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HO Track building - Equipment, Materials & Suppliers Index - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Nov 26th, 2015 02:46 am
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BCDR
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I've just got the supplies in for scratch building some HO track in code 100 (the standard for the modular club I belong to), the following may be of interest to those who are also contemplating doing this.

Code 100 straight track. Peco and Atlas track is way over-scale when it comes to the ties/sleepers ("shoe-boxes" is how they are described over here). Micro-Engineering http://www.microengineering.com/products_ft.htm do code 100 track (regular and weathered rail) with prototypical sized  ties as well as rail (plus a comprehensive range of other codes/scales). If you want to lay your own track, Fast Tracks http://www.handlaidtrack.com/ has templates (straight track and turnouts), copper clad ties and wood ties (tangent track and crossings only), and some really nice NMRA-compliant templates.

I need some long copper clad scale 9" wide strips in HO for custom length ties. I got these from in 12' lengths Clover House  http://www.cloverhouse.com they have a small but useful range of sizes (N, HO, S and O). They also stock a neat rail joiner made from pcb called a "Gapmaster" (made by americantieandlumber.com) that joins sections of track. Comes pre-tinned with insulating gaps alread cut (see photo below).

I also need some custom length scale 9" wide wood ties, Mt. Albert Lumber Co.  http://www.mtalbert.com/ have these in 24" lengths.

Proto87 Stores  http://www.proto87.com/ also have useful items such as frogs, tie plates and other fixings which while intended for fine-scale modeling, are adaptable to code 100. They also have a number of 4mm scale items. 

Code 100 track corresponds to around 155 lb track, definitely heavy duty mainline.

I have no connection with any of the manufacturers/suppliers mentioned above, I'm just a satisfied customer.

Nigel



Peco code 83 track with almost protypical size ties (but still a bit too wide but better than code 100 ties) and the "Gapmaster" rail joining pcb ties, which match Micro Engineering tie dimensions exactly. Track ends are soldered to the "Gapmaster", with the first and last 2 ties of the pcb board replacing those in the track lengths to be joined. Solder up using a spacer for the gap. No rail joiners are required, add some cosmetic fish plates, they look the business. They can be adapted with another couple of gaps as insulated spacers in turnouts. They would also make pretty robust track termini between modules. More on these uses in another post.



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 Posted: Fri Nov 27th, 2015 03:26 pm
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Allegheny1600
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Hi Nigel,
That sounds very interesting indeed, I shall be keen to see how you progress.
Thanks also for the timely reminder about "Gapmaster" - it's just what I need presently.



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John E.
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