Track / Turnouts

Track / Roadbed / Turnouts

October 0f 2008: How much room do I have to layout track?

When I purchased several lots of AF rubber roadbed on eBay. I found cleaning the roadbed by just putting it in the washing machine with a bunch of large towels works wonders .... just like new. Then I take the old AF track and clean it with a Tycro wheel, which is attach to my Shopsmith. I can turn the speed dial down on the Shopsmith to it lowest speed setting. It takes about 30 seconds to burnishing "gleaming"a section of track inside and out. It is just like new!

"Gleaming" is a method that came up in the MRR forums a few years back. It involves lots of burnishing and buffing, filling every tiny pit in the track until it's completely smooth and shines like a mirror. Because of the perfect smoothness, cleaning becomes minimal afterward.

I have a desert southwest layout 5x16 which I covered the table top surface with microfiber, beige desert color. You can see it on a lot of furniture now days. I sprayed the roadbed with the Krylon textured paint in the travertine tan color, Just put the track in the roadbed and your ready to start your layout. The best part of this, you can run your trains while you are working on the scenery, bridges, washes, and mountains. Three years later I'm still at it....but best of all, I like to run my American Flyer trains for the grand kids They do too. Smoke choo-choo and rail sounds.

Using American Flyer track with AF roadbed. All track is cleaned well, along with the road bed before laying down. I use a brad air nail gun to fasten the rubber roadbed to the base underneath. You want to adjust the depth as where the brad to be set, so the track will float in the roadbed. The brad can easily be con-sealed with paint. Use one brad in each section of rubber roadbed, next to each track connection. 

Switches / Turnouts
Turn outs is where two diverging tracks join, sometimes called a switch. The term switch is also considered the moving rails part of the turn out. It is the sub assembly of a turn out and contains the points. Turn out points is the rail portion of a turn out that moves to change the tracks route. Points are the two individual rails that are beveled and meet the stock rails to deflect the flanges in the direction of travel. Turn out frog is the point at which the rails of a turn out cross is called the "frog" part. Turn out open frog is a turn out assembly where the point rails are hinged, insulated or bridged. Prototype railroads use open frog turn outs. Turnout closed frog is the turn out where the point rails are all one floating assembly. Best used on hi-rail and scale equipment. Frog number of a turn out is simply the ratio of the diverging route measured against the straight route. The rails of a #6 turn out are one inch apart, six inches from the frog. The rails of a #8 turn out are one inch apart, eight inches from the frog. The rails of a #6 turnout is sharper than a #8 and etc.