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Great discussion. I absolutely must screw my track down, so I space the track.  Last year I experienced some difficulties with this, so I was particulary interested in this thread.  It's mostly trial-and-error here due to the extreme climatic conditions.
 

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Posted By Big65Dude on 05/09/2008 2:30 AM



Here's a graphic illustration of the effects of track expansion . . .



 Llagas Creek code 215 aluminum rail which "floats" on a foam roadbed - IOW, it's not secured to the underlaying base except at the switch



 




 



Moral of the Story: Always leave room for expansion of tangent track. (Curves will take care of themselves by altering their radii.)




I know that look !  I use the same kind of track. I have had to go back and re-install much of my track to prevent just this sort of thing from happening. 
 

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Posted By Dougald on 05/08/2008 5:07 AM

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 spike the ties with two nails through the tie ends outside the rail [/i]and leave the head slightly proud in case the track has to be lifted. I have had no problems with heat expansion. Regards ... Doug


Based on this post, I will be following suit and doing likewise. It sure makes sense to me.
 
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