Jump to content
Pixie

Any Question Answered

Recommended Posts

Am I right or wrong in understanding that standard Farish/Dapol/Peco stock is too small to fit on 2mm finescale track and stock converted for 2mm finescale is too large for Peco track?

Part right, part wrong.

 

2mm and N stock and plain straight track should be interchangeable - 2mm stock should run on plain N track, and N stock should run on plain 2mm track.

 

The problem arises with points, where the clearances are rather different (and also with tight curves - 2mm stock often won't handle tight curves well).

 

In many cases you can use alternate wheelsets to convert between the two gauges - this should work for most coaches and wagons, and for modern Farish diesels. These should be available from the 2mm Association shops. I also know one N builder who uses N wheels on 2mm axles to run 2mm models on N track, where there isn't a suitable ready-made wheelset. Unfortunately I don't know of a satisfactory way to run steam locomotives on both types of track - converting from one to the other is difficult to reverse.

 

Secondly, if I do go finescale, can I make the handmade turnouts match the Peco streamline ones?

 

Subject to your soldering skills, you should be able to make 2mm handmade points to match the geometry of Peco streamline ones - or any other geometry that you want. The clearances should be different, to match 2mm FS standards, rather than N practice (not sure that there are any N standards, or whether Peco complies with them).

 

Another possibility that might be worth investigating is the "hybrid" system. I believe that Noel Leaver, who is a member of both the N gauge Society and the 2mm Association, has arranged for some jigs to be made allowing the construction of track to 9mm gauge but 2mm FS standards (for clearances etc). I am not sure how compatible it is with either pure N or pure 2mm FS.

 

David

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks David.

 

Just one more thing, when you say modern Farish diesels, I'm guessing you mean post Bachmann takeover?

 

Matt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part right, part wrong.

 

2mm and N stock and plain straight track should be interchangeable - 2mm stock should run on plain N track, and N stock should run on plain 2mm track.

 

2mm stock does not run well on plain N gauge track. The dimension over tyres in 2FS is 9.12mm (dimension 'WG' on the diagram here), whereas N track is nominally 9mm. I have experimented with this, running a loco with 2FS drop-in wheels on Peco track, and it has a tendency to jump off the track because of the gauge problem, so I really wouldn't recommend it.

 

 

I believe that Noel Leaver, who is a member of both the N gauge Society and the 2mm Association, has arranged for some jigs to be made allowing the construction of track to 9mm gauge but 2mm FS standards (for clearances etc). I am not sure how compatible it is with either pure N or pure 2mm FS.

 

Unfortunately I think you've got confused here - Noel's jigs were designed to allow Easitrac components to be used to build N gauge track. So the crossing jigs had the wing rails flangeways spaced to allow N stock to run through them.

Andy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the corrections Andy.

 

I thought I had read somewhere that 9mm track was used on part of Chiltern Green - but perhaps that used stock to slightly narrower than normal standards (or perhaps I misunderstood or misremembered). Anyway, I've not actually tried it myself so won't disagree with your experience.

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Secondly, if I do go finescale, can I make the handmade turnouts match the Peco streamline ones?

Matt.

 

Whilst broadly true, the wider gauge will make a slight, but significant difference to the position of the frog and the sleepers, as it does between EM and P4. Best find a template for prototypical track that approximately matches the radius you need, rather than try to base a 2mm point on a Peco design.

 

If you don't use points, then N gauge trains will run on 2mm track unmodified. 2mm Easitrac plain track is being used on several N gauge layouts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the corrections Andy.

 

I thought I had read somewhere that 9mm track was used on part of Chiltern Green - but perhaps that used stock to slightly narrower than normal standards (or perhaps I misunderstood or misremembered). Anyway, I've not actually tried it myself so won't disagree with your experience.

 

David

 

I have seen PECO concrete sleepered flexi-track re-gauged to 9.42mm so it is not impossible to use N gauge flexi-track for 2mm, but now we have our own plastic track there is no need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the answers, Don and Chris.

 

I have completely reworked my plan so it is all on the level with 20" minimum curves and a hidden siding. Not quite as interesting, but more manageable.

 

I am left with descents of 1.7% on a straight line going to reverse loops under the layout to turn around those trains that can take it. Those that can't will stay on the level and operate one way. The hidden siding will be straight, 8'10" long and 16" wide, so that should be more than ample.

