn
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Fixing N gauge track.

Postby abenn » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:59 pm

I'm just beginning my first N-gauge layout, having previously run OO-gauge. With my OO stuff I used track pins, but it seems to me they're much too large for N-gauge, and Peco finescale track doesn't have any pre-drilled holes in the sleepers, both of which make me think I should just be gluing the track. I've read about various glues used (white PVA undiluted, Copydex, etc.) but didn't see whether people use glue and pins, or just glue.

So, do you N-gauge modellers use any pins, other than temporarily to hold the track in place while the glue is drying?

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pointstaken
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Location: Fleet, Hampshire

Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby pointstaken » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:25 pm

I'm using 1/2" x No. 2 screws to pin the track to the plywood base, but I'm not going to glue it down, just on bare plywood . It will be a shunting yard with the track in effect "buried" in the earth, and ballast tipped on top of it and glued down.

Dennis
I know nothing, but much I believe

ParkeNd
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby ParkeNd » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:13 pm

Peco SL-14 track pins can most surely be used to secure Code 55 track - drill the sleepers first with an Archimedes drill at the intervals indicated by both straight and curved Tracksettas. There is also no need to glue the track down - just ballast with dilute PVA and leave the pins in place.

I do just this.

There will now follow a string of contrary posts with every opinion under the sun quoted as absolute fact. :D

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JohnN
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby JohnN » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:54 pm

Well if by absolute fact you mean examples of what others have done, then here goes. :)

I usually drill the sleepers and pin but for Podbury I used drawing pins either side of the rails at intervals to hold the track in place and once I had ballasted I removed the pins as the ballasting process had glued the track in place. I then filled in the spots the pins had been with further ballasting.

abenn
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby abenn » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:36 am

As usual there seems to be no "best" way to do things. At the moment I'm starting on the behind-the-scenes trackwork, so it won't be ballasted. When I was thinking of track pins I didn't realise they do different ones for OO and N gauge, so I'll get some SL-14s and see how they look behind the scenes. What I've got from my OO layout are, I presume, ST-280. Then in the scenic section it may be just ballast and glue, with temporary drawing-pins.

Thanks for the advice.

b308
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:56 am

I'd add a word of caution to those who use screws/drawing pins to fix the track and then ballast. That leaves no room to test the track and adjust it if necessary.

I've been modelling 009/HOe (9mm gauge) for decades now and my order for tracklaying is:

1. Lay track using track pins (drilled small holes as E2E describles).
2. Wire track.
3. TEST (you can't do this if you use screws and D-pins though it is the most important part of tracklaying).
4. Ballast and clean track.
5. TEST AGAIN.

ParkeNd
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby ParkeNd » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:58 am

As a newbie myself my attempt at humour in my final sentence above is because there appear to be more opinions about cork underlay and track fixing than any other two topics. Yes - you can definitely pin down Code 55 track with Peco SL-14 track pins but there will be far more people who will tell you it should definitely be done by any number of different methods. :D

terrysoham
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby terrysoham » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:05 pm

Use Copydex and drawing pins.
Get the track, with the relevant rail joiners in place, into the position you require held with drawing pins, draw round the outside and inside of the track with a soft pencil or marker.
Remove the pins.
Move the track out of the way.
Put Copydex on the base board for the first piece of track between the pencil marks you've already made. Replace the track and the push the drawing pins into the existing holes in the baseboard. If it's a curved piece of track in sections, glue the complete curve in one go to ensure that the curve is smooth.
Wait until dry and remove the drawing pins.

The joy is if you,ve got it wrong, the track and Copdex are easy to remove.

Also remember that code 55 track is intended to be curved only in one direction. Check the underside of the sleepers for markings indicating which way the track bends.

Regards
Terry
Ely and District Model Railway Club

Dad-1
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:30 pm

I've only worked on 'N' once, the clubs test track on which there will never be any ballast to help
hold in place. On that we drilled - needed good light to get holes central within the sleepers and
used Peco track pins - Hornby pins are like 6" nails in comparison.
I suppose using screws with washers, or drawing pins to locate pending ballasting is a good idea,
as then you have no unsightly track pin heads that will be much more obvious on 'N' track.

