60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

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kebang
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:59 am
Location: Bohol, Philippines

60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby kebang » Thu May 27, 2021 9:39 am

60x40b.png
60x40b.png (75.12 KiB) Viewed 436 times

I've never attempted this build before as here in the Philippines I cannot purchase flexitrack, and this layout is impossible without it. However when purchasing goods for my wife using the 'Lazada' on line shopping catalogue I searched for 'HO model railway' and discovered quite a treasure trove. (Mainly Piko goodies)
The Lazada suppliers in China are offering 5 x 46cm lengths of HO flexible track (together with rail joiners and fixing screws) for 1,850 pesos inc postage & taxes (about 27 quid). Still more expensive than UK, but definitely far cheaper than paying courier fees & import duty from UK. (UK firms (eg Hattons) will only forward flexitrack by courier due to its length. The courier then charges a fortune for completing import formalities.)
So I've ordered 5 pieces of track from Lazada (C.O.D.), they should arrive in the middle of June.
The reason for this post is I've never used flexitrack before. The U tube videos I've found (Peco) demonstrate using it for large rad curves, using tracksetting tools, but I can't find any advice for 11 inch curves. Any advice gratefully received!
As far as the design of the layout goes its a version of a layout I built last year using set track (layout size 66" x 44"). Obviously small tanks and short trains with 4 wheeled rolling stock required :D

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Mountain
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: 60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby Mountain » Sun May 30, 2021 12:09 pm

Using flexitrck for sharp curves can certainly be done, but it does take a little more thought. The main issue is that flexi track tries to spring itself back into a straight piece of track. This is not a problem with larger radius, but can pose issues with sharper curves, as one needs to pay more attention to the ends where the rail joiners need to go. The rails here try to push outwards, so may need bending and carefully pinning to allow the curve to flow.
Think of ordinary sectional track which is pre formed. This sits at just the right angles that it is meant to be. Now think of the ends of the track trying to spring outwards and this is the main issue apart from cutting to length that will need to be overcome.

My track was built using Peco code 100 flexible track (00 gauge). I had plenty of 00 gauge track and did not have the funds to invest in 0-16.5 track, hence why I started changing the sleepers.
Now because my track sleepers are soldered to the rails, they are firm and rigid and really hold the curve well so the flexibility of the track is zero. In fact, there is probably more flex in a standard piece of non flexible 00 gauge track. (I also added a checkrail just for visual effect which probably stiffens it up further. The rail joint gaps seen on the curve are just for visual effect. These only cut through half the height of the rail).

Now you don't need to use soldered sleepers, as you should be able to bend the ends of the rails with pliers to avoid them pushing outwards. Take your time to get it to work right. But if all else fails, a few PCB sleepers at the ends near the joins may be the answer.

Another thought is to solder the rails together to hold the curve where they join. Use railjoiners as well for extra support. Yes, one may have to pin to hold the rails in place when one solders. Try to slightly bend the rails individually with pliers to prevent them pushing outwards. The idea is to get a smooth curve so that nothing will come off the track.
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Bufferstop
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Re: 60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby Bufferstop » Sun May 30, 2021 3:50 pm

Although my usual answer was to cut in a piece of settrack when I needed small radii I have used flexi track for tight radius curves I found the best method was to cut a template from 1/8th hardboard to the required radius of the inner ends of the sleepers screw it down then form the flexi track around it. Code 100 nickel silver track does tend to be springy and you need to be careful that the rails don't creep in the sleeper base. It's noticeably easier to form a curve with code 75 rail. Looking at your plan going counter clockwise your flexi track starts with an ST 200 straight, I would lay that with the start of the flexible track as it would form a good anchor for curving the following section, it eliminates the possibility of joining the curve to the straight at an angle.=, which can happen even when you are trying to avoid it.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

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Chops
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Re: 60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby Chops » Sun May 30, 2021 10:21 pm

A most ingenious track plan, I've never seen anything quite like it, and I've seen a few. Thousand. Good for you for finding a way around expensive hipping. Mountain's advice was rather illuminating, I'd never considered soldering rails to end sleepers to maintain curvature, before. I assume that
you shall be running four wheeled stock and short wheel base locomotives. I do hope you will keep us apprised as you go along. This is simply nifty.

I might put in a plug for Sam's Trains Reviews, unless you are already stocked up, in that department. As I model British OO, my stuff has to be imported quite a distance, and typically at no small expense, so returning lemons is sometimes not worth the trouble. I, speaking for myself, have found Sam's to be exceptionally thorough and unbiased. I shelled out a goodly sum, recently, for a Peckett, and it works as well as Sam said it would. Which is to say, supremely well in every respect.
Nessie rocks!

kebang
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:59 am
Location: Bohol, Philippines

Re: 60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby kebang » Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:52 am

Many thanks to those who responded with advice re curving the track. Unfortunately the Chinese Supplier (via Lazada) has cancelled the order with no notification or explanation :(

So its back to variants of my 66"x44" layout
66x44b.png

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Mountain
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: 60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby Mountain » Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:14 am

That happened to me with something else that my brothers wife ordered nearly a year ago from Amazon. They made a few excuses about workers being on holiday for 6 weeks or months or something like that. I said I was willing to wait but then they said other things to try and put me off and they cancelled the order. I am beginning to think that some companies in the Far East never actually had them in stock to begin with?

kebang
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:59 am
Location: Bohol, Philippines

Re: 60" x 40" 'OO' Oval

Postby kebang » Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:46 am

I didnt even get a lie as an explanation!


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