New Running Track Construction

Part 1 – Main Board

Parts Required:

Top Board (the outer edge is shown at the top):

Bottom Board (the outer edge is shown at the top):

4 off Side Walls:

Note that four of the Running Track boards have a square edge with slots and wiring holes in slightly different positions – in each case, the outer board edges are longer, but they use the same construction method:

There are also different lengths of Side Wall and End Wall supports for these boards.

2 off End Wall Supports:

Insulation Board (1200x600mm):

2 Pairs Pattern Makers Dowels (with screws):

14 Colours of 16/0.2 Wire

15 Way D-Type Plug, Socket and Covers:


Board Assembly and Wiring

Use exterior PVA to glue an End Wall Support to the back of each End Wall.

Screw the dowels to the End Walls. For the Edge Boards, note which dowel goes on which End Wall.

Lay the Bottom Board upside down and test fit the Side Walls around the edge. The wall fingers will overhang the Bottom Board slightly. Ensure the end walls are the right way around, with the male dowel part on the left and the female dowel part on the right when looking with the outer side uppermost:

PVA glue and nail the Side Walls and End Walls to the Bottom Board.

Trim the Insulation Board to fit and glue (Spray Contact Adhesive for the bottom, Stixall glue for the walls).

Turn the assembly over and cut out the Insulation Board to match the slots in the Bottom Board. Also cut away under the ‘bridge’ in the wiring slot.

Use the Top Board to mark the wiring holes on the top of the Insulation Board with a marker pen.

Cut channels in the insulation board from the wiring holes to each slot, and a larger channel between the slots as shown here:

Thread the ends of 14 wires through 300mm of braiding and solder to the D-Type plug as follows:

Pin Colour Track
1 Red/Purple Outer rail of outer O track
9 Grey/White Inner rail of outer O track
2 Brown Outer rail of inner O track
10 Red Inner rail of inner O track
3 Orange Outer rail of outer OO track
11 Yellow Inner rail of outer OO track
4 Green Outer rail of inner OO track
12 Blue Inner rail of inner OO track
5 Violet Outer rail of EM track
13 Grey Inner rail of EM track
6 White Outer rail of future track
14 Black Inner rail of future track
7 Pink Outer rail of N track
15 Green/Yellow Inner rail of N track
8 Unused

The lead should be positioned such that the connector fits under the ‘bridge’ in the slot:

Thread the ends of the wires through the channels on the left side of the board as shown above – the Outer O track is at the top.

Leave a few inches of wire at the end of each channel.

Repeat this at the other end of the board, using a D-Type socket. Note that the pin numbers on the socket are reversed compared to a plug.

Now run a wire of each colour from the end of each channel through the centre channel to the matching wiring hole at the other end.

There should now be 2 pairs of 2 wires by each of the 14 wiring holes.

Push a long nail or a thick piece of wire in the Insulation Board at the centre of each wiring hole to provide a temporary fixing for the wires. Tape the wires to the locating pin/nail for now.

Place the track alignment jig on each end of the Top Board and mark the track sleeper positions on the Top Board. The holes in the jig will line up with the wiring holes when it’s the right way round.

Glue and nail copper clad (or brass) strips for each track at the ends of the Top Board. Ensure the two halves of each strip are insulated from each other by cutting the copper in the middle.


Test fit the Top Board, threading the wires through the holes. If all is OK, glue and nail the top board on (PVA for the wood, Spray Contact Adhesive for the foil).

Drill small holes and fix the ends of the D-Type lead with P-Clips on the top board.

Remove the nails supporting the wires. Trim and solder the wires to the copper clad in the order shown in the table above.

Use the Controller Box and a Track Tester to check that each copper clad strip has the right track power.

Sand any excess from the side wall joints.

Fit board clamps and external side walls.

All done!

Part 2 – Testing

Once all the boards have been assembled, the entire running track needs to be erected and tested for mechanical alignment, and any adjustments made.

Part 3 – Fitting Track

On each Edge Board, draw a line across the board 605mm from the square end.

Use the track alignment jig to mark the sleeper edges on this line.

These are the points at which the straight track transitions to a curve.

Now lay track…