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track, track, and more track

2435 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dwb
Now that I've built up a decent rolling stock fleet (all new stuff since last year), my attention is turning to building a layout. The outline plan is as follows.

It will be in the attic, on boards approx 1-2 feet wide running around the entire perimetre of the attic.

It will include a modern main station with many bays and stabling and carriage sidings, therefore plenty of points.

There will be a modern motive power diesel depot and old decrepid marshalling yard at the other end of the attic, yet many more points and sidings.

Linking the 2 main areas will be 2 x fast main-lines (quite straight) around the room, and 1 slower freight line (twisting its way between various buildings and stuff)

The era is 'today'. I want the main lines to look modern (probs concrete sleepers), the freight line to be old (rarely used appearance). All siding and stabling areas to also look old and rarely used.

My questions are these:

I will be using Peco track, as I have been using the Xtracad software. It's just what code of track to use that is the problem. I have read the debate about 100 verses 75 on another thread, but I seem no wiser. I don't know whther to have all of one code for the entire layout, or go for different codes for different areas (thats why I have described the areas above). I was originally gonna go for code 100 all over for simplicity and cost, but seeing as I'm starting from scratch, what would you lot recommend after your years in this hobby?

I was originally going to use to use setrack (ST range) for the no.2 and 3 radius curves, but would using flexi-track be better?

I was also going to use streamline code 100 stuff for points (SL range).

I was going to use streamline flexitrack for the main straights.

Is the ST and SL range of stuff nickle silver?

SO many questions, therefore if you had to build this layout for me, what would you select and why
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If your starting from scratch it has to be code 75. I wouldn't recommend insulfrog points at all thecurrent collection will be poorer and the wiring is no simpler unless you're cutting corners. Neither would I recommend code 100 these days it looks much cruder and the larger gaps make for less reliable running.
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If you've got old stock, then it runs better on code 100, than it will on code 75.
I've sold all my old stuff. Everything I have now is less than 1 year old. The oldest model in terms of tooling is my Hornby 47.
It sounds like you are following a similar path to me. I am changing to code 75 simply so that I can have electrofrog slips. I have used flexible track for years and would not be inclined to go for setrack except for difficult to get at areas where being able to work comfortably is not possible. If I do go for setrack I think I will go for Roco (if they manage to remain in business) as you can large radius curves (ie 2ft or larger). You can gather from that that I have a minimum ruling radius of 2ft, though I would prefer 3 feet and since I have 24 feet down each side (you have no idea how much shoes cost! 9-) I have decided to try to stick to large radius Peco points.

My experience of code 75 so far is that it is certainly more lightweight; breathe on it and it will bend. Straights are going to be "fun" to lay.

Unlike you, I still have a lot of old stuff from the 60s and 70s which will probably all fall over when I try to run it.

My only comment on your plans is that it sounds like a lot of track to get into the space, but I guess if you've used a CAD package it will all pan out ok. You can see my station plan which will get laid over the next month or so in another thread here abouts.

Good luck

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What I would do is create two small identical shunting test tracks with points on say a 4ft x 1ft baseboard with one using code 100 track and one using code 75 track. I assume you are going to use Streamline whatever. If you do you can forget running older stock unless you change all the axles.

Remember that code 75 is much less forgiving of a poor uneven base.

See how your locos run on each test track. Go with the track you are happy with and sell off the track you don't need.

Happy modelling
One big difference I have noticed between laying Peco code 75 vs code 100 is that when you have "guided" the code 75 into position in a curve, it stays there and doesn't spring back again the way code 100 does.

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