Sunday, March 27, 2011

Track Adjustments

It’s been a while since my last update, and even though I’ve been very busy with work, I’ve spent the last month and a half fine tuning my wiring and most of all, the track. I have not had much time to make any significant structural progress in the last little while, so I’ve spent the little time I’ve had to make adjustments to my track to ensure my engines run as smoothly as possible. As this is my first layout, every aspect of this project is a huge learning curve.

When I originally laid my track, I did not realize how extremely important it was to ensure track was perfectly level, especially through a curve or a curved grade. Even the smallest inconsistency in track level is enough to derail an engine. I found that these inconsistencies were most common where 2 pieces of track joined together. To solve this, I make sure each adjoining piece was perfectly level, then soldered them together to make sure they didn’t come apart afterwards. For areas where the actual road bed wasn’t level, I used thin foam risers under the track to keep the track perfectly level (as seen below).

Track foam spacersSoldered terminal track connectors


Soldered terminal track connectors

I spent a lot of time running each of my engines back and forth over several section of problem track, closely watching each wheel to make sure it wasn’t lifting off the track. I managed to work out all the problem areas I was having, and everything runs a lot smoother. I also had to make a few small adjustments with my wiring, but nothing major.
I am now into the planning stages of building the actual ground terrain and elevations of my layout, which I hope to have completed by the end of May. I’m also trying to find the best way to build the standards for my trackside signals to mount to.