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OO or OO-SF with or without DCC Concepts track


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Guys,

Im about to start on a new layout, first one in years - i keep putting it off, but have finally decided to take the plunge.  I've read up loads on modern trackwork and come down that, like many, the Peco trackwork is great for hidden areas but doesnt look right for the main layout, so i've decided to try my hand at track building.

 

I was considering EM gauge at one point (excuse the pun!) but decided against that, as with building a larger permanent layout, there is enough to do with out having to adjust wheelsets etc.   So Im back to OO, but this set me thinking and I came to the view that if I am going to build track, I may as well go this new OO-SF route.  But this left me with a couple of queries that im hoping somebody may be able to help me with?

 

a) Can OO-SF handbuilt points and trackwork be connected to normal Peco points without any problem?

 

b) Where does one acquire the various bits and bobs from? I've been looking at DCC Concepts for rail and the like, as I see they do sleeper kits that are suitable for OO-SF, but I am not sure if their gauges (is that the right term?) are suitable for OO-SF?  Also can their flexi-track be used with OO-SF, as I presume it would give the right sleeper spacing?

 

c) A friend has pointed me towards Templot which im getting to grips with shortly - and I believe the DCC Concepts sleeper sets can be used with Templot diagrams?  Can anyone suggest for a main line (my layout will either be WCML or ECML 1980s based) what would be the usual type of point work is it like B5 or C6 etc..., also would it have been wooden or concrete sleepers, and bull or flat rail?  Im sure i've seen on a thread that there are some plastic concrete sleepers available somewhere, but I cannot find it now! Any pointers?

 

d) Am i correct in thinking that going down the OO-SF route means wheels do not need changing?

 

Any comments, hints or tips would be welcome.

 

Thanks

 

Richie

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a) Can OO-SF handbuilt points and trackwork be connected to normal Peco points without any problem?

 

Hi Richie,

 

Yes if Code75.

 

 

b) Where does one acquire the various bits and bobs from?

 

Most folks get stuff from C&L: http://www.finescale.org.uk/

 

That company has recently been acquired by a new owner who has had some teething problems getting running. Things seem to be getting better.

 

The DCC Concepts track uses stainless steel rail instead of nickel-silver. Many who have tried it do not like it, for various reasons.

 

 

Can anyone suggest for a main line (my layout will either be WCML or ECML 1980s based) what would be the usual type of point work is it like B5 or C6 etc..., also would it have been wooden or concrete sleepers, and bull or flat rail?

 

Asking about B5 or C6 means you are right at the beginning of the learning curve. Templot can help with that. The WCML and ECML in the 1980s would have been flat-bottom for all the main running lines, with a lot of bullhead remaining elsewhere -- slow lines, goods loops, yards, sidings, depots.

 

p.s. 00-SF is called 4-SF in Templot.

 

 

d) Am i correct in thinking that going down the OO-SF route means wheels do not need changing?

 

Yes, if you mean modern RTR models, and are prepared to check for the odd rogue wheelset which has got through quality-control. No, if you want to run ancient Tri-ang and Hornby-Dublo models, etc.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

Edited by martin_wynne
typo
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I am just starting my adventures into 4SF so I cannot really give any advice yet (Just made my fiddleyard using peco and about to start making my main 4SF track) but I don't blame you for looking at it.  I am sure others who have had successes with it will be along to post soon :)

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Martin,

Many thanks for taking the time to chip in, much appreciated. Thanks for your input too - it would be modern day models, so that’s looking good!id noticed they said stainless steel, which seems an odd choice given what I have read.

 

Mike,

Thanks for your comments, I shall be following your progress and see what I can learn! Do you have a thread on here?

 

Richie

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Hi Richie,

 

If you are just starting out I would encourage you to start with nickel silver rail rather than stainless steel rail. Stainless does have some significant advantages but you might get more satisfactory initial results with nickel silver. You can always go back to stainless after you have mastered the techniques using nickel silver.

 

Just my two cents :)

 

Andy

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Richie

 

If its modern day models rather than modern era then code 75 bullhead rail probably is correct, if so gauges can be obtained from either C&L or DCC concepts, if the latter make sure you buy the code 75 bullhead not the code 82 flatbottom ones.

 

I would suggest that for flexi track I would suggest you go for either the C&L thick base track or Peco bullhead. Plastic timbers( if making chaired track rather than copperclad) for making turnouts and crossings is available are available from C&L. In my opinion the Exactoscale ones are better than the C&L thick ones, keep away from the C&L thin plastic ones as the solvent when drying makes them curl up.

