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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to build a new Dept 56 ,see picture,layout I am limited to 48 x50 max. I want to put in a single loop HO track around the village. I have an engine, coal car, two passengers cars and a caboos.

I also know the village will be a lot smaller.

For storage reasons I need the platform to be 2 x 4 or 1 x 4 but most of the track can be permanent.


Thanks
Jack
 

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Welcome to the forum. Just one post probably would have been enough. That said, is there a question here?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum. Just one post probably would have been enough. That said, is there a question here?

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Thanks
what would the layout require in flexi track and corner radius to make it fit

I added the additional info when I realized not everyone would know what dept56 is
 

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Thanks
what would the layout require in flexi track and corner radius to make it fit

I added the additional info when I realized not everyone would know what dept56 is
Well, I certainly don't know what Dept 56 is. Could you possibly be overestimating your fame? o_O
To answer your question, I don't think "flexi track" (more commonly known as flex track) would be necessary on that small a layout, which I'm guessing, would be used around christmas, and stored the rest of the year?
You might look into Kato Unitrack. You can use any radius curves between 18" radius and 22" radius. You will need enough curved sections to form a 360 degree circle, probably 12. You might also get 2 or 4 straight sections depending on their length, for the 50" sides of your layout.
Kato Unitrack locks firmly together and makes good electrical connections between sections of track. It is very high quality, and should last for many years with no troubles. Two online sources are www.modeltrainstuff.com and www.trainworld.com

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply, dept56 are small ceramic houses from Charles Dickens era and you are right it is put up in Nov and taken down in Jan. The vision I have is a track around the city built with the houses. The picture i added is my old layout that only had a small section of track coming out of a mountain it did not move. I think I want 2 or 3 4ft sections connected together.

I will look into the Kato option
 

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I would look into unitrack for sure. It will be a much more user friendly option for you and look better without having to add ballast or road bed. It can also be pulled up and refine easily if needed.

I like dept56 village, always thought they were neat. My mom used to have some (some "knock off" brands) but I guess now they kinda remind me of my childhood. I think a village with a train running around it would be an excellent idea. Bonus points of you run it under a bridge or tunnel.

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None of that Dept 56 collection is HO scale, or even O scale. That is going to look grossly out of proportion in either scale. For some structures the scale varies significantly as is not even slightly realistically scaled for model railroads.
 

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I always thought of that stuff as more whimsical than realistic. I dint have any in front of me right now, but I think HO would be fine. If I remember correct, the characters are out of scale with the buildings anyway. I think this is one of those where the scans is less important. But to each his own! Cheers

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I think I want 2 or 3 4ft sections connected together. I will look into the Kato option

Dept 56 layout;

If you do expand the length of your layout, then obviously, you will need more straight track sections. I think Kato makes some extra long straights that might be useful for you.
There are other brands of track that include the rigid plastic roadbed piece under each track section, and lock together. The most common is Bachmann "EZ Track." While not as high quality as the Kato Unitrack, It is cheaper. The real difference between these two brands is in the "turnouts" (track switches) The Kato turnouts are well made, and work reliably. The Bachmann turnouts are neither well made, or reliable, in fact they're downright lousy. 😕
Right now, you may, or may not, want any turnouts, (say for a siding at your village's railroad station where the train to pull off the "main line" and up to the platform.)
However, sooner or later, if/when the train bug bites, you will probably acquire a second train, and want a siding or two where they can pass each other. Since the two brands of track do not directly mate with each other, picking a brand of track usually commits you to that same brand of turnouts.
Kato is definitely the better choice, both for decent turnouts, and for more variety of curves and other track pieces.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry for the misunderstanding the two or three sections I am talking about would be 1 x 4 or 2 x 4 connected together I am totally limited to the 48 x 50 inches. The train is just an addition to the village. I used to have a 4 x 6 foot setup around a Christmas tree and several houses. The train looked really cool with the village so I am trying to do that again just no Christmas tree.
 

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Do you still have a layout you are wanting to build onto or are you starting another layout from scratch? I'm a little confused.

If you are starting from scratch, there are structure kits out there along with hundreds of accessories and figures (including St. Nicholases) that would make for a much more interesting and realistic layout. There is also convincing snow material available and nicely flocked fir, spruce, and pine trees.

Instead of your visitors saying, "Isn't that cute...", they will be oohing and aahing and saying "WOW, just wow, how did you do all of this?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry for all the confusion, the star is my wife's dept56 village, it is not a ho model layout.I just want to circle it with my ho train(actually it is a dickens train) and looking for help on what the single track, (parts and pieces) could be on a 48 x 50 board that will probably be two 2 x 4 sections. So far it looks like kato unitrack might be my best option.
 

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Well, from the accolades it receives at this site I would think that is your best bet. A circle of 22" radius track should have you in business. That will give you a two inch margin on the short sides and a three inch margin on the long side. I wouldn't worry about short straight sections on the long sides with this this 3" margin.

I would ensure my trackwork was perfect with margins as slim as you will have. No fun reassembling or rebuilding a model that takes a header off the rails on to the floor.
 

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I believe the minimum HO curve available in unitrack is 21-5/8" (550mm, part #2-210). To power it you need 24-818. They do make a 4-1/2" straight piece you could throw in as well and that would put you at 47-3/4". That would eat up most of your 50" side. I would recommend just the oval or the shorter straight section (there is a 2.xx" and a 3.xx" section as well).

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Vette-kid

Thank you so much I think you are dead on, I was thinking of adding a road crossover or two instead of a short peice as it is also a rerailer 2-142 and I can use it to make a road into the village. Also I am planing on a tunnel in one of the corners or back wall it will allow me to go up with adding shelves for houses.
 

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I don't think you have room for that. That would put you at a touch over 48", that is centerline of the track. So the outside will be about 50". I wouldn't ruin it right up to the edge like that. My N scale is close with about 2-3" to the edge of the table and even that madness me nervous sometimes. Granted, it's just at the apex of your curve, so maybe your ok with that.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well

Thanks to all the build has started my final size is 48 x 53 in two 48 x26.6 sections. I plan to attach the two sections together the way you put a leaf in a table. These are the pictures so far, one half built the other cut out. I used the 1/2 Baltic birch because it was free instead of 4 x 8 sheet, you can see how I have it joined.
 

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That's not much support along those seams. I would be worried they will sag unless there is more support. You could rub then the other direction and I think it would be more stable.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the thoughts, there will be a 2 x4 substructure to fully support the platform. I am just trying to get platform built to layout the track and the village streets. Too much money tied up in the houses to not keep it from collapsing.

As you can see in the picture I have 4 pieces of kato track how does it get attached I am thinking some will stay attached while the joints will need to be removable. Flex track had nails in the ties I do not see any holes in the kato.
 
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