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21mm track samples

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Mayner
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I knocked up a couple of sample panels of track to try out different techniques for the new layout whenever I get round to starting it.

 

The layout will probably be based on the Burma Road in the 1950s & 60s secondary main lines have a certain appeal with fairly compact stations and laid back operation.

 

The line was basically a Southern incursion into Midland territory in steam days operation was centred on Limerick and Tuam mainly worked by J15s and small ex-GSWR 4-4-0s

 

Track was mainly jointed flatbottom but some sections were laid in bullhead I wanted to capture this mixture plus the distinctive centre-cess drainage once common in many parts of Ireland.

 

Two samples were made up one in Bullhead using C&L plastic chairs and sleepers the other using flatbottom rail and copper clad sleepers.

 

 

 

I decided to try the American style split track underlay which simplifies setting out, simply line up the edge of the underlay with the track centre line than fix the other piece. Cork and rubber versions are available locally.

 

 

 

The second side bevelled to represent the centre cess.

 

 

 

Underlay glued in place using a French PVA that is reputed tobe good at sticking anything to anything

 

 

 

10 minutes later ballasted section of centre cessed track, the cess acted as a drain so might need a touch of varnish or Ez-Water.

 

The sleepers are a deeper section than standard for handlaid track used to represent unballasted track and situations like this.

 

 

 

Flatbottom laid in pva awaiting ballast.

 

 

 

Voila ballast sprinkled in place, surplus removed and not quite 3 year old ganger inspecting bullhead panel in background.

 

I am not sure how this will work out in practice, the chaired bullhead is generally assembled by fixing the sleepers

in place on a printed template, threading the chairs onto the rails, gluing down one rail the gauging and gluing the second rail in place. Copperclad is usually laid by soldering one rail down to the sleepers in a jig then transferring the half track to the baseboard, then gauging and soldering the second rail in position.

 

The chaired track involves a lot more work threading the chairs onto the rails then gluing everything in place, the whole assembly tends to be quite fragile until assembly is complete.

 

Anyway it should be interesting if I can keep my sanity threading on my current stock of 500 chairs enough for roughly 2 metres of plain track :P

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John that is fantastic work. I love the Bullhead panel and the track bed. The flat bottom rail is beautiful work the soldering is so tidy. I've hit a brick wall trying to source a check gauge for 21mm myself at the moment the scalefour stores seem to not have them in stock. I'm in the same situation myself regarding starting a build. I'm going to have a purpose built railway room built. When it's built is thrown up in the air at the moment. This thread will keep me 100% focused and I can't wait to see more, especially the flat bottom track.

 

Please keep us posted,

 

Rich,

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I love your work John, it always inspires me. I considered using 21mm guage for a while but having a big intrest in operation , I decided to use OO guage in order to get a reliable running railway in a short period of time. Building the layout as close to eye level as possible helps make the narrow guage a litltle less apperant. When the present layout has run its course and I have more scratchbuilding and scenery skills it will no doubt be up for consideration again. One question, how do you weather and ballast your track?

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