Model Train Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an assortment of Triang locos, track and rolling stock from the '50s and '60s that has been in boxes for the better part of 50 years. When COVID happened back in March and my regular routine came to a halt, I decided to pull out some of this old stuff to see if anything still worked. Amazingly, all six locos and the two P.5.C controllers still work. I did some maintenance and cleaning on the locos (which my brother and I had never done when we ran a layout as kids) and set up a small test track. That was all back in the Spring; when Summer came along, I got busy with other things and the train stuff went back on the back burner. Now with winter setting in, I'm looking to getting back into it and setting up a small 4' x 8' layout. My dilemma at this point is that the track I have is mixture of ancient Triang Series 3 and Super 4 track. Some of the Series 3 long pieces are quite twisted (as one might expect), while the Super 4 stuff is in fairly good shape. But it's all steel rail, which I understand is inferior to the more modern nickel silver. So - long story short - I'm looking for advice on what type of track might be compatible with my old-time equipment, whose wheels I suspect have deeper flanges than is currently the norm. Anyone have any experience running this old stuff? What should I be looking for in new track? Any advice - other than "scrap the whole lot and mortgage the house to buy all new!" - would be appreciated!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,189 Posts
It's a pretty simple fact trains will never run GOOD on BAD track.
Those deep flange wheels will be fine on N/S code 100 track.
Code 83 might be a bit iffy so I'd go with code 100.

Look on the bright side, mortgage rates are at an all time low. (y) (y)
Welcome to MTF.

Magic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's a pretty simple fact trains will never run GOOD on BAD track.
Those deep flange wheels will be fine on N/S code 100 track.
Code 83 might be a bit iffy so I'd go with code 100.

Look on the bright side, mortgage rates are at an all time low. (y) (y)
Welcome to MTF.

Magic
Thanks Magic. Do you, or anyone else that may be out there, have any advice on track manufacturers or brands? Are any brands any better or worse than others? Is there anything that might be compatible with my old Super 4 track (if so, I could consider using it for some lesser-used sidings and spurs, or sections that are not easily visible). I don't have a lot of options available locally (just Atlas, Bachman and PECO), so there's not much that I can actually "try" in person. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,690 Posts
There are three 'types' of HO track...track on roadbed...sectional...and Flex. Opinions differ as to which
is 'best'. However, the more serious modeler seems to prefer flex track. It comes in 3 foot
sedtions and can easily be cut and bent
to your track plan while all of the others are sometimes more difficult to follow what you want due to limited
choice of curve radius.
The track on roadbed is very proprietary and is not easily compatible with other makes. Sectional
track systems are compatible with various make turnouts but again limit you to the curve
radius available.. Flex track offers one more advantage...fewer 'joints'...that means less
loss of power due to poor conductivity. There is not much difference between brands of flex so
long as you stay with niicle/steel rail material. Atlas flex is possibly the most likely to be found in stock.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,209 Posts
I have an assortment of Triang locos, track and rolling stock from the '50s and '60s that has been in boxes for the better part of 50 years. When COVID happened back in March and my regular routine came to a halt, I decided to pull out some of this old stuff to see if anything still worked. Amazingly, all six locos and the two P.5.C controllers still work. I did some maintenance and cleaning on the locos (which my brother and I had never done when we ran a layout as kids) and set up a small test track. That was all back in the Spring; when Summer came along, I got busy with other things and the train stuff went back on the back burner. Now with winter setting in, I'm looking to getting back into it and setting up a small 4' x 8' layout. My dilemma at this point is that the track I have is mixture of ancient Triang Series 3 and Super 4 track. Some of the Series 3 long pieces are quite twisted (as one might expect), while the Super 4 stuff is in fairly good shape. But it's all steel rail, which I understand is inferior to the more modern nickel silver. So - long story short - I'm looking for advice on what type of track might be compatible with my old-time equipment, whose wheels I suspect have deeper flanges than is currently the norm. Anyone have any experience running this old stuff? What should I be looking for in new track? Any advice - other than "scrap the whole lot and mortgage the house to buy all new!" - would be appreciated!
Vintage HO;

