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Ordering a Large Amount of Track

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 9, 2020 11:58 AM

riogrande5761
The flex track is silly expensive for what you get so I won't be buying any.

.

Is there something different about the rail cross section or tie profiles of their new code 83 line that might make it better compatible with their own flex-track?

.

My older Walthers/Shonohara code 83 switches mate up just fine with Atlas flex track.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Eilif on Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:47 PM

Definitely going to agree with those who say buy now. if you've got the funds now, I'd buy all the flex track and at least 75% of the swtiches (if not all).  I have  MUCH smaller layout planned, but even though I've only done about one loop, I bought nearly all my track and switches ahead of time.  Availability can be an issue and, unopened swithces and unused track are one of the easiest railroad items to resell or trade if plans change.

As for track deals, I don't know if you ever trek down to the Great Midwest Train Show, (monthly show in Wheaton, IL) but there's a regular seller there who deals primarily in Atlas.  His prices for individual track and switches are about as low as I've ever seen even comparing to other folks' bulk rates.  He also lets folks bring back their unopened stuff and swap it for what they need if they buy the wrong things or their layout plans change.  I've purchased most of my track from him.

I've no idea if he deals outside that show, but I bet someone here knows his contact info.  The show it'self is worth a trip just for the massive number of vendors and deals.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Saturday, January 11, 2020 1:17 PM

Back in the Dark Ages, I took my track bill-of-materials to three local train stores (yeah... THAT long ago!  Sigh) and asked if they were interested in submitting a bid.  One came through and it was significantly less than if I has cherry-picked every published lowest price for every item.  It was a win-win, I got a great deal, and the store got a big order without carrying the inventory.

If I was starting out today, I think I'd try the same with a few on-line retailers.

Another thought... Our local RR Museum/MRR Club offers members ($35 annual dues) 25% off Walthers list/sale price.  The club places the collected orders when they have enough to qualify for free shipping, so members don't pay freight costs.  Maybe there is such a museum/club in your area?

Jim

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Posted by joe323 on Monday, January 13, 2020 5:05 PM

mbinsewi

I got the Walther's Flyer on Thursday, and they have a track sale going on.  I don't know how that compares to others, as I don't need any track right now.

What little track I may eed in the future, I'll get from Hiawatha.

I do have my eyes out for On30 track, for an upcoming project. Peco or ME.  LHS stocks ME.

Mike.

 

in general even with the sale I have buying directly from Walthers to be on the expensive side. After all they don't want to undercut their retail networ.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, January 16, 2020 9:00 AM

Dave and others touch on a notable issue: buying alot at once or progressively.  I suggest the latter, so you don't get overwhelmed and over-buy.  I hate having a ton of boxes laying around unused.  Similar to tile, you figure that a certain amount of track goes to waste.  I hate to admit it but I've had to throw out track too.

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Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, January 16, 2020 9:32 AM

kasskaboose

Dave and others touch on a notable issue: buying alot at once or progressively.  I suggest the latter, so you don't get overwhelmed and over-buy.  I hate having a ton of boxes laying around unused.  Similar to tile, you figure that a certain amount of track goes to waste.  I hate to admit it but I've had to throw out track too.

I went with the buy large quantities up front strategy because I had a very accurate idea of exactly what track pieces/parts my layout required. 

 

There have been times when there are severe shortages in the retail 'channel' for model RR track. I hated when I couldn't work on particular areas when the track I needed was backordered everywhere.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, January 18, 2020 11:40 AM

kasskaboose

Dave and others touch on a notable issue: buying alot at once or progressively.  I suggest the latter, so you don't get overwhelmed and over-buy.  I hate having a ton of boxes laying around unused.  Similar to tile, you figure that a certain amount of track goes to waste.  I hate to admit it but I've had to throw out track too.

 

??????

Throw out new track? Did I miss something here? I have a couple whole cases of 100 pieces of Atlas flex track that is 10 years old. I'm about to start on a new layout, happy to have kept it.

I can't get my head around the idea of throwing away anything unused that is still uesable. If you don't need is sell it or give it way? 

