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Dublo/Triang Track?





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#1 GreenDiesel

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 22:11

I'm working on a small 00 layout and run anything from old Triang, Dublo locos to brand new Hornby/Bachmann stock on it.

I recently bought a Triang 08 Switcher. I soon realized that I needed coarser track for this loco than what I was currently using, which was code 100 Atlas and Peco track.

This layout has two lines of track, an outer and inner loop. Since the layout isn't ballasted yet, it was easy to pull up the code 100 Atlas track on the inner loop and replace it with some old Dublo track that I had. Now this Triang switcher runs very well. I'm just wondering if I should replace all of my track with old Dublo or Triang track? Apart from looking coarse, how does the quality of this track (in terms of conductivity and ability to keep it clean) compare with today's Atlas and Peco track? I would think the Dublo/Triang track might at least be better than brass track.

I also had a few sections of brass track and noticed that this Triang loco ran well over those but didn't on the new Atlas code 100 track -- you could hear its wheels clicking along the sleepers.

Am I mad for even considering this? At least you can run anything (old and new locos) on the coarse, older track. I also realize that the Triang/Dublo fans will sympathize with what I'm doing but those who mainly like the new/current locos might think I'm crazy! :)

I have a few other Triang locos but they must be more recent, as they run well on code 100.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Rob

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#2 Il Grifone

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 23:41

I assume you intend Dublo 2 rail track. This is basically excellent apart from the sharp radii and rather crude pointwork. The rail is nickel silver, but the weak point is the polystrene sleeper base which is very delicate. IIRC correctly the rail is 1/8th inch in height (code 125). (points 15" & 'large' radius 17 1/4"). It can be joined to code 100 with a little fiddling. The rail has a round head to cope with Dublo's rather angular wheel profile. The earlier points are live frog, which complicates the wiring. (Said to be one of the factors leading to the company's failure.) The later 'dead' frog 'Simplec' points are hard (and expensive) to find. Easy to clean as nickel silver.

Tri-ang track comes in 3 types - the Standard grey base, Series 3 (these two are compatible) and Superfour which requires a converter rail to connect to the other two and also has a different geometry. This was the first track to use the now standard 1st and 2nd radii. (points are 2nd radius - 17 1/4"). The earlier track is 13 1/2" radius pointwork with 'large' radius about 15" (the same as 1st IIRC, but I'm not 100% certain). Again polystrene, except for very early Rovex and standard track, which is cellulose acetate and now almost certainly warped beyond usability. The rail is treated steel of coarser section than Dublo and almost always rusty. The steel rail is difficult to keep clean, but is necessary for Tri-ang's 'Magnadesion' feature to operate.

There is also the crude Trix fibre base track, which has 'universal ' points. (At least the later ones, but they are sought after by collectors (rare and you can run anything except scale stock which wouldn't run around the 13 1/2" radius anyway. Hollow section nickel plated steel rail - again subject to rust. Easy to clean as nickel plated (no abrasives) ans steel means 'Magnadesion' works. Keep dry as damp affects the fibre (cardboard!) sleeper base and causes the rail to rust. This track is 3 rail, but, as all the rails are insulated, 2 rail stock runs happily as long as it can negotiate the sharp curves. Tri-ang has no trouble as their curves are the same radius and most Dublo should be OK, though I can't guarantee this.
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#3 BR60103

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:29

Rob: Back in the 60s I had American stock and my friend had TriAng. We found that there was one problem with the TriAng points -- NMRA wheels would go the wrong way through the frogs. There was a crude fix to this (not recommended). I had one HD Simplec point that didn't seem to give problems.
I don't think that you will be able to make a layout to successfully run both eras of stock. Well, possibly if you have 2 totally separate loops. Best solution might be a totally "classic" layout. (I know, another 4x6 space to find.)
Il Grifone: One of our members has a layout that is pure TriAng grey track. He bought the last of my stock but declined the series 3 and Super 4 that I have.
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#4 GreenDiesel

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:03

I assume you intend Dublo 2 rail track. This is basically excellent apart from the sharp radii and rather crude pointwork. The rail is nickel silver, but the weak point is the polystrene sleeper base which is very delicate. IIRC correctly the rail is 1/8th inch in height (code 125). (points 15" & 'large' radius 17 1/4"). It can be joined to code 100 with a little fiddling. The rail has a round head to cope with Dublo's rather angular wheel profile. The earlier points are live frog, which complicates the wiring. (Said to be one of the factors leading to the company's failure.) The later 'dead' frog 'Simplec' points are hard (and expensive) to find. Easy to clean as nickel silver.

