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Discussion Starter #1
This is a dumb question, I know. Hard to believe it's not clear, I know, but bear with me please.


What is meant by flex track? I have a piece of software called "rail modeller" that lets me insert  sections of LBG flex trax and bend them, within lmits--does it come in sections like that?  I ask because  I bought a few 5 foot sections of Aristo 335 track, and noticed it was very flexible--it seemed like it would be quite easy to take four or five sections of that track and make a nice gentle curve. Does that count as flex track? If I got a rail bender, could I get a five foot section to make a sharper curve? I have a beginner's book which says "if you need a rail bender, it's tme to switch to sectional track."


Then I see brass rail sold in single 8 foot lengths, and ties sold seperately as well--is this what's meant as flex track? I'd buy a bunch of 8 foot sections and bend them either gently by hand or usng a ral bender, then slip them into the ties? That seems extremely hard to do--how do you ever get two seperate rails to the same curve. It seems dauntingly hard.


Is there a good primer anywhere on using flex track? My wife and I are planning to add on to our holiday layout and make it year round, and I want to do it right.


 


Thanks!
 

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Hi Lownote,


 


Flextrack is like normal track BUT with some of the webs that can be seen under the rails cut out, these cut-outs are on altenate sides, so you have half the webs that fixed track has.


 


That will allow the track to be bent by hand, you do not need a rail bender. This is for code 250 track, yes it needs some force to bend it, and then a couple or so of fixing screws to hold it still; for joining sections of it some of the Hillman or such style clamps will keep it in place and at the radius you desire. Naturally curving the track means that the inside rail of the curve is a different length to the outer, and will need to be either cut or accomadated on the adjoing lengths.


 


Note I said 250 section track, LGB is 332 (I Think) that means it is much stiffer as it is a heavier section with more metal being used  in it. That requires the rail bender to bend it, or you use the pre-bent sections (R1/2/3 etc) .


 


I use Peco (I live in England) that is 250 section, as is Llagas creek, Peco is nickel silver,  Llagas creek is either nickel silver or aluminium. I join with rail joiners on straights, and bond them with a soldered wire jumper wire; the clamps do not need the jumper wire.


 


Hope the above helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you that is very helpful. Am I right to assume I can find code 332 rail setup to flex?  I'm not talking about a lot of flex, just some. 


 


I never see code 332 track sold as "flex," although I read about it.


 


I have to look at the track I bought and see if the plastic connectors are cut
 

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For Code 332 whihc is the most common rail size that Aristo, USA trains, & LGB sells/sold the long sections of straight track sold unassembled was or is sold as "flex" track. The idea being you used a railbender to bend them relatively consistently to your desired curvature. These lengths were/are available in 5 foot to 8 foot lengths. There are several brands of railbenders around but the hottest ones are dual rail benders. Train-li sells one that bends both rails simultaneously and while Brass rails seem to work best the SS rails will go thru too with a little more effort.


 


I've got track and I've got a Train-li bender. I've just not got a layout   ---   YET!


 


Chas
 

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Although the term "flex track"  was coined with 8ft strips of track, to which sets of "flex ties" could be added, and then bent to whatever curves desired, any length of track can be use as flex track for bending if some of the tie connectors are cut out and the rail anchor screws are removed.   Using my Train-Li dual railbender, I actually prefer two or three foot sections for bending to the longer rails. 


Hear are some links to archived threads on using the Train-Li. 


archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp


archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp


archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp


 


I have used the railbender on brass and aluminum 332.


JimC.


 


 


 


 
 

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LGB sells their "flex track" as 5 ft rail sections and separate tie sections 6" long. You buy a box of tie sections and a tube of rail. It takes 2 boxes of ties to use 1 tube of rail. You use a rail bender to shape each rail then slide the tie section onto the rail. If you don't need mucc flex track you can usually firn a hobby shop/dealer that will sel lyou what rail and tie sections you need. I usually use LBG section track where I can as the flex track is usually twice as expensive as the sectional track.
 

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Flex track has been around for a long time in the smaller scales. Just bend it as you go. When I was in HO my layout was all flex track and pre built switches. Aristo is developing code 25O flex track in brass and stainless.

-Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Posted By pimanjc on 01/03/2008 12:12 PM


Although the term "flex track"  was coined with 8ft strips of track, to which sets of "flex ties" could be added, and then bent to whatever curves desired, any length of track can be use as flex track for bending if some of the tie connectors are cut out and the rail anchor screws are removed.   Using my Train-Li dual railbender, I actually prefer two or three foot sections for bending to the longer rails. 


