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I'm building an engine shed/car barn for my layout. It's going to be 16 feet long and just over  2 feet wide. Using some LGB 1200 switches which I have on hand, I can get four tracks in there, as shown in the track plan attached. I know it would be better to run the mainline in at an angle, to avoid S curves, and the R1 curves will be too tight for some of my locos, but most of my rolling stock can take those curves and I can store long trains in two or three parts. I'm trying to save money by using what I have instead of buying new switches. I'll probably stand at the entrance to the shed and do the switching by hand--I'm not imagining this as an operational yard

Is there a good way to make tracks? I don't want to use expensive brass track on what will be in effect electrically dead sidings for frieght cars. I thought about using strips of wood, but I seem to recall Richard Smith saying that he had made wooden tracks and that the friction was so much greater that he could not push more than a couple cars without derailing. I've thought about aluminum track, or maybe just aluminum bar stock set into slots. Any ideas?
 
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Aluminum or some Bachmann Track since it will be inside...if you are doing battery you could dado the slots into the floor of said structure

cale
 

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Wood slats are fine for track with a few provisos ...

1) use kiln dried clear stock for the track faces - never use cheap seconds or wood that is warped, checked green or has other defects
2) this stock must be kept dry - the building must be watertight
3) the gauge should not be tight and is best set in summer when the air is humid (wood shrinks as it dries - and the gauge can change - too tight is probably a greater possibility than too loose and leads to poor rolling qualities)

have seen wooden rails work in a number of situations ... Mart Cozad for example has used wooden rails on his storage tracks to good effect. Wood has a natural advantage to bar stock as it can be curved and it is superior to Al rail in a price context

Regards ... Doug
 

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Marty even skips the turnout in one place. There's a long section of track you move from one line to another. Works slick.
 

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How about plastic track? seems like that stuff is cheap(heck i have tons of it from my wife's Disney trains) Only hard part would seem to be joining the two types of track together.
 

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Bulk aluminum rail without ties is not very expensive, and since no one is going to see it, once you are past the switches you can spike it directly to the baseboard, without using any ties at all, and it works fine. You only need a few spikes, too -- like one every six inches on alternating sides of the rail -- so, not a lot of work.
 
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cheapest way, i found:

buying cheap curtain-rails. (preferable the same hight as rail plus sleeper of track used)
i cut sleepers, that go only between the curtainrails.
with shoemakernails i nail down one of the rails.
then put the other rail beside it, bending it more or less to the corresponding form.
glueing the short sleepers between the rails (just white glue) and nailing the second rail from the outside of track, i got what i need.
electric connection with solded on ends of wire, plus a flat plug (car-wiring style) the flat plug can be shoven between rail and plastic on LGB rails.
that is all, for behind-the-scene rails.
if visible, i add some short sleeper ends to the outside, and use furniture-repair liquid to give them a similar colour as LGB track. (from four or five foot distance, i think it acceptable)

here a couple of thousands explaining words:
 




 

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I have used strips of masonite for my storage tracks for about 20 years.


You must keep it dry as masonite will warp when wet.





My flextrack storage lead saved me space and time and money building


switches and works really well. It is mounted on a framework of PVC tubing.








The row of screws in front of the track alignment boxes add a reverse curve to the


stub switch to better align the track with the storage leads.





Terl
 

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Terl,
  Your solution of using a piece of flex track as a stub switch to a storage yard is a great idea.  It looks well thought out  and fairly simple to make. I also need to build a storage building/shed, and may end up using your idea of a stub switch for myself. Thanks for the inspiration! The next challenge is how to make a door to fit around all of the rails and be weather proof . Any ideas?
Kris
 
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i put the first curtainrails in the mid 80ies. they worked good on my trackpowered indoor layout. after i got the spacing right, i had no derailings on them, till about five years ago, when i closed down.
 

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Kris

The door on my storage area just swings down on simple hinges just clearing the rails. Be sure to have a latch in the up position so that the door won't accidentally drop down on rolling stock!! Yes it happened to me. There is about 18" of metal track which goes past the door to the masonite storage tracks. This is far enough from the weather, and a weatherproof seal is not really necessary. I have found it necessary to make wood dams between the tracks to keep varmits from digging under the door and making a mess in the storage track area derailing cars etc. 

My train storage was built  under a false floor in a shed on the side of my house.  There are locking doors on all sides for access.  If you want to build like this be sure to leave generous clearance (at least 15-16") so that you can easily crawl under there when the need arises.   As  I have grown older let's say that my body has gotten thicker and it's not as easy as it used to be.

Terl
 

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The simplest and fastest way I've found to make electrically dead (straight) storage "tracks" is to cut parallel slots directly into a baseboard with a table saw and rip fence.  The pairs of slots are spaced to mimic track gauge, of course.

A rip fence spacer is helpful for cutting the second slot at exactly the right distance from the first slot.  A little trial and error gets the width exactly right.

Dawg :cool:

Terl, I think that flex track stub switch is a GREAT idea!  Good thinking... 
 
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