Subway track

As I plan my island railroad empire i am including a lower level subway. It will be visible from at least two sides showing a station platform, stairs, subway tunnel, etc.

What track looks best?

I have plenty of fastrack for the upper level but the subway has me stumped.

Any photos and suggestions appreciated.

Sean

 

 

 

Original Post

I had an idea when I had my subway collection(now long gone) to incorporate the sub surface portion with  K-line WHITE tie Super K track to simulate concrete. 

Leroof.

 

                             

                          

Hello Guys

I also use ATLAS  TWO RAIL track in my NY City based Elevated Transit Line.  In my yards I did use some brass rail on fiber tie track (as the track is hidden by lay-up extra trains most of the time) and in some places I cut and made my own ties and hand spiked-down rail to make tracks in another yard. I find ATLAS O-Scale  (2 or 3 Rail)  is the best looking track around for subway and elevated and surface R-o-W rapid transit (or interurban)  based layouts.  The tie "wood grain" detail and tie plates, spike heads, etc., make for increased realism.  My curved track have additionally installed by me,  both working "flange" check  rail and outer safety guard rail - as well of course,  the outer wood guard timbers used on all older era tracks on the EL.  See my photos BELOW attached taken on my EL layout.

Regards - Joe F

NYC MODEL TRANSIT SYSTEM

 

 3-track-el-mainline-details_5449782856_o20100248253_9c93f980ef_ocurved-local-track-and-guard-rail-details_5452264839_ocurved-guard-and-flange-rail-details_5452875776_o

Joe F

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trainman29 posted:

hello joe f the 2 rail track looks great also are the ties on that track plastic or wood ?     looks great

Hello Trainman29

Those ATLAS ties are PLASTIC with realistic wood grain molded into them -- and are black plastic as when purchased.  I repaint mine a dirty brown (I used Floquil roof brown years ago) mixed with a tiny bit of  Floquil grimy black.  I used Floquil rail brown for weathering- rusting the tie plates and running rails except, of course, for the rail head and flange side of the running rails.  The metal guard and flange "check" rails are painted (Floquil) grimy black

ATLAS uses the same details and treatment and rail sizes on both their O-scale 2 rail and O-Gauge 3 rail track -- the 3 rail track has scale rail as does the 2 rail track.

BELOW are two photos of some of my hand cut home made rail ties and rail spiked to them for use in parts of my yards.

regards - Joe F

img_2726_5505597194_oimg_2695_5505596632_o

 

 

Joe F

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Hello Ben F

 You make a very good and often not though of point.  EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY to your model subway track and stations, tunnels,  for track cleaning and repairs,  maintenance, etc.  As far as track,  both (all types) have their pros and cons.  As far as Atlas and Gargraves....

ATLAS Track  is either solid Nickel Silver rail or Brass Nickel Plated Rail -- and will NOT RUST

Gargraves is steel (hollow tube) rail and WILL RUST

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 ATLAS Track is designed for showing more and realistic  detail on the roadbed ( tie plates, tie spike heads)

Gargraves Track has no details nor tie plates or spike heads

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ATLAS track will not work well or if at all with LIONEL  locomotives with MAGNE-TRACTION -- because of its NON-STEEL rail composition

Gargraves steel track (like LIONEL and other steel tubular and hollow rail track)  WILL WORK VERY WELL with MAGNE TRACTION locos.

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Both track types look great in full ballasted roadbed environment

People I know who use both Atlas 2 or 3 rail track,  Gargraves Track and Lionel and other Tubular type and "tinplate" type track -- still have to clean their rails periodically  of gunk and crud --- and at times clean  the wheels of some of their cars (mainly lighted passenger cars)  to prevent lights flickering.  My (deceased a few years now) pal and neighbor John B had that problem using both steel Lionel tubular and some straight Gargraves track -- and used his LIONEL fluid based track cleaning car to help.  I rebuilt his LIONEL based 3-rail layout for him back in 1998-99.

RUBBER TRACTION TIRES installed on many 3-rail O gauge locomotives contribute to the black gunk and crud deposits coating rail-heads. We don't have nor need traction tires on Trains, locomotives, traction cars operated 2 rail scale track.

Even with CAREFUL lubing, oiling,  of wheel axle's and journals,  some little oil works it way to the wheel treads and onto the rail heads ---attracting dust, grit and etc. to form that sludgy crud thin film on rail heads.  No problem on real railroads -- their railcar  brake shoes grind-scrub the wheel treads clean and the sheer weight of the prototype trains keeps the rail heads clean on actively run-upon track. !

On my O Scale NYC EL system  using Atlas 2 rail track  -- I  clean and keep my rail heads clean regularly --- which keeps the wheel treads on my cars clean.   I use a rag with a bit of hair clipper (Oster or WAHL Brand) oil  (which also promotes electrical conductivity)  to rub the rail with a rag to remove that black thin film slime that accumulates.  Funny,  you don't SEE it on the rail heads --- but it comes up black on the cleaning wipe rag !  My rails gleam in the light on my EL -- thats the way I like them !!

MY HO Mainline Passenger trains Railroad around the train room (shelf) layout uses mixture of steel rail track, brass and nickel silver snap and flex tracks -- and these rails all have to be scrapped (Brite-boy scribbed) or rag & solvent wiped clean every few weeks or so after regular operation periods - to take care of crud and oxidation.

