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narrowgauge26 13-01-2018 12:42 AM

0-16.5 Track
Hi folks, first post and it is a cry for advice/help.
I am currently planning a NG layout, nothing grand, a small station with a run round loop, acouple of sidings running through a small scenic section to a fiddle yard.
My question is this, how do I go about building realistic looking track with real wooden sleepers. I have bought some Slaters 9 foot 0 gauge sleepers and cut them in half, which is what most NG railways seemed to do. I just don't think copper clad sleepers in 0 gauge look realistic enough, or am I being a overly fussy idiot. Oh, I was going to use Peco code 100 rail, but I have found some from Karlgarin Models who do a code 82 flatbottom rail which is about scale 40-45lb/yard rail in 7mm scale. Has anyone out there in Internet land any experience of trackbuilding?

Mountain Goat 13-01-2018 09:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I'm new to track building myself. I started out converting Peco code 100 00 gauge track as this is what I have...
I first nailed down the rails on each side using coffee stirers as sleepers. First I found to stop the sleepers splitting when nailed, (Using Hornby track pins) I found I had to drill pilot holes. Four holes per sleeper.
After finishing it looked good but I found that wheel flanges were hitting the track pins that held the rail. The older flatter Hornby track pins I also had so I went to try these just for the insides of the rails... Problem. The old ones with the flat heads are thinner and just dropped down the holes the newer type pins were in.
So I moved every sleeper and drilled new pilot holes in two sizes. This took a while to do!
When I finished, I found the gauge was fine but the rail height of each rail varied considerably. Therefore, after almost succeeding in rectifying this, I decided that instead I'd make sleepers from strips cut from PCB. This I've done and while I've had to move the odd rail, so far all seems OK, though I've actually not wired the layout yet as other projects take priority.
Points. My first two points were rescued Peco ones made with PCB sleepers from the start.
The next point was a single blade type handmade via the PCB method. This was then rebuilt into a standard type point when I had to relay the track. I've since built two further points.
The final thing I made was a diamond crossing as I wanted to cross the curve for potential future extension boards.

My layout was originally 2ft x 3½ft which was soon found to be a bit crampt, so I built a second board when I changed the sleepers and it is now 2ft x a slight bit shorter then 7ft.

More about the build and other things are on the Mountain Goats Wagon Works thread in the workbench section of this site.

I will say that buying ready made Peco track is much quicker and easier, but what I've learned by making my own has been worth the effort for me personally.

narrowgauge26 13-01-2018 09:17 PM

re - 0-16.5 track
Many thanks Mountain Goat, your track certainly looks impressive, though I cannot run my rolling stock round those curves! If the baseboard is 24" wide, then the radius must be around 10.5". I am currently working on a minimum of 30" and above, otherwise the locos will fall off 😖. I have only three locos, none of which are finished (truth be told, two are still in their boxes untouched)
I have on the bench a part built Slaters Leek & Manifold 2-6-4, and boxed an Alan Gibson Lynton & Barnstaple 2-6-2, and as Christmas present this year I was lucky to get my favourite the Dorset Kits Welshpool &Llanfair 0-6-0, none of which will negotiate anything less than 30" so I have been led to belive wrightly or wrongly.
I will have a bash with some code 100 rail I found in the loft over the weekend and see how I get on. I will post some photos if it works out.
Just a quick though, what sleeper spacing did you use? I was thinking around 33" between centres. And what gap did you use between parallel tracks?

Mountain Goat 13-01-2018 10:49 PM

The gap between the rails (Gauge) is the same as 00 gauge which is 16.5mm. The gap between sleepers varies but as a rule it is wider then most. I used my thumb to be a rough guide. I chose a wider gap for two reasons. One is to enhance the narrow gauge feel and the other is to save me work cutting PCB sleepers from PCB sheets.
Yes, I think it is a good plan to have wider curves then mine with the locos you want to run. I am running mainly little 0-4-0's and will also be building a short wheelbase 0-6-0.
I only have three locos built at the moment and two need me to make some couplings for them.

narrowgauge26 14-01-2018 12:50 AM

I bought a load of different bits from C & L Finescale stand at the Warley show, the sleepers are fine, but the chairs are no good for flat bottom rail, as I have now discovered - flat bottom rail only uses spikes! I suppose everyone else already knew that ��. Apparently there are only 2 Welsh NG railways that used bullhead rail and chairs as standard. I have found a great article on the Internet that is proving to be very informative:
scroll down to the section about trackwork by John Clutterbuck for O-14 trackwork

