Model railroad products have come a long way in the past few decades, making it easier to create a wider range of landscapes, layouts and scenes. One component of model railroading that has evolved drastically is the track itself; whereas modelers once had only two options for trackage–scratch-built and sectional–we now have many types of track at our disposal.
New materials and breakthroughs in technology eventually brought us model railroad flex-track, which saves both time and stress when creating curves for a layout. In this lesson, we teach you about the benefits of working with this type of track and show you how to lay and adhere model railroad flex-track along a curved stretch of subroadbed.
Working with model railroad flex-track
When you decide to build the trackage for your next layout with model railroad flex-track, you’ll notice that there are a variety of commercial options available for making curved sections of rail. To help you figure out the best choice for your layouts, NMRA Master Modeler Gerry Leone walks you through an in-depth demonstration on model railroad flex-track. He discusses the types of track you’ll find in the aisles at your local hobby shop, pointing out the pros and cons of each, and then explains the concept of codes in regards to HO scale track.
Once you’ve selected the model railroad flex-track you’ll use in your scene, Gerry teaches you how to prepare, lay out and adhere the model railroad flex-track to your roadbed and subroadbed. He introduces a few common choices for adhesives, including spikes, caulks and glues, and talks about which is ideal for certain scenarios. Then, he shows you how to handlay the model railroad flex-track, testing to see whether your curves are to dimension, your straightaways are straight enough and your rail joiners are firmly attached. By the end of this demonstration, you’ll be able to prepare and handlay any type of model railroad flex-track according to the specific needs of your layout!