Track Adjustments

By Ty’s Model Railroad - 3/27/2011 06:49:00 PM

Installed metal track terminal connectors with soldered power leads leading below foam roadbed

Since my last post, I’ve spent the majority of my time tuning my wiring and track. I haven't made much structural progress, but I've spend a lot of hours adjustments to my track to ensure my engines and rolling stock run as smooth as possible. As this is my first layout, every aspect of this project is a huge learning curve.

Installed metal track terminal connectors with soldered power leads leading below foam roadbed

When I originally laid my track, I did not realize how extremely important it was to ensure track was perfectly level, especially through curves and grades. Even the smallest inconsistency in track level is often enough to derail an engine. I found that these deviations were most common where two pieces of track joined together. To solve this, I made sure both adjoining pieces were perfectly level then soldered them together. I then lightly sanded the joint until it was perfectly smooth. For areas where the actual trackbed wasn’t level, I used thin foam shims under the track to keep the track perfectly level.

Closeup of track, foam roadbed and foam shims under track ties

I spent a lot of time running each of my engines back and forth over several section of problem track, closely watching each wheel to make sure it wasn’t lifting off the track. I managed to work out all the problem areas I was having and everything runs a lot smoother. I also had to make a few small adjustments with my wiring, but nothing major.

I am now into the planning stages of building the actual ground terrain and elevations of my layout, which I hope to have completed by the end of May. I’m also trying to find the best way to build the standards for my trackside signals to mount to.

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