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What’s the Maximum Length of Flex Track?

Mari models N scale and posted this question:

“Trains usually derail at rail joints on curves. If rails 10 feet long are used, we can avoid joints on curves. Is there any way to make rails 10 feet long? Are they sold sold? Are flex tracks 10 feet long sold?”

Add your COMMENTS below.

11 Responses to What’s the Maximum Length of Flex Track?

  • Stan Bolsengasays:

    Solder 2 three foot sections

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    Not to my knowledge.

  • Bobsays:

    Flextrack is sold in lengths around 30-36″ (about 1 meter). Using rail joiners and soldering them, you can get excellent joints. But when curving the track, you must pay attention to how the joiners slip through the “nails” on the ties. Usually it’s best to use an xacto knife to cut off the nail heads so the joiners can slip past. A little experimentation will have you laying track like a pro in no time! Good luck.

  • Dave norcrosssays:

    I soldered all my joints had no problems.

  • Billsays:

    Sorry Mari, flex track comes in 3 foot or in some cases 1 meter lengths. In curves the best practice is to start with two pieces soldered together and lay out most of this. If you need greater length cut the end evenly and solder on another section. Once you are out of the curve connect the next track piece to be joined via a joiner but do not solder. You need to allow for some expansion or contraction.

    • Sheldon Clarksays:

      Can’t improve on that, I think.

  • David Stokessays:

    Regardless of the advice about cutting off molded track pins – DON’T. Flex tracK isabout 3 feet long. This is about the longest one person can handle safely and comfortably. To get rid of rail joints between sections, lay your first piece track loosely on the centreline of your roadbed, pinning it temporarily. One rail will now be shorter than the other. Take a new length of flextrack and bend it so that one rail extends beyond the ties, and when offered up, closes the gap. Insert rail jioners in the normal fashion. Now the tricky bit. Ensure the curve at the joint flows – has no kinks. Put flux on the outside of the rail and apply a very hot soldering iron. As soon as the solder and flux fizz and you see sold flow to the inside of the rail take the iron away. The solder will go from a bright silver colour and the joint is done. Then move to the next joint and do the same. You might need to scrape some solder from the inside, bottom edge of the rail. The joints on the curve will be staggered – that is not across from each other making for flowing curves.

    Soldered rail joints have one disadvantage if your layout area suffered from extreme temperature differences. Your rail might buckle due to expansion, or pull out of its holdings due to shrinkage. So gaps in the rail are necessary, but now you can put them where you need them, not as dictated by rail length.

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    Track laying is an art in itself so take your time and don’t rush it have a track gauge handy as well this will save you a lot of trouble once you start to run trains I always pin the track as i go and then check every thing is lined up before fastening in place. You can solder two sections of track together if you want but not recommended. curves are more difficult and the joins can go out of gauge quite easily try pushing a car round the curve to see if it will track properly. I don’t curve track sharper than 26inch radius on HO anything sharper than that i use set track.so with n scale the same applies except curves sharper than 13 inch hope this helps

  • don batmansays:

    I used 3 pieces of flex track soldered together in a few sections of my layout. It is easy to do.
    Lay the first track section an the work bench. The movable rail is away from you. Slide the rail about an inch to the left. Wherever it ends up , I cut the “nails” 2 ties in both directions from the end.

    Place the 2nd piece of track at the end of the 1st track. Slide it’s rail thru the “nails” of the first section.

    Put the rail joiners on to connect the 2 sections. Then solder them in place. Repeat for 3rd section.

    Staggerlng the jolnts is the key to keeping the track from kinking on curves. 3 pieces starts to get awkward to move around , but it is not bad.

    • Sheldon Clarksays:

      To keep the rails to gauge, I’d trim each inner rail to length as it’s laid, attach rail joiners, then solder, preferably using solder paste.

      • Sheldon Clarksays:

        “Gauge”, not wot I rote! 😉

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