Replacement Running Track

Our current running track has had various issues for a while, and the decision has now been taken to replace this with a new one.

This proposal provides two O Gauge, two OO Gauge, one EM Gauge  and N Gauge track.

It uses 12 boards of the club standard 4′ x 2’6“ size and allows all tracks to be used simultaneously. All tracks are easily accessible from the OUTSIDE of the running track, minimising any need to crawl underneath.

This drawing shows the proposed running track located in the clubroom. The red tracks are O, green OO, blue EM and magenta N Gauge:

The two boards on the left could be used on their own for testing/programming, or as a continuous running track with the other sections added.

Whilst the primary use will be in the clubroom, boards can be used in the hall, and if necessary, additional straight sections could be made and added if a longer track is required.

We’ll probably use laser cut plywood box section boards for accuracy, filled with kingspan for rigidity. If we can align the tracks well enough, it’s possible that the “curved” sections could be erected in any order. The boards will have small side walls to minimise track damage in storage.

15 pin D-Type connectors provide the electrical connection between each board, with a single lead provided to a “break-out” box for connection to controllers. This lead can be connected at any board join.

The “break-out” box would have connections for DC and DCC (MERG) controllers. Each track would have a switch to select DC or DCC, and a bicolour LED to indicate track power. This would indicate red or green for DC operation, and orange for DCC.

Update 22-Aug-18

With 4 more “straight” boards, the track can be extended for a circuit length from 16-18m suitable for use in the hall, not much shorter than the 20-23m circuit length of the existing running track:

It could also (just) be erected in the layout room for testing purposes, though this can’t be recommended as it blocks the fire exit:

Update 29-Aug-18

This is a proposal for the construction of each board:

The intention is that these boards can be stacked on top of each other to minimise the storage space. This would allow the 12 boards to be stored in a volume of 4′ x 2′ x 4′.

This design assumes 50mm Kingspan as a filler, but 40mm Kingspan is also available, and if this provides enough rigidity, we could make the boards even thinner and lighter.