Question about rerailers and track bed

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dSLR

New Member
#1
I'm new to model trains and recently started building an HO layout on plywood; the track is Atlas HO code 100. I haven't tacked down the track yet, but I noticed when I was messing around with the locomotive today that it sounded like it wasn't running as smooth as it should. The total layout is a small oval, roughly 36" x 52". Also at one particular section of the track, it derailed twice. In all fairness, I also noticed that the rail joiners were moving around a little, I think because the track wasn't nailed down.

A couple questions:

(a) Will nailing down the track to my board make the train run a little smoother because there is less likelihood that the rail joiners will move?

(b) Do I need a rerailer? I noticed that these are pretty inexpensive on Atlas' website, and I presume that my local shop will carry these (hopefully anyway).

(c) I know there's a lot of mixed opinions on trackbed. Besides making the train quieter, will trackbed make the train ride any smoother than if the track were just nailed down to the board? I'm leaning toward the Woodland Scenics trackbed roll.

Thanks for any feedback. I appreciate it!

-Pat
 
#2
I'm new to model trains and recently started building an HO layout on plywood; the track is Atlas HO code 100. I haven't tacked down the track yet, but I noticed when I was messing around with the locomotive today that it sounded like it wasn't running as smooth as it should. The total layout is a small oval, roughly 36" x 52". Also at one particular section of the track, it derailed twice. In all fairness, I also noticed that the rail joiners were moving around a little, I think because the track wasn't nailed down.

A couple questions:

(a) Will nailing down the track to my board make the train run a little smoother because there is less likelihood that the rail joiners will move?
Probably.

(b) Do I need a rerailer? I noticed that these are pretty inexpensive on Atlas' website, and I presume that my local shop will carry these (hopefully anyway).
I use them, and like them.

(c) I know there's a lot of mixed opinions on trackbed. Besides making the train quieter, will trackbed make the train ride any smoother than if the track were just nailed down to the board? Probably.I'm leaning toward the Woodland Scenics trackbed roll. I'd use cork. I wasn't happy with the test sections I used the WS foam roadbed on.

Thanks for any feedback. I appreciate it!

-Pat
I'd also think about using construction foam insulation board on your benchwork, then adding the roadbed to the foam. It will allow you to make scenery below track level.

Rotor
 
#3
Well, do you want it to be a part of your layout? The rerailer track sections seem very out of place when the layout is detailed up with scenery and stuff (yes, it looks like a grade crossing, but still doesn't look quite right)

If you want a practical movable rerailing tool, I'd suggest the Rix Rail-It tool.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=RIX6280002

We have a few down at the club and we all like to use them. The Rix uncoupling tool also works wonders.
 
#4
I would only use a rerailer in a place where it won't be seen, such as a staging yard. The rerailer tools work wonders, i'd get one of them. As for the cork, the best solution is foam, because it is easy to work with. If you really want cork, go to hobby lobby, and get a roll of it, like what is used for bulliten boards. It's a lot cheaper, and for yards you can just lay out a big slab of it. Just be sure to dampen the cork with water before cutting, otherwise it may tear.

Hope this helps!
 
#6
If you don't have one already I'd pick up a standards gage. You can measure your rail width and also your engine's wheel width.

Put in correctly and with everything in spec derailing shouldn't be a problem. With the engine straining as it is in one spot I would guess you have a problem with your rail width.
 



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