Tri-ang track comes in 3 types - the Standard grey base, Series 3 (these two are compatible) and Superfour which requires a converter rail to connect to the other two and also has a different geometry. This was the first track to use the now standard 1st and 2nd radii. (points are 2nd radius - 17 1/4"). The earlier track is 13 1/2" radius pointwork with 'large' radius about 15" (the same as 1st IIRC, but I'm not 100% certain). Again polystrene, except for very early Rovex and standard track, which is cellulose acetate and now almost certainly warped beyond usability. The rail is treated steel of coarser section than Dublo and almost always rusty. The steel rail is difficult to keep clean, but is necessary for Tri-ang's 'Magnadesion' feature to operate.

There is also the crude Trix fibre base track, which has 'universal ' points. (At least the later ones, but they are sought after by collectors (rare and you can run anything except scale stock which wouldn't run around the 13 1/2" radius anyway. Hollow section nickel plated steel rail - again subject to rust. Easy to clean as nickel plated (no abrasives) ans steel means 'Magnadesion' works. Keep dry as damp affects the fibre (cardboard!) sleeper base and causes the rail to rust. This track is 3 rail, but, as all the rails are insulated, 2 rail stock runs happily as long as it can negotiate the sharp curves. Tri-ang has no trouble as their curves are the same radius and most Dublo should be OK, though I can't guarantee this.



Thanks. I agree with this & have noticed similar things. I suspected that the Dublo track was nickel silver & therefore easy to clean with good conductivity. I've also noticed that the sleeper base is delicate. It moves easily and, if you're not careful, it can break off from the tracks or the rails can slide out from the sleepers.

Right now, I'm using the 15" radii (first radius) curves on my layout's inner loop with good results. The Triang 08 Switcher is running quite well and I noticed a big improvement with my Hornby (ex-Triang) Princess Elizabeth.

So I'm thinking of replacing some or all of the track sections with Dublo track but still using the modern Hornby switches. Again, I'm not 100% sure if I'm going this route but am just considering it. So far, my brand-new locos are running well on the Dublo track (no problems at all) so it seems that the Dublo track might be the way to go, especially if Triang track if prone to rusting?

Thanks again,
Rob

#5 GreenDiesel

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:08

Rob: Back in the 60s I had American stock and my friend had TriAng. We found that there was one problem with the TriAng points -- NMRA wheels would go the wrong way through the frogs. There was a crude fix to this (not recommended). I had one HD Simplec point that didn't seem to give problems.
I don't think that you will be able to make a layout to successfully run both eras of stock. Well, possibly if you have 2 totally separate loops. Best solution might be a totally "classic" layout. (I know, another 4x6 space to find.)
Il Grifone: One of our members has a layout that is pure TriAng grey track. He bought the last of my stock but declined the series 3 and Super 4 that I have.



Thanks, David. As noted above, so far I'm able to run everything very well on the Dublo track. So I'm thinking of using more Dublo track on the layout (if I can find it on eBay or from dealers) but retaining the modern Hornby switches. Or, as you say, the other alternative is to simply have Dublo track on the inner loop and modern code 100 on the outer loop -- this might be more sensible. Cheers, Rob

#6 mossdp

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 13:17

Tri-ang models were made with very slightly finer flanges from the early 1960s (but cetainly not as fine as those of todays models). If the model has wheels wih see through spokes, most will just get through modern Hornby and Peco code 100 pointwork (and probably Hornby Dublo) with careful adjusting of the wheel back-to-backs. A few 1970s models may still cause problems as some models seem to have been issued with rather thick flanges that jam in point frogs.

If the model has solid wheels with the wheel spokes only as raised detail it may be one of the early models that will bump along the track chairs. Solid spoked wheels came in two sorts - iron wheels that attract a magnet that should be just fine enough to just go through Hornby and Peco code 100 track. These were fitted for only a short time to most models. The wheels that do not get on with modern code 100 track are those with solid spokes and made from mazac or similar cast metal that does not attract a magnet.

It would be best to use track with nickel silver or brass rail as it does not rust. Most (all?) Tri-ang track is steel and corrodes. Often, even if not visibly rusted, it is pitted and pickup is very poor with sparks flying from the wheels even when cleaned as corrosion has pitted the surface. Of course, Tri-ang models with magnadehsion will have reduced hauling capacity if not using steel track.

