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Author Topic: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)  (Read 12425 times)

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Offline dannyboy

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #255 on: June 18, 2018, 03:08:35 pm »
@Ditape
Di, if you are seriously thinking of going to those lengths, I would definitely recommend that you give Unitrack a try. After building my first 4' x 2' layout using Peco track, I decided to go the Unitrack route for the new layout and I am so glad I did. The advantage with Unitrack is that, at its simplest, it is 'plug and go'.  I started the new layout 18 months ago and am only now starting to fix the track down! The advantage is that you can have a layout, test it, redesign a bit, test it, redesign a bit ... you get the picture. Everything just slots together, so it is extremely easy to redesign to your hearts content. Plus the points are pre-wired - no soldering. Point switches are available, but I have swapped them all for DPDT switches. There are plenty of Kato Unitrack topics on the forum, plus, I can recommend looking at

www.fiferhobby.com

there are lots of 'how to' bits relating to Kato.

Maybe buy enough Unitrack for a simple test circuit first. Keith at 'Traintrax' has a 5%/10% offer still running, (I think).
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #256 on: June 18, 2018, 04:01:41 pm »
The main limitation of Unitrack is not much choice of points, no curved points, no slips (as yet??????) I have used Fleischmann slips and curved points with Kato, the appearance is not too different, slightly different grey, (could try a bit of weathering?)
Cheers MIKE
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Offline Train Waiting

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #257 on: June 18, 2018, 04:13:36 pm »
Hello Di

Sorry to hear of your troubles.

I have used 'Unitrack' on two medium-sized layouts and one tiny one.

It is a superb system and on my US layout with Kato locomotives it is as near perfect as one could imagine.

For my British efforts here are my observations regarding things to look out for:

The 'Unijoiners' are excellent but there can be a roughness on the top of the rails at certain joins, no matter how carefully I lay the track.  It is laid on 12mm 'Sundeala' on top of 18mm MDF on kitchen units so it is a stable base.  I ought not say this in public but I have glued certain joins solid with 'Superglue' and then gently filed (very fine file!) the top of the rails smooth.  I know a lot of people would not countenance such treatment but it worked for me in P4 and appears to work in this context.  However, the slightly rough joins do not trouble diesel locomotives or a Kato steam engine.  My Union Mills engines buck a bit, though, if the joins are not treated.

The #4 turnouts are a potential menace with British steam engines.  @Newportnobby has done some excellent research which I commend to you.  My own experience supports his conclusions.  #4s are fine with Kato equipment, though.

The #6 turnouts are good, but do not have a joggle or housing in the stock rail for the switch to fit in.  This has given me some trouble with Union Mills steam engines and the solution was to file a housing in the stock rails.

The standard Kato track spacing is 33mm and #4 points give that on a crossover.  But #6 points give a wider spacing.  The scissors uses #6 common crossings and appears fine.  There are now crossovers available, but I have no experience of these, sorry.  Steve @tutenkhamunsleeping has made brilliant modifications to #6 turnouts to bring the track spacing back to something closer.  He also has a technique to bend Kato track.  'The Capital Lines' is the thread and it is really good and entertaining reading.

My final conclusion as a very satisfied 'Unitrack' user.  I would use it for another US or a modern image British layout without question.  There is another steam-era British layout plan floating around in my head (floating on top of fine ale I expect).  If I build it, the track will most likely be Peco.

Best wishes however you decide to proceed.

John

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Offline daveg

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #258 on: June 18, 2018, 05:23:58 pm »
Sorry to read of the troubles with Plym Bridge but it looks as though you've had helpful info re your Unitrack questions.

Good luck with the reworking and hope it doesn't stop your enjoyable, regular updates.

Dave G

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #259 on: June 18, 2018, 09:03:03 pm »
Sorry, Di, but I think you would have the same issues if the layout had been built with Kato Unitrack. A redesign with Peco track might well solve any problems. I'll not try to dissuade you from going to Kato but 2 of my 3 Warships and both my Class 47s derailed on Kato #4 points. From what I remember of the vids the transition off the Plymbridge incline was quite 'lumpy' but, can I ask, what do you think the warping of the traverser was down to?

Offline Ditape

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #260 on: June 19, 2018, 12:43:02 am »
, can I ask, what do you think the warping of the traverser was down to?

2 reasons;- 1 it was made from 12mm MDF ( which I have since been warned is liable to warp ), 2 possibly at fairly rapid temp change from my normal 19 c to a sweltering  very humid 30 odd today.
Diane Tape



Offline daveg

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #261 on: June 19, 2018, 07:36:35 am »
Not claiming any level of expertise or knowledge, Di, but could you rebuilt the traverser using marine quality ply? That material is meant to be very stable. I guess any framework would need to be of equal quality.

Hope you can get things sorted without too much pain.

Dave G

Offline kirky

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #262 on: June 19, 2018, 05:48:19 pm »
, can I ask, what do you think the warping of the traverser was down to?

