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Offline Robert Davies  
#1 Posted : 16 December 2010 22:37:56(UTC)
Robert Davies

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: Worcestershire, UK
I expect that this subject has been raised many times before but as I am a newbie and this is my first post here I will risk being shouted at. Please also excuse the length - my next posts will be shorter.

First, to introduce myself. I have always been fascinated by railways and trains - I worked for British Railways for 28 years - and this life-long interest was sparked by my model railway. This was Trix Twin which I was first given in about 1956. By the mid 60's this had been played with so much that it had pretty much died but in about 1970 a friend introduced me to Märklin and I began to build what eventually became a pretty big layout. This was set up in the loft of my parent's house but getting married, raising a family, moving repeatedly with work etc meant that it was eventually all boxed up and left unused.

About 10 years ago, I decided to fetch it all out of store and set it up again. I converted all of my locomotives to the early form of digital control and bought a couple of new locos as well but I made the serious mistake of setting it up in my cellar. This was OK initially and while the rolling stock didn't deteriorate, the track (entirely M-track) slowly went very rusty to the extent that most of it is now only fit for scrap (which is a pity because we are talking about in excess of 400 5106 straight rails for example).

However this gives me a new opportunity. Another move of home is on the distant horizon and thanks to a very supportive wife I hope to be able to devote quite a large (properly heated and ventilated) space to my railway so the question now comes up - which kind of track do I use? I have just splurged on a 29500 Mega-digital Starting Pack (fantastic) which has given me my first look at C-track (and I am quite impressed) but my view has been that K-track is the better type to choose.

I have just looked at another thread here where one contributor was quite clear that in their view C-track is good for kids but K-track makes the better layouts. Is that the general view around here?

I would like to set up a basic layout in my current home (on a single 8' x 4' board) to get the hang of Central Station and to get all my rolling stock up and running and was think of buying some second-hand K-track to do this (this track would then form part of the much bigger layout in the new home) but I do need to make this C versus K decision, so the advice of this informed group will be much appreciated.

In the meantime, I have reached page 42 translating the manual that comes on the 60521 Track Planning Software disk into English!! When I have finished, if anyone would like a copy of the English version, I will be happy to supply.

Sorry you have had to wade through this but I am looking forward to hearing the views of the board.
Robert
Era III - IV
2 x Central Station 2 v.2 (60214 + 60215)
Hardware versions 3.6 / 4.33
Software version 4.2.1 (0)
Offline Loadmaster  
#2 Posted : 16 December 2010 22:57:23(UTC)
Loadmaster

United States   
Joined: 03/02/2010(UTC)
Posts: 897
Location: So Cal
Robert,

You sound like me and trains, except my parents gave away mine while was in college.
I guess they thought that "Bobby" had ourgrown his love of trains, WRONG......
I returned to trains and Z scale while in the military as military housing is not spaceous.
Now that I'm retired, I have both C & K track.
C is great for quick setup and tear down houwever, K has the flex track.
I have collected several converion tracks so I can use both types.
What I like about C is their switches as the motor & digital interface ccan be placed inside the roadbed.
With K track you can install it along side or under the layout board.
This is just my 2 cents.

Robert
HOac and Z scale running SBB/BLS Era IV-V
Offline Ranjit  
#3 Posted : 16 December 2010 23:00:47(UTC)
Ranjit

Malaysia   
Joined: 18/06/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,897
Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA
Welcome to the forum, Robert!

Cheers,
Ranjit
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come" - Victor Marie Hugo
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney
Offline Ian555  
#4 Posted : 16 December 2010 23:19:51(UTC)
Ian555

Scotland   
Joined: 04/06/2009(UTC)
Posts: 19,951
Location: Scotland
Hi Robert,

Welcome to the forum. ThumpUp

Pity about your M track. Sad

Ian.
Offline DaleSchultz  
#5 Posted : 16 December 2010 23:37:22(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
it was probably me saying how I prefer K-Track !

and yes this can be a very personal choice but in addition I do think there are pros and cons for each type..... it all depends on what sort of layout you want to build.

If you have a nice big area for a permanent layout and you want nice graceful sweeping curves - K track is great as there is flex track available. See the small cab view image of a gentle curve at http://layout.mixmox.com/1/train-cab-view

If you are building a carpet Bahn or a permanent layout and are happy with small radius curves the C track may be a viable option. There are some large radius curves I think but it seems that most turnouts (points) have nasty small radii that makes the trains look like toys.

