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 Tutorials for using flex track?
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joeyg37

Posted - 2005 November 23 :  6:13:05 PM  Show Profile
Hi all, I'm new here on the forum. Been a reader for a while, but finally been baffled enough to need to ask a question. :)

My father and I are currently building a small 8x8 lay-out and we're decided to move on from sectional track and use flex track. We have code 83 brown flex. However, recently, we purchased some of the new concrete Atlas code 83 flex ties. The brown flex is really easy to bend, and only has one sliding rail. However, this new concrete flex is just like that...concrete! It seems both rails move and the track is super stiff. In fact, I've all ready popped the rail right out of two sections because it was stuck. :(

Basically, we have no ideas on how to use flex track, and how to connect it. We bought some end ties like on sectional track, but do we need to use these? Anyone care to help an 18 year old in need? A tutorial would be great, or even if someone were kind enough to post here on how to use flex track would be great too! :)

Thanks,
Joe
Attempting to model small town Nebraska and the Union Pacific! :)

Country: USA | Posts: 4

joeyg37

Posted - 2005 November 24 :  03:18:55 AM  Show Profile
Hi again. We have managed to lay down the brown tie code 83 track without much trouble. I quite like it! However, as we are modelling the Union Pacific around North Platte here, we would really like to still use the concrete ties. The Atlas website said that this track may have a little different installation method because both rails slide out. Is anyone familiar with this track? I've tried to re-rail it to make the track bendy, but it still just gets too stiff.

Attempting to model small town Nebraska and the Union Pacific! :)

Country: USA | Posts: 4 Go to Top of Page

Dave Plummer

Posted - 2005 November 24 :  09:55:49 AM  Show Profile
I wasn't aware that Atlas was making concrete tie flex, and I can't find it in the product listings. However, I have used Micro Engineering concrete tie track and installing it is much different. What you'll need is a pin vise with a #76 bit and thin track nails. Start by tracing the centerline of the route you want the track to follow. Connect the track to the last piece of brown flex, drill holes at the first and fifth ties and spike the them. Form the track about a foot further along. Drill holes every 6" along the way and tack it. Continue this process until you get to the end of the section. Once at the end you'll need to true up the rails by cutting them. I recommend using wither Xuron rail cutters or a Dremel tool with a composite cutting disk. Repeat the process as needed.

Avoid tight radii with this type of track. It is best used on long mainline stretches. Trust me here, I tried using it in a coal loop with a 30" radius and it was tough. Once you get the track ballasted, you can remove the nails and touch up the holes.

Good luck.

Dave

Dave



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Nebrzephyr

Posted - 2005 November 24 :  11:28:43 AM  Show Profile
Joe....in the last week I just installed 20+ sections of the Atlas concrete code 83 track. You're right in that both rails slide fairly easily. However, I had no trouble bending it, in fact I was using it in a staging area with 22" radius curves (I know, why concrete ties in staging area....got it cheap on closeout )

Here's some tips. If you turn the track over you'll notice that the tie section on one rail has seperations (cuts), the tie section on the other rail is solid. You want to have the rail with the cuts on the outside rail of the curve.

Secondly, it is best, but not mandatory, if you solder a couple rail sections together BEFORE you bend the curve. This helps elminate any "kinks" at the joints.

Lastly, if you look at the under side of the ties you will notice that about every 15 or 16 tie has a hole in the center. It does not go all the way through to the front of the ties. I would suggest that you "punch" these through from the back with a pin or small drill bit, it doesn't take much force. Spike it down using these holes. Depending on your roadbed material these should be enough to hold track inplace until you get ballast down.

Bob




Edited by - Nebrzephyr on 2005 November 24 11:50:47 AM

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bn7500

Posted - 2005 November 25 :  08:09:25 AM  Show Profile
Joe,

It sounds to me like you got ahold of some MicroEngineering concrete tie flex. I have some of the Atlas and ME track and by what you are describing, it behaves just like the ME stuff I have. If you had the atlas track, it flexes just like any other atlas flex track - very easy. Look on the bottom side of the track - both the Atlas and ME track are marked accordingly. I like the looks of the ME track but wish it was a little easier to work with. It just take more time and lots of patients.Frank



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sam

Posted - 2005 November 25 :  09:12:43 AM  Show Profile
joe,
i don't have any atlas concrete flex,
but i do have ME flex,
and that is much more stiff than regular atlas track.
the good thing about the stiffer track, is that once you curve it,
its easy to lay down, without worrying about it "flexing" out of position as the ballast drys.
i recommend that you take care in curving (not bending) the track...remember you want a curve, not a bend.
just flex the track slowly and repeatedly until it approximates the curvature you want.
also, when join track, nebrzephyr makes a good point.
add connectors, and if needed, solder the joint too ensure that the transition from on piece of track to the next is smooth and without any kinks.
of course, ballast the track to keep it down
and lastly,
welcome to the atlas forum
and don't forget to post pics when you can


sam

Country: USA | Posts: 3405 Go to Top of Page
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