Lionel tinplate track & "add-on" ties

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Lionel tinplate track & "add-on" ties
Posted by ezmike on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:05 AM

This is really a two part question.

Anyone out there know if Lionel "O" gauge tinplate/tubular straight track comes in 14" lenghts? Have seen some advertized as Lionel but not sure.

And... has anyone had any experience using those "ad-on" ties I see advertised in the magazine? The one I see is 3r or r3 or something like that. Or is there another alternative to adding more ties for a more realistic look.

 I think Williams track has 5.

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Posted by cnw1995 on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:29 AM
I have used add-on ties for 027 track from CTT advertiser Three R Plastics. See http://www.3r-plastics.com - they offered brown and black for 'regular' O and S gauge too. They look nifty. Not enough for me to cover the entire layout with them - but then again, I don't ballast track anymore nor tack it down.The 027 I use comes in 9 and 35 inch lengths. The regular O comes in 10 and 40 inch lengths.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by Frank53 on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:37 AM

I came across a box full of ties while sifting through some stuff my Dad picked up years ago. Don't know if they were homemade, although they seem a bit too perfect -  I think they were commercially available. Adding three between each tubular tie (six per section) makes a nice effect:

I doubt I would have enough for the entire layout, so I am going to limit using them to the main level.

For the tubular ties, I've been cutting these ties into sixths and "end capping" the sides of the tubular ties which show:

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Posted by ezmike on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:41 AM

 Thanks for the opinion on the ties. I've looked at those online. Being a hands on visual person it is hard for me to decide if I like them. Would take many to do an entire layout though.

 As for the track, that's what I thought so I do not know where this person is getting their information.

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Posted by ezmike on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:47 AM
Frank, I don't know what you mean when you refer to the tubular ties and cutting them into sixths. But I do appreciate your comment. The ties Doug refers to recommends six per section also.
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Posted by cnw1995 on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:47 AM
ezmike, good point. I just used 'em in the foreground, but like Frank sez, it looks too perfect. Maybe I'm just too used to the gaps in the track.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by Frank53 on Friday, March 16, 2007 8:59 AM

 ezmike wrote:
Frank, I don't know what you mean when you refer to the tubular ties and cutting them into sixths.

In order to get more mileage from the existing ties I have - I have been "filling in" the hollow gap of the metal tubular tie with a small piece of a tie, rather than using an entire tie to fill in the gap:

In the photo below, you can see how obvious the tubular gap is:

I cut the wooden ties I have into small pieces and insert the small piece into these gaps to give the impression there is a wooden tie all the way through. I also only do this on the side visible to the viewer.

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Posted by Frank53 on Friday, March 16, 2007 9:07 AM

Here's a better comparison. The ties where the track is ballasted have a small piece of tie inserted in the tubular tie gap. The tie to the far left does not. I want to fill in that hollow space, so I use a small portion of a tie:

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Posted by cnw1995 on Friday, March 16, 2007 9:10 AM
Very cool. Your creativity is inspirational! I have glued together and cut wooden coffee stirrers to do much the same thing.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by trainbrain on Friday, March 16, 2007 9:11 AM
K-Line made 14" straight pieces in o gauge.  I have a couple.  I dunno about 027.  As for ties, if you're ambitious and want to save a buck, you can make your own.  I bought 1/4" foam core board from an art supply store and cut my own.  It took some time but what doesn't?  I needed a bunch so the cost was worth it. 
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Posted by Kooljock1 on Friday, March 16, 2007 9:15 AM

First question:  I believe K-Line made 14" lengths of "O" Gauge track.  I think I have a piece or two on my layout.

 Second question: the rubber ties from 3r Plastics are great!  They're a perfect match size-wise to the Lionel/K-Line metal tie, the same color, and have not only wood-grain but tie plates that the track snugs into as well! 

Here are some on my layout:

 

 I bought the 300 count bags, and am very happy!

 

Jon Cool [8D]

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Posted by Frank53 on Friday, March 16, 2007 9:23 AM
I like that wall jon.
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Posted by lionelsoni on Friday, March 16, 2007 9:45 AM

Traditional O27 straights are about 8 7/8 inches.  Marx O34 straights are about 11 1/8 inches.  K-Line made O27 profile in exact 18- and 36-inch lengths.  Lionel makes about 35 3/8.

I supplement O27 ties with popsicle sticks (not that I have ballasted much of my track at all!), which you can buy in quantity from hobby stores, cut to length (2 inches) and then painted.  They are 3/8-inch wide, narrower than the 1/2-inch O27 tie tops. However, it is difficult to notice the difference in the ballasted track; and the overall impression is of a narrower tie.  Even so, 3/8 inch is twice the proper scale width!  Since the metal ties are much too wide, adding very slightly narrower ties in-between seems to give an overall impression of a more realistic width.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Friday, March 16, 2007 10:40 AM
 ezmike wrote:

This is really a two part question.

