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  • Fast Tracks kit or pre-made

    Have you ever had one of those really anxious "which way do I go" conundrums? Well, I have one. Track. I have some code 40 and code 55 rail, but my Micro Engineering turnouts use code 55 track. BK enterprises has some turnouts for special order in code 40, but not sure I want to go there yet.

    Soooooo, I was considering buying a Fast Tracks turnout jig for making either code 40 or 55 #6 or #5 turnouts (not sure which size of rail or turnout to use at this time) or just use code 55 rail and use ME switches. I really like the hand laid look, and have NEVER done a turnout before, so this is my anxious moment. I hear it is relatively easy. Then, do I use my own tie stock for the (possible) hand laid turnouts, or their pre-made 'Quicksticks' that Fast tracks sells. Seems the better method is to use my own ties.

    Then I am also not sure the code 40 would be an easy size to work with, especially being my first time out; it is pretty small. I believe my Blackstone loco and the Kadee trucks will work on the 40 just fine, there seems to be plenty of clearance.

    Any thoughts???
    Tony Burgess

    Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

  • #2
    I use Fast Tracks and love it. They make it very easy to do hand laid track. I could recommend them. However, you will need to use Code 55 with Fast Tracks as that is their minimum.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd just go with using 55 for all trackage except for sidings. 55 looks good in HOn3 (Much better than 70) and is easy to work.
      Russ

      It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:


        Originally posted by SAFN SAAP


        I use Fast Tracks and love it. They make it very easy to do hand laid track. I could recommend them. However, you will need to use Code 55 with Fast Tracks as that is their minimum.


        Randall, thanks, I have been thinking they are easy, just good to get some confirmations.

        Actually, they make 6 different size turnout jigs in code 40. Check their web site, they have packages with and without rail for each. I was wondering though, does the weathered rail work as well as the non-weathered as far as soldering and all??
        Tony Burgess

        Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:


          Originally posted by NE Brownstone


          I'd just go with using 55 for all trackage except for sidings. 55 looks good in HOn3 (Much better than 70) and is easy to work.


          Russ, I am beginning to think you are right. I wasn't considering code 70 though, but after a walk around the block (literally) I think code 55 will be easier to solder, and leave the 40 for some sidings. I like that.
          Tony Burgess

          Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

          Comment


          • #6
            I have only used the regular Micro-Engineering Code 55 Nickel Silver. One issue that comes up is that the solder joints oxidize and turn that lovely copper green color. I don't know how the weathered rail solders. I'd be interested to learn myself.

            My railroad uses Code 55, with the tie spacing of yards/branchlines, which is the widest. This was the closest to what was actually done on the SA&AP at the time, and Code 55 is a direct match. I have to say that with Turn of the Century equipment, Code 55 looks great. No issues with flanges and the rail look proportionate to the equipment.

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:


              Originally posted by SAFN SAAP


              I don't know how the weathered rail solders. I'd be interested to learn myself.

              My railroad uses Code 55, Code 55 looks great. No issues with flanges and the rail look proportionate to the equipment.


              Randall, Thank you for your input, I think I have now decided on 55. I just emailed Fast Tracks, so I will pass on that info about soldering.
              Tony Burgess

              Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

              Comment


              • #8
                I have had no success soldering the weathered rail, the silver rail solders well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:


                  Originally posted by BigLars


                  I have had no success soldering the weathered rail, the silver rail solders well.


                  Thanks Larry. That is the second time someone said that, in not so many words. He said it can be done but I would have to file or sand the areas I want to solder, maybe more a pain than using regular rail and painting them after.

                  Thank you.
                  Tony Burgess

                  Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've never had a problem soldering the weathered rail. Just clean it real good. A fiberglass pin brush works great. Better than a wire brush.
                    Russ

                    It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll chime in..... I never solder or built a turnout before and I can get a great working turnout together in a couple hours using code 55. The Fast Track system is almost idiot proof and I get a great feeling every time I finish another one.

                      Rick

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                      • #12
                        I've used Fast Tracks #5 for code 100 and had no issues making a dozen turnouts I used for my yard. I can't imagine the smaller sizes would be any more difficult. I do know that I was able to buy rail from another dealer, Modeltrainstuff, for less than what Fast Tracks was selling it for.

                        As far as solder joins oxidizing they should be well cleaned with soap and water and a wire brush to prevent that.
                        Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                        Cedar Swamp
                        SW of Manistique, MI

                        Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, thanks guys. This is helpful information. I think I'll get the jig and try out the weathered rail first, cleaning it as suggested.

                          I got this, however, from Fast Tracks a little bit ago, so I will share the info:

                          "Hello Tony,

                          We don't recommend using weathered rail because it cannot be soldered. Even if you burnish the locations where the solder joints are to be made many have experienced cold solder joints because of insufficient heat transfer during the soldering process.

                          Your equipment should run well on either code 55 or code 40 rail. Although narrow gauge track made with code 40 rail would look more realistic code 55 is a bit easier to handle.

                          Cheers!

                          Terry Firth

                          Fast Tracks Hobbyworks Inc.

                          http://www.fast-tracks.net"

                          So there we have it, different opinions. I'll try both. But I am feeling more and more excited about the jigs than before, seeing as how so many have had great success.

                          Thanks again.
                          Tony Burgess

                          Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.~ Brian Greene

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Damn, I swear I soldered weathered rail before. Maybe it was just real dirty.
                            Russ

                            It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:


                              Originally posted by NE Brownstone


                              Damn, I swear I soldered weathered rail before. Maybe it was just real dirty.


                              Double damn, I was hoping it really could be done.

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