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Bill

I too have aluminum rail - code 215 Llagas Creek well known for the tight tie to rail fit.

My track is firmly fastened to a hard roadbed either pt 2x6 or a ladder made of TREX. Expansion joints are left at the end of each flextrack section. I spike every 12th tie or sometimes a bit more frequent if needed, with an aluminum nail to hold the track to the roadbed. The tendency for most modelers is to spike the tie with one nail in the middle but this leads to twisted ties as the rail expands because it will not slide through the ties without binding. I spke the ties with two nails through the tie ends outside the rail and leave the head slightly proud in case the track has to be lifted.

I have had no problems with heat expansion.

Regards ... Doug
 

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All very interesting and useful information.

If we translate into a normal practical situation, most of us lay our track in summer not in winter. Thus the amount of expansion to be coped with is perhaps 20 to 30 degrees on the heat side (not 80 or more). Secondly, if using flectrack (I use Llagas Creek 6 foot lengths) then an expansion gap should be left at each end effectively spreading the 10 feet of expansion in the example across three gaps (actually 1 full gap plus 2 half gaps or 2 gaps in total)

Now if you do the arithmetic ... .00001 inches expansion per inch per degree * 120 inches * 20 degrees divided by two expansion joints equals .01 inches Leave a gap of about 1/10 of an inch in each joint. A bit larger is usually helpful.

I actually take a coin (a quarter is just a bit fatter than 1/10 of an inch) and use that to gauge the joint trying to err slightly on the side of a wider gap.

I do understand that if the track is laid in a place where it is on rock and the sun shines directly on it, it can heat it way above the ambient temperature, this may lead to problems. so far, in my experience, I have not seen any buckling if a suitable expansion gap has been left and the track fully secured.

Regards ... Doug
 
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