 

The only problem with the plan is that the control area is 10'6" by 2'4" and to get access one will need to duck under a 16" wide bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen PECO concrete sleepered flexi-track re-gauged to 9.42mm so it is not impossible to use N gauge flexi-track for 2mm, but now we have our own plastic track there is no need.

 

Yes - I'm sure it can, but I was talking about unmodified Peco track. But as you say, we now have two types of concrete sleeper Easitrac, so there is no need.

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the corrections Andy.

 

I thought I had read somewhere that 9mm track was used on part of Chiltern Green - but perhaps that used stock to slightly narrower than normal standards (or perhaps I misunderstood or misremembered). Anyway, I've not actually tried it myself so won't disagree with your experience.

 

David

 

No, they had some lines built to 9.42mm gauge but with the point flangeways set such that N gauge stock could pass through. And there were practically no points on those lines anyway. They also used Code 55 rail instead of Code 40 to give extra depth for the bigger N gauge flanges that were used in those days.

 

If it was built today they would just have used Easitrac.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that info Chris.

 

The Chiltern Green rail (strip) was specially rolled to be 55 thou high to represent the combined height of the chair plate and the rail. The track looked finer than the subsequently available Peco code 55 rail because the rail top was narrower. Esitrac could be an option today. The goods lines were N gauge only; the fast lines had swinging frog points in the fiddle yard and there was only one trailing turnout set to universal standards on the Down Fast at the front. Luto Hoo was all 2mm Fine Scale.

 

Copenhagen Fields has accommodated N gauge wheel standards, since its inception, on the Down goods line, but that will change to 2 mm fine scale when the lines are connected to KX Goods. Sidney Pritchard once made us an offer to provide the track for the layout at a price we could not refuse - but we did.

 

It will be in the RM for the Easter issue (to coincide with the York Show). The excellent photos by Craig Tiley show the advantages of the fine scale standards quite nicely.

 

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Natalie Graham

While we are on the subject of track, is there a consensus on which track system gives the best looking results? Presumably Easitrac is considered the easiest but is it also the best in terms of realistic appearance or do the Versaline, Blackburn or some other system produce better looking track? I am thinking in tems of pre-grouping, turn of the century period track.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you look really close up, then the way you lay out the sleepers is likely to have more impact than the appearance of the chairs. Pre-grouping track was different to more modern bullhead in the spacing of the sleepers and the profile of turnouts. Depending on your interest, you might also need interlaced sleepers. There is also the matter of 9ft sleepers on plain track - but in reality the difference between 17 and 18mm sleepers is very small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The general consensus seems to be that Versaline (cast pewter chairs on nickel silver chairplates) is the most realistic, closely followed by Easitrac and the Blackburn system (brass two piece etched chairs). The Blackburn system is now WSL in the 2mm shops.

 

To me, the most important thing is that the rail is lifted off the sleeper to show a little daylight underneath the rail and that the chairs are of consistent size and shape (which Easitrac does for you with next to no effort).

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Natalie Graham

Thanks for that. I have seen the various track systems in the shop but not any good photos of each to make a comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you join the 2mmSA and then join the VAG (vitual area group) you will be able to access photos posted by various members which which may help make a comparison. All the systems can produce good results I believe that Jerry's Highbury uses soldered construction on PCB. One factor is how close to you intend to view it. Another factor is the paintng and weatherng which may reduce the percieved differences.

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Highbury does indeed have rail soldered directly to PCB sleepers and in my oppinion doesn't look too bad. It is fairly quick and easy to make, is easy to adjust and has proved extremely robust. It is the method, certainly for pointwork, I woud always recomend for beginners for all these reasons. There is no doubt that raising the rail above the sleepers gives an improvement in appearence but is is fiddly and time consuming, whether using some form of chairplates for soldered construction or Easitrac - albeit probably worth the extra effort once a degree of confidence has been established.

My current projects use Easitrac for plain track, soldered PCB with chairplates for pointwork and a few bits with code 30 direct to PCB to represent very lightly laid track. I am more than happy with the appearance of this combination, particularly when carefully ballasted and painted.

In all these debates it must be remembered this is 2mm scale, its very small. The trackwork needs to be correct in its basic proportions but can get away with a mere representation of much of the fine detail. Over the years I have chatted with lots of people who were 'experimenting' with the ultimate 2mm trackwork - invariably they built next to nothing!

