Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Add feeders before (or after) securing track?

815 views
11 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 811 posts
Add feeders before (or after) securing track?
Posted by kasskaboose on Friday, June 08, 2018 9:28 PM

On my 1st layout, where I converted from DC to DCC, I already secured and ballasted the track. I added feeders afterward.  While a pain to do, the wires got secured.

Is it smart to secure the track with spikes before adding feeders?  I would think so, since the track can't move.  Thoughts?  The feeders are going every 4' except on the turnouts where there are three sets for the Atlas turnouts: one set before the throw switch, one on the diverging track, and one on the straight track.

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 21,384 posts
Posted by selector on Saturday, June 09, 2018 1:46 AM

I only use nails to help on curves, but after the thin sheen of latex caulk dries under the ties, the rails stay where I want them.  I usually do the feeders at that point and ballast later.

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 3,528 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, June 09, 2018 3:42 AM

Secure, add feeders, run your most finiky locomotive/ rolling stock, if happy, then ballast.

My 2 Cents Cheers, the Bear. Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Southeast Texas
  • 4,888 posts
Posted by mobilman44 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 5:02 AM

I suggest the feeders are attached permanently after not only the track is secured but thoroughly tested (using temp feeders for power).

 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Phoenix, AZ
  • 1,553 posts
Posted by bearman on Saturday, June 09, 2018 5:14 AM

I solder feeders to the track on the bench and then fit and secure the track.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

Moderator
  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 14,146 posts
Posted by tstage on Saturday, June 09, 2018 9:36 AM

On my last layout: I fitted my track, soldered feeder wires to the underside of the rails, then tacked them down with acrylic latex caulk.  Worked great and you couldn't see the feeder wires.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: Ridgeville,South Carolina
  • 1,190 posts
Posted by willy6 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 9:55 AM

First, I use black and red feeder wires so I don't get confused hooking them to the bus lines like underneath my intermodal yard where there are numerous feeder wires hanging above me. I install feeder wires as I lay and glue track and check all connections with an ohm meter while the glue drys.

Being old is when you didn't loose it, it's that you just can't remember where you put it.
  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 2,025 posts
Posted by gregc on Saturday, June 09, 2018 10:17 AM

bearman
I solder feeders to the track on the bench and then fit and secure the track.

doesn't this mean you need to drill the hole before aligning the or do you do it as your aligning the track?   is there any consideration for obstructions under the layout?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 1,148 posts
Posted by trainnut1250 on Saturday, June 09, 2018 12:58 PM

gregc
 
bearman
I solder feeders to the track on the bench and then fit and secure the track.

 

doesn't this mean you need to drill the hole before aligning the or do you do it as your aligning the track?   is there any consideration for obstructions under the layout?

 

Greg,

 

I don't know what Bearman does but I solder bare copper wire to the bottom of each rail and then let them hang out while I position the track. After the track is final position and attached to the roadbed (I use spikes on flex track), I drill holes for the feeders close but not right on top of the wire. The wire is flexible enough to thread down the hole. The bare wire is covered up by ballast and is soldered to the buss or an insulated wire connecting to the buss under neath the layout.

By drilling the holes for the feeders after the track is placed, I avoid having the feeders interfere with the alignment of the track.

I use ME flex that holds its shape after forming the correct curvature (etc). I solder feeders as the last step before putting track down for good.

I find this much easier than trying to solder feeders to already installed flex (don't like melting ties and forming perfect bend in feeders).

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • 890 posts
Posted by dante on Saturday, June 09, 2018 2:50 PM

I dropped feeders after track installed & before ballasting.   

Drilled a very small hole next to rail & bent very small end in feeder size of spike head. Tin rail & feeder & a quick touch with iron does the job. Adding clips or wet paper each side of that location on rail provides heat sinks as an extra safety factor.

Dante

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 811 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Saturday, June 09, 2018 11:51 PM

Guy: I have continued doing slightly similiar but instead of drilling, I am cutting small areas in the cork with a hobby knife for the feeders.  I also use ME.  While more expensive, I like that it holds the shape.

Thanks all for the help!  I'll secure the track with spikes and then solder the feeders. 

No way will I ever try to convert from DC to DCC again.  That means not trying to put in feeders through ballasted track.  What a pain!

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 5,659 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, June 11, 2018 7:19 AM

dante

I dropped feeders after track installed & before ballasting.   

Drilled a very small hole next to rail & bent very small end in feeder size of spike head. Tin rail & feeder & a quick touch with iron does the job. Adding clips or wet paper each side of that location on rail provides heat sinks as an extra safety factor.

Dante 

^ This as above.  But based on the title of the topic, I attach my feeders "after" securing the track.  I secure the track with Atlas track nailes or Microengineering spikes.  Then add feeders.  Ballast comes last.

Here is a photo soldering a feeder through a drilled hole to my "secured" track before ballasting:

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!