It is best to position and spike all the turnouts now.....first .....
It is easier to fit the rail from turnout to turnout
Now I laid the rails using a steel rule
to get the inside rail as straight as possible.
Hold the straight edge up against the rail. put a spike on the outside
of the rail every 10th tie or so. Only push the spike in part way.
If you sink it, it will move the rail over. Now remove the straight edge
and put the spikes opposite the spikes you have on the outside of the
rail. OK now go back and push the spikes all the way down
I started with 2 spikes every 12th tie
then filled in to 8th then to 4th tie.
Then lots of Track gauges (8) were put
between the two rails and
I went through the spiking again.
This time every 4th tie .
Now came the curves. I had a Richard Orr rail bending jig hat would curve the rail accurately w/o kinks. To lay curves that will not have derailments at the start and finish, you need to make a short (2") length of easement into the curve. Again the rail jig on the first piece of rail curved it a little less and then went into t he 34" curve. NOTE do not solder the rail ends. Mark the tie where the rail joiner will rest and carve out a depression so the joiner will not make a hump. Put on the rail joiners, spike around them well and continue laying curved rail. At the end of the curve put in another 2" of easement. Do the same with the other rail and continue on down the R-O-W.
This sounds like a lot of tedious work,
but we all who have hand laid rail will
tell you it turns into a very enjoyable way
to spend several evenings.
Now you clip power leads to
the sections of track and taking
your worst running, poorly balanced 0-4-0
loco run it slow and fast over the track.
It will find all the faults. so adjust, tweak etc
until that silly loco will run well w/o bouncing.
Next is electrical continuity.
Take a 16 gauge
stranded wire and solder it to the center
of each rail. Run it down a drilled hole right next to the rail.
Doing it this way allows the rails to expand and contract. If you solder the ends together the joints will crack. Before laying ballast paint the rails. Lots easier before ballasting especially the soldered locations
NOW you lay the ballast. Work it in and under the rails to some degree. Run your thumbnail along the insides of each rail to clean the grains of ballast off the rail. Now mist the ballast with wet water Then spray or dribble white glue cut 50% with water (or alcohol) down the middle of the track. Really flood the surface with the diluted white glue. Go have a beer or work on some other part of the layout while the glue dries. (Will take over night to get hard.) Go back to the track and again run your thumbnail along to get the grains of ballast away from the inner side of the rail base. Use your Brightboy on the rails to get the glue off. Now take your funky loco with the deep flanges and try it. I'm almost certain you will like the results.
What I just described is about 10 hours work,
(and several hundred hours of experience)
but you will have track your friends
will complement you on.
Questions???? Send them to [email protected]
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