G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I searched through a lot of treads which discusses NG/SG, code 250 vs 332, etc., and of course depending on the requirements of the model builder, physical location and type of locomotives that the hobbyist is running...there are lots of thoughts. I mostly have LGB track (332) and have supplemented that with a good purchase of Aristocraft track in five foot lengths. I'm getting ready to start my third rebuild and would love some thoughts and helpful hints.

First, I have a theme which is southwestern steam engines. I'm located in Glendale, AZ (temperature ranges from 50s to 115), the area in the backyard is shaded with fruit trees...only morning direct sun. I will be elevating a good portion of the layout (my age, the back and knees aren't interested in being on the ground for long).

I've purchased track via Adobe Mtn swap meets, Ebay and from Mike at Reindeer pass....all very successfully at this point. So, here goes the question(s).

1. Which brass rail track do you find is the best fit with LGB? USA, Piko, Aristocraft, etc. I'm trying to not change out all the ties, so...really like them to be standoff similar.

2. I can purchase 8-10' diameter manufactured curve sections and they will meet the layout design, but would it be better just to purchase the dual rail bender and adjust everything myself? And if the majority think the rail bender is the way to go...then any suggestions on which one. [I'm sure you'll point out the most expensive, but I'm mostly interested in something that is accurate and will last].

3. Not being picky about exacting scale, what are your preferences for switches for use with 8' and 10' diameter minimums on the main line. I don't see myself hand building turn-outs. I have a couple of LGB and Aristocraft now, but since I don't need a lot for this layout, I'm willing to purchase new ones for the project.

Thanks in advance for all your thoughts and hints. Ed
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,042 Posts
I'd look into RLD Hobbies' bender. Robbie is a member here.
I use sectional track because a local dealer had it, I wish I had gone Flex, I miss transitional curves most of all. The easements to turns, the distance and curve one travels between straight and the radius.... now my engines snap over to turn instead of easing into them..... looks toyish to me.
John
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,235 Posts
Ed

Your southwestern steam, is it narrow gauge or standard gauge and which scale? My answers for diameter curves and switches will be different depending upon what you are running.

I run 1:20.3, 1:22.5/24, and 1:29. On both of my layouts, Virginia and Arizona (Sun City) I use AristoCraft 10' diameter curves. In Virginia I use LGB 18000 series switches (about 15' diameter). I'm using LGB 16000 series switches (about 8' diameter) in Arizona. In Virginia I originally used AristoCraft wide radius switches (10' diameter). I wasn't happy with the performance of the AristoCraft switches and went to the LGB.

In Virginia I run all three scales. I wish that I had put in larger curves when I built it, 1994. I prefer sectional track and the AristoCraft was the only larger curve available at the time. All three of my scales run well on the 10' diameter curves, but the 1:20.3 and 1:29 rolling stock doesn't look that great. There is a lot of over hang on the curves. In Arizona on the patio layout I run exclusively 1:22.5/24 rolling stock, LGB and USAt. That scale looks fine on the 10' curves and the 8' switches.

I have never worried about tie spacing. My straight track is a mixture or LGB and AristoCraft. Aristo brass takes longer to weather to a dark finish.

My bottom line is to use a larger diameter curve if you have the space. Your trains will look better.

There are a lot of garden railroaders in the Phoenix area and two clubs that I know of. Make local contacts, you may be able to borrow or rent a rail bender, rather than buying one, if you go that route.

I hope we can meet up this winter. I'm out for the weekend, heading back east tomorrow morning.

Chuck
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,525 Posts
See my comments inline below.

I searched through a lot of treads which discusses NG/SG, code 250 vs 332, etc., and of course depending on the requirements of the model builder, physical location and type of locomotives that the hobbyist is running...there are lots of thoughts. I mostly have LGB track (332) and have supplemented that with a good purchase of Aristocraft track in five foot lengths. I'm getting ready to start my third rebuild and would love some thoughts and helpful hints.

First, I have a theme which is southwestern steam engines. I'm located in Glendale, AZ (temperature ranges from 50s to 115), the area in the backyard is shaded with fruit trees...only morning direct sun. I will be elevating a good portion of the layout (my age, the back and knees aren't interested in being on the ground for long).

I've purchased track via Adobe Mtn swap meets, Ebay and from Mike at Reindeer pass....all very successfully at this point. So, here goes the question(s).

1. Which brass rail track do you find is the best fit with LGB? USA, Piko, Aristocraft, etc. I'm trying to not change out all the ties, so...really like them to be standoff similar.

>>>> If you already have LGB and Aristo, with pretty different ties, you could get track to try to match the ties of LGB (my guess would be Piko) or ties to match Aristo (pretty much all the others, USAT is close, although the ties seem blacker to me)... My comment would be that after ballasting you won't notice any difference in color or texture. I'd not worry and get the best deal for yourself. Spray or paint the ties.

