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Blog- Marsh Lane Sidings - Easitrack or Finetrax? A decision has to be made...

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I have come to a crossroads regarding where I take this layout and one important thing that needs to be considered is cost.


One thing that bugs me about standard N gauge is the PECO track. For me, it is crude and the sleeper spacing is wrong - for others it might be OK. There are now 2 finescale versions on the market - the 2mm Scale Easitrack and the new N gauge Finetrax system. As I want to go down the 2mm scale route I need to consider the cost of re-wheeling my stock.


For the Easitrack option:


To convert the locos to 2mm scale I would be looking at £4.50 per powered axle and £2.50 per unpowered axle. At the moment I have a class 08, class 37, class 45, class 46 and a class 47. The class 45 and 46 work out at £32 each and the class 37 and 47 at £27 each. That is £118 in total (without the class 08)!!! Ouch. The 2mm scale underframe etches for the class 08s are £20 per loco and I would eventually be looking at 2 of these. The loco fleet would eventually swell to about 12/13 units as and when the stock and funds become available.


The wagons work out at £1.05 per axle. For my air-braked stock I currently have 18 bogie vehicles and counting and the 4-wheelers are 43 and counting. There is vacuum braked stock to consider too. As I learn more about the type of freight carried so I will add more wagons to the fleet.


The cost to upgrade my current wagon fleet is £165.90. I would eventually be looking at over £200 just for my wagons.


The total price for conversion would be £500-600, if not more.


Looking at the Finetrax option:


I need 2 points (£16.50 or £18 each) and several yards of plain track (£4 per yard). For the fiddle yard I could use PECO track to save costs.I would need to purchase enough wheelsets to convert almost 20 Poole-based Farish vehicles to run on this track. The cost of 10 axles is £6.95. I would not need to convert any locos as they are all the new models.


The total cost of conversion here would be about £100.


What with having a family to consider and a home to run, the choice is made for me. There is no way I can justify the amount needed to convert all my stock to 2mm scale. What started out as a small layout with a few locos and some items of rolling stock has lead to this. I still have limits on the amount of rolling stock I need per train. I just did not realise how many wagons I had purchased over the last few years, let alone the kits I have to build??? Any one reading this who feels the 2mm route is best for them should consider the outlay needed to convert all their stock. I did not think it would cost so much to convert.


With the move in recent years away from the old crude dimensions for wheels and the availability of finescale N gauge track I think we will see more layouts moving away from PECO track to this new standard in N gauge.


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