Laying Streamline Track

Having finished laying the setrack, the next items to lay are the two medium radius streamline points. Each one of these connects to the setrack curves. Streamline track (unlike Setrack) does not come with rail joiners fitted, so these need to be added. Separate a rail joiner from the strip in the packet by bending it backwards and forwards until it snaps. This leaves a 'burr' which needs removing with a flat swiss file. The joiner is then slipped halfway onto the rail and the points connected to the curves.

As my intention is to fit remote control devices to the points at the front of the layout, provision needs to be made for this before pinning the points in place. This involves drilling a hole through the pinboard. The location of the hole is determined by marking the position of the point's 'tiebar'. This is the piece of plastic which joins the two moving rails together. The hole at each end of the tiebar is where a remote control device is connected and the pinboard hole needs to be below one of these tiebar holes. Having selected which tiebar hole to use, mark the pinboard with a pencil; then move the tiebar to its other position and make another mark. Having removed the points, use a 3mm drill to make two holes below each tiebar. As the pinboard is soft, it is easy to use a scapel to 'join' the two holes together to form a rectangular hole. All that remains is to replace the points in position and pin them down.

The flexible track needs to be cut to the right length before fixing in place. The easiest way to do this is to use a razor saw, holding the track firmly in a track cutting jig. I bought this little device from BH Enterprises, but you could make your own if you wish by cutting two grooves in a block of wood 9mm apart, and making the width of the groove equal to the width of the rail and the depth of the groove equal to the height of the rail. While holding the rail in place mark the required cutting points using a 'three square' (triangular) swiss file. This marks the track with a 'nick'. The thing to remember when cutting flexible track is to measure carefully, otherwise you run the risk of cutting it too short. The marked track is then put in the jig and cut, and the burrs removed using a swiss file. Next, separate and de-burr four rail joiners and slide them on to the length of flexible track. Peco recommend removing the pieces of plastic (chairs) which hold the rail in place, at the point where the rail joiners are required; however, I managed to slide the rail joiners through them will no ill effect. Fit one end of the flexible track to one of the points, and the other end to the other point (you'll need to bend the track a little to do this last bit). Finally, a 0.7mm diameter hole was drilled through one of the central sleeper and a pin hammered in - only one is required because later ballasting of the track will hold it firmly. The continuous run is complete!

At this stage the track can be tested by running my first train. To do this a transformer/controller is connected to the two wires soldered to the track, but as I do not yet possess my own I 'borrowed' one from my husband. I do however have a locomotive of my own - a Graham Farish LMS 4F and one wagon! Several minutes of fun ensued!

Playing trains!