New EMGS track & turnout questions

Members Forum Track Scratch building track New EMGS track & turnout questions

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    • #240674
      John Cutler
      Participant

        I thought about asking these questions direct, but it might spread more awareness if somebody knowledgeable answers them on this forum.

        1. Is the rail inwards-inclined at 1 in 20 in the chairs of the plain track?
        The Newsletter 219 drawing seems to indicate it is not.

        2. Is the sleeper colour the mid-brown on the cover of Newsletter 219 or the near black of the production samples shown on page 219-4?
        I much prefer a lighter shade. It is much easier to weather and distress a light-coloured base.
        A dark base usually has to be totally overpainted first.
        The mid-brown also has the advantage that the chairs can be left unpainted/untouched as rust-coloured.

        3. The sleeper depth at 1.51 mm seems to be about 0.4mm more than C&L.
        That will give some of us problems in joining up.
        Is this to match Peco’s existing moulding facility?
        If the decision was made for some other reason, I just wonder why not go the whole hog and go to 1.67mm (=5 inches as per the prototype)?

        4. Will the proposed tiebar be separately available?
        Is it nylon (it needs to be pretty tough)?
        I currently use Norman Solomon’s type of tiebar; brass pins soldered to the blade base and pivoting in a copper-clad (PCB) tiebar.
        Despite using aluminium cooking foil and clock oil I have a 14% failure rate in terms of soldering the lot solid!
        So this new tiebar could be invaluable.

      • #240864
        John England
        Participant

          Sorry not a reply but another question

          5. The article in newsletter mentions sleeper panels are suitable for 60’ track panels (when two half panels are used together). It also says you get two and a half panels in each length. I reckon that is 600mm of sleepers in each yard 914mm of rail. I know there is a plan to allow for surplus for curves but surely not that much!? How many sleeper panels do you get in your £5 piece of track?

        • #240865
          John Cutler
          Participant

            I managed to interrogate the poor souls manning the EMGS stand at the Southampton MRS exhibition at Eastleigh this morning. They had a sample of train track and a rest sample of a B6 turnout on the stand.
            So I have some answers.

            1. The plain rail track is not inclined in the chairs.
            A shame.
            This means it is OK for sidings.
            But not suited for running long fast trains on a mainline.
            For me, inclining the rails means the rolling stock centres itself on the track and that means couplings also get centred.
            Which helps coupling and uncoupling with AJs.
            So even for sidings I do not think this plain track is for me.

            A fellow interrogator was assured that the plain track is keyed.
            But the keys do not protrude as in C&L chairs.
            However nobody could verify this as there were no magnifying glasses available.
            The dratted dark colour does not help one see!

            2. The sleeper colour will be the very dark brown as shown on page 219-4 of the January 2019 Newsletter.
            I am afraid the EMGS missed a trick here.

            3. The sleeper depth is dictated by the need to accommodate Peco’s wiring.
            It is a pity they could not make it a bit deeper, as per prototype, but also allowing the use of standard 0.5mm sheet to level the thin-sleepered C&L track in matching up.

            4. The tiebars will not be sold separately.
            Despite the EMGS needing dosh!

            The turnouts will be good value compared to buying components from C&L.
            Apparently the turnouts will be assembled by hand in the UK so this is surprising.
            I plan to buy 2 of the B6 turnouts once they are available.
            One to test and one to cut up and dismantle.
            The plan is to discover whether the parts can be used to construct a B6 Y turnout or similar.

          • #240870
            Gregory Waldon
            Participant

              A few further concerns. Having played around at various times trying to build track, the introduction of the Society track seemed to be the answer- a better and keener priced alternative to C&L and SMP, and a real start on an EM railway. HOWEVER, it is post 1923 track, that is 8’6” sleepers and 60′ panels. My interest is pre-grouping, as is, I suggest, that of a large number of members. Those of us of the 9’0″ sleeper and 44′ panels brigade will either have to ignore the fact they are using incorrect track, or go back to making it (OK if you have the time and skills). A weathered grey rather than dark brown would have been a better choice for sleepers, and the lack of automatic gauge widening is bewildering, considering it has been promulgated for so long. I recognise that Peco has taken some persuading to assist in this venture, and probably use their own materials, and in no way do I deride the Society efforts, but considering the number of years it has taken, I feel there are some missed opportunities. Is this a true EMGS track, or an improved re-gauged version of Peco 00 bullhead? On a positive note, the turnouts are keenly priced, and will be a boon. Let’s hope the range can expand in time. Some smaller ones would help the space starved.

