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 Post subject: new to forum
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:25 pm
Posts: 1
Hi there,
My name is Geri I have been modeling for most of my life. I am 42 now and I wish to build a layout of my own likes. I am in no hurry and my commitment to realism is top priority. This layout will be at eyeball level with a heavy focus on the track side and the action on the rails. My space is limited and if I expand any at all it will be a traveling layout. Tell me about hand laying track. I remember reading about it when I just started having an interest in the hobby.

 Post subject: Re: new to forum
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:43 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:31 am
Posts: 1
My name is Bill and I am 68 years young, living in the UK. I decided to convert my layout to DCC and realised it would be the ideal time to start getting my hands working, so am in the process of removing all trackwork and replacing it with hand laid.
The main reason for my posting, is to pass on a massive thank you to Fast Track. I placed my first order a few days ago, after paying, I realised I had forgotten an item, which I ordered and paid for. The following day I receive an email from Paypal, stating that Fast Track had refunded the carriage cost for the second parcel. I must admit, I was amazed to find such an humanitarian attitude still exists in the business world and wish to pass on my heart felt thanks. As small as it may be, the refund made a massive impression on me and I will have no hesitation recommending Rail Track to everyone I meet in the Rail Modelling World. It was greatly appreciated and I look forward to a very happy relationship in the future.

warmest regards to all
Uhsoo (Bill)

 Post subject: Re: new to forum
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:39 pm
Posts: 23
gericat wrote:
Tell me about hand laying track.

I've been out of the hobby for (can't believe) 35 years or so. As a teen I was building and doing well at shows with Fine Scale kits, so I've always been enthralled with scratch building and craftsmanship. But then, cars, girls, a military know how it goes.

But I recently had my interest revived, if only to sample how the hobby has changed. I'd long wanted to hand lay track, but try as folks might, it just never made sense when I would simply read about it. Nobody I knew (or know) hand lays track, so I couldn't mentor with someone.

Well the hobby has changed! Being an electrical and computer engineer, you can imagine I'm fascinated with DCC. So while reading up, I came across Fast Tracks. I was blown away, to say the least. Now I can scratch-build quality turnouts, and with a little practice (I'm sure), each turnout can be precise and professional.

So, to your comment about talking hand-laid track. For me there is always the craftsmanship aspect. I'd scratch build everything if I could, although I have a soft spot for brass locomotives. But it's very satisfying and enjoyable.

But more than that, once you see hand-laid track, especially next to commercial offerings, there is a noticeable difference in realism. Hand-laid track just looks more realistic to my eye. There is also the issue of conventional track lines. Or, to say it a different way, not all curves are perfect curves. If you look at nearly any prototypical track, rarely are they ever perfectly curved. They tend to follow the lay of the land, especially in hilly and mountainous areas. It's fine to have a perfect curve in a layout, but depending on location and arrangement, I think it can it look artificial at times. Forced. Track follows land, land doesn't follow track. Commercial track, omitting flex track of course, is perfect in every aspect.

There is also tie composition and appearance. I can't say what's used today, but back in the day the ties were plastic ("Delran" I believe?) and a glossy black color. No tie in the world is glossy black! And few are actually a deep black color. Creosote is more a blackish-brown color.

And the turnouts...well, as Tim alludes to in some of his videos (e.g.: frog), commercial turnouts make compromises, and they're immediately noticeable, at least to my eye. And unless things have changed, having the switch motor connected to the turnout is just not realistic. Many are built that way.

This isn't to "slam" commercial track. Far from it. It's just a, well, a lifestyle choice I suppose. There is a time and place for RTR track, but there is a time and place for well crafted, hand-laid track. It just depends on what your individual modeling goals are.

Can't thank Tim and Ron enough for the jigs, though. The entire concept is amazing, and I can't wait to get my first order in start!

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