N Scale T-Trak

billmtx Oct 28, 2010

  1. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I've always thought helices would be very useful for incorporating T-TRAK modules in limited floorspace, multi-level modular layouts (like at home, where they could be "stored" in still-usable fashion). But they'd be awesome attention-getters at shows too.
     
  2. spyder62

    spyder62 TrainBoard Member

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    will be a fun project just need time to do one thinking using Kato double track for it.
    rich
     
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  3. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Hopefully the helix will accommodate double-stack container cars!
     
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  4. spyder62

    spyder62 TrainBoard Member

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    have to see how it works out. Thinking 2 inches clear and using the large corners to get as muck track length as I can.
    but need to do the standard corners and a single first.
    rich
     
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  5. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Had to run to my train dealer today for some Unitrack and while we were looking for something else came across a TTrak single module. I asked about it and someone brought it in to sell, so I bought it. Really well made, track is already down on it, so all I have to do is scenic it.
    upload_2024-3-29_17-44-7.jpeg
     
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  6. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Sweet!

    Curious, why they used adjustable length unitrack sections for the near end? They are more expensive and less durable. The standard calls for regular unitrack, and recommends standard double track unitrack, 2.xx" sections at module ends. These help maintain correct track spacing better, and can be more securely fastened to the module base, while still allowing easy replacement if damaged.
     
  7. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Jake, no idea. When I first saw the adjustable sections were closed and I thought it was just poorly fitted pieces, then realized they were the expanding tracks. It's a clever idea I guess, but I am a firm believer in the KISS principle.
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Me too!
     
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  9. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    IINM, NTRAK uses unitrack adjustable length tracks as connectors between modules.

    But not T-Trak.
     
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  10. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Right you are, NTrak is supposed to use exact lengths to go between modules but that is terribly difficult for some folks to accomplish. So now, many have used manufactured or home brewed adjustable tracks. This is a clever idea to use the Unitrack "slider" but I wonder how long it will last. If it does reasonably well, I may keep the idea for future use.
     
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  11. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    The reason why these adjustable tracks are used for T-Trak is they allow the joiners to retract and not get in the way during transport. Using the traditional method you get these joiners sticking out a few millimeters and snag on things or break.

    HOWEVER, they are a pain to use in real life. Some of the modules in our club have these. They often cause derailments because they don't stay put. Also, during break down they slide around so it's hard to disconnect. Traditionally you grab the module and pull. Can't do that with these. You need tools or tiny fingers.

    First time out they look and work great. After a few times people get frustrated and the wiggling loosens up everything, causing derailments and eventually the piece even partially detaches from the module itself.

    Bottom line. Don't use them, coming from experience.
     
  12. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, that explains a lot. I will be ready to replace them at the first sign of trouble. I am planning on picking up a plastic case to transport it anyway, so changing to the fixed tracks will not be an issue.
     
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  13. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Check to make sure the module base is the correct length. They may have used the adjustable track pieces to compensate for the base being the wrong length. If that is the case, then I'm not sure what's a good solution.

    But given that most T-Trak layouts are loops of some sort, if the module is not of the correct length (and it is too long*), then I don't know how you "fit it into" a T-Track layout loop, since the other side of the loop wouldn't fit. You'd have to make an identically "wrong" length module for the other side of the loop!

    Here's hoping the module base is the correct length, and the previous owner just wanted to use the expanding tracks to make the connections. More expensive, and less attractive, IMHO.

    *If the module base is too short, the standard length of track would just overhang a bit more than usual; no big deal.
     
  14. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    That is a very good suggestion, I will measure the beast tomorrow.
    I certainly hope you are wrong!
     
  15. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Well crud! Just went and measured it and it is almost 16"x16"!
     
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  16. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Not a problem… just make another the same size and use it opposite of that one and it will work out. My club has a few out of spec modules and this is how we compensate for the disparity.
     
  17. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    That is an option, thank you. I also wonder if I could just make a corner from it with the extra on the outside of the tracks for more scenery. I alredy have curves that would work.

    ...And if all else failed, I have expandable pieces!
     
  18. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Good idea about the corner module; make lemonade!
     
  19. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Well I went and measured it again and it is actually 13 3/4" x 17" deep. So I will have to get a board cut or find one 5/8" thick to attach to make it work for a corner module....what was this guy measuring for when he built this? It's not Freemon because it's using Unitrack. Anyhow, I am just stubborn enough to make it work eventually, it will leave ma a bit of space up front so hoping to put a small engine house there lettered for the G&D, along with some town scenery.
     
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  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    5/8" ply is typically an exterior sheathing plywood, etc. and not smooth on either face.

    Contact a local cabinet shop to cut and plane a stick of pine or hardwood to fit.

    But, since one side of the module is already oversize, what's the harm in the other side being a bit over too? Use a 3/4" thick (1x?) pine board or plywood remnant, cut to width/length, and avoid a planing (thicknessing) fee.
     
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