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Hi, New to this forum and hoping this isn't a silly question.

I'm using a track planning tool to layout my plan. I'm trying to make Aristocraft's pre-made rails (332 brass) fit into an existing garden, but it's sometimes hard to make the pieces meet up exactly.

My question is this: If my "planned" layout doesn't exactly hook up on paper and is off by 2" or so, can I make this up by "helping" the rails to meet up?

Jim
 

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In a short answer, YES. but if you are trying to make up for 2 " misallignment in a short distance, no..... The brass is flexible but I found no matter what plan I did I needed to cut the brass to make it fit. U can cut, drill and tap brass with ease. (you need to tap the cut ends to accept the little screw or use rail clamps.)
 

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Jim, Welcome to MLS!
Yes, I have done this. At first I was a bit hesitant as I was not sure how flexible the track would be, but after I needed an 1" or 2" I started getting a little rougher with the track and found it is pretty tough stuff. I use Aristocraft as well, code 332. One thing I found was if I was having trouble making a curved section fit, I "undid" the closest straight section, put the two curves together, then clamped the straight sections back together.

However, if one of the rails doesn't meet that well after a little bit of coaxing you may need to cut one of the rails for alignment, I've done this as well.
 

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Cutting the plastic connections between the ties with a set of nippers will increase the flexability of the track. The ultimate track adjuster is the Train-LI track bender.
JimC.
 

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Posted By Treeman on 04/02/2008 7:41 PM
I don't understand why more Garden RR's don't use flex track to start with. You can get rail up to 10 foot long. That cuts way down on joints, and the hassle of having the correct piece of sectional track.




At $250 to $500 for a tube of just the rails? I can see why more people don't do it. Add in a bucka a foot for tie strips and then the extra oversize charge to ship the rails? It gets expensive really fast! I believe that a LOT of folsk are buying used on Ebay adn elsewhere right now.

Just a thought.

To answer the original question though. To make the ends line up there is some work that can be done but as was mentioned the Train-Li dual rail bender is the cats meow to "adjsut" your track be it sectional or longer lengths of flex rails.

Chas
 

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I've driven as far as 3 hours away to get track to find little to none in stock. Only on of the three willing to even order it for me. I was at Niagara Hobby and they had less then 7 boxes (none full) of track. No switches and all of it brass Aristo.

Chas
 

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Many of us make "flex track" of 5ft sections.

Aristo made 4 1/2 ft sections to maximize the foot/shipping cost figure, but few bought it.

I expect your local vendors are worried about getting stuck with a pile of expensive track nobody wants. Fear causes recessions.
 

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Torby,
My local vendors are NOT small operatons and two of them are mentioned here OFTEN as large mailroder/online/phone retailers advertising in print and online in many forums. The third has scaled back because of the other two and the changing of the ownership.

Still I will be laying as much as possible, eventually, with SS Flex rail. That IS my recomendation.

Chas
 

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Posted By nkelsey on 04/02/2008 8:16 PM
I don't understand why more Garden RR's don't use flex track to start with. You can get rail up to 10 foot long. That cuts way down on joints, and the hassle of having the correct piece of sectional track.
Shipping Costs!




The intial cost of flex track kept me away. I was only able to afford a few sections of sectional track every few weeks. Plus rail benders are not very cheap.
 

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I have 300+ feet of AMS brass flex track with code 250 rail. Each section is 5' long. There are 12 pieces to a box, or 60 feet. You can find Accucraft dealers who will discount the advertised price.
http://www.accucraft.com/index.php?show_aux_page=89
AMS flex track bends easily and smoothly without a rail bender. It is easy to cut. So far, the track I've installed has stayed in place and the ties have not discolored or warped after more than three years outside in all types of weather. The only thing I've noticed is that the brass has become less weathered than the rails on my Sunset Valley turnouts. However, it is not unsightly. You can see my track clearly on this You tube video (watch the track and not the train).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihD_JTB6Jco
 

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Nice video Carl! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the info on your track.
 

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For those who use battery power (or live steam), aluminum rail is wayyyy cheaper and the smaller size of code 250 or code 215 looks wayyyy better.

I use Llagas Creek aluminum code 215 flex track exclusively - I order it assembled to avoid teh hassle of threading rail to tie strips.. It comes in 6 foot lengths that ship readily and the price has not skyrocketed like the other track has. Best of all, it is truly flexible. I lay it just like I lay HO track. I can freehand bend curves very easily (no railbender required) and spike it to a solid roadbed. I can cut each rail with flush cutting pliers to get any arrangement of track I desire.

Regards .. Doug
 

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Posted By wchasr on 04/02/2008 8:18 PM
Posted By Treeman on 04/02/2008 7:41 PM
I don't understand why more Garden RR's don't use flex track to start with. You can get rail up to 10 foot long. That cuts way down on joints, and the hassle of having the correct piece of sectional track.

At $250 to $500 for a tube of just the rails? I can see why more people don't do it. Add in a bucka a foot for tie strips and then the extra oversize charge to ship the rails? It gets expensive really fast! I believe that a LOT of folsk are buying used on Ebay adn elsewhere right now.
Just a thought.
Chas





Cost seems to be a taboo subject on most forums. When the topic is brought up re: hi cost of track and trains, others chime in that it's a bargain. To me, bargain is R/C cars. Perhaps that's why there's so many and so few garden railroaders? Just a thought.
 

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Aluminum is NOT just for live steamers or battery power. Aluminum is the second best conductor of electricity after copper (not brass). In code 250 it really looks good, and in six foot lengths (from Llagas Creek) you don't have such as large an expense with joiners as the unflex track.

BTW, "flex" is a relative term. I prefer to call it "bendable" as it won't hold the flex unless you use some care or a bender.

Pre-made track can be bent (even curves) with one of the new two rail benders. You don't have to cut the plastic holding the ties together, but you should remove the screws holding some times to the rails.
 

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Posted By Dick Friedman on 08/29/2008 5:18 PM
Aluminum is NOT just for live steamers or battery power. Aluminum is the second best conductor of electricity after copper (not brass). In code 250 it really looks good, and in six foot lengths (from Llagas Creek) you don't have such as large an expense with joiners as the unflex track.
BTW, "flex" is a relative term. I prefer to call it "bendable" as it won't hold the flex unless you use some care or a bender.
Pre-made track can be bent (even curves) with one of the new two rail benders. You don't have to cut the plastic holding the ties together, but you should remove the screws holding some times to the rails.




Really?
All of Phase 2 of the CCRy is Llagas flex, no bender (did one curve to show someone how it was done).
Work the ties, it stays put.
Screw it down with the tabs provided.
 

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Have you ever tried running track power thru aluminum rail? It will work but the rails have to be cleaned about every hour..a waste of time & $$$..
 

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I got my bender before the dual rail benders were available and have all brass 332 track.

These benders are great as you can make a reverse curve in a single piece of track.

I fine tune with 'belly bending'.

This all worked great for me.
 
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