|Trouble ahead! Those screws holding down the |
tracks cause more than one derailment.
With the increase of vehicles on the layout, I've been referring to it as the "Straco layout/display." One of its functions is to serve as a static display for the Japanese cars I've collected. But the other is to be an operating toy train layout, with trains moving along the track.
It's important to remember that these Japanese rains were designed to be inexpensive toys -- not realistic (and reliably operating) scale models. The track is substantially taller than standard HO gauge track, and the wheel flanges are significantly bigger as well. As you can see from the two images at right, there was a lot of variation between manufacturers. Both cars fit on the track, but the wheels on both have enough room to let the trucks slide back and forth as they travel along the rails.
|Wheel detail from a Straco Express car. Note how|
much distance there is between the left flange and rail.
|Wheel detail from a Cragstan car. Both the right and left |
flanges have gaps between them and the rails.
So I've relaid all the track, taking the screws out from between the rails. In the process, I've also doubled the number of screws used, since I had to secure both sides of the track (the screws on the center ties are offset to prevent slippage).
|Before: Those screw heads just got in the way.|
|After: Nothing to interfere with the wheels as they |
wobble back and forth.