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1864 Views 23 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  chrisA205
Hello Everyone !!.

Having been an avid slotracer for 40 years now, I have suddenly been bitten by the railway bug !!??.

I have taken on an N gauge project.

I have been priveleged to obtain an existing layout from a bereavement sale, which will provide a good basis for my project.

The originator of this layout has spent considerable time and effort on this, it is amazing actually.

It is a completed layout, but has apparently been stored for some time.

I intend to replace all the trackwork, with logical improvements where I find necessary.

I have been buying locos and rolling stock, visiting Model Rail Shops, around Notts and Yorks, and meeting friendly helpful people.

When I have sorted how to post photos I will let you see this project.

VBR for now Chris A.
I will become an avid visitor to Rail Forum, I have no doubt.
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Hi Chris and welcome.

Glad to see you've coaught the bug - fortunately there's no cure.

Any questions or problems - fire away some one will put you right.

Hi BRITHO, thanks for responding.

Just wondered, one of the reasons why I intend to replace all the track, is that it is all "setrack", the points are quite sharp, and some of my lovely new steam locos just won't go over these, the front bogie consistently de-railing even at very slow speeds.

The only loco to get round the track is a little 0-60-0 diesel shunter !!.

In one place there is a double point back to back, on the apex of a curve, nothing will negotiate this combo.

I therefore reckoned to relay the track with a minimum radius of R2, and streamline "Medium Radius" Points.

Am I right, will this cure the problem ??.

vbr Chris A.
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Welcome Chris, I similarly returned a couple of years ago at about the same age - good to see you on here.

Best Wishes

Hi Chris and welcome to the MRF from a fellow N Gauger who recently returned to the hobby after a similar period in the wilderness.

It certainly sounds as though the trackwork could do with being modernised but you don't say how big your layout is or how much track you are setting about re-laying so I'm not sure how big a task you are undertaking.

However, provided your locos and rolling stock are either new or of reasonably modern vintage, and if you are going to replace all the track, I would recommend going for the Peco Code 55 Track which, once painted up and ballasted does look very fine. The trick is how Peco make it with almost half the rail depth buried in the sleepers/webbing. Although you only 'see' a Code 55 track, it is actually Code 80 which gives it the extra strength to withstand the odd knock or two. I put in the proviso about the age of your rolling stock as some older items, which have much coarser wheel flanges, will bounce along the sleepers rather than run on the rails. It not too many items are of this type they can be easily re-wheeled with finer flanges.

As regards points, I would, with the same proviso, again recommend going for the Peco Code 55 (they call it fine scale) points which are, with the exception I think of a small crossing unit, all of the Electrofrog type. As regards points radius the old maxim of 'bigger is better' applies. i.e. the larger the radius of points the smoother and more reliable will be the running.

One thing you don't mention is how the layout is presently wired up and if you are going the DCC route or not.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your acquisition and your progress in its modernisation. One way to post pictures is to place them on a web based site such as Photobucket and then post their html address into the thread using the 'Insert Image' icon at the top of the page.

Good luck with the modelling and glad to have you aboard.
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Hi TimP, Hi expat,

thanks for your comments, when you see the layout you will be intrigued if not impressed !!??.

The layout is 7ft long by 2'6" wide, has four ish running circuits on two levels, with a multiple shunting yard, two through stations ( one on a sort of "branch line" ), and two terminal stations !!. There is also a 6 x 2 board with a mainline through station, which formally attached to one end to form a "T", but I have different plans for that to keep it "linear" with the other.

There are 27 sets of points, and one crossover, all of which I am in the process of replacing by stripping back to the base level of trackway.

I have noticed that some of the locos "jerk" over the points, if they don't instantly de-rail, as if the flanges are riding up over the "inter frog/rail bits" ?.

I have already fabricated a "two way crossover" to go between the two main circuits, from med rad points and a crossover.

All quite a task, I know, but I think it will be worth it ??.

Again, any advice gratefully received !!.

vbr Chris A.
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QUOTE (ChrisjA @ 3 Mar 2009, 03:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have noticed that some of the locos "jerk" over the points, if they don't instantly de-rail, as if the flanges are riding up over the "inter frog/rail bits" ?.

Hi Chris.

Do you happen to know if the existing points are Insulfrog or Electrofrog ? I suspect that, as the trackwork is Settrack, the points will be of the Insulfrog type which would account for the 'jerking' because the frog is, as the name suggests, not connected to the power supply and the locos therefore have to rely on picking up power from either side of the frog.

If there are only 4 contacts on a loco, or if some of the contacts are not absolutely clean, then when the loco 'bridges' across the frog it can cause a momentary break in the power supply to the loco. Hence the 'jerking'.

Installing properly wired Electrofrog points should resolve this problem.
Hi Chris, another welcome to the forum.

As you've seen already, there's a friendly and knowledgeable group here.

I consider slotcar racing to be a fine and allied persuit to the fun to be had with model railways, it enticed me back after roughly three decades away

I'm also working in N now, and re-learning as I go along - not quite the same for me as riding that proverbial bicycle
but I am enjoying the whole experience.

As commented on by previous postees, code 55 electrofrog seems to be a reliable way to go - it had better be with the amount of trackage my 'Solsbury Hill' requires

Enjoy your return and keep us posted on your progress.

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Hey Guys,

comments appreciated.

When I said "jerk" over the points, I didnt mean power wise. I meant a "jump" if anything, as if the loco ran over an obstruction.

The track is conventioanlly laid, direct on the board, with glued ballast.