 

Jerry

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of interest Jerry - what are you using for tie-bars on Highbury and BQS? Have you got an underboard arrangement or is it a floating sleeper?

 

Pix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Out of interest Jerry - what are you using for tie-bars on Highbury and BQS? Have you got an underboard arrangement or is it a floating sleeper?

 

Pix

 

On Highbury it is simply a moving sleeper with a chairplate next to the rail to beef up the soldered joint. Below the baseboard is a simple TOU made from telescopic brass tube soldered to a block of 1/16th PCB which is screwed to the underside of the board. A piece of guitar string (top E about 10thou if I remember) transmits movement to a hole in the middle of the tie bar. A microswitch is also mounted on the PCB for changing the polarity of the crossing - 12 years and 60 odd shows and it has never really given me a problem. I will take a picture next time Highbury comes down off its shelf.

On Tucking Mill I have slightly refined the tie bar. Its still a PCB sleeper but now sits upside down ie. the copper is on the bottom. I drill two small holes just inboard of the toe of the blade and pass cut down Peco track pins up through which are then soldered to the rail which means the joint can pivot. Movement still goes to a hole in the middle of the moving sleeper but I now solder a 14BA washer over the hole to beef it up - don't forget to put insulating gaps either side of the washer. Tucking Mill is also using Cobalts albeit with a lighter gauge operating wire than that supplied as opposed to manual tube in tube operation on Highbury.

Bath Queen Square will again use moving sleepers with a combination of electric and manual operation.

Again I was told by a number of people that a moving sleeper was unsightly and unreliable, I have found it to be niether. Some of the tiebars I have seen described look very elegant but look a fiendish fiddle to make and I have my doubts about their robustness.

 

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Natalie Graham

If you join the 2mmSA and then join the VAG (vitual area group) you will be able to access photos posted by various members which which may help make a comparison.

 

I will have to have a systematic look through the photos on the V A G then and see what's there. I am a member of the 2mm Scale Association already. Thinking about 2mm track reminded me of a little packet of cast chairs on pins I picked up from somewhere many years ago. I think they might have been an Association product. There weren't enough of them to do anything with but they looked like they would have given good results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about 2mm track reminded me of a little packet of cast chairs on pins I picked up from somewhere many years ago. I think they might have been an Association product. There weren't enough of them to do anything with but they looked like they would have given good results.

They were available until a few years ago I believe. Originally punched veneer sleepers were used and the chairpins glued into holes in the sleepers with the rail threaded through the chairs (or laid into the slots). I've never seen any personally, although I know a few members who have used them with good results.

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have to have a systematic look through the photos on the V A G then and see what's there. I am a member of the 2mm Scale Association already. Thinking about 2mm track reminded me of a little packet of cast chairs on pins I picked up from somewhere many years ago. I think they might have been an Association product. There weren't enough of them to do anything with but they looked like they would have given good results.

 

According to the 2mm Handbook these were developed by Geoff Jones, who has subsequently developed Versaline. The original versions were nickel plated and the pin on the bottom glued into drilled holes in the sleepers using Unibond: a jig used for the drilling no doubt. The rail was then soldered in using 60/40, the nickel plating containing the whitemetal whilst the now softened Unibond allowed the gauge to be adjusted at the same time. The later unplated variant was to be soldered using low melting point solder. I quote "even in skilled hands calls for time and patience" - I'll say!

 

Geoff's a highly skilled 2mm modeller and well known as a track and tool guru. If you can corner him for a chat you'll learn a lot: I did!

 

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I've been a member of the 2mm Fine Scale Association for only an year I am definitely a beginner in building tracks and turnouts. I've tried the Easitrac system and rail soldered directly to the PCB timbers onlybut I'd like to try Versaline sometimes.

 

I can say that I found the PCB turnout construction easier than Easitrac and much enjoyable; and, for a shunting yard, I'd say it isn't so important to have that prototypical daylight given by raising the rail on the timbers.

 

What I still need to experiment in track building? TOUs. The tiebar from a PCB slipper looks like is the easiest to build. I tried the fuse wire coiled on a PCB slipper in vertical plan and it looks better and maybe, reliable. My problem is to find an easy to build Turnout Operation Unit (what's underneath the baseboard) - I'm still studying...

 

@Jerry: a few photos of your tie-bars / TOU assembly would help a lot. Anyway, thank you for the description.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.