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Discussion Starter #1
Been a while but the trains never left :)

Anyways.....my 3 boys, 7,5,2 all have their own Lionel/MTH/Williams/Weaver/Atlas/etc trains and its time to setup a layout in part of the basement. Luckily my wife is actually pushing for this as we have about 4-5 bins worth of locomotives and rolling stock throughout the house...along with a few Bachman buildings.

I'm sure this is opening a can of worms but what track would you recommend for a semi-permanent layout? It will be ballasted and nailed down. Atlas? Gargraves? Same for switches? I have a roughly 14'x14' area I can fill....might be able to squeeze a few more feet here/there when the wife isn't looking!

**I have Fastrak now and while its nice for under the Christmas tree I do not like the molded ballast for a permanent layout.

Power wise...I think either MTH or MRC - going big.
 

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I use Gargraves track along with Ross switches as does the modular club I belong too. Track is probably the most reasonable except for tubular. Switches can get pricey though but then everyones switches are getting expensive. All my track is flex track but you can get fixed straights and curves from Gargraves. Direct from Gargraves yiu will pay list price but many of their dealers diacount.

Pete
 

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Gargraves flex track. But, if you go with sectional track, either Gargraves or Ross depending on the exact radius you need. There are a few sizes that only Gargraves makes and a few that only Ross makes.

Gargraves switches if you are on a budget. Ross switches if you want the best or if you need a style that Gargraves does not make.

Don’t nail it down. Use screws.
 

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Like Norton said, a lot go with the Gargraves track along with Ross switches.
Me? I have all tube track, 0/27 and O. There is a difference but you can mate the O to o/27 track.
Everyone that uses tube track seem to like the Menards track, and the price is a lot better then Gargraves.

But like I said all I have ever used is Lionel tube track picked up here and there.
How much room do you have in the basement?
The more the better, most start small but end up expanding eventually, it is easier to plan on using all the space you can afford from the get go when building the table.
Watch the boys! If they are anything like I was you may end up with a bunch of wrecked trains. :)
 

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I use Gargraves track along with Ross switches as does the modular club I belong too. Track is probably the most reasonable except for tubular. Switches can get pricey though but then everyones switches are getting expensive. All my track is flex track but you can get fixed straights and curves from Gargraves. Direct from Gargraves yiu will pay list price but many of their dealers diacount.

Pete

This is exactly what I did. I'm very happy with the results so far as I'm still in the track laying phase on my layout.
541353
 

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BTW it turns out Gargraves and 027 tubular are the same height and Gargraves makes adapter pins so you could use 027 style track in out of the way places like tunnels or yards. Keep in mind other companies like K-Line made 027 compatible track in much wider diameters including 042, 054, and 072. Usually available on the auction sites.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Went with Gargraves flex track. Got first order in. There’s not going to be any hidden sections and honestly I’m going for appearance. Going to take a few orders as I squeezed as second mainline in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All modular sections so I can move it when we move into a new house in a few years.

Masonite is hiding the electrical panel. I’ll have it on magnetic cabinet catches so it’s easily removable. Section in front will be removable as well to allow for any maintenance.

Have an old crumbling bar that needs to be demolished before I can go further. Figure 2 more sheets of plywood and I have the layout framed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That was a bit earlier. Mocked up the approaches. Got my tinplate out as it was on the top of my train box and I didn’t want to dig.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
544130

Here’s where I am at now. Bar is demolished and part of a landfill somewhere...my boys were taking it apart with their bare hands so you can tell the construction was beyond stellar.
Have another 2’x4’ section framed up waiting on a top and legs. Once that’s up only a 4’x4’ section remains to close the loop. Then a bit of engineering to be done on the lift up section...it’s 29” off the ground and I’m too old to limbo under it!

Then a few more orders of Gargraves track and I’ll have the mainlines run so trains can run.

Picked up a MRC AH601 off evilbay. Had to repair the right direction button as the copper contact broke the solder joint. Hats off to MRC support as they diagnosed that over the phone for me.
 

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Making good progress. One think I notice, 29" is pretty low, I wouldn't want to have to go under and do any wiring! :D
Picked up a MRC AH601 off evilbay. Had to repair the right direction button as the copper contact broke the solder joint. Hats off to MRC support as they diagnosed that over the phone for me.
They've had a lot of practice, that's probably the most common failure with those transformers. It's also very easy to fix, a bonus. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It’s the ideal height for my kids but I’m with you on wiring this. I think I have that worked out too but time will tell.

I already told my wife that the next iteration WILL be taller.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
544153

I’d call it 90% at this point.

Still need to install the tabletop, add a 45* section in at the orange pencil to accommodate the curves, install some hinges on my lift up section, and out of picture scarf on another 1’ to increase the size of the farm - wife’s request.
 
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