 

If using concrete sleepers, then C&L do the ST baseplates which fits the ST base plates they do and takes code 82 flatbottom rail. C&L and Exactoscale do 00 gauge concrete sleepered track, Peco use code 75 (both are compatible with each other) though Peco has H0 scale sleepers and sleeper spacing.

 

Size of turnouts on mainline are large, the ones you will use more likely will depend on space available rather than following the exact sizes used, in modelling terms large radii turnouts and crossings. 

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If using concrete sleepers, then C&L do the ST baseplates which fits the ST base plates they do and takes code 82 flatbottom rail. C&L and Exactoscale do 00 gauge concrete sleepered track, Peco use code 75 (both are compatible with each other) though Peco has H0 scale sleepers and sleeper spacing.

 

 

I got a few lengths of Exactoscale concrete and comparing them to Peco code 75 concrete there isn't actually a lot of difference in the sleeper size, it's the spacing that differs. If the Peco sleepers were re-spaced they would be very close in appearance.

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I got a few lengths of Exactoscale concrete and comparing them to Peco code 75 concrete there isn't actually a lot of difference in the sleeper size, it's the spacing that differs. If the Peco sleepers were re-spaced they would be very close in appearance.

 

 

1/8th of 3.3 mm is less than half a mm, some feel that the thinner width coupled with the shorter length of the sleeper looks more prototypical and will accentuate the wider timber on turnouts and crossings, same may be said similarly about sleeper spacing being slightly less than prototypical but slightly more than H0 scale. As you say both are compatible with each other, thanks for pointing that out

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Guys,

Thanks for the prompt responses, all really appreciated. I appreciate i've got a lot to learn and im feeling a little bewildered by it all at the moment, so please excuse any obvious or stupid comments!  Martin mentioned that main lines in the 1980s would have been flatbottomed rail, im assuming therefore that is concrete sleepers?  Am i correct in assuming that flat bottom needs Code 82 rail?  

 

If its modern day models rather than modern era then code 75 bullhead rail probably is correct, if so gauges can be obtained from either C&L or DCC concepts, if the latter make sure you buy the code 75 bullhead not the code 82 flatbottom ones.

 

I would suggest that for flexi track I would suggest you go for either the C&L thick base track or Peco bullhead. Plastic timbers( if making chaired track rather than copperclad) for making turnouts and crossings is available are available from C&L. In my opinion the Exactoscale ones are better than the C&L thick ones, keep away from the C&L thin plastic ones as the solvent when drying makes them curl up.

 

If using concrete sleepers, then C&L do the ST baseplates which fits the ST base plates they do and takes code 82 flatbottom rail. C&L and Exactoscale do 00 gauge concrete sleepered track, Peco use code 75 (both are compatible with each other) though Peco has H0 scale sleepers and sleeper spacing.

 

Size of turnouts on mainline are large, the ones you will use more likely will depend on space available rather than following the exact sizes used, in modelling terms large radii turnouts and crossings. 

 

John, im looking to go for chaired track, rather than copper clad, certainly on the scenic side because i want to do some photos and videos of the layout when its reasonably finished and think that copper clad, while probably ok for the naked eye, will stand out like a sore thumb on video!  Especailly, having seen some of the comments on layout threads on here about people picking things up on video that they hadnt noticed normally.

 

Are the gauges for Code 75 and Code 82 different?  I was looking at the 4SL104A concrete sleepers on the C&L website, are those the right ones for plain track?  They seem to be the sleepers and chairs in one, that just need the rail threading.  Its probably just me with not really knowing what im doing but having looked three times now, im finding the C&L website so difficult to navigate and use.  I cannot seem to find any plastic concrete sleeper for pointwork - John suggested there are plastic sleepers?  

 

 

If using concrete sleepers, then C&L do the ST baseplates which fits the ST base plates they do and takes code 82 flatbottom rail. C&L and Exactoscale do 00 gauge concrete sleepered track, Peco use code 75 (both are compatible with each other) though Peco has H0 scale sleepers and sleeper spacing.

 

Sorry if this is thick but could you explain this a little more?   What is an ST base plate?  Is that the concrete sleeper version of a chair? 

 

Given that im going 00-SF is there a flexi track option out there that will look right and work with hand-built OO-SF point work?  I appreciate from comments on here (and a couple of PM's - thanks guys) that there is always the option of going to Peco for flexi track, and that by spacing the sleepers out it looks ok, but I just think if im taking the time to get the points looking right, I should do the whole thing the right way?

