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SComplete Novice - Advice Needed!

Oligopoly

3 posts

Hi, I'm looking to build a very basic oval train track to run around a shelf in my son's bedroom. I've tried to do a little research but some guidance would be appreciated.

His room is 280cm x 274cm. To save on money i'm thinking of running it half the length of his room, suspending the track from the ceiling at the point it's near the lamp shade.

I was thinking of buying a pack of 10x R603 (670cm long in total) plus 8x R607 for the corners. Give or take, this should be all i need for the track?

Then it's a question of buying the DC controller and of course a 2nd Radius train and a carriage or two.

Is there anything I've missed - other than of course decorations?

I did consider buying a starter set and then buying additional straight pieces of track to build up the size but I don't think they do starter sets in 2nd Radius???

Thanks in advance!

2e0dtoeric

4113 posts

There is a post at the very top of this general page, called -Getting Started with Track Extension Packs.

Most of what you need to know can be found there.

Problems with your idea - using radius 2 curves will limit you to very small shunter-type engines, as the bigger loco's will not go round that curve.

Suspending the track from the ceiling - what with? Is the ceiling strong enough? Will it be above head-height, so you don't k/o yourself when you walk in - if so what is there to stop the loco and stock from taking a nose-dive to the floor if there is a derailment mishap?

If it is high enough so you don't bash your head on it - at the same time is it low enough for your son to see it?

How do you intend to attach the wires from the controller? If they are dangling in free space, it won't be long before they get pulled, probably causing damage to something.

Where do you intend to keep the controller when it is not in use?

 

Some more thought and research is needed before you spend any cash!

   

if it works first time, you did something wrong!

Chrissaf

4712 posts


Community Moderator

I did consider buying a starter set and then buying additional straight pieces of track to build up the size but I don't think they do starter sets in 2nd Radius???

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You are quite right, the starter sets are not based on R607 Radius 2 curves. The current starter sets are based on R609 Radius 3 curves.

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PS - I'm not too sure what Eric was thinking of when he wrote his reply above. Maybe just a temporary memory glitch, but it is Radius 1 curves, not Radius 2 curves for which small shunter type locos are recommended. Most modern long wheelbase rolling stock is suitable for 438mm Radius 2 [R607] curves or greater.

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But he is quite correct to point out the pitfalls of suspending the track from the ceiling. It is doable, but the track bed needs to be totally flat and rigid, any flexing (even if just a few millimetres) may cause derailments particularly if you intend to include some points. Adding bracing to make the track bed rigid will inevitably increase the suspended weight that needs to be accommodated.

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Castle-Man

81 posts

Have you considered mounting a shelf around the room rather like you may have seen in some stores?  If mounted securely it should give you a more ridgid setup.  Of course you would have to decide what to do about doors and windows and what hight to put it.  It also depends whether you want to go in a large circle around the room or just to travel from one end of a piece of track to the other and then come back. 

Tange94

1 post

When starting out its always to a good idea to start with a set. Model trains aren't the cheapest hobby so mistakes cost. Most locomotives are very expensive to buy on there own and normally don't come with any carriages therefore buying everything on there own will work out very expensive for you. My advise would be to buy a starter set and then if you don't want the 3rd radius buy 8 2nd radius curves for around £2.90 each. As for hanging track defiantly will need very detailed planning and also think of things such as if the train derails will it fly to the floor and smash and is it reachable. a shelf layout running around the room would be just as good also allowing room for sidings and buildings if wanted. 

Oligopoly

3 posts

Thanks all. The original thought of suspending the track halfway down the room rather than running it the full perimiter was simply to save money on track. But thinking about it further, it would be far cheaper and easier just to build a simple shelf around the whole room and purchase the additional straight track...

That's a good point Tange - I hadn't realised (and please forgive my naievety) that the radius of course only refers to the corners, so the straight track in the starter kit would be good - i'd just need to buy the 2nd radius corners plus extra straight track to span the lengths of the room.

In reply to Eric, my plan was to run the cable down one of the room's corners using D-line or something similar to make it neat. I could even fit a small and basic shelf to house the controller - either within or outside of my son's reach.

So is it as straightforward as that? A starter kit for ~£50, 8x 2nd radius curves and then enough track to reach around the track? 

For the shelf I was thinking scaffold boards or normal planed timber with some basic shelf brackets - all in all a sort of industrial/railway sleeper look...

The starter kit I'm considering is this one:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/361766122808

Does that look suitable? Radius 2?

Thanks all!

RAF96

6301 posts


Community Moderator

Scaffold boards will be much too uneven to get decent alignment across the joins and are very heavy. If using shelf brackets then ordinary mdf shelf lengths will work or if you want lighter structure then look at 9mm/12mm ply with a hardwood front edge strip to stiffen it and improve the aesthetics.

Rob

Halton Brat - Running Win 10, 64-bit - RM (Pro-Pack) with Elite as Controller-A, Select as Walkabout and E-Link as Controller-B - Locos are mostly TTS. - http://myweb.cytanet.com.cy/honnor/

Chrissaf

4712 posts


Community Moderator

I agree with RAF, 'Scaffold Boards' would be a false economy. Unless brand new, they are likely to be warped. The joints would need re-machining for a close tight fit. And the surface grain is very rough. Remember that 00 scale is 4mm to the foot. So just a few millimetres of roughness would be like trying to lay real life track on an undulating landscape.

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PS - I would keep, if possible, the Radius 3 curves from a set. Much better than downgrading to Radius 2.

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Oligopoly

3 posts

@Chrissaf

I agree with RAF, 'Scaffold Boards' would be a false economy. Unless brand new, they are likely to be warped. The joints would need re-machining for a close tight fit. And the surface grain is very rough. Remember that 00 scale is 4mm to the foot. So just a few millimetres of roughness would be like trying to lay real life track on an undulating landscape.

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PS - I would keep, if possible, the Radius 3 curves from a set. Much better than downgrading to Radius 2.

Ok thanks guys - sounds like standard ply is best then. a) Why would R3 be better than R2? I'm mindful of what would 'fit' better against the right-angled ply shelf in the room corners and b) Can you tell what radius the set I linked to is?

Chrissaf

4712 posts


Community Moderator

a) Why would R3 be better than R2? I'm mindful of what would 'fit' better against the right-angled ply shelf in the room corners

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Radius 2 = 438mm

Radius 3 = 505mm

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Not a lot different in terms of making it fit the corner of the room shelving, but provides much better safety margin for adequate loco / train turning clearances.

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b) Can you tell what radius the set I linked to is?

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The R1188 set is Radius 3. This is confirmed in the Hornby Product description (see below). For more information on the Hornby Track Geometry, Radius and other specifications.....see this link.

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https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/hornby-track-planner

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R1188 Box contents.

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Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

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