#7 GreenDiesel

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 16:48

Tri-ang models were made with very slightly finer flanges from the early 1960s (but cetainly not as fine as those of todays models). If the model has wheels wih see through spokes, most will just get through modern Hornby and Peco code 100 pointwork (and probably Hornby Dublo) with careful adjusting of the wheel back-to-backs. A few 1970s models may still cause problems as some models seem to have been issued with rather thick flanges that jam in point frogs.
If the model has solid wheels with the wheel spokes only as raised detail it may be one of the early models that will bump along the track chairs. Solid spoked wheels came in two sorts - iron wheels that attract a magnet that should be just fine enough to just go through Hornby and Peco code 100 track. These were fitted for only a short time to most models. The wheels that do not get on with modern code 100 track are those with solid spokes and made from mazac or similar cast metal that does not attract a magnet.
It would be best to use track with nickel silver or brass rail as it does not rust. Most (all?) Tri-ang track is steel and corrodes. Often, even if not visibly rusted, it is pitted and pickup is very poor with sparks flying from the wheels even when cleaned as corrosion has pitted the surface. Of course, Tri-ang models with magnadehsion will have reduced hauling capacity if not using steel track.


Thanks -- this is helpful. From a previous thread on this forum, I learned that you can improve a Triang loco by filing the inside (back-to-back) of its wheels so that it won??™t jam at the points. This really improved my Triang 3F and now it hardly ever jams at switches/points on my layout.

Thanks also for the feedback about the Triang track. It sounds as if it??™s very prone to rusting and therefore poor pickup. I think I would be better off using Dublo track as an option. Or, I might even consider using brass track instead. For some reason, my Triang 08 Switcher seems to run well on my old brass track. So this brass track must be a fraction thicker (or taller) than today??™s code 100 track? Also, I??™ve been told that the conductivity of brass track isn??™t that great & today??™s nickel silver is much better ??” but I guess you just have to clean brass track more often and thoroughly.

I??™ll continue to sort this out ??” it feels strange to be thinking about using such ???old technology???!

Rob

#8 hayfield

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 19:31

Thanks -- this is helpful. From a previous thread on this forum, I learned that you can improve a Triang loco by filing the inside (back-to-back) of its wheels so that it won??™t jam at the points. This really improved my Triang 3F and now it hardly ever jams at switches/points on my layout.

Thanks also for the feedback about the Triang track. It sounds as if it??™s very prone to rusting and therefore poor pickup. I think I would be better off using Dublo track as an option. Or, I might even consider using brass track instead. For some reason, my Triang 08 Switcher seems to run well on my old brass track. So this brass track must be a fraction thicker (or taller) than today??™s code 100 track? Also, I??™ve been told that the conductivity of brass track isn??™t that great & today??™s nickel silver is much better ??” but I guess you just have to clean brass track more often and thoroughly.

I??™ll continue to sort this out ??” it feels strange to be thinking about using such ???old technology???!

Rob


I thought I would throw my two bob's worth in. If you have trouble with the points and I have just read that Hornby Dublo track is code 125, Peco sell this rail in yard lengths. You could build your own points to whatever radius you require.

You could build them out of copperclad strip and solder the rail to them. I am about to build a narrow gauge point (turnout) in 0-16.5 useing Peco 7 mm plastic sleeper strip and code 82 rail and Peco's 4mm plastic chairs, however using 7mm chairs on code 125 rail on 4mm sleeper strip would not look right as it would be too out of scale.

Nothing to stop you building yard lengths of track with a combernation of copperclad and plastic/wooden sleepers, this would also solve the sharp radius on RTR curved track. One problem would be getting 00 code 125 gauges, but these could be fabricated easy enough.
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#9 Derekl

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 21:57

The attributes of old Hornby-Dublo track was canvassed in a post on the old forum. A factor to watch is that it is, if I remember correctly, nickel silver plated, I am not sure over what. Abrasive cleaning will remove the plating, which won't do it too much good. Clean with one of the various spirits recommended elsewhere.

The plastic bases were brittle and subject to damage even when new. They will need to be treated with a great deal of TLC now.

#10 GreenDiesel

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 22:01

The attributes of old Hornby-Dublo track was canvassed in a post on the old forum. A factor to watch is that it is, if I remember correctly, nickel silver plated, I am not sure over what. Abrasive cleaning will remove the plating, which won't do it too much good. Clean with one of the various spirits recommended elsewhere.

The plastic bases were brittle and subject to damage even when new. They will need to be treated with a great deal of TLC now.