 

Thanks to everyone for your input...

 

Richie

 

PS Martin - many thanks, I hadnt realised I needed to change Templot to 4SF!

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Am i correct in assuming that flat bottom needs Code 82 rail?  

 

Are the gauges for Code 75 and Code 82 different?  I was looking at the 4SL104A concrete sleepers on the C&L website, are those the right ones for plain track?  They seem to be the sleepers and chairs in one, that just need the rail threading.  Its probably just me with not really knowing what im doing but having looked three times now, im finding the C&L website so difficult to navigate and use.  I cannot seem to find any plastic concrete sleeper for pointwork - John suggested there are plastic sleepers?  

 

Sorry if this is thick but could you explain this a little more?   What is an ST base plate?  Is that the concrete sleeper version of a chair? 

 

Given that im going 00-SF is there a flexi track option out there that will look right and work with hand-built OO-SF point work?  I appreciate from comments on here (and a couple of PM's - thanks guys) that there is always the option of going to Peco for flexi track, and that by spacing the sleepers out it looks ok, but I just think if im taking the time to get the points looking right, I should do the whole thing the right way?

 

Thanks to everyone for your input...

 

Richie

 

PS Martin - many thanks, I hadnt realised I needed to change Templot to 4SF!

 

1.  Yes - code 82 FB is here:

http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=346_347_354_355&product_id=3293

 

2. I originally designed (with an awful lot of help from Martin :fan:  ) & produced the 00-sf Track Gauges now sold by C&L.  *They are designed for use with C&L Code 75 Bullhead Rail; different rail codes have different sized rail heads, hence the slots in the gauges should match the rail head.  However, I do have some info at home which gives alternative options for rail from other suppliers which should also fit the C&L Gauges.  I'll post it later. 

 

3. The 4SL104A sleepers are correct for plain track, however they are for B/H Rail and won't fit F/B rail.

Here's the F/B version, which is Exactoscale:

http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=911_346_375_383&product_id=4019

 

4. ST Base Plates are effectively "chairs" used with Flat Bottom Rail:

http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=17

 

5. There's no reason why 16.2mm 00-sf pointwork (sorry Martin - Turnouts!) can't be used with ready-made 16.5mm flexitrack; all that is required on the turnout is a short area where the rail gauge gradually transitions from 16.2mm to 16.5mm in order to connect smoothly.  *Be careful to match sleeper thickness etc. in order to avoid a "step".  This is the approach Gordon uses on his layout "Eastwood Town" on RMWeb.  Alternatively, there's no reason at all why the entire layout can't be built in 16.2mm.

 

6. Colin Craig also sells track products aimed at flat-bottom rail

http://colincraig4mm.co.uk/track/4532596088

 

HTH

Kind Regards,

Brian

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2. I originally designed (with an awful lot of help from Martin :fan:  ) & produced the 00-sf Track Gauges now sold by C&L.  *They are designed for use with C&L Code 75 Bullhead Rail; different rail codes have different sized rail heads, hence the slots in the gauges should match the rail head.  However, I do have some info at home which gives alternative options for rail from other suppliers which should also fit the C&L Gauges.  I'll post it later. 

 

4. ST Base Plates are effectively "chairs" used with Flat Bottom Rail:

http://www.finescale.org.uk/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=17

 

5. There's no reason why 16.2mm 00-sf pointwork (sorry Martin - Turnouts!) can't be used with ready-made 16.5mm flexitrack; all that is required on the turnout is a short area where the rail gauge gradually transitions from 16.2mm to 16.5mm in order to connect smoothly.  *Be careful to match sleeper thickness etc. in order to avoid a "step".  This is the approach Gordon uses on his layout "Eastwood Town" on RMWeb.  Alternatively, there's no reason at all why the entire layout can't be built in 16.2mm.

 

6. Colin Craig also sells track products aimed at flat-bottom rail

http://colincraig4mm.co.uk/track/4532596088

 

HTH

Kind Regards,

Brian

 

Brian,

Many, many thanks for taking the time and trouble to post the links, that really is very kind of you.

 

I'll ensure I acquire the track gauges from C&L given your comments about being designed for their rail - will they work with the Code 82 flat bottom - I appreciate your comment about the slots in the gauges matching but im assuming the difference in rail head size is minimal?

