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I've been workin' on the railroad...

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  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 1,592 posts
I've been workin' on the railroad...
Posted by NWP SWP on Monday, April 09, 2018 9:29 PM

How in tarnation do you handlay track? My friend Rod at the club says handlaid track is much better than the store bought stuff. So what's the process?

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Senior, living with Aspergers, and President of the NWP-SWP System.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • 1,171 posts
Posted by SouthPenn on Monday, April 09, 2018 10:29 PM

Prepare the roadbed.

Glue the ties to the roadbed.

Use spikes to attach the rail to the ties, making sure they are in gauge.

I use wood ties that have been stained. When they are installed you can tell they are wood. If you are going to paint wood ties, you might as well use plastic.

South Penn
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: AU
  • 508 posts
Posted by xdford on Monday, April 09, 2018 10:46 PM

Steven,

No problem with the idea that hand laid track is better in many respects but in your situation, I would suggest to you to get yourself up and running first with some sectional and/or some flextrack first and get used to the idea of lining up track and rails, then experiment with a siding or some area not quite so important and add to that later.

I have hand built many turnouts using ex flex track rail and copper clad PC board and soldering, including a 3 way turnout and a single slip crossing over the years, which I am quite proud of doing, especially as they were custombuilt for a friends layouts situation  but I don't think you will save yourself much at all cost wise with lengths of flex but definitely spend more time maintaining it!

Also if it is weathered and painted, at normal viewing distance it is hard to differentiate! 

But it is your layout and your call!

Regards from Australia

Trevor

 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,188 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 09, 2018 11:23 PM

Steven:

Using hand laid track on your first layout is going to add enormously to the difficulties of getting your layout running. It is something that is usually done by seasoned veterans who have already learned how to lay flex track properly. That's not to say you can't do it, but you need to ask yourself how much of a priority it would be. Properly laid flex track works great. If you don't get the handlaid track right you will be enormously frustrated.

With all due respect, you should be concentrating on building a functional layout, not a museum piece.

My 2 Cents

Dave

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 1,592 posts
Posted by NWP SWP on Monday, April 09, 2018 11:40 PM

OK thanks for all the replies! I figured that it'd be a lot of work! Laugh

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Senior, living with Aspergers, and President of the NWP-SWP System.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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