Rail Length

Meh. In “Rail failures for the trackman: with notes on rail specifications, Rail Manufacture and Rail Specifications published 1916”  1 .. on page 113 it clearly states “The present standard length of rail is 33 feet..
That’s more than “good nuff” for me. 33 foot it will be.

33 foot in O scale is 8¼ inches. I have around 42 inches of larry track to construct. Since my available rail is some I stripped from lengths of Atlas Code 100 flex track – I am limited to 36 inches. That means that I have to add that additional 6 inches at some point. A soldered rail joiner of course – the question is how to hide that joint. Simply hanging it in the open makes no sense .. having the joint directly over the cross-rail makes much more sense. I’m thinking that .. it might be possible to notch the cross-rail at that point so the added thickness of the rail joiner will be hidden by that notch.

Ok. If you divide 8¼” by 1/2″ it comes out to 6.875 ~
Drop back a bit so the joint is over the last cross-rail at 6″ – or 24ft full size – or a multiple there-of .. of course. Hey .. that should work out pretty well – need 6″ and that is exactly the longest length I can use (imagineering from 33ft rail length). The 36in length of rail I stripped from the flex-track of course I don’t have to worry about any joints (for real). Patrick Welch also gave me some joint-bars .. so that will be covered.


Ok. If I notch the top of the Code 125 rail just enough that the thickness of the rail joiner allows the Code 100 rail base to align with the top of the Code 125 rail .. it would be something like this –

That’s a lot of rail joiner sticking out the sides though.

If I cut the rail joiner back to the width of the head of the Code 125 rail that would normally not be enough – but -with everything soldered into the notch of the Code 125 rail .. that might be enough to secure it. This would effectively leave only that small section of rail joiner showing. In fact .. only this side would need to be done that way .. the other side that is out of sight could be left ‘as is’ .. probably.

Jigs and Gauges

Made up a quick jig to hold the cross-rails equally spaced so I could solder the larry rail to them. To keep the larry track in gauge I made a simple gauge – as it says – keeps the track at a 1-1/2″ gauge.

That presupposes I could solder the cross-rails to the larry rails (I think it should be .. “Can I solder the rails with any sort of success). I have to ask myself .. “Self .. can you get Code 125 rail in brass?”

With the gauge flipped over you can see how it is made. Since the larry track is a simple piece of straight track this will suffice.

Test Fitting

Very early in the process – about where the track will go. I have perhaps a third of the cross-rails soldered on. Once everything is soldered nicely (hopefully) – and cleaned up the next step will to construct masonry supports and chair fastenings.

  1. Rail failures for the trackman: with notes on rail specifications, Rail Manufacture and Rail Specifications, Pub 1916[]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 100 MB.
You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, other.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.