 

I suspect from your comment that there isnt any 'off-the-shelf' 16.2 mm flexitrack, and would probably prefer to go down that full 16.2mm route - but given the costs of Exacoscale sleepers seem to be £6.70 a metre plus rail, as against £2-3 per meter of flexi, it may come down to money!  Although looking at the track images on Colin Craig's website, that is some of the most realistic looking trackwork i think i've ever seen!  If I can get half way towards that standard I would be very happy!

 

Regards

Richie

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all that is required on the turnout is a short area where the rail gauge gradually transitions from 16.2mm to 16.5mm in order to connect smoothly.

 

Hi Brian,

 

I suggest that it is much better to transition the plain track, not the turnouts.

 

That way, if you need to lift the pointwork and re-use it in a different track plan, you can do so.

 

It's dead easy to transition 16.5mm flexi-track to 16.2mm:

 

1. connect it to 16.2mm with rail joiners.

2. hold it down flat with a suitable tool.

3. gently heat the last inch or so of the rails with a soldering iron until the chairs have softened.

4. keep holding it flat until they have cooled.

 

I may have mentioned this before. smile.gif

 

Martin.

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I suspect from your comment that there isnt any 'off-the-shelf' 16.2 mm flexitrack, and would probably prefer to go down that full 16.2mm route

 

Hi Richie,

 

Like EM, P4, etc., and the prototype, 00-SF needs gauge-widening on sharp curves. If your layout is in a tight space it is very likely to include some sharp curves, and 16.5mm flexi-track provides the necessary gauge-widening.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

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First of all only DCC Concepts do code 82 track gauges, if you are careful code 75 will fit and they will allow the head of the rail to rotate so that the rail inclines inwards. I have a set of DCC code 82 gauges, but if they are on the tight side and hold the rail vertical, once released the chairs will relax and narrow the gauge.

 

The ST Baseplates act as chairs (I think they are referred to as track clips) but other than Peco 00 gauge (are they still available?) concrete sleepers all the plain sleepers I know are for EM/P4 gauges, buy the Exactoscale fast track bases in 00 gauge.

 

As for turnouts the Exactoscale standard timbers E4XX PCT0 are fine, at the start of BR using flatbottom rail for turnouts they used wooden timbers as far as I know, certainly seen photos showing this, or just paint them grey rather than brown/black. The Manchester Model Railway Society/Club have a website showing the evolution of flatbottom rail fixings, very informative, but nothing you can do if these are not available in model form

 

Peco do Pandrol clips, apparently they are over scale. Colin Craig and Massokits both do etched fixings which you fold up and solder to both the rail and copperclad timbers. Can I say the latter firms product I have tried and are very challenging, not for the novice.

 

Its a case of making an effort rather than slavishly following the prototype. If you set the period slightly earlier then bullhead rail and 3 bolt chairs will be fine. However not many make flatbottom turnouts, so you could set a trend

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Martin,

Many thanks for taking the time to chip in, much appreciated. Thanks for your input too - it would be modern day models, so that’s looking good!id noticed they said stainless steel, which seems an odd choice given what I have read.

 

Mike,

Thanks for your comments, I shall be following your progress and see what I can learn! Do you have a thread on here?

 

Richie

 

 

I don't at the moment, Only a YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/MrVenrith I really should get a thread going on here too but I need a name for my layout first!

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I'll ensure I acquire the track gauges from C&L given your comments about being designed for their rail - will they work with the Code 82 flat bottom - I appreciate your comment about the slots in the gauges matching but im assuming the difference in rail head size is minimal?

 

Here's the rail head info as promised; please note it's several years old so worth double checking with the supplier that it is still valid before ordering 100 metres.... 

 

**C&L 00-sf Roller Gauges have rail slot width of 0.94 - 0.96mm**

 

From the dimensions below I would suggest that for Code 82 F/B Rail then either Exactoscale or Peco would best suit the C&L Roller Gauges.  *HOWEVER, I'm not sure if the Exactoscale product is available as a separate product to the C&L rail anymore, now that both are part of the C&L empire.