2 reasons;- 1 it was made from 12mm MDF ( which I have since been warned is liable to warp ), 2 possibly at fairly rapid temp change from my normal 19 c to a sweltering  very humid 30 odd today.

Its most likely to be the humidity. MDF is known to absorb moisture very efficiently.
I was interested to see how the MDF would work in action. My initial interest was based on a friend's model who had a baseboard built for him in MDF, and it ended up being trashed for similar reasons. (My gripe with MDF as a baseboard material has always been the weight of it.)
I thought your usage may have fared better since you clearly painted it, thus forming a seal. I wonder if you painted the underneath of the traverser board, or the other boards for that matter, bacasue the warping could be there too.

cheers
Kirky
Northallerton is making its next appearance in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

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Offline Ditape

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #263 on: June 19, 2018, 06:00:43 pm »


Using existing baseboard, buildings and a mix of old and new track this is what the new PLYMBRIDGE may look like, all and any constructive criticism welcome. A majority of the visable track will be Peco code 55 with electro frog points, the hidden curves and curved points will be Peco code 80 as there are as yet no code 55 curved points. I will probably go for wire in tube operation for the points which will allow me to add servos at a later date if I decide to go down the automation route.


In reply to Kirky I only have my self to blame I did not paint both sides or the hidden edges.
Diane Tape



Offline daveg

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #264 on: June 19, 2018, 06:27:02 pm »
Not meant to be a criticism at all but your plan does look a tiny bit 'tame', if I dare use that description.

You have such great modelling skills that perhaps you could do something just a bit different. Silly suggestion perhaps but how about a single track from the station inner loop across the board to the fiddle yard - or the other way round? That could mean a break in the houses and include a level crossing for extra visual interest.

Hope you don't mind my suggestion!  :-X

Whatever you decide, I'm sure we all look forward to seeing what you do.  :thumbsup:

Dave G

Offline kirky

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #265 on: June 19, 2018, 06:28:38 pm »
In reply to Kirky I only have my self to blame I did not paint both sides or the hidden edges.
Completely disagree Di. Im not sure that painting/sealing the bottom and edges would have prevented the problems anyway. MDF is a notoriously difficult material to keep stable.
Like the new plan though.
Cheers
Kirky
Northallerton is making its next appearance in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at RailEx NE North Shields, 28th/29th July 2018.
And then at our very own Cleveland Model Railway Club exhibition, Redcar College, Corporation Road, Redcar 4/5 August 2018.

Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #266 on: June 19, 2018, 08:05:46 pm »
I like the new plan, Di, and think you'll have a lot of fun with it.
Personally I don't like mixing codes of track so would try to use code 55 throughout using the SL-E386F and 387F curved points. The geometry may have to be 'forced' but I think it might be better than the height difference between code 55 and code 80.
The alternative would be to use what you intend to use as there is a trick with the fishplates that more or less levels the rails. Trouble is I can't remember who put it on the forum :-[
Might it have been @ntpntpntp ?

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #267 on: June 19, 2018, 08:10:17 pm »
I now use Celotex insulation foam, comes in sheets 25, 50 or 100mm thick, sheetsfrom 1200x450 to 2400x600, I used  50mm x 1200x600 on this layout



covered in cork tiles, (track pins don't hold well in foam) also easy to cut a channel in the cork for wire in tube


Instead of a conventional fiddle yard use cassettes, either use a short stub to connect to or modify a rerailer to "plug into" the cassette track. I'm currently trying to figure how to hack a Proses power rerailer
https://proses.com/prestashop/tools-testers-cradles-rolling-roads-/200-hooo-powered-railer-for-locos-coaches-and-wagons.html
Cheers MIKE
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Offline daveg

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #268 on: June 19, 2018, 08:18:17 pm »
Confirming Micks' mention of the SL-386F and 387F curved points are code 55. Quote from Track Shack website:

The Peco Streamline SL-E386F N Gauge Code 55 Curved Double Radius Turnout Right Hand has the following dimensions:-

Length 160mm(6 5/16in)
Nominl radii- Outside: 914mm(36in) Inside: 457mm(18in)
Crossing Angle: 10°.

Constructed from Code 55 Rail.


Celotex is what I have used for my boards, too.

Dave G.

 

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Plym Bridge (my retirement project)
« Reply #269 on: June 19, 2018, 08:23:16 pm »
Personally I don't like mixing codes of track ... there is a trick with the fishplates that more or less levels [ code 55 and code 80] rails.

The slight height difference between the two when joined together is mostly caused by the fishplates raising the code 55 due to the middle T section of the rail. This can be alleviated by either slightly squashing the fishplate or by filing it a little lower - the latter is probably easier to be honest.


Personally I don't mix the two codes, I stick to code 55 in the scenic areas at least. If I use code 80 in fiddleyards and hidden trackage then the transition happens at a baseboard joint and no fishplates are used (my layouts are built to be portable).


« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 08:27:40 pm by ntpntpntp »
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