            • #240871
              Nick Ridgway
              Participant

                I’m looking forward to getting some 12in scale hands onto them. Note that there are commercial reasons for selecting the junction geometry. A word or two of caution: the Haynes Manual for a standard class 4 2-6-4T in 12in scale would put a minimum radius of 4.5 chains “dead slow” on it and this is the radius for the B&6 geometry selected for these products. Further, there is no prospect of getting 2 of these to form a crossover at standard double-track centres and expecting a pair of Mk.1 coaches to propel through without buffer-locking; one heritage railway tried to do this with 1 in 6 1/2 crossings and found it necessary to relay the crossover with a pair of 8 crossings. For that reason, one will not usually find a crossover in 12in scale on passenger-carrying any wider than 8 and wherever possible 1 in 13 is laid-in new these days.

                So there is still scope for the finescale modeller to hand-build track.

                Regardess, the new developments are most welcome.

                I’ve just taken delivery of the new PECO buffer stop to go with the new EM gauge track and once I’ve built one I’ll clatter-up some words and pictures for the Newsletter. Is there a directory of shapes of these things other than the old Mike’s Models catalogues?

              • #240872
                Nick Ridgway
                Participant

                  The difference is the thickness of a piece of paper, which will be familiar to those using Templot to build and mount track and one would normally bury the template during top-ballasting.

                  5 inches is the depth of a wooden sleeper in 12in scale; crossing timbers are usually 6in deep, which would be 2mm in EM terms.

                  One is always going to think in 3 dimensions when building and laying track.

                • #240873
                  Nick Ridgway
                  Participant

                    @John Cutler said:
                    ….sleeper depth at 1.51 mm seems to be about 0.4mm more than C&L….
                    ….why not go the whole hog and go to 1.67mm (=5 inches as per the prototype)?…. 

                    The difference is the thickness of a piece of paper, which will be familiar to those using Templot to build and mount track and one would normally bury the template during top-ballasting.

                    5 inches is the depth of a wooden sleeper in 12in scale; crossing timbers are usually 6in deep, which would be 2mm in EM terms.

                    One is always going to think in 3 dimensions when building and laying track.

                  • #240875
                    John Cutler
                    Participant

                      @Nick Ridgway said:

                      @John Cutler said:
                      ….sleeper depth at 1.51 mm seems to be about 0.4mm more than C&L….
                      ….why not go the whole hog and go to 1.67mm (=5 inches as per the prototype)?…. 

                      The difference is the thickness of a piece of paper, which will be familiar to those using Templot to build and mount track and one would normally bury the template during top-ballasting.

                      5 inches is the depth of a wooden sleeper in 12in scale; crossing timbers are usually 6in deep, which would be 2mm in EM terms.

                      One is always going to think in 3 dimensions when building and laying track.  

                      Nick
                      This really has me confused! The average paper is 0.1mm thick +-0.03mm. Does this mean you will lay 4 sheets of paper under the thin-sleepered C&L track to match up to the new EMGS turnouts?
                      Or do you mean something different? Sorry if I am thick…..

                    • #240876
                      Nick Ridgway
                      Participant

                        @John Cutler said:

                        Nick
                        This really has me confused! The average paper is 0.1mm thick +-0.03mm. Does this mean you will lay 4 sheets of paper under the thin-sleepered C&L track to match up to the new EMGS turnouts?
                        Or do you mean something different? Sorry if I am thick…..  

                        Thicker paper, then. Dunno yet, as I don’t have the new materials to hand yet. Remember that the wheels are coned 1 in 20 as well, making some form of compensation or springing preferable to rigid chassis for locos. I can’t measure 0.1mm vertical when tracklaying…

                      • #240878
                        John Cutler
                        Participant

                          T

                          @Nick Ridgway said:

                          Thicker paper, then. Dunno yet, as I don’t have the new materials to hand yet. Remember that the wheels are coned 1 in 20 as well, making some form of compensation or springing preferable to rigid chassis for locos. I can’t measure 0.1mm vertical when tracklaying…  

                          Thanks Nick.

                          Pun was intended!