 

C&L RAIL

 

4 mm rail code 75, nickel silver BS95R bullhead                               0.92mm (0.0362")  [source:  C&L]                    0.90mm (0.0354”)  [Measured sample]   

4 mm rail code 75, steel BS95R bullhead                                           0.92mm (0.0362")  [source:  C&L] 

4 mm rail code 75, nickel silver flat bottom                                       *approximately*  0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L]

 

4 mm rail code 82, nickel silver BS110A flat bottom                        0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L]                            

4 mm rail code 82, steel BS110A flat bottom                                    0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L] 

4 mm rail code 82, nickel silver 12% Ni. flat bottom                         0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L] 

 

4 mm rail, Nickel Silver 12% Ni. Code 70 FB                                   *approximately*  0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L] 

 

Rail, Nickel Silver 12% Ni. Code 55 FB                                            0.50mm (0.0197")  [source: C&L]

 

Rail, Code 60 BH                                                                               0.71mm (0.0279")  [source: C&L] 

 

Rail, Code 80 FB                                                                                0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L] 

 

Rail, Code 83 FB                                                                                0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L]

 

Rail, Code 100 FB                                                                              1.00mm (0.0394")  [source:  C&L]

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:   The above information was gathered via a telephone conversation with Brian Lewis (C&L), who was anxious to stress that the manufacture of Rail is quite a crude process (basically wire drawn thru' steel rollers) and as such the above (C&L) dimensions should be regarded as nominal values only, since variation may occur between batches.  In addition, both C&L and SMP/Marcway have at times sourced rail from each other for onward sale to customers. 

 

The dimensions of the rail codes listed in red above were quoted to me by Brian Lewis, however these sizes are not listed for sale on the C&L Finescale website (possibly special order?).

The two rail code dimensions where the sizes are preceded by the word *approximately* (i.e. Code 75 N.S. F/B & Code 70 N.S. F/B) are shown as such since they were quoted to me as being “about the same” as Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail.

 

SMP RAIL (see note below)

Code 75 Nickel Silver Bullhead Rail                                                  0.83mm (0.0326”)  [Old measured sample]0.815mm (0.032”)  [New measured sample] 

Code 75 Phosphor Bronze Bullhead Rail                                           SMP report this is the same size as the Nickel Silver rail (above)  [*I suspect this has not been confirmed accurately*]      

Code 75 Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                             0.905mm  (0.0356”)  [New measured sample]

Code 100 Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                           1.025mm (0.040”)  [New measured sample]

 

MARCWAY RAIL

Code 100FB Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                      1.025mm (0.040”)  [New measured sample]

Code 90 FB  Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                      Marcway were out of stock of this rail, so dimensions not known unfortunately.

Code 75 FB  Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                      0.905mm  (0.0356”)  [New measured sample]

Code 75 BH Nickel Silver Bullhead Rail                                           0.885mm  (0.0348”)  [New measured sample]

Code 75 BH Phosphor Bronze Bullhead Rail                                    No sample provided, but I suspect Marcway would suggest this to be the same size as Nickel Silver Rail (above)

IMPORTANT NOTE:   SMP/Marcway have at times sourced rail from C&L (and vice-versa) for onward sale to customers.  SMP was a separate company but has now been taken over by Marcway; both brands are now supplied via the same (Marcway) address.  The SMP website states:

SMP Scale Model Productions have now been taken over by Marcway of Sheffield and a price list of the SMP range of products is listed in the space

            below . The range will not be absorbed into the large Marcway range but will keep its own identity. Marcway started in 1964 and SMP and

            SCALEWAY later in the 1960s. Both brands having different but similar types of products and a long term following.

 

EXACTOSCALE

Code 75 Bullhead Rail BS95R steel                                                     0.905 – 0.915mm  [source:  Exactoscale]                                                      

Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail BS113A steel                                              0.91mm nominal (probably 0.905 - 0.915mm, as per B/H rail)  [source:  Exactoscale]

                                                         (Note: Exactoscale state that Nickel Silver variants of the above may have slight differences due to the way the material will behave when formed).

 

PECO “INDIVIDULAY”

 

Code 75 Flat Bottom Rail, nickel silver                                             0.78mm (0.0307”)  [source:  PECO and Dave Long]

Code 80 Flat Bottom Rail. nickel silver                                             0.63mm (0.025”)  [source:  PECO]

Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail, nickel silver                                             0.89mm (0.035”)  [source:  PECO]                0.88mm (0.0346”)  [source:  Measured by Dave Long]

Code 100 Flat Bottom Rail. nickel silver                                           1.04mm (0.041”)  [source:  PECO]                1.045mm (0.0413”)  [Measured sample]

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Evening all,

I keep saying this, but seriously, many thanks to all of you for helping me through these initial stages and getting a clearer understanding.  Having read this afternoon's responses, and re-read the earlier ones I feel the fog as now turned to mist, so am hopeful it will clear totally!!

