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bending flex track in tight curves

 
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mauricejg18704



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 11:51 pm    Post subject: bending flex track in tight curves Reply with quote

Trying remember the easiest way to bend flex-track in tight curves. I want to make a pizza with an 11 inch radius using Atlas HO gauge flex-track. Any tips from experienced hands?
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giles b



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 2004
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theoretical advice only - as I haven't tried a complete circle that tight with 16.5 track, only a short sharp curve for Gn15. Also not being familiar with Atlas track I'm not sure how often their sleeper web is broken to allow flexing.

I'd suggest if the track resists such a tight curve making extra cuts in the sleeper web, and also the use of a template to keep the curve even. This could be made from ply or even thick card. Unless you have a very large set of compasses you could make two holes in the centre line of a ruler - one at zero, the other at 11 ins and use a pin through one hole and a pencil through the other.

Track-laying - you might find it easier to remove the rails and pre-bend them to nearly 11 ins radius, using the template to check, and then thread the sleepers back on; they might need cutting into short lengths to make this easier, but be aware of possible gauge reduction on the sharp curve. What sort of rolling stock are you planning to use?
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ruedetropal



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 815
Location: Accrington, Lancashire

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this standard flexi track or the super flexi? I think Hornby used to sell a version where the rail used to slip out of the base very easily and you could bend it into very tight circles. I think this might have been same as the Atlas track. I had also heard that a USA tram track base system was designed to fit the Atlas code 100 rail, but British code 100 rail was too thick , suggesting the Atlas rail was slightly thinner. This might also account for it being more flexible. I think Atlas and Hornby used to be manufactured in same factory , hence the siilarity, but Hornby have not done the super flexi for a while.

As Giles suggests , cutting ties between sleepers helps, but you can still get problems with gauge tightening. This is not always a problem, as it will depend on what wheel profiles and wheelbase etc.

For very tight curves I have tried removing rail, then fixing sleepers down, and pre bending rail before refitting. Always better to pre bend rail especially if small radius. I find it helps with my 3D printed tram track.

11in is not a small radius for me, and I have managed to bend flexi track(Peco) to it. I have noted that with some Peco On30 flexi track that the gauge did slightly reduce(increases friction on some wagons). I use the Fleischmann 25cm radius curves for some of my layouts. Unfortunately it has been discontinued, but can sometimes be found on ebay. I have read that it actually has a gauge of 17mm to compensate for sharpness of curve.
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Will try anything once, looking for the ultimate easy to set up portable exhibition layout, preferably French narrow gauge and with lots going on, not necessary on the rails.

http://www.rue-d-etropal.com
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cloggydog



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Reading, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've test-bent Peco Code 75 flexi-track down to 315mm radius (90' in H0 - Bronx 'pocket' terminals, a future project!)

Certainly you'll need to cut all the webs on the outer side and about half those on the inner side - the way Peco designed their track bases means that if you just cut the outer ones, the sleepers/ties try to self-align and give odd-looking spacing. Nipping some inner webs allows the sleepers/ties to fan better.
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