In my 53 years in this hobby, most of the flex track I have bought has been by the 100 piece case. I've never built a layout where I was not going to use at least most of that 300'.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 24, 2020 5:58 PM

 Gif order? Not really, but I just got 2x 25 packs of Peco Code 83 and a few turnouts. Sale going on, got it for less than ModelTrainStuff even. Certainly not enough to do even the whole lower level of my layout, but enough to start - but maybe jumping the gun since I don't even have wood for the benchwork yet. That's proving extremely difficult to find.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 24, 2020 6:31 PM

rrinker

 Gif order? Not really, but I just got 2x 25 packs of Peco Code 83 and a few turnouts. Sale going on, got it for less than ModelTrainStuff even. Certainly not enough to do even the whole lower level of my layout, but enough to start - but maybe jumping the gun since I don't even have wood for the benchwork yet. That's proving extremely difficult to find.

                                           --Randy

 

 

? What kind of wood are you looking for?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 24, 2020 7:06 PM

 I was trying to get 13 ply Baltic Birch to cut up to make the framework with/ Nothing but garbage wood at the local Lowes and HD, even stepping up to supposedly better stuff like popler. I called a local plywood palce today, they only have the 13 plys up to 5x5 sheets. I may just have to go with a lesser plywood and use lots of angles at the joints. I don't want shelf brackets, that means notching out the backdrop every 16", crazy/ I did see a method using shelf brackets, but mounted sideways.

                                           --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 24, 2020 10:24 PM

rrinker

 I was trying to get 13 ply Baltic Birch to cut up to make the framework with/ Nothing but garbage wood at the local Lowes and HD, even stepping up to supposedly better stuff like popler. I called a local plywood palce today, they only have the 13 plys up to 5x5 sheets. I may just have to go with a lesser plywood and use lots of angles at the joints. I don't want shelf brackets, that means notching out the backdrop every 16", crazy/ I did see a method using shelf brackets, but mounted sideways.

                                           --Randy

 

Not sure I understand how you are planning to build this?

Lowes around here usually has good Poplar, but not large quantities, HD not so much.

I know a guy in Glen Burnie, MD who could make you what ever you need, not sure ablout cost, but often competitive with conventional sources.

I've never been much for this idea of ripping plywood in to conventional lumber sizes, I don't really know?

 I build stuff all day long with wood, I have never seen the need/reason to do that, despite some of the explanations for it?

I built my double deck layout in a very unconventional way, not likely to be of much help, I had special circumstances, I hung most of my upper deck from a sloped attic ceiling, or built peninsulas without floor to ceiling walls, but with double center "walls" that supported the upper deck.

 

Sheldon

PS, to the original topic, notice the 200 feet or so of flex track laying loose on the upper deck..........

Back in my hobby shop managing days, we sold it by the piece or by the 100 piece case. The manufacturers/distributors only sold it by the 100 piece case. No 10 or 25 packs back then. 

    

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 25, 2020 12:27 PM

 Not so much the Lowes or Home Depot around here, they all seem to have little but scrap. It's all fine if you only need to cut it up into short pieces, but even if the bin for a particular size is fairly full, I can go spend an hour picking through to get the straight ones and not have enough to fully load my truck. 

 I may perhaps being a bit paranoid, as my previous layout was all built using clear pine from Lowes, although I used extruded foam for the surface. None of the framing ever warped or anything, and it was still solid after sitting 3+ years in my new basement, which was rather damp in summer and dry in winter. Cutting your own 1x lumber from 3/4" plywood is just for extra warp resistance. At least, with decent plywood with the plies laid out properly. 

 My bottom deck, I can build as heavy as I want, I can always run legs tot he floor, but I want to minimize the number of legs. The second deck needs to be lightweight and supporeted only at the wall end. So the goal is a strong attachment that does not intrude on the space between decks.

 I'm not sure I've reached the stage where I'm prepared to drive 2 hours or so each way for every truckload of lumber I need. The local plywood supplier I called, I was amazingly NOT the first person who wanted to buy plywood to build a model railroad, and they have some other materials not sold in the big box stores which they think are also suitable for cutting into boards, so I am going to stop by there and take a look. 

