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Your Layout and Models => Layout Construction => Topic started by: Lankyman on April 02, 2013, 05:15:23 PM

Title: Who says that Kato track isn't flexible?
Post by: Lankyman on April 02, 2013, 05:15:23 PM
It's a few months since I joined this forum and. although I have posted images of my layout in other topics, I have never posted the design of my layout. The simple reason for this is that I did not have a copy of the design as the guy who designed and built the layout for me kept the drawing. There was only one copy and it was beautifully drawn by hand. Reading other threads on this forum I discovered the Anyrail CAD system so thought I would have a go at creating my own drawing but got a shock as I couldn't get it to fit. Hence the question which is the title of this topic.

First let me show you a drawing that gets nearest to the concept of what my layout should look like:

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/thumb_4484.jpg) (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=4484)

Basically the main board has a double continuous loop with a branch line rising from the main station (Holme Central) around the left hand side, crossing over the main lines and ending in the branch terminus (Upperholme) which also has a small goods yard. This drawing has been done using the best fit of the Kato track parts in the Anyrail library.

If we split the two parts and show how they look we get the following two drawings. First, Holme Central:

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/thumb_4482.jpg) (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=4482)

this drawing mainly uses the actual Kato parts except that I cannot get the two main lines to connect in the bottom right hand corner so I have cheated a bit just to get the desired effect. In the actual layout the two main lines come much closer together as they enter the curve. Note that the station is raised slightly in order to start the gradient for the branch.

Next we look at the Upperholme Branch:

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/thumb_4483.jpg) (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=4483)

This has been drawn using the actual Kato parts and you will see that it is not possible to get the parts to connect within the space limits of the board. If you add these two drawings together you get this:

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/thumb_4485.jpg) (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=4485)

Clearly this was not what I intended. I do not doubt the accuracy of the Anyrail program as when I unglued the track to check the identity of the actual pieces used, that is where it floated off to.

So we come to a picture of what the layout was like when it was constructed:

(http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/59/thumb_4481.JPG) (http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=4481)

Perfect - just what I wanted. Now who says that Kato track isn't flexible?

I was thinking of replacing the affected parts with ones that are supposed to fit but I can't come up with a suitable design so, as it is working OK, I am just going to stick it all back down where it was and get on with enjoying myself. I will post more pictures when the scenery is more developed.
Title: Re: Who says that Kato track isn't flexible?
Post by: Tank on April 02, 2013, 07:27:18 PM
That's coming along very well.  :)  Good use of different heights. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Who says that Kato track isn't flexible?
Post by: Newportnobby on April 02, 2013, 08:18:58 PM
Very interesting plan and layout, Ron :thumbsup:
What is the radius of the inner main line at the 180 degree curve at the LHS please?
Title: Re: Who says that Kato track isn't flexible?
Post by: Pengi on April 02, 2013, 08:25:20 PM
Kato Unitrack does have the ability to flex - I read it somewhere 'official' but can't remember where. My track layout should not work either (according to the software) but it does.
Title: Re: Who says that Kato track isn't flexible?
Post by: Lankyman on April 02, 2013, 10:01:47 PM
First, in response to Tank - this photo  was taken in the workshop where the layout was constructed but it is the only one I have showing the whole layout. To say it is "coming along well" is an understatement. It has taken me 15 months to understand all the problems I have had with it and this is the second time I have unglued it. I think I understand it all now. When it all goes back down and some scenery added I think I will then be able to agree with you. Certainly I know a lot more about track laying than I did 15 months ago.

Second, in response to Newportnobby (Mick) - the radius of the inner curve at both ends is 249mm (9 3/4ins). I couldn't have told you that a couple of weeks ago! The sharpest curve is 216mm (8 1/2 in) for a very short distance right at the top of the branch just as it approaches the connection onto the top board. Whilst this is no problem for any of the diesels it does cause a problem to the steamers unless the last bit of the curve is on exactly the same level as the straight which follows. This curve does affect the pony trucks and bogies sometimes so slow sped is required. The other problem is the fact that the first straight piece is the Kato expansion track which goes over the joint to enable the top board to be lifted out. This piece of track has a plastic insert similar to a road crossing and if it flexes vertically the steamers jam on top of it hence the need for a level approach. The Austerity 2-8-0 just doesn't like it so Route Availability rules have been applied and this loco is banned which is a pity as that is where all the freight activity takes place. Fortunately length limits also apply because of the run round so only short freights can be operated up there and a small loco will suffice.

Title: Re: Who says that Kato track isn't flexible?
Post by: SNCFStephen on April 05, 2013, 03:24:11 PM
On my layout (using Kato Unitrack) there are several sections that shouldn't have worked but have due to the give between the rail joins. You can hardly tell that the track is being bent slightly off course. There is also a section that works on Anyrail but for some reason it was ever so slightly too short for the layout. This meant I had to space the gaps between the track sections to get it to work. I suspect that what happened to me was that the insulating rail joiners didn't hold as well as the normal type and perhaps there was some strain somewhere. Either way your layout is looking very interesting and I am looking forward to seeing more! Good luck!
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