 

 

First of all only DCC Concepts do code 82 track gauges, if you are careful code 75 will fit and they will allow the head of the rail to rotate so that the rail inclines inwards. I have a set of DCC code 82 gauges, but if they are on the tight side and hold the rail vertical, once released the chairs will relax and narrow the gauge.

 

The ST Baseplates act as chairs (I think they are referred to as track clips) but other than Peco 00 gauge (are they still available?) concrete sleepers all the plain sleepers I know are for EM/P4 gauges, buy the Exactoscale fast track bases in 00 gauge.

 

As for turnouts the Exactoscale standard timbers E4XX PCT0 are fine, at the start of BR using flatbottom rail for turnouts they used wooden timbers as far as I know, certainly seen photos showing this, or just paint them grey rather than brown/black. The Manchester Model Railway Society/Club have a website showing the evolution of flatbottom rail fixings, very informative, but nothing you can do if these are not available in model form

 

Peco do Pandrol clips, apparently they are over scale. Colin Craig and Massokits both do etched fixings which you fold up and solder to both the rail and copperclad timbers. Can I say the latter firms product I have tried and are very challenging, not for the novice.

 

Its a case of making an effort rather than slavishly following the prototype. If you set the period slightly earlier then bullhead rail and 3 bolt chairs will be fine. However not many make flatbottom turnouts, so you could set a trend

 

Im gathering from the comments that the C&L gauges are the better ones to use, and that while usable DCCConcept ones may not give quite the correct outcome for OO-SF?  Im still a little confused over the ST Baseplates, and what they do in model form?  I can understand the theory in terms of how concrete sleepered track is laid on the big railway, but looking at the Exactoscale fast track bases they look to have the rail clips/chairs moulded to them and just need the rail pushing through?  Im assuming im either missing something here, or just totally misunderstanding something?   

 

I need to have a proper read of the Colin Craig website, and probably this MMRS website to try and understand things better I think.  Given that I am modelling either the ECML or the WCML (tending perhaps more towards the WCML) I think being able to do concrete sleepered pointwork would finish it all off, and at this stage anyway, seems to be worth the effort involved.  I dont expect to get absolutely spot on, but if i can get it so it looks right, i'll be happy!

 

 

I don't at the moment, Only a YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/MrVenrith I really should get a thread going on here too but I need a name for my layout first!

 

Hi Mike, i've only had a quick glance so far at your YouTube page, but it looks like your progressing well, and yes I would say you should get a thread in here! lol!

 

 

 

Here's the rail head info as promised; please note it's several years old so worth double checking with the supplier that it is still valid before ordering 100 metres.... 

 

**C&L 00-sf Roller Gauges have rail slot width of 0.94 - 0.96mm**

 

From the dimensions below I would suggest that for Code 82 F/B Rail then either Exactoscale or Peco would best suit the C&L Roller Gauges.  *HOWEVER, I'm not sure if the Exactoscale product is available as a separate product to the C&L rail anymore, now that both are part of the C&L empire.

 

C&L RAIL

 

4 mm rail code 82, nickel silver BS110A flat bottom                        0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L]                            

4 mm rail code 82, steel BS110A flat bottom                                    0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L] 

4 mm rail code 82, nickel silver 12% Ni. flat bottom                         0.67mm (0.0264")  [source:  C&L] 

 

SMP RAIL (see note below)

Code 75 Nickel Silver Bullhead Rail                                                  0.83mm (0.0326”)  [Old measured sample]0.815mm (0.032”)  [New measured sample] 

Code 75 Phosphor Bronze Bullhead Rail                                           SMP report this is the same size as the Nickel Silver rail (above)  [*I suspect this has not been confirmed accurately*]      

Code 75 Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                             0.905mm  (0.0356”)  [New measured sample]

Code 100 Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                           1.025mm (0.040”)  [New measured sample]

 

MARCWAY RAIL

Code 75 FB  Nickel Silver Flat Bottom Rail                                      0.905mm  (0.0356”)  [New measured sample]

 

EXACTOSCALE

Code 75 Bullhead Rail BS95R steel                                                     0.905 – 0.915mm  [source:  Exactoscale]                                                      

Code 82 Flat Bottom Rail BS113A steel                                              0.91mm nominal (probably 0.905 - 0.915mm, as per B/H rail)  [source:  Exactoscale]

 

Brian, many thanks again for taking the time with all this - i've cut the above quote down.  But from what I can see, there is Code 75 FB rail available - but I think John (Hayfield) had recommended Code 82, which im assuming brings us to C&L or Exactoscale brands?  With the latter, Im assuming the OO-sf roller gauges should work, but the C&L rail head seems far thinner - im assuming if the gap in the roller is bigger than the rail head it should be fine? Is that right?

