Gargraves Track...

I have used their Flex track. It works well if you want the same rail height as Gilbert track. The 2 rail S gauge track is a lot easier to work with and bend than the 3 rail flex track. I have never used their sectional track or turnouts. If you are building a layout in a damp location consider their SS rail. Since there is no MagneTraction in S there is no downside.

Tom

Used it on my shelf layout. Tinplate, wood ties, black center rails. Used 54 sectionals in the turns and a few s-curves for a smooth flow. Straights I used the flex track. One section I did have to bend a piece. It doesnt bend easy, but again for me it was 3 rails. But eventually will do what you want it to do. 1st time I tried, I did kink it. But after some time, was able to remove the kink and make it back into good track.

Top and top middle is two 54 sectional pieces of track,   Middle right is the long run with flex. Not perfect straight line, but train looks normal from below. Lower pic is me bending flex track going into wash room, then to other room. It took some time for me. Trying to get smoothest flow. It works just fine, but I dont like the look of my 70' passenger cars... Had to be made this way to go around studs and dryer wire. But this weekend, being redone to a nice straight section. And since its flex.. I can make it straight again.

I got some of their power track ties, but left a gap between the rails. So every 3 ft, just knocked off the black coating and soldered wire directly to rails. Nuff space to run wire under outer rail to buss wire without worry of track digging into wire to cause a short down the road. 20180811_210229

20180811_20593820181005_18565320181005_190321

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Tugboat, love that shelf layout.  Mine is all in one big room.

100_0614

IMO, Gargraves gives you the most bang for your buck.  I simply bend it around my waist, a joint compound barrel, or, I even soak the older, stiffer ones before bending.  There are lots of posts about the myriad ways to bend Gargraves track, if you need precision bends for multiple curves.  Ross switches are worth the extra expense.

Jerry

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That is a nice shelf layout and fine trackwork. It makes some of us S gaugers that post here on the S forum feel bad that we cannot get those Ross turnouts, and numbered ones no less! If Ross made some in S I think they would have reasonable sales.

Tom

I have approx. 400' of the Phantom Flex 3-rail on my layout.  Per an old VHS tape I bought years ago (dating myself), the easiest way to bent the track is to spray it with WD-40, hold one end firm to keep the rails even and then bend it around a curved object.  The three rails will bend and the lengths of all three rails change due to the difference in the radius.  The WD-40 soaks into the bass wood and the excess on the rails can be wiped off with denatured alcohol.

Ted

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I had a layout in S using Gargraves stainless steel track and found it to be excellent in conductivity with none of the usual sparking from the Flyer tenders or pickup shoes. The only drawback to the code 172 rail system is the availability of switches. Older style Gargraves switches are derailment prone (tried them) and the newer model switches are a tight radius similar to original Gilbert switches. I wound up using the Gilbert switches but the usual frog oxidation was always a disappointment. They had to be periodically cleaned as opposed to the track which required minimal cleaning. I think there might be another option for code 172 switches but I cannot remember the company. I'm sure someone will chime in.

 

Rich

Portlines.com has all the S gauge highrail track options. Rich is referring to code 172 solid NS rail track and turnouts made by American S Gauge. It is very nice and not cheap. It is also out of production. They made 19” and 27” radius turnouts. They can somtimes be found on the secondary market. 

Tom

Well, the track finally arrived today: seems it took the long way 'round to get here.  But get here it did, safe and sound.

First impressions: very stout, I like the real wood ties. It has a cool "old school" look and feel to it. Mates perfectly with AF track, seems to work just fine, and having 16 ties per every 10 inches (as opposed to only 4) makes a huge difference in the appearance!

Am very pleased. 

Mark in Oregon

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Alan B


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