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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am building my layout, not going for a scale layout but more of a Tribute to the trains of the days. I want to use old plasticville buildings and add some features like trees and hills etc.

I want to know if you think I'm moving in the right direction or if I should consider different track. I started with Fastrack on the base level and was planning to use o27 I got in a marx set for the upper level. I just found another set which had a bunch of track and several o27 switches. So now I think I want to go with o27 for the whole layout. Is that a practical choice? How easy is it to find new track in larger radius than o27? I used a mix of o27 and o34 marx curves for the Mock up of the upper level.

Using the Marx track I can add some turnouts and loading docks to the layout vs the fastrack. Another reason I'm asking is I can only find used marx track for the larger turns. Did lionel make larger turns in o27 and am I making a mistake using old track and switches?


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I don't have any experience with Marx track. I have lots of 027 and have been able to find all the curved pieces I needed.

One thing I can tell you, paint your table before you go any further and finish the walls. You'll be sorry if you don't.
 

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I see no problem with the old track as long as its clean. If you have a local train store u should be able to pick up any more track, pins, turnouts,etc u might need. If not, online.

I would suggest pulling the track pins and cleaning/replacing as needed if track has much rust/corrosion.

Also, don't be stingy with power drops.

have fun!! :D
 

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So I am building my layout, not going for a scale layout but more of a Tribute to the trains of the days. I want to use old plasticville buildings and add some features like trees and hills etc.

I want to know if you think I'm moving in the right direction or if I should consider different track. I started with Fastrack on the base level and was planning to use o27 I got in a marx set for the upper level. I just found another set which had a bunch of track and several o27 switches. So now I think I want to go with o27 for the whole layout. Is that a practical choice? How easy is it to find new track in larger radius than o27? I used a mix of o27 and o34 marx curves for the Mock up of the upper level.

Using the Marx track I can add some turnouts and loading docks to the layout vs the fastrack. Another reason I'm asking is I can only find used marx track for the larger turns. Did lionel make larger turns in o27 and am I making a mistake using old track and switches?


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Using tubular for a "tribute" to trains of the past is keeping with that theme. It will run fine as long as the connections (e.g., pins/rails) make good contact it's kept clean (as all tracks need).

I have to presume you "can't" find O-27 in the larger radius turns as it's becoming scarce (27" radius curves are a dime a dozen).

Marx made O-27 in 34" radius and Lionel made O-27 in 42" and 72"?. I'm not aware of any new mfg O-27 track in the larger radii.

You have to scour eBay for the larger radii. Here's an eBay offer for Marx 34" O-27 track (the five ties per piece is the telltale sign). Auction ends in 1 day+. Id'd grab it while you can. Maybe ask the seller to ensure it is O-27 and not some other 5-tie O-gauge track before you bid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Using tubular for a "tribute" to trains of the past is keeping with that theme. It will run fine as long as the connections (e.g., pins/rails) make good contact it's kept clean (as all tracks need).

I have to presume you "can't" find O-27 in the larger radius turns as it's becoming scarce (27" radius curves are a dime a dozen).

Marx made O-27 in 34" radius and Lionel made O-27 in 42" and 72"?. I'm not aware of any new mfg O-27 track in the larger radii.

You have to scour eBay for the larger radii. Here's an eBay offer for Marx 34" O-27 track (the five ties per piece is the telltale sign). Auction ends in 1 day+. Id'd grab it while you can. Maybe ask the seller to ensure it is O-27 and not some other 5-tie O-gauge track before you bid.
Thank you that's the info I need.

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I see that Menards is also offering tubular track in radius up to 096. What I don't know is if it is 027 or 0 size. I seem to remember that you could mix 027 and 0, but the heights were different?

Art
 

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I see that Menards is also offering tubular track in radius up to 096. What I don't know is if it is 027 or 0 size. I seem to remember that you could mix 027 and 0, but the heights were different?