My under-EL Trolley layout trolley track is a bit more of an experience for cleaning.  Its in a sort of tunnel effect of sorts with tall building along both side of the EL above it.  I use 2 gondola cars filled up with loads dead AA and AAA batteries - making two VERY VERY HEAVY gondola cars -- towed behind a 2 powered trucks diesel loco-- and I run this consist with a few freight cars on the tail -- around and around on the trolley layout under the EL to weight-scrub the rail heads clean --it works. 

Imagine trying to manually wipe-clean trolleys tracks under the EL -- see video below and  the two photos

https://youtu.be/BJKH3niTIDs

IMG_2163img_0238_11109668303_o

Regards - Joe F

 

Joe F

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All said above is great info but…. actually the posters question is about subway tunnel track choices, not 2r or EL track with ties.

 All my tunnel track is Gargraves 3-rail Stainless Steel with plastic ties and jumpered outside rails. To be honest, I never had a reason to clean track.

Operators tend to over lubricate wheel sets and gears. I generally don’t believe in doing so as everything has always run just fine through the years. My DCS numbers are always good. My tunnel modules boxes have removable tops should I ever need to do any maintenance or dusting. I have probably cleaned more rolling stock wheels vs. track.

As for details in track used for tunnels, less is better. No need for details. In fact, I covered the ties with strips of pine wood reducing the look of the middle rail. So the bottom line is, spend the extra money and use Stainless in humid and potentially damp areas for trouble free operation.

Agree Ben, Atlas track was not a good choice for that application and the eye level viewing should have been much higher. Tubular is better for those big heavy - chunky MTH  3r wheel sets/trucks.

S.

                    SUB TRACK - NO TIES

                                                                                  (No ties)

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Hello Steve (SIRT)

I agree with you --- "less is better" - regarding no need for track super-details in hidden subway tunnels if such cannot readily be seen and thus appreciated.  And using stainless steel Gargraves plastic-tie track is a better idea than tin or plain steel track.  I believe the older Gargraves with wood ties is originally steel, tin, whatever.

As far as track cleaning --- its the same process and at times, need,  for surface R-o-W tracks,  Elevated Line Tracks, and subway line (ie" covered) tracks -- the climate environment of the layout and amount of operation with dust and etc. factored in determines all of that.

regards - Joe F

Joe F

Yes Joe, good observations. I attempted to model the above tunnel photo along with taking the eye off that ugly middle rail as best as I could. My upstairs HVAC carpeted (dry) room may have also added to my non-cleaning and operational success. Just have to deal with a few tiny spiders, webs and fine dust issues once a year or so.

As for 2r, I  could hardly keep my H.O's running. 2R DC track oxidized faster than I could wipe it down.

Environment is key.................

bluelinec4 posted:

Unless you have full access to the track dont use Atlas.  I am sorry we did on our subway as it is the worst when it comes to dirt and grime  Do yourself a favor and use Ross switches with Gargraves track

That's a great point about access for track cleaning. I plan on having access from underneath, but that was for derailment.

Sean

Sean007 posted:
bluelinec4 posted:

Unless you have full access to the track dont use Atlas.  I am sorry we did on our subway as it is the worst when it comes to dirt and grime  Do yourself a favor and use Ross switches with Gargraves track

That's a great point about access for track cleaning. I plan on having access from underneath, but that was for derailment.

Sean

Yes.  Some truth that Atlas gets dirty - but, in my experience, not a big difference from other track.

I use a track-cleaning car pushed along through difficult areas.  Works wonders.  I would not change my choice of track over this concern.

But.  That's just MO.  

 

 

 

RT   

You can only use a track cleaning car if the pulling power runs   Construction around the layout gets that Atlas track so gunked up that an engine will not run  I have a battery operated switcher that pulls the track cleaning cars   We just completed removing all the Atlas switches and replaced them with Ross.

Steve

I blame Brian for the height  LOL

MCD4x4 posted:

Ben I thought the problem with the Atlas track was connectivity. The clips between each track ?

 

Yeah that too   We have a wood floor with wood constructed layout  It tends to move with the changes in weather  The Atlas track connectors spread open and cause loss of power connection  We soldered all the rails to overcome that  

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MCD4x4 posted:

Ben you soldered all the rails on all four lines? 

I didnt do it personally  Hector did most of it  Yes all four subterranean lines have soldered track joints BUT  and its a big but.  We were learning as we went.  The irons we used in the beginning werent good enough to make a proper solder connection  We kept experimenting with bigger and hotter soldering irons  None of them were good enough causing many cold solder connections  The rails need to get hot for the solder to stick properly  It wasnt until we purchased the American Beauty Resistance solder station that it was done properly.  Worth its weight in gold.  Only half the track was done right

Another problem with the Atlas switches was also connectivity.  With the amount of track and the high current draw of most of the subways the Atlas switches didnt hold up.  They had a fine wire under the rails to make the connection though the switch  The wire melted causing many dead spots around the switches.  We had more jumpers through the switches than anything  Hence we have removed ALL Atlas switches with the exception of 5 wyes.  The Ross switches are great.  The only problem is that we are using the DZ1000 switch motors.  Some of the premier sets have a third rail shoe that sticks out pretty far and hit the switch motor.  A little filing of the shoe is necessary.  Using a different switch motor would be preferable though.  

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