The others have pretty well answered your question on track that is most likely to accommodate deep-flanged wheels. " Code 100 " (which means rail that is 100/1000ths" high) would be a good choice. Since we don't know just how deep the flanges of your train's wheels are, I suggest buying only a little track at first, and trying your trains on it. You will probably need to clean the locomotive's wheels, and yes, even the brand new track you just bought, with alcohol, before running tests. The wheels have likely built up a coating of dust and oxide while they sat in a box. Yes, steel rail is not recommended. It tends to rust and need much more frequent cleaning than the nickel/silver railed track used now. I suggest replacing the steel rail track with nickel/silver. As DonR said, there are three different types of track available. Roadbed track, sectional track, and flex track. I recommend using flex track as it is less expensive than either of the other types, and being flexible, it opens up more possibilities that rigid sectional or roadbed track. Flex track can be used as straight track, or formed into whatever curve you like. As far as brands of track are concerned, any of the popular brands sold now will work. Some look more realistic, and others are more flexible and easy to form into the desired curve. The file below, titled (section 5) of "how to build a better first layout" has more info on track. The other files have more info on many model railroad subjects. Look through them if you want.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
There are three 'types' of HO track...track on roadbed...sectional...and Flex. Opinions differ as to which
is 'best'. However, the more serious modeler seems to prefer flex track. It comes in 3 foot
sedtions and can easily be cut and bent
to your track plan while all of the others are sometimes more difficult to follow what you want due to limited
choice of curve radius.
The track on roadbed is very proprietary and is not easily compatible with other makes. Sectional
track systems are compatible with various make turnouts but again limit you to the curve
radius available.. Flex track offers one more advantage...fewer 'joints'...that means less
loss of power due to poor conductivity. There is not much difference between brands of flex so
long as you stay with niicle/steel rail material. Atlas flex is possibly the most likely to be found in stock.

Don
Thanks Don! I like the idea of using flex as much as possible, and I'm not keen on the track with the integral roadbed. No doubt Youtube can help me master the art of cutting and joining sections of flex! ;) Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
The trick to laying curves with flex track is to join and solder the two pueces together then mount the track. I cut the next piece's ends flush and then start the process again with the next piece.

There is no wrong way to do it, but this is the fastest and most accurate for me to get smooth curves with flex track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I have to pipe up. Long story short, got back into British model rail in ‘91, thinking I couldsave a bundle using Code 100 Atlas. Also, pickings were slim, pre-internet. No, didn’t mixtoo well with the big vintage pizza cutters, particularly with frogs and diamonds. Also, the rattle of flange upon nail heads alarming. Just my experience. For my taste, using Hornby Code 100 manages all the vintages, old to new, most satisfactorily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The trick to laying curves with flex track is to join and solder the two pueces together then mount the track. I cut the next piece's ends flush and then start the process again with the next piece.

There is no wrong way to do it, but this is the fastest and most accurate for me to get smooth curves with flex track.
Thanks for the tip! If there IS as wrong way to do it, I'm sure I'll find it! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Vintage HO;

The others have pretty well answered your question on track that is most likely to accommodate deep-flanged wheels. " Code 100 " (which means rail that is 100/1000ths" high) would be a good choice. Since we don't know just how deep the flanges of your train's wheels are, I suggest buying only a little track at first, and trying your trains on it. You will probably need to clean the locomotive's wheels, and yes, even the brand new track you just bought, with alcohol, before running tests. The wheels have likely built up a coating of dust and oxide while they sat in a box. Yes, steel rail is not recommended. It tends to rust and need much more frequent cleaning than the nickel/silver railed track used now. I suggest replacing the steel rail track with nickel/silver. As DonR said, there are three different types of track available. Roadbed track, sectional track, and flex track. I recommend using flex track as it is less expensive than either of the other types, and being flexible, it opens up more possibilities that rigid sectional or roadbed track. Flex track can be used as straight track, or formed into whatever curve you like. As far as brands of track are concerned, any of the popular brands sold now will work. Some look more realistic, and others are more flexible and easy to form into the desired curve. The file below, titled (section 5) of "how to build a better first layout" has more info on track. The other files have more info on many model railroad subjects. Look through them if you want.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
Wow, thanks TF! Amazing resources ... I'm starting to feel like I'm drinking from the proverbial fire hose! o_O Great to have the benefit of your extensive experience! Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I have to pipe up. Long story short, got back into British model rail in ‘91, thinking I couldsave a bundle using Code 100 Atlas. Also, pickings were slim, pre-internet. No, didn’t mixtoo well with the big vintage pizza cutters, particularly with frogs and diamonds. Also, the rattle of flange upon nail heads alarming. Just my experience. For my taste, using Hornby Code 100 manages all the vintages, old to new, most satisfactorily.
Thanks for piping up! I had looked at Altas Code 100 at a local shop and it looked to be a lower-profile rail than my old Super 4 track. I ran a tender from one of my locos over a section of it and the flanges were definitely hitting the spike heads. Yet on another section I tried, it didn't hit them. But I suspect, as you mentioned, turnouts and diamonds would be a problem. I haven't looking into Hornby rail as of yet, but will definitely do so! I'm not a stickler for realism; mainly just want to resurrect my old equipment. Thanks again!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top