2. I can purchase 8-10' diameter manufactured curve sections and they will meet the layout design, but would it be better just to purchase the dual rail bender and adjust everything myself? And if the majority think the rail bender is the way to go...then any suggestions on which one. [I'm sure you'll point out the most expensive, but I'm mostly interested in something that is accurate and will last].

>>> get a bender, and use "flex", Robby's one is very good and a good price.

3. Not being picky about exacting scale, what are your preferences for switches for use with 8' and 10' diameter minimums on the main line. I don't see myself hand building turn-outs. I have a couple of LGB and Aristocraft now, but since I don't need a lot for this layout, I'm willing to purchase new ones for the project.

>>> First I would not go under 10' diameter, so I would use that size or larger... the subject of what are good switches is a long one, and very related to how much effort you are willing to spend to gauge your rolling stock correctly.

Thanks in advance for all your thoughts and hints. Ed
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,334 Posts
Get a Bender. Makes it some much easier. You can make your own curves. You are also going to run in to a problem with manufactured curves will just not match.

The other thing with a Bender you can buy any deal you see. 4 ft can be made into 10 ft. I got one that was one of the first ones made. It was pricy but I have made my money back in track deals.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Look at the other cost of track when buying.... Train-Li track comes in 5 and 8 foot lengths.
Ne sure to ask if the flex track comes with joiners or clamps or if you need to purchase separately. 8 foot track will use less joiners on long runs and allows there to be less joints in tunnels or other hard to get at areas.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas. I still may either borrow or purchase a rail bender....we have lots of groups in the Phoenix complex (those on the east side seem to have more "get together meetings", but I think I can make this work. If Chuck makes it out to Sun City (we have condo in Sun City that we use for family visits) and a house in Glendale, AZ....about six miles apart. Send me an email ([email protected]) and maybe we can get together and trade railroad stories. Still looking for more good deals on track. Ed
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
647 Posts




Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 187


Which brass 332 code track to use?
I searched through a lot of treads which discusses NG/SG, code 250 vs 332, etc., and of course depending on the requirements of the model builder, physical location and type of locomotives that the hobbyist is running...there are lots of thoughts. I mostly have LGB track (332) and have supplemented that with a good purchase of Aristocraft track in five foot lengths. I'm getting ready to start my third rebuild and would love some thoughts and helpful hints.








First off,If You are running Sparkies,Than use Aristo,not LGB TRACK.LGB track has a lot more lead in its brass rall,So You will have to clean it a lot more.When I had My sparkie layout I would be cleaning the LGB track once a week,the Aristo once a month,because of less Lead in the brass.BUT IN SWITCH TRACK ONLY USE LGB in 332.With aristo I had nothing but truble.
On My Live steam layout I use code 250 Switches from Pete Conley they are the best.My track is Aristo 332.Pete Makes a adpter so You can Mix them 332 and 250
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts




Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 187


Which brass 332 code track to use?
I searched through a lot of treads which discusses NG/SG, code 250 vs 332, etc., and of course depending on the requirements of the model builder, physical location and type of locomotives that the hobbyist is running...there are lots of thoughts. I mostly have LGB track (332) and have supplemented that with a good purchase of Aristocraft track in five foot lengths. I'm getting ready to start my third rebuild and would love some thoughts and helpful hints.








First off,If You are running Sparkies,Than use Aristo,not LGB TRACK.LGB track has a lot more lead in its brass rall,So You will have to clean it a lot more.When I had My sparkie layout I would be cleaning the LGB track once a week,the Aristo once a month,because of less Lead in the brass.BUT IN SWITCH TRACK ONLY USE LGB in 332.With aristo I had nothing but truble.




I share this same experience. I have a section on a p-t-p that uses both Aristo and an ~8-10 foot section of LGB track in front of the station and the trains will shutter more and actually stall out on the LGB section, but run fine over the Aristo portions. I have to clean, and re-clean, this same LGB section many times over the course of a day running a USA Trains 44-tonner with all its skates intact.

The fact that the trains slow over this section makes it even worse. But they do the same slowing at the ends of the p-t-p with AristoCraft track and do just fine without shuttering or stalling. And this is actually at ~0.7 volt less due to the diode in the p-t-p configuration. And here they start from a dead stop whereas on the LGB section, they are already moving through the section.

OTOH, the LGB 1600 turnouts work better than the AristoCraft 10-foot diameter turnouts that are a PITA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
I have a dual bender from RLD and it works great. I bought 5' long Piko rails from Wholesale trains and ties flex ties from Aristo. as well as used track off E-Bay. Running TE from Aristo.starter set with 0-4-0 and so far no problems other than cleaning used track with green pad. Wall wort transformer to over 400' of track without issues. Use a USA Power 10 transformer for the Aristo. C-19 and again no issues other than having to really clean Aristo 10' dia. switches so they throw all the way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
Should mention that USA track is basically identical to Aristo, and that it may be easier to find than Aristo.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,525 Posts
The metal compounds are a bit different, judging by how it oxidizes, and the ties are a different color, but the rail profile, joiners, and screw holes are identical in my experience.

I'd not worry about mixing them.

Greg
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top