Anyone out there know if Lionel "O" gauge tinplate/tubular straight track comes in 14" lenghts? Have seen some advertized as Lionel but not sure.

And...

Lionel & K-Line have both made 14 3/8" straights in tubular "O"...  Lionel since the 1930's.  there are 6 ties per section, spaced evenly 2 11/16" on center.  It's O-72 straight track, it's length equals the straight portion of a O-72 tubular switch. 

Lionel T-Rail(pre-war only) matched these dimensions too except for the tie spacing - 10 narrower ties per section, & they are spaced so that when connected to an adjacent section they are all evenly spaced instead of closer at the joint:

As a side, FasTrack is the third system Lionel has offered  in O-72.  It's too bad Super-O was overlooked!

Rob 

Rob

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Posted by spankybird on Friday, March 16, 2007 11:21 AM

We have the extra ties added to our O27 track

 

 

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Posted by ezmike on Friday, March 16, 2007 2:30 PM

As usual you guys were great with your responses.

Frank, now I see what you mean. Sometimes you cannot see the obvious. It does make a difference and the additional ties are more realistic.

Just let me say that when I look at the photos of your layouts you include with your responses I can only hope to be half as talented.

And, thanks for the responses to the track question.

Mike

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Posted by trigtrax on Friday, March 16, 2007 6:24 PM

Lionel did make a 14" "O" Gauge Straight Track. The idea behind it was to match up with the O-72 Wide Radius.  I believe if you measure the straight section of an O-72 Switch that's what you get.. So there is the logic of it. I managed to buy one from a dealer in upstate New York a few years back.

It's commonly refered to as wide radius straight ( or at least it was when milk came in glass bottlesWink [;)] )

The idea still exists in Standard Gauge.. A standard gauge straight with 4 ties is meant to be used with 42" Diameter Curves and it measures 14 1/8".. A standard gauge straight with 6 ties measures 14 3/8" and is for use with 72" and 84" Diameter Curves.

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Posted by 3railguy on Friday, March 16, 2007 10:17 PM
As triggy posted, Lionel did make 14" (14 3/8") straight sections with 072 tie spacing during the postwar years and they command a premium. Yes, they match the straight section of 711 072 switches and aid in making a figure 8 with 072 without having to do any cutting. K-Line reproduced them. K-Line also made 40" straights with 072 tie spacing. To get better tie spacing with 031 track and keep the tinplate look, I have bought rusted 031 track for dirt cheap, stripped the ties off, spray painted them, and clipped them on 10" straights and 031 curves. I cut new insulators from poster board and painted them dark grey.
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Posted by USNRol on Friday, March 16, 2007 11:28 PM

How does everybody attach the extra ties?  Do you just slip them under the track and ballast around them or do glue them to the underside of the track?  I think tubular with those extra ties beats the pants off FasTrack any day!!  Frank,  If you used 027 track the ties are capped on the ends to give the effect of a solid tie.

Good thread!
Roland

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Posted by 3railguy on Saturday, March 17, 2007 12:29 AM
You can superglue the extra ties under the rail if you want or glue them to the roadbed if the thickness is close to the Lionel ties. If they leave a gap, it isn't real noticeable. I have made ties from balsa that is slightly thicker than the metal ties and spiked the rail to the balsa ties. This leaves a slight gap between the metal ties and roadbed which helps deaden sound.
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Posted by trainbrain on Saturday, March 17, 2007 9:08 AM
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Posted by martinden on Saturday, March 17, 2007 1:06 PM

As triggy posted, Lionel did make 14" (14 3/8") straight sections with 072 tie spacing during the postwar years and they command a premium.

Prewar, not postwar -- only 072 curves after the war, and they were catalogued in only a few years (1950 and 1954-7, IIRC); 16 sections of curved track came in a box, listed as number 760. Prewar, single sections (curved and straight) were cataloged, as well as the 760 box. There was a pretty complete line of 072 track, including the 711 (remote control) and 721 (manual) switches, as well as a 90 degree crossing specifically for use with 072 track. But there was no 14-inch uncoupling section; you had to work regular RCSs into your plan.

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Posted by phillyreading on Monday, March 19, 2007 3:46 PM

About 12 years ago a company called Moondog Express made solid plastic ties for O & 027 & S gauge track.

3R plastic ties look more realistic as I have some in both O & 027, 3R plastic ties are hollow underneath.

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.

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