It means you have little breaks in the ballasting when screws/drawing pins are taken out, but
ballasting a two sleeper gap is not exactly daunting ?

As always there are several routes, all can offer good results. A reason to like small dioramas
where they become test beds.

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

abenn
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby abenn » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:37 pm

OK, I've had a leisurely afternoon laying my first piece of track -- a bit of curve connected to a turnout and a single slip. My other hobby is RC model aircraft, and I noted that the screws I use to secure servos in my models are just the right size to go between sleepers, and have heads that are wide enough to hold the adjacent sleepers down.

So my sequence was to first draw the layout on the board, using a "compass" (piece of wood with a hole drilled through for a pivot -- a small screwdriver stabbed into the board -- and markings and notches the other end at the appropriate distances for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th radius curves) and a steel straight-edge. Then I bent a piece of flexi track for the first curve, and drilled holes into the board between the sleepers for my servo screws. When it looked right I took it up again, put dabs of white pva on the undersides of every third sleeper, and re-fixed it to the board. Similar sequence with the points and single slip, though I had to route out grooves in the board for power droppers to pass under the track and adjacent tracks (it's behind the scenes, so wiring is above board in this section, for simplicity), and for point actuator rods.

Right now I'm leaving it overnight to be sure the glue is dry before removing the screws. If it doesn't seem secure enough I'll get some N-gauge track pins this weekend :)

Grahame
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby Grahame » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:12 am

Here's one option:

If you use 'track pins' to pin the track down you'll end up with unsightly nail heads on the sleepers. And if you take them out after ballasting you'll end up with holes in the sleepers. One way around it is to use relatively large flat headed pins and push the pin in next to the sleepers so that the head overlaps the top of the sleeper, grips it and holds it in place. The pins don't have to be located between the rails but can be inserted close to the ends of the sleepers. That way it is easy to make adjustments until you are happy, have wired it up, tested and undertake the ballasting. Then, when the large headed pins are removed, there are no holes left in the sleepers (and no nail heads showing).

G.

m8internet
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Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby m8internet » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:57 am

Agreed, the track pins look enormous when used with N gauge track and I made this same mistake on my first layout

I have experimented with various methods
I agree with :
Solder wires to underside of track
Locate track to position and drill holes for wiring
Big Pin between sleepers to position and stabilise track
Mark edges of sleepers with pencil
Remove pins and track
Generous coating of PVA glue, ensuring the pencil marks are fully covered
Replace track back into place and reinsert Big Pins (as previous holes are still present in baseboard)
Allow PVA glue to dry for at least 24 hours, ideally 48 hours
Remove Big Pins
Apply ballast and this will secure the track even further to the baseboard
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

abenn
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Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby abenn » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:43 pm

Well, two days on, and tracklaying is progressing. The track is quite secure with my PVA dabs when I remove the temporary screws, but it can be quite easily unfixed if it gets a knock, so I'm going to add a few track pins in the behind-the-scenes unballasted section. I'm sure the addition of glued ballast in the scenic section is going to be more than adequate to keep things in place, so no pin heads and no holes in the sleepers there :)

Incidentally, I've soldered my power droppers to the undersides of the rail joiners, not to the rails themselves. I soldered to the rails when I had OO gauge, but it was too easy, even in that gauge, to melt adjacent sleepers when doing so.

m8internet
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:32 pm
Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby m8internet » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:05 pm

abenn wrote:I've soldered my power droppers to the undersides of the rail joiners, not to the rails themselves. I soldered to the rails when I had OO gauge, but it was too easy, even in that gauge, to melt adjacent sleepers when doing so.

Solution here is to spread the sleepers away from the area being soldered, then use crocodile clips on either side to absorb the heat
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

Grahame
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Location: Byfleet

Re: Fixing N gauge track.

Postby Grahame » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:40 pm

It's not particularly recommended to solder wires only to the rail joiners (fishplates) as they can work loose (as the rails expand/contract), or the ballast glue gets in them, or they get dirty/tarnish over time and cause intermittent electrical supply problems.

G.


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