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Offline Mjn2ts  
#1 Posted : 24 October 2021 14:45:47(UTC)
Mjn2ts

United States   
Joined: 04/10/2021(UTC)
Posts: 6
Location: Maine, Lewiston
Hello,

I’m currently planning out my first layout using hand-me-down M track, wired for analog but the end goal is to slowly convert the layout and locos to digital. In thinking towards an eventual digital layout I’m leaning towards converting (and supplementing since I don’t think there is enough m track) to K track, mainly for the appearance. I am wondering if it is better to use the flex track or the individual straight and curved track and if there is a cost savings to either?
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Mjn2ts
Offline DaleSchultz  
#2 Posted : 24 October 2021 15:15:13(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,919
Hi (not sure who to call you, but I think Jeff)


Yes, K tracks does look nicer than M track and you could use M track for some sidings until you get things converted. (I use my old M track is my display cabinets.)

I found that using the 2205 flex track was cheaper than using the sectional pieces. It may be worth it to order direct from Germany.

Depending on what your modeling goals are you may also want to place the K-track in some ballast and I particularly like the Merkur ballast. This has to be ordered from Germany.

I have a small writeup about Merkur at https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2015/11/merkur-ballast.html


If you do plan on going digital you should also explore the various control options before you lay too much track as you will likely need to build sensors into the track in order to provide feedback to the control system so it knows how far the trains have progressed.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline marklinist5999  
#3 Posted : 24 October 2021 15:44:40(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,146
Location: Michigan, Troy
M track isn't the greatest for newer decoders and controllers I've been told, because of more shorts due to a metal roadbed. I do have a bit of it in my layout on a yard siding with an old analog semiphore signal. The classic Marklin style is then shown.
Offline PJMärklin  
#4 Posted : 25 October 2021 04:48:58(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,006
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
... I particularly like the Merkur ballast. This has to be ordered from Germany.

I have a small writeup about Merkur at https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2015/11/merkur-ballast.html ...


Hi Dale and Mjn2ts,

Couldn't agree more about K track and Merkur ThumpUp (there, I've said it again Blushing ) and at risk of sounding like a gramaphone record OhMyGod :

https://www.marklin-user...kur-track-bed#post629213
Offline mvd71  
#5 Posted : 25 October 2021 07:18:12(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,445
Location: Auckland,
K track is really good, and the Merkur underlay is great. The Felix track is really good to create beautiful sweeping curves.
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 25 October 2021 13:31:09(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,800
Location: Paris, France
Hi Mjn2ts (funny first name!)

All the Märklin rail choices are OK. Here is how I see them:
M-Track
+ easy to find and cheap but inspection of 2nd hand purchases necessary.
+ goes real well with an historic flair to layout (like in the 50s)
+ perfectly compatible with digital operation
- difficult to make long detection stretchs
- may rust in humid environments
Note: avoid large lantern track pieces

K-Track
+ flexible track allows any elegant curves
+ track geometry allows more compact layouts than with M or C track
+ under the table switch motors (option
* must ballast the track: allows for more realism but more work
- contact issues when ballasting with glue
- rail size and general track design very much dated (like 20 years ago or more). Huge rails code 100
- motor fixation to switches very unreliable (except for fixed layouts

C-Track
+ by far the best: more realistic, more reliable allowing for very nice layouts
+ in full sync with latest Märklin designs
+ can do any long detection stretchs
+ the only offering intelligent switches (motor and decoder in track bed).
+ rolling qualities simply not comparable with M or K tracks: trains just go straight and smooth (no dancing on rails but pure translation)
- more expensive
- no flexible track
- no sleek double slip switch

I have used all 3 types and even have some pieces of Modellgleis 3800 and 3900 but now I stick to C Track
Just my viewpoint
Here is a short glimpse of my layout (sorry for the messBlushing )



Cheers

Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline Mjn2ts  
#7 Posted : 25 October 2021 18:13:55(UTC)
Mjn2ts

United States   
Joined: 04/10/2021(UTC)
Posts: 6
Location: Maine, Lewiston
Thank you for the reply’s and yes Dale my name is Jeff, I guess I should update that 🤣

Yes I will be using plywood but it’s only going where there will be track/building so there won’t be much of it. My original plan was to build the more common (at least in the US) 2 rail layout but my father is elderly and is passing his Marklin collection to me. It’s a large collection and has some strong sentimental value from my time as a kid helping him with his various layouts, so it’s becoming an all Marklin layout. It’s starting out analog but I plan to upgrade the loco’s to digital and slowly replace the track. It’s still a toss up between C&K track but I’m leaning more and more towards K, I like the look of it better and I think working with flex track will make things much easier when trying to get the track to lineup correctly.
Thanks again.. Jeff
Offline mvd71  
#8 Posted : 27 October 2021 21:35:18(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,445
Location: Auckland,
Hi Jeff,

I know what you mean about sentimentality of things from your dad.

I have used all three types of track too. At present I have opted for k track with Merkur roadbed. It costs a little more than a combo like cork underlay and hand ballasting. However as a cost per metre it is not a big difference, and it gives a fantastic look.

Quality of running is entirely down to how you lay the track, and being patient and setting yourself a high standard is the key to success for all track types. I’ve seen bad running and roughness in all types.

I don’t find the code 100 to be a real issue for me, especially if the sides of the rails are weathered. Also the code 100 does allow you to run early models with larger flanges that were not designed for the smaller rails of c track. This may be a issue for you depending on the models you are inheriting from you father (on c track some models have the flanges hitting the sleepers).

I have recently moved into mostly Roco 1:87 passenger coaches, and with the longer length geometry of the k track and flex track just makes sense to me.

Cheers….

Mike

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Offline Mjn2ts  
#9 Posted : 29 October 2021 21:40:58(UTC)
Mjn2ts

United States   
Joined: 04/10/2021(UTC)
Posts: 6
Location: Maine, Lewiston
Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
Hi Jeff,

I know what you mean about sentimentality of things from your dad.

I have used all three types of track too. At present I have opted for k track with Merkur roadbed. It costs a little more than a combo like cork underlay and hand ballasting. However as a cost per metre it is not a big difference, and it gives a fantastic look.

Quality of running is entirely down to how you lay the track, and being patient and setting yourself a high standard is the key to success for all track types. I’ve seen bad running and roughness in all types.

I don’t find the code 100 to be a real issue for me, especially if the sides of the rails are weathered. Also the code 100 does allow you to run early models with larger flanges that were not designed for the smaller rails of c track. This may be a issue for you depending on the models you are inheriting from you father (on c track some models have the flanges hitting the sleepers).

I have recently moved into mostly Roco 1:87 passenger coaches, and with the longer length geometry of the k track and flex track just makes sense to me.

Cheers….

Mike


Thanks Mike.
That may make a difference in what track I end up switching to. I'm not sure what you consider early models, he may have some stuff that is from the late 70's but I believe the bulk of his collection is from the 80's to stuff he purchased within the last couple of years. It's a large collection so if there are a few that don't like a particular type of track it probably isn't the end of the world, except for his 3015's.. those are my favorites, I don't care what I have to do, they will be on the layout.

Offline mvd71  
#10 Posted : 30 October 2021 02:16:34(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,445
Location: Auckland,
The 3015 may need the larger track profile, so k track will be perfect.
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