• The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    For an updated overview of this project see this post.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see The Book of Plug Track.

    Some pages of this and other topics include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files.

Track laid on my finescale narrow gauge layout, at last!

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Well, after spending what seemed like ages building sections of track, boards, electronics etc, suddenly almost all the flat-bottom sections of track have been laid and rolling stock, well, rolled along it. Right now the track is only suitable for clockwork or live steam locos though!

The bridge at the far left is not yet fixed, nor is the track over it. A very late decision means that that section now leads to a 90 degree corner board (Grainge & Hodder) which has only just arrived and been built.

As a reminder, the layout is 4mm scale based on, but not a model of, the Festiniog Railway. Track gauge is 7.83mm and apart from the gauge is built to 2mm Scale Association standards. The section in the first photo is 2.1m long.

The remainder of the track, mostly bottom right, will be bullhead. Oh, and I’ve still not really decided on a name! I have a working name for the layout but I’m not really happy with it.

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Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
Hi Paul,

It's not often you come across 4mm finescale narrow gauge, I look forward to seeing progress on your project.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Thread starter
Location
Loughborough, UK
Hi Paul,
Also following as I am starting out on a 7.83mm gauge journey too - see https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?threads/narrow-gauge-advice.165/. How did you go about your track work, did you create roller gauges or use a digital vernier? I am thinking of the latter, with some wooden spacer blocks to assist on the straight sections?

Rich
Hi Rich

Welcome to the mad world of finescale narrow gauge! I'll drop a reply onto your other thread as that would seem a better place for it.

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Thread starter
Location
Loughborough, UK
I seem to have found some mojo under the Christmas tree! Over the last few days I’ve been building up the centre section of the 3-way stub point. This uses code 60 bullhead and chairs from the 3mm Scale Association. This has all been built on a build template and is now ready for fitting to the prepared base. The observant will notice a missing insulation gap - that will be cut in situ. I’m pretty sure that no-one would notice if I had the rail upside down, but even so I was peering at it through a loupe to try to work out which is the top. I’m still not entirely convinced this particular rail has a top and a bottom!
 

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Paul Boyd

Member
Thread starter
Location
Loughborough, UK
That's the 3-way crossing assembly more or less completed - there's still some cosmetic chairs to go on as well as the stub end chairs, not to mention a few insulation cuts. The cuts will be made by drilling a hole through the base and using a piercing saw. The plastic timbers are glued to the black plastic base through slots cut in the paper template, and the template will later be removed. Where I've used copper-clad timbers, these have been spaced up with thin plastic strip. I have a chassis with accurately maintained wheels for testing these sorts of things, and it runs through all the roads perfectly.

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Some time ago I came across a rusty old press for a fiver in an antiques centre and saw its potential for pressing wheelsets supplied by the 2mm Scale Association a bit further onto the axles for S4n2. It cleaned up nicely, and five pairs of anvils later (for the five axle lengths) it's in use! The anvils are turned from brass, with a steel insert to take the axle. I aimed to set the depth to make the B-B just a smidgen tight, and will insert a B-B gauge during the actual pressing. That'll take into account any tolerances on the axle length, or any wear on the anvil.

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Cheers,
Paul
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Thread starter
Location
Loughborough, UK
This seems to work well! The 3-way stub point will be driven by two servos driving the tie bar through the brass rocker. Everything is nice and snug to minimise free play. The moving ends of the tie bar have 1mm nickel-silver droppers, threaded 14BA, so that everything is rigid - the tie bar also has to prevent the blades lifting. The length of the operating mechanism is so that the adjusters sit under a convenient building which will be removeable for access. This is getting dangerously close to being installed onto the layout - just electrical droppers to attach!
 

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Paul Boyd

Member
Thread starter
Location
Loughborough, UK
I’ve been beavering away on this layout, although a lot of effort has been put into the electronics side of things for a little while. The layout will be DCC controlled and operated via MERG’s CBUS - not because it’s strictly necessary but because electronics is also an interest of mine.

Anyway, this is how I do my planning! Full size prints which include detailed baseboard drawings as well as Google Maps overlays. Street View is also very useful. This method works for me and ensures things like baseboard frames can be avoided, as well as giving me a much better idea of how things will look or fit than by staring at a screen!
 

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