Track Help


This area is for advice for anything to do with track.

  • Track laying
  • Ballast
  • Track layout planning
Lessons and techniques learned laying track for the Shelf Layout will be posted here.

How To Avoid Model Train Derailments

Written by Glenn. Posted in Track Help

Are you frustrated because your model trains derail from time to time?

This was a major frustration for me. I would fix one section of the track and the next day the train would derail on another section.

It frustrated me to the point of wanting to give the hobby away..!

A smooth running model train is a dream for most model train beginners. But it is actually quite easy to achieve with a little attention to detail.

Calculating Curve Tolerances

Written by Glenn. Posted in Track Help

This a javascript page which calculates the adjacent curves that you need in to avoid trains hitting each other going around the curve.

Note: It is set up for HO/OO gauge only.

All dimensions need to be in millimetres as for the pre filled wagon width and suggested straight track separation.

Adjusting Point Springs

Written by Glenn. Posted in Track Help

This advice applies mainly to Peco brand points. Other brands may have a similar technique to adjusting their spring tension.

Sometimes you may find that points are too loose or too stiff.

Helix Curves

Written by Roger. Posted in Track Help

This article, based on one by Roger Lloyd, discusses creating a helix using straight sheets of plywood with cuts at the correct angle so that they fit together.

Track Planning a Running Layout

Written by David Head. Posted in Track Help

More to add later but here is a real time example of track planning. These plans were done on paper, then scanned in and altered. They are not strictly to scale.

One of our members is in a redesign phase where the existing Railway can no longer keep his interest. Two other members are keen to assist as Layout Design is a hobby unto itself ! The requirements were to have running trains and no extensive switching. It was to take up his original train room and now a adjoining rumpus room, but have to allow a stair to a door access for normal day to day movements.


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