Saturday, December 27, 2014

Staging yard track gaps

Although this layout is going to be run with DCC, I still need to have some separation of sections in the layout for power districts and reversing loops and in the staging yard I wanted to isolate all of the staging tracks from each other.  In the past I had done this by using insulated rail joiners but this time I wanted to try something different.

At a local electronics surplus store I purchased several scraps of .060 thick printed circuit board that were about 1-3/8 inches wide by 12 inches long.  I then cut these into 5/8 inch sections as shown in this photo.

Then using a triangular file I file through the copper clad about in the middle in each direction leaving a pattern of 4 quarter sections as shown in this photo.

The plastic ties were removed from enough of the flex track to expose enough of the rail to reach the gap in the PC board.  I also drilled small holes in these plates to accept track nails.  When I started to install feeder wires I found out that these are also handy places to solder those to.

At this point I have these installed at the loop end of each staging track for a total of five.  While I am still de-bugging a few things on the turnouts, these rail gaps have been 100% derailment free.

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