 

In terms of accuracy and track-laying ease - is there any difference between C&L and Exactoscale?  Is one more in scale than the other, one cheaper or more expensive than the other, or any one easier to work with .... or are they all much of a muchness?  Again, im assuming that once a selection is made, its best to stay with that brand onwards?  

 

Other than Peco, which i have established is incorrectly spaced, is there any other RTR flexi-track with concrete sleepers?

 

 

Hi Richie,

 

Like EM, P4, etc., and the prototype, 00-SF needs gauge-widening on sharp curves. If your layout is in a tight space it is very likely to include some sharp curves, and 16.5mm flexi-track provides the necessary gauge-widening.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

 

Hi Martin,

Thanks - im lucky in that I should be able to get 36" (3') radius curves as a minimum, and possibly even 48-50" (4') radius curves if im lucky.  My layout area is going to be around 9' wide and around 20' long.  Im aiming for smooth sweeping curves, where you dont get the dog leg between coaches as they go round it.  Given those kind of radius (radii?) do you think the gauge still needs to be widened to 16.5mm?   Im still trying to decide whether to use flexi-track, given the time and cost elements of building a significant amount of four-track main line!  I will use Peco in the fiddle yards however, where its out of sight for speed.

 

 

Thanks all - your help really is invaluable - I can see that I would have made a few mistakes already with your input.

 

Richie

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Hi Richie,

 

You don't need full widening to 16.5mm at 36" radius and above. However you may benefit from a little bit of widening at 36", it depends on your rolling stock and wheel side-play.

 

If you build your own plain track, the 3-point track gauges* are used to introduce gauge-widening on curves automatically.

 

If you build a layout 20ft x 9ft with all hand-built plain track, you are going to be one of the first to do that in 00 in modern times, using any track standard. smile.gif

 

*available from C&L, but not DCC Concepts.

 

regards,

 

Martin.

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Im gathering from the comments that the C&L gauges are the better ones to use, and that while usable DCCConcept ones may not give quite the correct outcome for OO-SF?  Im still a little confused over the ST Baseplates, and what they do in model form?  I can understand the theory in terms of how concrete sleepered track is laid on the big railway, but looking at the Exactoscale fast track bases they look to have the rail clips/chairs moulded to them and just need the rail pushing through?  Im assuming im either missing something here, or just totally misunderstanding something?   

 

I'm a little biased, admittedly, but I prefer the C&L 00-sf Gauges.  However, I've not used the DCC Gauges.  (I have no financial interests in 00-sf Gauges).

The ST Baseplates hold the rail securely; the Baseplates are then bonded to the sleepers (moulded track base i.e. concrete sleepers may well have the baseplates already as a part of the mould).

 

Brian, many thanks again for taking the time with all this - i've cut the above quote down.  But from what I can see, there is Code 75 FB rail available - but I think John (Hayfield) had recommended Code 82, which im assuming brings us to C&L or Exactoscale brands?  With the latter, Im assuming the OO-sf roller gauges should work, but the C&L rail head seems far thinner - im assuming if the gap in the roller is bigger than the rail head it should be fine? Is that right?

 

The C&L Code 82 F/B will be a bit of a sloppy fit in the Gauge Slots.  Exactoscale (if available) or Peco will be a better fit, or alternatively SMP or Marcway Code 75 F/B rail.  The C&L Rail is available in a "Hi Ni" variant (high nickel silver) which looks more like steel rail than ordinary N.S. rail, which can appear a bit yellowish.

 

In terms of accuracy and track-laying ease - is there any difference between C&L and Exactoscale?  Is one more in scale than the other, one cheaper or more expensive than the other, or any one easier to work with .... or are they all much of a muchness?  Again, im assuming that once a selection is made, its best to stay with that brand onwards?  

 

No difference so far as I am aware; Nickel Silver (incl. Hi Ni) is easier to solder than steel rail.  I understand that B/H rail is easier to use that F/B, the latter being harder to curve smoothly due to the rail profile (i.e. the flat bottom).  I'd stick with the same brand etc. throughout if possible, though changes may be very difficult to notice .  Not sure how well C&L rail etc. fits Exactoscale bases, or vice-versa - be worth checking with C&L before shelling out too much money.

