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Hi,
I'm building the Grand Valley HO layout kit. I've soldered several large sections of track together but would you all suggest soldering every track piece possible including the switches/turnouts? TIA

P1090102.jpg
 

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I did. It provides positive un-interrupted continuity and integrity of the joint.

In areas like atics or basements with wide temperature and humidity variances, some will leave joints unsoldered for expansion and contraction of the rail joint. This loosens rail joints and joiners over repeated actions and eventually there will be continuity problems.

It's better for the whole layout to be in a climate controlled location if possible. This also benefits scenery structure and the sub-roadbed. If not, you will have to make the call yourself whether or not to solder rail joints.
 

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i soldered all track, but not switches / turnouts ...\
i do have all of it on a foam base, and a fairly constant temperature though
 

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Looks like you are using those track sections with molded on road bed which click together end to end.
If so, I wouldn't bother soldering if trains aren't mysteriously stalling-out in places..This kind of track is designed for plug and play ops / little fuss..The rail joiners should be enough as they are. Only, be sure they are inserted correct at each rail end.
If / when you get into flex track and/or hand-laying track is when soldering becomes more eminent !! M
 

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I would not solder many of those joints. As the previous responder says, that track is meant to be pulled apart and reattached time and time again. It doesn't mean the joiners are a ton better than regular flex track joiners, but at least they are firmly attached at the non-slipping end, and you can be fairly confident of continuity at those attached ends.
 

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I have an out door O gauge shelf layout. Although it is under a covered patio, I soldered all track connections, and used multiple drops, including alternating ground wires on both outside rails. If I was doing an inside permanent layout, I would use jumper wires for connections in case a section of track would need removal.
 

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No.

I used Kato Unitrack to assemble my layout about 2 1/2 years ago.
Nothing is "soldered" -- not a single joint.
They all still work just fine...
 

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Using that kind of track, I doubt the layout will be used for too many years. Either you will loose interest or graduate to a larger around the wall layout and you will just chuck that track as you learn the hobby.
 

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Hi,
I'm building the Grand Valley HO layout kit. I've soldered several large sections of track together but would you all suggest soldering every track piece possible including the switches/turnouts? TIA

View attachment 549633
davefr;

My home layout's wiring system is adapted from the wiring standards of my old club, which had about twenty scale miles of N-scale flex track, and perhaps a hundred turnouts. They soldered a feed wire to every single rail on their large layout. These feeders were in turn connected to bus wires below the layout. This was done well before DCC came along, but the same basic wiring system is now recommended for DCC layouts.

Every turnout had three feeder wires, one to each outside running rail, and one to the metal frog. All six rails of the turnout had insulated rail joiners installed. This last was strictly a precautionary measure, in case of shorts. The turnout's two main feed wires were connected to the bus wires like any other piece of track, which bypassed the insulated joiners, but if an electrical problem came up, it was easy to electrically isolate a turnout by cutting a few feeders, without tearing the turnout up from the layout.
In case a turnout was damaged badly enough that it had to be replaced, the plastic rail joiners made it easier to remove, since no turnout rails were soldered in.

On your much smaller layout, I feel you have done the right thing by soldering some of your short sectional track into longer sections. I hope that you soldered the rail joiners of all the track that would end up being covered in your tunnels, for example.
I would not recommend soldering every single rail joint on your layout though. Instead, I recommend soldering a pair of feed wires to each of your now longer "sections", and connecting those feeders to a pair of bus wires under your layout. This will give you perfect electrical continuity throughout all your track, and still leave some joints free to move a tiny bit for expansion and contraction. The actual rails don't expand or contract very much at all, but the wood sub roadbed does, and it tends to take the track with it. This is a very conservative, some might even say pessimistic, wiring system but it can't hurt anything, and will provide perfect electrical reliability, no mater what the unsoldered rail joiners do. It won't mater if they get dirty, or loose, or corroded, since you won't be relying on them to carry electricity, but only to keep the rails lined up.

Traction Fan 🙂
 
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