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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum. I see my topic came up 11 years ago without much info, so I thought it best to start a new thread.

Years ago we bought a New Bright Christmas Train. It is the type that runs off a power supply, not batteries. My wife loves it because she is really into decorating for Christmas.

The weak spot has always been the track. I've always wanted to do something about that. I have O and HO, so don't know much about G.

The rails are not solid, they are shaped out of what I think is sheet brass. She puts the train around one of her trees. It doesn't sit well on the carpeting. Probably the weakest spot is the rail joiners. I considered making a wood bed for the track. I held off because, while it would help, it would still be what I consider cheap track.

It is considered G scale, but I read years ago that it was not compatible with G track. I'm not sure if that was referring to the size, or the way the power connector attaches.

I would really appreciate ideas on what would be a good way to go with new track.

I've seen LGB flexible brass rail. I have a full woodworking shop. I was thinking of making a bed and ties and using the LGB rails. I haven't looked into them enough to know how I would attach them, what type of radius they can bend to, etc. My thinking is that if the space between the rails is slightly different from true G, I can adjust for that. What is the best place for me to learn about using these rails, how to mount them, etc.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
 

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New to the forum. I see my topic came up 11 years ago without much info, so I thought it best to start a new thread.

Years ago we bought a New Bright Christmas Train. It is the type that runs off a power supply, not batteries. My wife loves it because she is really into decorating for Christmas.

The weak spot has always been the track. I've always wanted to do something about that. I have O and HO, so don't know much about G.

The rails are not solid, they are shaped out of what I think is sheet brass. She puts the train around one of her trees. It doesn't sit well on the carpeting. Probably the weakest spot is the rail joiners. I considered making a wood bed for the track. I held off because, while it would help, it would still be what I consider cheap track.

It is considered G scale, but I read years ago that it was not compatible with G track. I'm not sure if that was referring to the size, or the way the power connector attaches.

I would really appreciate ideas on what would be a good way to go with new track.

I've seen LGB flexible brass rail. I have a full woodworking shop. I was thinking of making a bed and ties and using the LGB rails. I haven't looked into them enough to know how I would attach them, what type of radius they can bend to, etc. My thinking is that if the space between the rails is slightly different from true G, I can adjust for that. What is the best place for me to learn about using these rails, how to mount them, etc.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
Is the distance between rails on the track you are using 1-3/4 inches? If it is you should be able to use LGB track
 

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Hobo for Life
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Clean it and the wheels of the looco. I dont have any of that track, but it seems like its not holding together well? Maybe some zip ties to hold the peices together? Got a picture of it? Yea, probably not the best track, but should work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is the distance between rails on the track you are using 1-3/4 inches? If it is you should be able to use LGB track
Unfortunately, it is packed away until about Thanksgiving. It would take about 30 minutes to dig it out. I might pull it out sooner than that so I can start working in it. I'll keep your comment so I can measure it then.

Clean it and the wheels of the looco. I dont have any of that track, but it seems like its not holding together well? Maybe some zip ties to hold the peices together? Got a picture of it? Yea, probably not the best track, but should work?
Cleaning the wheels and track does help, but still it is cheap track, the rails will bend and dent if you aren't careful and it doesn't take much. Hard to tell from the picture, but like I said, the rails are not solid, they are formed from thin sheet brass. Good idea on using zip ties if I have to use it as-is again, like if I don't have time to mess with it before this Christmas.

For now, I would like it work when my wife decides to turn it on and I'm not home to mess with it. It will go to my son when he gets out of college and gets a house in a couple of years. I'd like to improve it. That's why I'm thinking of getting better track.

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Is the distance between rails on the track you are using 1-3/4 inches? If it is you should be able to use LGB track
Yes, that is the standard distance between the rails, which you may see described as 45mm called gauge, for G scale track also known as Gauge 1 track. As was said if the New Bright is the same gauge you should be fine. LGB has brass tabs so when you join them the tabs ensure conductivity. USA and Aristocraft track have tiny screws that go into the sides of the rails which also works but can be very frustrating to work with. Aristocraft, which is out of business, and USA track are compatible but won't mate with LGB. Bachmann made G scale track but had a terrible reputation.
 

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If LGB track works it may be better to shop for a complete set. That way you have a compatible transformer, hook up, and track. Bonus would be an extra engine. Just my thought.
 