Art
Menards is O-Scale and the heights are different. I would love if there selections were O-27 size: new track at a reasonable price. C'est La Vie, ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Progress update:

1st, thank you all for the advise.

I've located a few more packs of track and several marx turnouts through ebay and even locally on Facebook. I'm'm also fortunate tho be closer to Train Depot in Chantilly, VA http://www.traindepot.biz which carries a good supply of classic cars and parts including o27 track (new and used) and miscellaneous plasticville pieces.

So I'm going with o27 track using marx turnouts (with slight mods to smoothly run lionel engines) and their larger radius curves. Below are some pics to see where I am and the rough plans for track layout.

If you look in the first pic the double reverse loop that overlaps will be the 2nd level. I may also add a couple other turnouts on the main level.

I've primed and painted the pink foam using some $2.00 home depot "oops" paint.

Next I'll be finalizing the track layout

I haven decided if I should use trackbed or not. I'm leaning that way along with adding additional ties. Let me know what you think

Morgan


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Some pointers on the metal Marx switches.

They need a slight hack for Lionel rollers to pass through the switch. Here's the tutorial on inserting some track pins to correct that

And they are not self tending. That is, a train approaching the switch must have the turnout set for to the correct path. That can be accomplished by using insulated rails to detect the train and control the switch - But - a longer train will cause the switch to continuously receive the throw voltage and can burnout the switches solenoid coil.

Some use a capacitor discharge circuit to provide a pulse and prevent the burnout. There's a commercial product but I can't seem to locate it at the moment. And I'm working on my own pulse control using cost effective Arduino modules.
 

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Ill agree with the switches, the lionel 027 automatic ones are better but not all marx stuff will run on them. Also, be careful how close to the edge you have your track. A derailed train on the edge can be bad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been making some progress. Once I Finished putting down the roadbed. I was able to start on the upper level. I want the left side to be an elevated track section and I was thinking about ways to support the track. But I'm not 100% set on how to do it.

My plan was to create more of these concrete pillars using paper towel tubes filled with expanding foam to support the foam platform. Once I cut the center out of the foam board it's resting on it will open things up.

The other thought I had was to use pieces fro the tressel set but to match the height they will need to be much taller. II'm not going for scale model or anything but I'd like it to be somewhat realistic.


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First off, nice table work.

The paper towel tubes is a great idea. Good your using them - toilet paper tubes being hard to come by of late :)

You may need more supports than pictured. The foam will not provide any support. Between supports the track will flex down from the weight of the passing train. That will result is negative degree curves. Not good.

I can't recall where or why, but I saw pieces on a layout sprayed with Rustoleum textured (or stone?) spray paint. That texture would give the tubes an authentic concrete pillar look.

Think about painting the wall now; while you can. Or hang a pre-made backdrop. It'll be ten times the effort after everything is fixed in place. Several recent threads attest to that.

I think a base for the tubes would make a nice foundation - if they can fit. Easy to make if you have a miter saw.

I'm don't know your plans for painting the table. On my "in-progress" build, I left the front fascia wood natural. So I gave it two coats of Danish oil to protect the wood from getting dingy over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the complements. That's a really good suggestion for a backdrop and finishing the wood on the table. I'll need to look into that.

Right now the upper level track is just propped up but with more supports do you think the foam would work to support the track or do I need to go with plywood?

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The layout will be a fun to operate once completed. The gap between supports may be to long for the pink foam to support much weight. All right for a trolley, heavy steamer could be a problem eventually.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Or PVC pipe
That's not a bad idea, I can do a better job of cutting them to a precise size that way. The paper towel rolls and sprayfoam were just something I had on hand. And a good way to practice my painting and weathering techniques. They've been repainted since and will probably be repainted again, I think they need to be more of an off white with a slight hint of grey to be more realistic.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I totally forgot to show off my most recent creations! Through the process of filling the paper towel tubes with the foam the excess that came out I cut andthrew away. My seven year old pulled them out of the trash to play with them. That sparked an idea, low and behold boulders!


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