I have inspected, both by feel and sight, ( with a powerful magnifying glass ), and there are no bits of ballast causing this.

Now, is it possible that the rails have been "cleaned" so much that there is insufficient height left ??!!.

The locos seem to be "riding-up" over the plastic between the frog and the rail, if you can imagine what I mean.

These are brand new locos from Graham Farish, from Dapol, and from Bachmann.

It was so frustrating that I decided to replace all the track.

Thanks for advice on type 55 etc but all the track is now here and I am about to strip the old.

Is there a blow by blow "how to" to help me post piccies ??.

vbr Chris A.
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Hi Chris,

It sounds to me as though it could be one of two problems.

Either the back to back wheel spacing is out (It should be 8.5mm) though I doubt this would be the case on all of your locos. Alternatively it could be that the check rail on the point is distorted and the wheel flange is riding up on the check rail rather than staying on the rail itself.

You say you have all your track now. What exactly did you get, particularly in the way of points ? I can't stress enough just how much the running through points is improved, particularly slow running & shunting, if you install Electrofrog points.
i agree with trevor/expat about electro-frog points ... very good esp for small 4 or 6 wheeled locos - i have a whole load of peco electro - frogs but, im beginning to change them for fleischmann electro-frog points because the fleischmann ones have the switch that controls and changes the frog polarity concealed inside the track-bed.

i found the peco points tedious to have to have a separate switch for controlling the polarity of the frog - im not an expert on wiring - this extra wiring kinda put me off esp for the double - slip lol - have u seen the wires coming out the bottom of one of those?

its just a mess! but if your confident with wiring, itll just be another lil job to do and be part of the track installation work!.
Hi db ice 3.

There is an alternative to using the Peco point motor + polarity switch which is to use the Peco point with a Seep PM1 motor. This, rather like the Fleischman, has the frog polarity change built into it and, when used with the Masterswitch V2 from Richard at DCC Concepts is a doddle to wire up.
Hey Guys, thanks for the comments.

I have so far purchased 21 points, 7 Setrack for sidings, 9 Medium rad & 3 large rad & 2 curved for running circuits and the crossover, only 4 of which are electro frog.

This was cos I was advised to stay away from electro frog by the first train specialist model shop I went to !!.
They said it added unnecessary complication. Perhaps they misjudged me ??!!.

Perhaps I should have come here first.
Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing ??.

If the isolated frog is a problem, surely twin bogie diesels and longer steam locos will "bridge the gap", advice please.

Whats this about Fleischmann points, are they compat with Peco, and where are they available ??.

Is there sufficient benefit to justify buying electro at this stage ??!!!!.

vbr Chris A.

Just been running the class 47 diesel round, it sticks at two of the points like it has hit something solid !!.
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Hi Chris,

Personally, and provided they are still un-used and in their boxes, I would take the Insulfrog points back to the shop where you bought them and exchange them for Electrofrog. Electrofrog points are not complicated, they just need a little extra wiring, and the guy who thought he was doing you a favour has in fact done you a disfavour, particularly with the Set-track ones.

Longer locos should bridge the gap PROVIDED they have a sufficient number of pick-ups and both the wheels and the track are absolutely clean.

When you say you are running locos do you mean on the old track or the newly installed track ?? Also, what type of control are you using ??

Is it possible to post a diagram of the troublesome section showing where you have installed power feeds and which type of points it is that are giving trouble ??
Now Then You Guys,

I am about to try to post a couple of piccies, please bear with me if it goes wrong !!.

The first should be of the main layout at a low angle,

and the second of the station board.

What do you think ??.

vbr Chris A.
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Oh dear, something has gone wrong.

Why are the piccies so small ??.

Can I resize them ?.

And how ??.


vbr Chris A.
Hi Chris,

I think you have linked back to a thumb-nail rather than the full-sized picture.
Hi Expat,

thats easy for you to say !!??.

I have now spent two hours trying to post photos on this site, I could not be criticised for losing faith !!.

What is going on ?.

I get the photo up in fotopic, open it, and note down the URL, then try inserting in the post,

and I get "dynamic whatsits not allowed in thingies" or whatever.

Any one know what I am doing wrong ??.


vbr Chris A.

ps; I am not "thick", Chartered Engineer, Fellow of Royal Society even, but can't work this out. Is it one of those things in "Computing" that everybody takes for granted that everybody else knows, only I don't ??!!. ie. Am I unwittingly doing something simply stupid ??. Dont answer that !!.
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Hi Chris.

There is a knack to posting pictures.

Once you have identified the URL of the picture you want to post you have to use the 'Insert Image' icon - (4th icon from the right below the font setup line)

When you click that icon it should open up a separate small window. Paste the URL into the http line in this window. Click OK and that SHOULD copy the picture into the thread at the point where you have parked the cursor.

Depending on your Windows settings you may get a 'bleep' when you first try to use the 'Insert Image' icon and a message line will flash up at the top of the screen telling you that 'this website is using a scripted window' and asking to 'click here if you want to allow scripted windows'. Click the message line to accept and then try the 'Insert Image' icon again.

Good luck.
Hi Expat,

I really do appreciate your tenacity, but on this occasion, I have done all that, but it still posts "thumbnail" piccies.

I even tried, on the basis that I had uploadaed a thumbnail, uploading the full photo, which was when I got the "dynamic whatsits not allowed" message.

What else can I do ??.

I am merely trying to join this forum in the most positive way.

vbr Chris A.
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