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I honestly do not remember how the lgb track is , box rail? But hollow as I remember. Or was that the lionel or both? I am still thinking while not the best , it may be usable. I will check on what I have, I dont run it much, if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If LGB track works it may be better to shop for a complete set. That way you have a compatible transformer, hook up, and track. Bonus would be an extra engine. Just my thought.
Good idea. The New Bright train, while G scale, runs on it's own digital system unique to them. I'm not sure if the transformer would be the same or not, but it has a dedicated controller. Getting a set would give us something we could use outside of Christmas and the I could just use the track at Christmas with the New Bright set we have. I see trains at estate sales. In fact, that's what lead me to posting today. I saw about six G scale sets listed at a sale. All Bachmann I think. I always look for HO and O at sales, but never looked for G (since it only comes out at Christmas, I guess I never thought about it). I'll have to keep my eyes open for G. Maybe I'll get lucky and find a set with good track. I'll avoid Bachmann based on @Gramps comment.
 

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I'd get solid rail if anyone makes such a thing. And there's a product called rail clamps for G. I'd go for that. This pic is one brand.

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So ok I'm adding. That's a piko product and here's what it looks like.


And this is appealing to me. The rail is did. The downside is you're stuck with their curve geometry offerings. But if it's just one loop... It seems good.

Clamp it all together, it seems like to me it'll stay that way through the Xmas season.
 

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LGB is solid rail. The rail joiners slide in like HO but on the bottom of one slider is a tab which slides into a slot on the other slider to ensure conductivity and connection so you won't need the rail clamps. They are however good on connecting LGB to USA or Aristocraft track but they can be expensive if you need a lot. Aristocraft also made those rail clamps and another clamp with additional screws that you could connect to the power supply but again, they are no longer in business.
 

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Yeah I'm not specifically familiar with the brands. LGB is of course a well known name in G. Piko, maybe also don't know. Besides costs, I would if I was buying for a single probably circular loop look at the number of curves needed to make a circle -- with less being a better thing in my mind to minimize connections. Clamp design might be something to consider if various companies offer dramatically different approaches. After that... I'm not sure what to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone who posted here. We didn't put the train out last Christmas, and one or two other years, because I just didn't want to deal with the track issues (mostly it popping apart). I actually zip tied them together once. We're moving to a different house and I am seeing the move as a great time to fix up things that need some freshening up, like the track here. I was looking for some ideas for when I start working on this a couple of months from now. You guys came up with some great ideas and advice!

The link to PIKO made me realize how muck more that just the straight and curved track there is. I have S, O, and HO. I have no idea why I didn't think of other things, like switches. I guess I was just thinking of the oval track layout that came with the Christmas Train. The rerailer like I saw at PICO would be worth having for this set.

I'm a woodworker, so I'm thinking of making track bed out of wood. Might look good with balast and some snow.

I see the rail clamps can be expensive. I have a friend who bought some machine equipment and is looking for things to do to learn how to use it. I bet he could make these for me. I can see where they would be good for joining different brand tracks together where they might be slightly different dimensions.

Thanks again for all the ideas. I'll try remember to post in the future when I get this done.
 

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By all means, make a solid bed for your track...that lack
of good support is the reason you have had the
problems you report. I would suggest that you use
tiny screws to attach the track to the wood base. Make
sure there is a solid electrical connection from one
section to the next. It would seem that making the
base large enough to
support the train AND the tree would be a good idea.
Once the tree is put away, the base could be stored
vertically until next year.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is this on flooring or rug, or ... ?
Carpet. That's part of the problem, but mostly because the track is so flimsy. No problem running old O gauge on the same carpet. I know a wood road bed, built properly, would solve my problems, but it would still be a cheap track with plastic parts that break (forgot to mention that before) and rails that dent.
 

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Just looking at a vid with several G track brands and I'd probably without holding them in my hand go with LGB because it seemed the heaviest duty. but i could be wrong about that. I'm talking about for this application of being on the floor. And since i'm lazy I'd probably just want to stubbornly throw it down, connect it up and hope it holds together after people inadvertently step on it, the dog chews on it and so on... but that's me.
 

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I zip tied my previous o-scale track, first fastrack and then atlas ... and i found it didn't work as well as id imagined. on my ho track i've just glued everything down and soldered every connection. which in this case you definitely do not want to do cause its a temporary xmas tree layout.
 
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