Thanks. I'll try to clean it with isopropanol (we call it rubbing alcohol over here), I think that should be safe. Yes, I've already noticed how brittle the sleepers/plastic braces are. I've already broken a couple pieces of track when I was using them in the past. The rails also come quite loose and can slide back and forth when handling them. Rob

#11 Il Grifone

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:07

HD 2 rail track is solid nickel silver. (3 rail track is normally nickel plated brass, but some (usually pre-war) is brass.. Korean war period track is steel with card insulation for the centre rail - avoid!) There is some difference between the 2 rail and 3 rail profiles as they do not connect together easily. 3 rail track is quite cheap especially curves and could be used as a souce of rail for soldered costruction. The plating is often missing from the railhead however due tio wear and/or enthusiastic cleaning. I use alcohol or white spirit (check whether it attacks the plastic some does some doesn't). Denim or the rough side of hardboard work too.

Tri-ang wheels will negotiate HD track without problems beyond a bump at the pointwork due to the deeper flanges. Later Tri-ang Hornby and Hornby wheels are 100% compatible. Just check the back to back. HD check gauge is compatible with BRMSB and NMRA (RP25-110) but the flanges are thick (0.8mm) and the nominal B-B is 14.2mm. Scale wheels may have problems as HD gauge varies excessively (a common failing of fixed radius track) and the flangeways are rather wide to accomodate HD wheels. This is not of course a problem with other coarse wheels. HD track will not accomodate Trix Twin wheels but here 'coarse' is an understatement! They (and Tri-ang) can be skimmed down though (not the locos - the flange incorporates the drive gear.)

The sleeper base is polystyrene and not subject to aging. It was just delicate to start with. It is also nearer to 00 scale than Peco's H0 efforts.

Somewhere on the Trix websites there is a description of replacing Peco code 100 with their code 124 rail.

Try to keep to nickel silver. Brass tarnishes and steel rusts and attracts muck.
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#12 flyingsignalman

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 20:09

Tri-ang track comes in 3 types - the Standard grey base, Series 3 (these two are compatible) and Superfour which requires a converter rail to connect to the other two and also has a different geometry. This was the first track to use the now standard 1st and 2nd radii. (points are 2nd radius - 17 1/4"). The earlier track is 13 1/2" radius pointwork with 'large' radius about 15" (the same as 1st IIRC, but I'm not 100% certain). Again polystrene, except for very early Rovex and standard track, which is cellulose acetate and now almost certainly warped beyond usability. The rail is treated steel of coarser section than Dublo and almost always rusty. The steel rail is difficult to keep clean, but is necessary for Tri-ang's 'Magnadesion' feature to operate.



If I remember correctly, Standard, Series 3 and superfour track all used the same rail section. The converter track was introduced to allow the superfour and Hornby Dublo track to connect. It was later used to allow superfour and the, then, new System 6 to connect together. My dad bought a converter track for me to let us enlarge our Playcraft trainset with superfour (I was only about 7 or 8 at the time).
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#13 Il Grifone

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:20

There are two types of converter rail - one to connect Standard and Series 3 to Super 4 & the other to connect to later Hornby track and presumably HD. The bases of Standard and Series 3 were designed to join together, but the connection to Super 4 is different and needs the converter rail. The rail section I think is common to all three.

IIRC Jouef/Playcraft track was relatively cheap (I built my first 2 rail layout using it!) and compatible with Dublo, though the radius of the curves/points is sharp. It has brass rail on a black H0 scaled sleeper base.

#14 Sc59401

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 10:08

If I remember correctly, Standard, Series 3 and superfour track all used the same rail section. The converter track was introduced to allow the superfour and Hornby Dublo track to connect. It was later used to allow superfour and the, then, new System 6 to connect together.

Yes flyingsignalman, I think you've got it. I've had quite a lot of this stuff over the years but I'm not aware of a converter track for joining Series 3 to Super 4. These are very similar apart from the sleeper spacing, which is much too wide in Series 3 but close to scale in Super 4, and the ends of the track bases. System 6 is quite different and is more like HO track. The R.476 converter track was introduced for joining Super 4 to Hornby Dublo 2-rail and revived later in order to allow mixing of Super 4 and System 6.

Standard, Series 3 and Super 4 all have the same rail section and all have the fixed joiner on the opposite rail from Hornby Dublo 2-rail (and most other sectional track). This is why the converter track has two joiners on one rail and none on the other. Its rails are cast on a gradual taper to accommodate the finer rail section of Hornby Dublo track. Super 4 track was designed with half sleepers at each end which clipped together so the converter track was given this feature at the Super 4 end. When System 6 track was introduced several years later, with a similar (but not identical) rail section to Hornby Dublo 2-rail, it also had the half sleeper feature and the converter track base was eventually modified to match System 6 at what had been the Hornby Dublo 2-rail end. However subsequent System 6 track does not have the half sleepers.







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