On to Track Laying

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bklynman01

Active Member
I personally leave ballasting until I know for sure I want that track plan. If there are small section that certainly will not change, go for it, but if there are any areas that you think may change later, it's easier to change without having to dig those tiny stones out from between tiny ties.
I also like to work on each scene completely from beginning to end, but this personal preference. I like seeing the transformation from "toy area" to "tiny world".

As for the purpose of preventing rail from being jostled out of place, there should really be a minimal concern for this. In general, try not to lay your tools on tracks, or lean on them while reaching deep into the layout. The trains that run on those tiny tracks are not scale weight (hopefully) so tracks are not moving under operating load. Even if they move a small amount, it won't be enough to cause any problems.
 

Topherisme

Chris wants more hobby time!!!
Does anyone have an opinion concerning ballast used for HO scale? I have left over material from my first layout, but have heard what’s actually used for HO scale is still a bit oversized….
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
HO scale medium ballast from Woodland Scenics is just a bit oversized. I have used Arizona Rock before, but it also seemed a bit large. But I use WS because I don't count rivets and the price is right for me. Some things just need to be a bit oversize so they convey the right image and functionality. Caboose Industries HO scale ground throws are another example.
 

Topherisme

Chris wants more hobby time!!!
Figure I might as well wire this up right for future use of signals…. I am labeling all feeders as I drop em through, my question is the use of insulated rail joiners or just a small separation in track needed for the signal blocks? Or if I use infrared detection is separated blocks necessary? Should blocks basically be between turnouts, each mainline using its own signal?
 

logandsawman

Well-Known Member
I would say it depends on how you use your layout. My layout is DC.

For DCC someone else will have to comment.

Mine is 11' x 12' HO and I'm only blocking off sidings and spurs. This involves putting insulated joiners on one rail, at each end (siding) or one place (spur) with a simple spst switch and power to that rail.

I can pull a train off and park it, turn off the switch, and then run a train onto the mainline from another siding or spur.

On the old layout, I split the mainline into two sections, but later realized that was overboard for me.

Dave LASM
 

MilwRoader_Steve

Well-Known Member
Figure I might as well wire this up right for future use of signals…. I am labeling all feeders as I drop em through, my question is the use of insulated rail joiners or just a small separation in track needed for the signal blocks? Or if I use infrared detection is separated blocks necessary? Should blocks basically be between turnouts, each mainline using its own signal?


Again, I preface this by saying I am a rank novice.

I would use insulated joiners. On my layout, I already have two Micro Engineering TOs that are causing a short when a loco touches the frog. Why? Because ME only uses a gap between the frog and the rails. I am guessing that due to the low humidity right now that the benchwork has moved enough to bring those rails into contact with the frog, thereby juicing it.

I will have to manually separate the rail from the frog and glue in a piece of plastic, then file/sand it to match the rail, then put just a dab of paint on them.

Model railroading . . . . . it just never ends!! 😎
 

Smudge617

Well-Known Member
Sheesh, been looking through sites for electrical components for railroad crossings and block signals and such, finding just about everything “out of stock”….
Likely all made in China then, Ordered a Class 37 Diesel loco 2 1/2 years ago, still waiting, production dates forever being pushed back, now due Q4.
 

GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
When I attended the Amherst Train Show, I spoke with a vendor on led crossing signals and other electrical accessories and he stated that the main manufacturer of many of these (can’t remember the brand unfortunately) has their plant shut down and is looking for new ownership I believe. He said he was unsure of when production would start up again.
 

GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
Don't they call that scratch building ?
True, haha but my electrical work abilities aren’t the best, especially for tiny things like the leds for the crossing bucks. I usually just save up for whatever it is I need. Perhaps tho since the led crossing signals aren’t easy to find, it might be time to learn.
 




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