Also consider linear price. How much per meter of flex track compared to a meter of C-track ? I found that it was cheaper to buy flex track than the fixed lengths of K-track - and you cut it to whatever length you need, even for straight tracks and sidings.

Add to the cost of k-track a ballast system such as the Noch/Merkur ballast at least for visible areas.

Don't be fooled about any conductivity arguments. If you are laying permanent track, do it properly and solder feeder wires on before laying it down. Its very easy once you get going. See http://layout.mixmox.com/1/laying-track on how to do it.

I did use K-track and would use it again, especially after seeing many C-track layouts. But my preference is for a high fidelity optical impression. Also since I used Merkur ballast, if I did have to pull up my layout I know I will be able to reuse my track and most of the ballast too. No glue used!

Another option is to use C-track in hidden areas and K-track in visible areas. If ever you had to pull up track in an invisible area C track would probably be easier. I have never had to pull up any track. (I lay it well and test it well before going on to the next section.)

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Webmaster  
#6 Posted : 16 December 2010 23:45:45(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,858
Both track types have their merits, and with some effort both can be made to look "almost as real" (that even goes for the old M-track) with weathering an ballasting tricks. There are some topics in the forum showing this...

If I was to make a brand new layout - I would go with C as the common track where reliability is needed, K-track for sweeping curves and wherever track is "not so much ballasted" as stations, yards, around a turntable and such. As mentioned, junction tracks are available to make a combination of C, K and M tracks really workable..
Juhan - "Webmaster", at your service...
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. [Old Chinese Proverb]
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#7 Posted : 17 December 2010 00:08:14(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,790
Location: New Zealand
C track is probably the best for versatility and ease of use, and it can be made to look fairly realistic. However, as Dale points out, K track is best for where you want to get as close to prototypical as you can. Just be sure to make the effort to lay it correctly, as Dale also points out.

The 29500 mega set is certainly a great way to get started, I have one myself. My current layout is all M track (all still in very good condition), but I'm planning an extension to it, which will be C track. I'm also building a module for our club's modular layout, and that will be K track, with some C track connectors, as the other modules are all in C track. The reason for using K tack there is because the module features a bridge crossing a gully, and C track on the bridge looks rather daft, so K it is.
Offline Caralain  
#8 Posted : 17 December 2010 00:14:24(UTC)
Caralain

United States   
Joined: 15/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 301
Location: Bay Area, California
Hello and welcome to the forum.

I stayed about ten years ago in Droitwich Spa. I kept good memories of those five weeks I spent there to learn English and of this superb region.

As said before, it's a question of personal choice. I have always favored K-tracks because they are realistic and because you can add your own ballast. However those tracks are more fragile than C-tracks and need more maintenance. Moreover if you plan for now not to build a permanent layout, I will recommend the use of C-tracks. You can assemble and dismantle them many times without any damage. Eventually K-track system offers the possibility of using a flex-track to create your own curves. Last thought: the K-switch engines are pretty difficult to install, especially below the baseboard. With C-tracks, you can hide all the obnoxious cables and the switch engines are easily set.

Cheers

Pierre
Offline David Dewar  
#9 Posted : 17 December 2010 00:21:50(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,760
Location: Scotland
K track for those who wish to ballast by hand and it will (In particular in station areas) look better.
However for running qualities C is great and has the huge advantage of placing turnout decoders under the track bed with no miles of wiring.
Those with M track will say it is the best and those with K will also swear by it. If Marklin were only to produce one track type it would I expect be C track as it outsells K in considerable numbers.
I would suggest a start set with C track and K can be added to it should you wish.
I have used C track for more than one layout as it lifts easily (lay it with a touch of copydex on the outside of the ballast and it wil lift without any problems)
Getting the answer you need is difficult as members here always promote their track or control systems. Having used both I now only use C track and hence that is what I would advise.
You could order a few parts of both and see what you think but I would just go for the start set.

dave
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline DaleSchultz  
#10 Posted : 17 December 2010 00:46:09(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
some additional comments prompted by comments from others.

K-track does not have to be ballasted by hand - which to me means laying and gluing on ballast - a task I would not want to start on ever... think of K-track as being track for which you buy the ballast separately - the very nice looking Noch ballast.

The K-track switch motors are fine - so long as you do not attempt to use the below board mounting kits - which are awful and should be avoided at all costs. What you do is mount the K-track switch motors upside down. This actually provides a better level of access to the motor than one inside a C-track turnout.