 

Other than Peco, which i have established is incorrectly spaced, is there any other RTR flexi-track with concrete sleepers?

 

SMP, though I'm not so sure they offer a concrete sleeper option:

http://www.marcway.net/list3.php?col=head&name=SCALEWAY+TRACK

 

Given those kind of radius (radii?) do you think the gauge still needs to be widened to 16.5mm?   Im still trying to decide whether to use flexi-track, given the time and cost elements of building a significant amount of four-track main line!  I will use Peco in the fiddle yards however, where its out of sight for speed.

 

If using flexitrack it will already be gauge widened to 16.5mm (from 16.2mm).

Edited by polybear
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You don't need full widening to 16.5mm at 36" radius and above. However you may benefit from a little bit of widening at 36", it depends on your rolling stock and wheel side-play.

If you build your own plain track, the 3-point track gauges* are used to introduce gauge-widening on curves automatically.

If you build a layout 20ft x 9ft with all hand-built plain track, you are going to be one of the first to do that in 00 in modern times, using any track standard. smile.gif

 

Hi Martin,

Im not sure if that would be a good thing or a bad one!!!

 

Richie

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Hello,

      

 

You should look up about transition curves for a more prototypical effect.

trustytrev. :)

 

Trustytrev  - Thanks for that, transition curves are not something i've come across, but another thing added to my list of things to look up!  Is that a real thing, or a model (ie Templot) thing?

 

Brian - thanks for your input, all noted and taken account of.

 

 

 

Im coming to the conclusion the best way to approach this is to break it down in:

 

a) Work out the individual parts and items needed, then do a test build.  I need to research more about concrete sleepered track and probably put a call into C&L.

 

b) Create the trackplan with all the different parts that involves, including im guessing transition curves....

 

c) Ensure that the final layout can (from a track point of view) be built in sections.  That way I'll be able to at least run something without loosing interest or getting disheartened - which is my biggest fear.  Having said that, small branch lines and depots (no disrepect to anyone) just dont do anything for me - I want to replicate being on the lineside in the 1980s and seeing different trains passing as they did.

 

I think a plan is beginning to form .. albeit it slowly!  But everything comes to he who waits apparently! :)

 

Richie

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Im gathering from the comments that the C&L gauges are the better ones to use, and that while usable DCCConcept ones may not give quite the correct outcome for OO-SF?  Im still a little confused over the ST Baseplates, and what they do in model form?  I can understand the theory in terms of how concrete sleepered track is laid on the big railway, but looking at the Exactoscale fast track bases they look to have the rail clips/chairs moulded to them and just need the rail pushing through?  Im assuming im either missing something here, or just totally misunderstanding something?   

 

 

Other than Peco, which i have established is incorrectly spaced, is there any other RTR flexi-track with concrete sleepers?

 

 

 

Richie

 

The Exactoscale Fastrack concrete sleeper bases come with rail fixings moulded on as you surmised. The other components mentioned are for individually building each sleeper. When I bought mine I also bought matching code 82 rail to go with it which has to be pushed through the fixings. It is the nearest to ready to lay concrete sleeper track available in oo.

 

When I bought mine, Peco code 75 concrete sleeper track hadn't been introduced. I would go for Peco now, with the sleepers re-spaced there is so little difference I wouldn't pay over twice the price.

 

Peco sleepers are 29.7mm x 2.9mm, Exactoscale are 30.5mm x 3.1mm.

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Richie

 

The Exactoscale Fastrack concrete sleeper bases come with rail fixings moulded on as you surmised. The other components mentioned are for individually building each sleeper. When I bought mine I also bought matching code 82 rail to go with it which has to be pushed through the fixings. It is the nearest to ready to lay concrete sleeper track available in oo.

 

When I bought mine, Peco code 75 concrete sleeper track hadn't been introduced. I would go for Peco now, with the sleepers re-spaced there is so little difference I wouldn't pay over twice the price.

 

Peco sleepers are 29.7mm x 2.9mm, Exactoscale are 30.5mm x 3.1mm.

That’s interesting thanks. I’ve not looked at Peco concrete track but I presume it’s just a case of taking a hacksaw or sharp craft knife to split the webbing by each sleeper and space it out? Presumably a metre length could be laid on top of a Templot template to get the right sleeper spacing?

 

Given the layout is going to be on the larger side I am conscious of cost, at least until the lottery numbers come up!!

 

Richie

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