                          I cannot measure 0.1mm in the vertical plane either which is why I was hoping for a nice easy 0.5mm step rather than 0.4mm.
                          (Come to that, I seem to have trouble with 0.1mm in the horizontal plane as well!).

                        • #240923
                          John Cutler
                          Participant

                            I have now acquired 2 LH turnouts.

                            Contrary to my earlier intention and hope, I will not be cutting one of these up to try and turn it into a Y or to use the components as cheap substitutes for C&L parts. The closure rails are not of one piece with the wing rails. They are held in place by the chairs and plastic infills. There is a separate wire which bonds them electrically as there is no mechanical bond. So if the crossing is dismantled, one will be left with a pile of unaligned bits. The design and build of the turnout is robust (well, compared to my flimsy productions) so there is no flexibility in the sleepering.

                            I am a bit surprised to find that the turnout was about 0.1mm narrow to gauge, perhaps even 0.2mm in one place. I initially thought that my vernier was out but none of my EMGS triangular gauges sit easily on the railheads. This is not a problem for me despite my using a 16.7mm Back-to-Back. My test short-wheelbase wagon navigated with no trouble. But I foresee big trouble possible with a long wheelbase loco. I can never measure any check gauge with confidence but my EMGS check gauge fitted OK (I assume it is 17.2mm). I measured the flangeways as 0.9mm rather than the 1mm EMGS standard. That is fine by me and looks better but it might give trouble for anyone using ancient (coarse?) wheels with thick flanges.

                            As Nick Ridgway says above, a B6 is not really suitable for mainline (or even branchline) running with big locos at any sort of speed (unless used as a trailing point with the mainline being the straight road). The slight narrowness to gauge makes it even more prone to derailment with that usage. My 2 will be consigned to a freight yard.

                            If the above seems unduly negative, then I should balance the commentary with some pluses:
                            As stated above, the turnouts are robust;
                            They are good value for money;
                            They are a good way to get something up and running easily and quickly;
                            I love the tiebar; please can the EMGS sell them separately!

                          • #240924
                            Geoff Latham
                            Participant

                              Writing as an intending user, not a commissioner, the plastic connection would appear to be to ensure the electrical integrity of the unit because it comes ready wired with a very narrow gap between the tongues and the stock rails, about half of that on the code 87 HO 1 in 6 turnout. Interestingly, that has a similar tie-bar but a different arrangement on the switch rails – the tongues have a metal pivot and are cut electrically in a more prototypical location, although somewhat further towards the toe than it should be. The EM one has the break previously mentioned and another very close to the crossing. The HO track has considerably thicker sleepers (ties!).

                              With regard to the sleepering on the plain track, it is difficult to see the difference in the sleeper spaces at the end of the panels, especially if you start at the wrong end, due to the flexitrack construction, but the centres and ends are marked in the small print on the underside. The drawback with it is not so much the price, a length of track after all is £5, but in estimating the length required. There is 33″ of sleepering and 36″ of rail. Traditionally track has come in 36″ lengths and helpfully Anyrail can provide a total length of flextrack. One would normally add a percentage for waste and cutting, however, the unwary might find their purchase 10% short. It will be interesting to see what length Anyrail will assign to it.
                              The track base is a single piece so could have been made longer with one panel being slightly longer than the others, which is what will happen once pieces are cut to length. Presumably, one will need to remove sleepers from the centre of a panel to achieve the proper spacing at the rail joints, or should I have planned all rail sections to be in multiples of 60ft?

                              There was an interesting observation on having 9ft sleeper lengths for the not inconsiderable number of pre-grouping modellers. Probably not the target market, which is possibly those contemplating a quick wheel change on a diesel locomotive, and contrary to the adage, “I model what I remember as a kid”, and my experience at exhibitions. Interestingly, the Member layouts section has 12 Pre-Grouping, 11 Post-Grouping and 30 Post Nationalisation.
                              My only gripe is the amount of sprue tags to be removed, so still scope for real modelling!

                            • #240928
                              Trade Officer
                              Keymaster

                                My first post here as the new trade officer.So first of all Hello one and all
                                There were a couple of comments in the above posts about the surplus rail on the flexi track I have just recently been talking to Peco and I am hoping to have just the track bases in stock very soon. Keep an eye on the trade news

                                I haven’t asked about the tie rods as separate items – but I will

                                John

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