American style tracks

American style tracks

Postby Arseny » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:46 am

There are a lot of discussions here concerning American-style tracks and ties.
It's implied that European-style tracks are different and are not suitable.
Can you explain me the difference? I can't see it.
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Re: American style tracks

Postby j p » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:02 am

The main difference is in fasteners.
There is no difference between old style European track and American track - using nails as fasteners:
Image
Image

Newer style European track used bolts instead of nails:
Image

Modern style track uses springs, also in US.
Image
Image

All 3 types can be found in Europe, the 2nd one is the most common and available in TT scale by Tillig and Kuehn products. (Zeuke and BTTB track had bolts too)
Another difference is in the tie length - but that is something I could live with.
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Re: American style tracks

Postby Arseny » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:53 am

Ok, thank you! Now I got it! :thumbup:
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Re: American style tracks

Postby j p » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:48 am

Bernd wrote:Another difference is what year you are modeling. I don't recall when or where concrete ties are used in the US. Since I model anywhere between the 1900's to about the 1950's, with wood ties, tie plates and spikes. This is the type of track I look for. That's one reason I'm not fond of European style model track. This will explain my tenacity of wanting Code55 flex track. I don't model the more modern railroad scene.

Bernd


Concrete ties are used on the National Corridor, UP use them, NS use them, CSX too. (the big manufacturers do not make concrete ties in TT anyway)
Old US concrete ties:
Image

Big European TT manufacturers make only ties with bolts (wood or steel ties) - not suitable for modern European track and old European track either.
Perhaps the way to convince them to make ties with spikes and spike plates would be as "old European" track?
Another problem is with the turnouts. None of the big manufactures makes turnouts suitable for European (and/or American) track! All of them make turnouts with geometries which cannot be found on the real railroads. Oh well...
Small manufacturers make everything. It costs $$ and time...

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Re: American style tracks

Postby Arseny » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:32 am

j p wrote:the big manufacturers do not make concrete ties in TT anyway


As I know, Tillig produces tracks with concrete ties (flex tracks, art.83134)
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Re: American style tracks

Postby j p » Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:51 pm

Arseny wrote:
j p wrote:the big manufacturers do not make concrete ties in TT anyway


As I know, Tillig produces tracks with concrete ties (flex tracks, art.83134)


OK, I forgot about that. It is with bolts anyway, not suitable for modern track.
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Re: American style tracks

Postby MacG » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:42 pm

I think, the american wooden ties are mostly 7" x 9" x 110". In scale 1,5 x 1,9 x 23,3mm.

The common tie distance ist 20"? Shorter for bridges and longer for branch lines?

Tillig wooden ties are 2,00mm x 2,00mm x 20,95 (9,45" x 9,45" x 99") tie distance on centers 5,2mm (24,6")

Kuehn wooden ties are 2,05mm x 2,00mm x 21,50 (9,7" x 9,45" x 101,6") tie distance on centers 5,3mm (25")
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Re: American style tracks

Postby j p » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:22 pm

MacG wrote:I think, the american wooden ties are mostly 7" x 9" x 110". In scale 1,5 x 1,9 x 23,3mm.

The common tie distance ist 20"? Shorter for bridges and longer for branch lines?

Tillig wooden ties are 2,00mm x 2,00mm x 20,95 (9,45" x 9,45" x 99") tie distance on centers 5,2mm (24,6")

Kuehn wooden ties are 2,05mm x 2,00mm x 21,50 (9,7" x 9,45" x 101,6") tie distance on centers 5,3mm (25")


There is not one standard tie spacing. It depends on the line type, railroad company, and period (Epoch).
http://prr.railfan.net/standards/standards.cgi?plan=61030-B&frame=YES&type=TRACKWORK

Similar in Europe. Tillig and Kuehn offer only one type, nothing for branch lines, yards, or sidings, nothing for Epoch 1-3.
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Re: American style tracks

Postby areibel » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:36 pm

Bernd wrote:Then there is the freelance standard of my railroad which is anything that looks close. :wink:

Bernd


LOL! That might be more prototypical than you think!
I work part time for the railroad, and part of my job involves walking lots of track. It's interesting to see what once was Class One railroad (about 40 years ago!) and to compare it to a modern short line. Standards are a little eased, for example the standard for minimum number of solid ties per length of rail (39 feet) is 16, so in some places there are a gaps or badly rotted ties, or when they're replaced new ties are positioned a little wider than a modern Class one. And tie colors vary a lot, but you'd almost have to paint individual ties and remove a few others to make it look perfect. It is surprising that a lot of ties that were replaced 30-40 years ago are rotted badly, but some of the olde ones are in better shape. The Erie RR used date nails, there are a lot of ties out there with "57" (installed in 1957), 54 and even a few from the late 40's can still be found. I guess Conrail bought cheap ties!
On the west end where it's busier they're installing welded rail, but we still have lots of 132RE for the main with some 112 on sidings and in yards, and if you look close at some of the abandoned stuff lying around there's even some 100 pound rail out there.
So if you're modeling anything besides newer main line operations you could get away with a lot!
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Re: American style tracks

Postby krokodil » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:51 am

There are even more differences.
The spikes dissapeared from European tracks after the II. WW, so there are not even abandoned branch lines with spikes ( not like in US, where you can see spikes everywhere).
The second difference is the tie spacing - it really differs from line to line.
The most important difference ( from modelling point of view) are the ties under switches. The European trackbuilders use different tie distribution under the rails.
Novadays even on narrow gauge you will find in Europe tall ( heavy) rails. ( very disturbing if you see some nostagic old vehicles on rails designed for heavy mainline equipment). I recently edited my narrow gauge videos from different lines and my son pointed out, that something is very unnatural - it was the track... :shock:
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