A Question about ME code 55 track

NDJim Feb 2, 2014

  1. crclass

    crclass TrainBoard Member

    Not to over simplify things here, but wouldn't a thimble work for putting rail joiners on? Just trying to think out side the box a little bit.
  2. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    Yeah David, I've got half a dozen frets of them. When I got them, I was both amazed and intimidated at their tinyness...I mean, they are TINY. I'm still attempting to work up the gumption to apply them to my already laid, short Park City Branch that runs from the Park City Yard at Echo to the edge of my layout.

    Because my track is already laid, I'd have to cut the ends off of each teeny tie plate...the parts that normally would be sticking out on the sides of the rail foot with the etched spike head details and discard the middle part. That'd be four parts that are 1/3 the size of the already miniscule whole tie plates on each tie.

    I'm sure I'll do that one day soon, since I use that short section of the branch line to photograph a lot of cars and engines, and it'll also let me know if the effort is worth it, as they are so small, maybe they'd be nearly impossible to see (I can't believe I just wrote that!).

    When I do that, I'll be taking photos for sure, and posting them.

    Bob Gilmore
  3. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    I though fishplates were the bars that join rail sections together:


    Proto:87 also makes these and it seems like it would be a much more visible detail to add (to non-welded rail).
  4. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    I have frets of the fishplates too. When looking at photos of UP track, you can see that the rail-joiner-plates (fishplates) stick out about half an inch further than the vertical edges of the railhead. The Proto87 Stores' are thin enough that they don't do that (which is probably a good thing in N-scale) so they are not nearly as obvious as the real deal because they "hide" on the railweb under the railhead.

    One thing that is also noticeable in the prototype photos is that the fishplates are a different color than the rest of the rail sides, sometimes being rusty, sometimes just a lighter brown and sometimes they look almost black, as opposed to the lighter gray of the UP mainline color.

    Siding fishplates are the same color as the siding as this photo of the 844 on track 1 at the Ogden Union Station shows:

    The detail is so thin on these...much thinner than the bolt heads sticking out on prototype rail, that if I were to brush paint these after they were installed, the paint would probably cover up the etched nut & bolt details. I'm planning on airbrushing them with an enamel, baking them to cure the enamel then cutting them to length and gluing them on. I'll have to touch the ends with a bit of the paint, but I believe that'll be okay.

    As usual, when I get some track done, I'll post some photos.

    Bob Gilmore

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