 Atlas still has track in 100pc boxes, but it seems the biggest box of Peco you can get is 25. I wouldn;t mail order less than 25 - it's solidly packed int he box and both boxes arrived undamaged. The first time I ordered a few pieces (5 I think) to sample it, they packed it in one of the empty 25 piece boxes and - well, let's just say I have plenty of code 83 rail and all the spare tie strips I'll ever need. Might be neat to get a look at Peco's packaging line, because I am pretty sure the box is formed around the two stacks of track found inside, not that the track is put inside an already formed box. 

                                       --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, January 25, 2020 5:23 PM

You should try some old fashioned building supply/lumber yards near you. You might be surprised what they carry or can get, and how competitive the prices might be.

LOWES and HD base the inventory of that stuff based on the sales in that store, if it has not been a good item for that store, it will not be well stocked.

I call it backwards marketing - you can't have good sales on stuff you don't have........

I don't care what kind of plywood you cut up, I don't like the fastening issues using it that way.

I friend did a multi deck layout by building plywood sided " L brackets" with a radius on tne inside of the "L". We screwed the plywood "L" to the wall studs (no drywall in place) and used another length of 2x4 as a spacer. Wish I had a picture of them......

Another good way to do it is with steel. Make a "T" with flat stock and square stock, attach them with lag screws to the studs.

Sheldon  

    

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Saturday, January 25, 2020 6:03 PM

The reason for ripping plywood into 1 x 4s is that even buying the really good plywood, it's much cheaper than buying decent 1 x 4s in this neck of the woods.

As far as Walthers, when they first brought out their track line, they were the only No. 5 turnout available.  Now that MicroEngineering has put a stop to that, I wonder what will eventually happen to Walthers prices.

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, January 25, 2020 6:05 PM

SeeYou190
 
riogrande5761
The flex track is silly expensive for what you get so I won't be buying any. 

Is there something different about the rail cross section or tie profiles of their new code 83 line that might make it better compatible with their own flex-track?

My older Walthers/Shonohara code 83 switches mate up just fine with Atlas flex track.

-Kevin

It would probably be fine.  I've mated lots of different brands with no issues, and codes with some tweaks and shimming where need.

If you buy any of the new expensive Walthers flex, let us all know.  

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, January 25, 2020 6:06 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I call it backwards marketing - you can't have good sales on stuff you don't have...

.

Like hobby shops and undecorated freight cars.

.

Do you have any undecorated freight cars?

> No, no one ever buys them, so we do not stock them.

Have you ever stocked them?

> No, no one ever buys them.

Maybe if you stocked them, someone would buy them... Duh. You can't sell something you do not have.

.

I have never understood a hobby shop stocking decals and paint, but no undecorated freight cars. 

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 25, 2020 6:18 PM

 I just got back from Lowes, had to pick up some things so like usual I spent some time looking around. Crazy enough, the 3/4" birch plywood they have right now is 13 ply - a couple of weeks ago, it was all 7 ply. But the visible voids along the factory edge of every piece in the stack don't bode well for quality. But hey, it was only $50 a sheet. 

 I also checked out the clear pine and poplar, the selection was actually pretty good, lots of straight pieces, though not a whole lot, at least in 8' lengths. 

 One thing I checked out were some of the various brackets and angles used for framing. Most of it is of course sized for 2x4 and larger, however there are some nice 2" 90 degree angles aht are a whole 65 cents each. If I bolt a vertical to the studs, which could even be cut from "ok" plywood, doesn't have to be anything special, I could then connect each horizontal stick with one of these angles - or even one on each side. I think that would be plenty strong enough - the meximum depth at any point is 24", and much of it will be in the 18" range. The secodn deck I will probably set back by 4" - that still allows plenty of light from LED strips underneath the second deck to light the bottom deck,as comparing to my workbench which has LEDs mounted under the bottom shelf to illuminate the work surface, 4 inches out from the edge is still brightly lit, but start going much furhter and the light drops off sharply (inverse square law). Even the slight setback would improve the view of the lower deck, and the less the overhang, the less force on the attachment point. 

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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