Hear are some links to archived threads on using the Train-Li. 


URL1.   archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp


URL2.  archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp


URL3.  archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp


I have used the railbender on brass and aluminum 332.


JimC.



 


 


This is sort of what I thought--the train li bender's not cheap, but it looks like it'd work like a charm
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also as I look at those threads on the train li I see you can bend radius1 cruves. I have a ton of lgb 1100 curves, the result of some gifts given to my son over the years by his late grandfather. maybe 5 full circles worth. I could use the bender to re shape those and it would pay for itself in saving the cost of new track


Interesting--thanks!


 


 
 

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When I first started out in Large Scale, coming from HO, I tried modifing code 250 track by cutting out some and then all of the connecting pieces between the ties. The effect was hideous to say the least. But to be frank, I was used to HO flex track, and didn't really treat the code 250 large scale track with the respect it deserved. [:D]
 

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I use Llagas Creek code 215 aluminum flex track and it can be laid just as HO track is laid. It is very flexible and readily accepts any curve - I spike through the tie ends to prevent twisting. The rail is readily cut with my flush cutting pliers. It is beautiful to look at, beautiful to work with and the lowest price - what more can be asked for (well maybe you would want something heavy and strong enough for an elephant to walk on!).

Regards ... Doug
 

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Doug,
Do they sell aluminum in code 250? If so, where can it be purchased, and how does it stand up to salt air? Around where I live exposed aluminum tends to get a little oxidized displaying a whitish scalyness instead of the preferred rusty color.
 

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I believe Llagas Creek (C&OC Ry) has Aluminum in code 250. They also sell 250 and 215 in Nickel Silver. I use 215 NS track from Llagas Creek and I like it.
 

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I use a railbender on code 250 anytime I'm laying track because it makes it much easier and railbenders can be bought for under 100.00.

The other day I was educated on the correct terms from a track dealer..a railbender only bends a single rail.
Train-Li sells a trackbender..it bends both rails at the same time. I'd like to have a Train-Li trackbender but just couldn't justify the price.
 

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rpc7271 has it WRONG/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif   LGB flex ties are 12" long and come 50 to a box. so you need ONE box for ONE tube of rail. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/plain.gif
 

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Micro engineering has code 250 aluminum track and ties.


JimC.
 

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Flex brass code 332 comes in 5 foot and 10 foot lengths by LGB. Arisotcraft has 5 foot and 8 foot lengths. Ties are sold separately and for LGB these are 1 foot sections, 50 to a box.
LGB 5 foot rail is 20 per tube, hence 100 feet of rail giving 50 feet of track (2 rails per foot needed).

Aristo has American and european ties.

I am not sure what USA offers.

Aristo premade track has screws securing the rail to the ties, so using the Li bender means you need to remove some of these screws and possibly cutting between ties. USA may be the same.
Flex track ties come with every other tie having the rib cut.
 

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Yes the  Train Li bender is not cheap but worth every penny of it once you have used it.   You can buy almost any  used curve track and adjust it to your needs.  


One thing about  FLEX TIES.   I keep several bundles on hand.    I bought a bunch of used  track were the ties were  toast.   Plus in the  deal was a buch of  RAIL ONLY  the ties were gone.  I use FLEX TIES to rebuild  the bad sections.   


Never throw any part of FLEX TIES away.  Even if it is just one tie.    You can use it for a fill in  at rail joints.   I have cut rail to fit a certian place and the  the tie spacing at the join look to large so I added a  single tie from a FLEX TIE sectionl to fill in. 
 

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I utilize Aristo SS and have a Train-Li it works wonders!! :cool: I've "adjusted" pre-formed track circles to deal with non-standard and increasing radius track meets, and straightened several pieces that were placed then the design was modified.  Make sure you acquire the track lock which keeps one end of the rails in place while bending.  The fewer joints you have the fewer conductivity issues you'll have to deal with with track or DCC power which makes me /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif, plus I think the more continuous rail is better looking.:)


 


Mark
 

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To add to what JJ said about Ties, above,  the singles can also be left alongside the mainline.  This simulates the ties left by MOW crews.  Also when using a track bender, you will often find that you need just one tie for an overlaping rail joint.


JimC.
 
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