how do i lay atlas flextrack?

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Hi i have a question, how do i lay curves with atlas flextrack, im trying to do 28'' radius curves on my layout, but i cant figure out how to lay the flex track. do i use railjoiners? or do i like do what? its HO scale atlas flex track code 100. any help appreciated, pics if possible please



Fleeing from Al
Here's an excellent thread from across the street on this very subject:

The easiest way to get flex track t follow a particular radius is cut a piece of 1x1 (or sacrifice a yard stick) and cut it 30" long. Drill holes one inch in from each end, with one hole big enough for a pencil or felt tip marker to stick through and the other small enough that it can be held in place by a brad or push pin. Pin down the measuring stick in the middle of your layout surface so it won't move but can still swing. Put the pencil or magic marker in the the other end and swing the measuring stick in a complete half circle around the table. You'll then have a perfect centerline to lay a 28" radius curve with flex track.


Registered Member
Staff member
so do i use rail joiners? or solder them together?
Rail joiners are a must, there maybe a few craftsman who could solder rails without joiners but I'm not one of them. After the track has been laid you can then solder the the rail joins with the rail joiners in place. however after the curve leave some joints on the straight unsoldered for temperature compensation.

Cheers Willis


Active Member
Hi Austin,
I've been in model railroading for along time and I'd say you shouldn't solder any joints but rather solder a jumper wire that comes up from below to the outside web an inch or two from the joint and leave a bit of slack in this wire so your rails can expand and contract with temperature vriations. That means that you should leave a gap between the rails of at least a 1/32" on both ends to allow for expansion during the hot weather.

By not soldering it will alow your rails to move freely on their own. Also when tacking the flex track in place don't drive the tack down any further than the top of the rail as it sits on the road bed or table top, otherwise you end up with that tie in a 'V' shape even a shallow as it might be it still causes the rails to be pulled closer together and forms a tight spot that may cause problems!

As far as laying out Radiuses I made a large Compass from a couple pieces of of scrap lumber about a 18" in length with a crossbar that is screwed to one side and a clamp on the other to adjust for fhe deminsion I want. I tap or use strong rubber bands to hold a pensil to one leg and drilled a hole in the other leg and inserted a medium finish nail with the head cut off and smoothed up a bit into the tight fitting hole as the pivot point. It's worked great for me.


Ps: Where about in Ca. are you located?
Hi thanks for all the help guys!!

Trussrod- i am located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA (socal) it is about 40 minutes east of flags magic mountain. 20 minutes north of ontario airport, and about 30 minutes west of lake arrowhead. I am just south of the san gabriel mountains and Cajon Pass. If that helps u figure out where the location is. So yup thats where im located.

If you would like you are more then welcome to come over and participate in my operating sessions. I model modern day BNSF, i operate using the Digitrax SEB i have one extra controller (for new operators) it is the UT4 type controller, but if you can i would like all the operators to bring there own controllers. i have 50 DCC equipped road locomotives for fiddlers to use while making mainline trains. The locomotives are made up of 10 BNSF SD70MACS in heritage II scheme, 5 BNSF AC4400 3 in heritage II 2 in wedge scheme, 3 BNSF SD40-2's in heritage I scheme, 2 SD38's in heritage I scheme, 10 C44-9W's 4 in heritage II 6 in Heritage III, 5 SD60M's in BNSF heritage II, so 35 BNSF locomotives, 5 various types of CSX locomotives, and 10 various types of UP locomotives. The layout is capable of running 6 mainline crews at one time. PLus there is 2 switching crews, for them there are 8 BNSF GP40's waiting to switch some cars. The maximum grade is 2.0% so sometimes helpers are required on mainline trains. So 6 mainline crews, 2 switching crews, 1 yard crew, 1 dispatcher, and 2 staging fiddlers.

The operating sessions are 5 hours at a time. The layout that im talking about here is my layout that is 22' by 39', i am currently building another layout in my shed thats what im asking help for. This layout that im showing you i only used Atlas snap track. Ill post a link below for the layout, because it is too big to post here. If you wanna operate, i sell headsets (for operators) for $20 a peice, and once you buy em there yours. But i do require you to bring your own Digitrax Controller (UT4, UT4R, UT1,, ect.) if you wanna operate on the layout, PM me if your gonna come out and operate. We have 2 operating sessions a month. You dont have to bring your own drinks or anything, bags of chips, coke, diet coke, 7 UP, and sprite are located in the crew lounge for free. My layout is an exact copycat of the 2003 version of the Utah Belt. Hope to see you at Decembers operating sessions!!!! and this goes for all of you that read this, you are all welcome to PM me and come out and operate.

Heres the link to the track plan



Active Member
Say Austin,
I think you really pulled a fast one on me alright!

If you have a layout that size that many men only dream about you most certainly know about joining track together and many other things. Your profile says your only 14 years old but there must be some mistake especially if you built that railroad. I would be inclinded to believe that you had a lot of help from others modelers though.

Anyway that's a fantastic layout ALRIGHT and your building another yet??

As far as the offer to come over and operate, Thanks but we are about 375 miles apart so that precludes my taking you up on your offer.
indeed i had help, my dad modelsBNSF as well, so its pretty much both of our laayouts, plus help from a fellow modern day UP modeler.

thanks again
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