Mountain Goat 14-01-2018 07:50 PM

Thanks for the link. Most is indeed flatbottm which makes it easier for me, but I'm not really a finescale modeller. My aim is more to paint a picture of a scene rather then go for the fine detail. It is the style my modelling fits best.
I have a few track spikes found on a narrow gauge incline which used to exist in Pembrey in Wales. It used to serve a drift mine for coal. I know of five narrow gauge industrial railways that used to be in the Pembrey and Burry Port area. This area had a huge input in the industrial revolution from the 1700's onwards, but it wasn't the first by any means as the Romans had a silica mine in Pembrey many years before.

narrowgauge26 15-01-2018 12:45 AM

re - 0-16.5 track
Thanks for the info, it turns out that most months I am not far from you, I go to a quarry not far from Llanddarog, Tarmac Torcoed.
I am certainly no fine scale modeller, I can't even solder two bits of whitemetal together, I have struggled all weekend trying to build a 5 plank open wagon.
I think I have to go back to basics and start again, definitely think I am pole-vaulting before I can walk 😀

Mountain Goat 15-01-2018 12:07 PM

I have a friend in that village though I'm not sure which house he lives. I have to admit I've not tried white metal soldering either as yet. I tend to use too much solder... I am improving though! :D
Not far from that quarry (If its the one I'm thinking of) is a house with a signal in the garden with its garden railway.
I have been shown round the flour mill with the water wheel when it was going about 20 years ago.
My uncle and aunt and cousins lived in a farm in Porthyrhyd which used to have a ¾ mile track to reach it. The dual carriageway has since cut through the old farm track. Not sure how they would get there now. Many fond memories of playing in the river whilst staying with cousins on the farm, and being told off for using dried cow pats as frizzbys!
One day we walked down to the village shop, and the few pennies we had with pocket money, we bought a roll of caps... It was a warm summer when the days were long. My cousin and I decided to tear off a cap or two and drop them into the chicken pen. The chickens went towards them... Peck, peck "BANG!"
I think half the roll of caps were torn up and dropped into the chicken pen... Even as I was in bed I heard the occasional bang from outside the bedroom window.
I remember about three weeks later when I was home and my aunt and uncle came to visit and my auntie chatting to my mum and she was puzzled as her chickens had been two weeks without laying and seemed nurvous. Poor things!
We didnt think as kiddies back then.

JohnC o14 02-02-2018 06:26 PM

Typical NG track with flat bottom rail and wooden sleepers is not particularly hard or expensive to make, but it does take time and a bit of practice. I note you have found my article on the o14 group website, but you should use it as suggestions and find the methods that work for you. I suggest getting a few lengths of old FB rail, some coffee stirrers and spikes ( I make mine from Staples) and have a go. Don't be disheartened when your first attempts don't look or work well, especially pointwork, and before you know it you will be making track that is far more realistic than any commercial offering, and having the satisfaction that it is built like the real thing.

I built the track for an exact scale model of Lynton last year in 14mm gauge - some of which is featured on my blog here:


Mountain Goat 08-02-2018 09:51 AM

I have found making my own track (0-16.5) to be slightly easier then I expected. I didnt intend to do this from the offset, but it was an experiment which had me make track at first using wood for sleepers (Tea sturers with Hornby track pins) which took too much effort to get things to run and as I'd rescued an old Peco settrack point with making new sleepers from PCB, it kinda grew from there. Eventually the whole layout was converted to copperclad sleepers.
I also looked at a simple single blade point I'd made and considered it wouldn't be impossible to convert it into a conventional point, so I gave it a go and after much adjustment leaving solder everywhere I managed to make it work, so in my enthusiasm I built another two points and rescued another old Peco point for behind the scenes.
I then got a bit carried away and have made a diamond crossing.. I do have plans for a third point so I can run a siding to where I want it. It is always a compromise between wanting more track and making room for the scenic touch so I'm unsure which is best.

How are your plans coming along Narrowgauge26? Have you had a go at making track? It does get addictive, but as it takes time it usually requires much daydreaming before you take the plunge and commit to making more... :D Well, that's how my track laying goes!
Good to hear from you John C. For me it is a case that I found PCB sleepers easier to get a consistent rail height. Also my aims were not finescale but to get something to work as cheap as possible. For me, I do like the robustness that soldering gives, but I'm true first to admit that your method will look more realistic. I do like the copper look though. Almost a shame to paint them! :D

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