A model train track forms the backbone of any layout. By understanding how to prepare your model train’s tracks, you will be able to build a top-quality layout that is sure to last for many years.
Also, a track that has been prepared correctly will render little or no problems at all, which will leave you to enjoy hours of uninterrupted model railroading fun.
Types Of Model Train Track And How They Work
By understanding the various types of track available you will be able to choose those that meet your requirements, and determine which tracks are interchangeable with others.
All model railroad tracks are classified under different codes. These codes make it easier for hobbyists to ask for the tracks they require. To put it simply, tracks with higher number codes have larger rails and are designed for use on mainline sections of a model railroad, whereas tracks with lower number codes have smaller rails and are ideally suited to branch lines and switching operations.
Besides being grouped by codes, tracks are also grouped by type or form. The most commonly used form of track is ‘sectional track’. These tracks are usually purchased in sections measuring 6 inches to 12 inches in length, and are usually connected with rail joiners. They can also be purchased as straight or curved sections.
Next, ‘flexible track’ comes in flexible 3 foot strands. These tracks are perfect for long curves and long straight areas on a layout. They are often joined to other tracks through the soldering process, and are favored by experienced model railroaders because they can be cut to desired lengths.
Once you understand how your tracks work, you will need to learn how turnouts work. Longer switches or turnouts are designed for smoother operations, and have a very gradual turnoff angle which is ideal for large spacious layouts. Shorter switches, like a ‘#4 turnout’, have a very sharp turnoff angle and are best used in smaller spaces.
Now that you know more about model train track, you can begin to take a look at how to lay your tracks down onto your layout. To do this, using small nails or tacks you can lay a roadbed of cork or stiff foam onto your layout in accordance with your track plan.
Once this is done, you will need to add ballast to your roadbed to give your railway a very life-like appearance. To add ballast to your model railway track, you can spray a thin layer of glue over your roadbed, and then sprinkle your ballast over this layer of glue. As the glue dries it will hold your ballast in place.
Once your roadbed and ballast are dry you can attach your tracks to the top of your ballast covered roadbed using small nails. At this point, your track has been properly laid and is ready for you to begin your model railroad operations.
Recommended Track For Your Model Railway
Choosing the right track is easy when you know what your choices are. If you are constructing an HO scale layout, the ‘E-Z Track Set – 9 inch Straight 4-Pack – HO Scale‘ available from Historic Rail is an excellent choice.
All four of these 9 inch long sections of E-Z track consist of steel alloy rails that have been mounted onto realistic black roadbeds.
They are perfect for beginners due to the fact that they snap together in seconds, and are easy to assemble and dissemble.
Alternately, if you are constructing a G scale model railway, the ‘12 inch Curved Track Set – G Scale‘ and the ‘12 inch Straight Track Set – G Scale‘, both available from Historic Rail, will serve you well.
Both of these sets include four 12 inch long sections of track; the first set being curved and the second set, straight.
These tracks are highly durable and have been designed to last for many years. Using them for your model railroad will therefore ensure years of model railroading enjoyment with little hassle.
In conclusion, understanding the different track types and how each of them operate helps you to get your railroad operating at a level that you are comfortable with.
Obviously your model train track will be the spine of your layout, which means that when it comes to selecting and purchasing your tracks, make sure you choose a brand that is well-known for its quality, because this will ensure the longevity of your model railway, and therefore hours of ‘problem free’ model railroading fun.