On a large layout, hiding wiring is a two edged sword.
If you place your switch motors inside C-track turnouts, it means you are using track current to turn the switch motor. The digital current is too valuable. It is much better to use a separate power supply and use plain DC or AC current rather than expensive digital signal. secondly, digital layouts, if they are to be computer controlled, need lots of feedback wires, plus you will also likely have signal wires and track feed wires aplenty... in other words you need to be able to handle lots of wires, so hiding turnout motors inside track to reduce wiring bring little benefit.

I am note sure why there is a suggestion that C-track is more reliable than K. No doubt badly installed K track will be unreliable, and perhaps C track is easier to install, but if you compare properly installed K track to properly installed C-track, I see no reason to think it would be any less reliable. In fact having long lengths (90cm) of flex track reduces the number of joints.

I have not had a single failure related to track or wiring in over a decade of running on K-track.

Also, the new turntable has k-track rail ends. If you want to use this with C track you need to buy an adapter for every rail... I think.



Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#11 Posted : 17 December 2010 01:12:15(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,790
Location: New Zealand
DaleSchultz wrote:
.... you need to buy an adapter for every rail... I think.



I'm not completely sure about this one, at least until I get around to buying a turntable. I once saw in a fairly recent Marklin Magazine what looked to be short (around 40mm) C to K track connectors, and wondered if they came with the turntable, as nothing like that is in the regular catalog. If not, then you have to buy the standard 180mm C to K converters, or otherwise make your own.
Offline David Dewar  
#12 Posted : 17 December 2010 01:17:00(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,760
Location: Scotland
Hi Dale. I do not have computer control but the benefit I found with C track and under bed decoder turnouts was great. Not one wire is required. If a motor fails it is easy to lift and replace the track (only one has failed on my layout over the years) and was replaced in five minutes.
The only benefit I had with K track was in station areas but now I just build up ballast between the C track and it looks fine.
You can of course with C track try out different types of layouts or parts of a layout and set up the track and take it apart gain in minutes. Cant say I notice that the current used to switch a turnout makes any difference to the locos etc running on the layout.
I think it is a matter of people just like what they themselves use whether it is track,control or computers etc.
Best thing I always think is to try first then decide. Difficult if living in the UK unless near to On Tracks or Gaugemaster.
Good to see you back posting again as your input is valuable.

dave
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#13 Posted : 17 December 2010 01:32:01(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,790
Location: New Zealand
Dale's point is valid though, as the in turnout decoders take track power, which means less power to run locos. For this reason, I prefer to run Viessmann's 5211 K83, which can be powered from a separate power supply.
Offline Robert Davies  
#14 Posted : 17 December 2010 03:02:41(UTC)
Robert Davies

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Thanks for the welcome and for these great comments - please keep them coming.

DaleSchultz wrote:
The K-track switch motors are fine - so long as you do not attempt to use the below board mounting kits - which are awful and should be avoided at all costs. What you do is mount the K-track switch motors upside down.

Can you say a little more about this please, as I had planned to use the under-board kits? What is wrong with them?

So far as the 7286 Turntable is concerned, I fell in love with this the moment I saw it and it was part of my recent purchase. (I know I won't be able to use it for a while because I am not going to start cutting holes in the baseboard of the temporary layout but it is soooooo nice!!) The turntable is definitely for K-track and the instruction book states that the 24922 adapter track is needed for C-track.
Robert
Era III - IV
2 x Central Station 2 v.2 (60214 + 60215)
Hardware versions 3.6 / 4.33
Software version 4.2.1 (0)
Offline Jeremy Palmer  
#15 Posted : 17 December 2010 03:07:27(UTC)
Jeremy Palmer

Barbados   
Joined: 15/04/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,464
Location: St. Michael, Barbados
Hi Robert,

Welcome to forum, nice to know there is a Marklin man in Worcs., I was at Bromsgrove and hopefully my sprog will be there
Michhaelmas term next year.

Lots of good advice to be found here and sometimes we even believe it ourselves. It truly is a great forum.

Cheers,

Jeremy.

ps. Humidity here is horrendous so probably going with C track, but final choice for layout will be decided by another
member here John Canton.
Jeremy.

1). If at first you don't succeed, bungee jumping mightn't be for you.
2). The early bird may get the worm, but it's the second rat that gets the cheese.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#16 Posted : 17 December 2010 03:29:34(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,790
Location: New Zealand
The other thing to watch out for with C track is that early batches of it are prone to going brittle and cracking. I believe this applies to track manufactured before 2000, something you may want to watch out for if you buy track 2nd hand.
Offline DaleSchultz  
#17 Posted : 17 December 2010 03:31:10(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
under board switch kits 7548:

these were designed to be mounted below the board and the switch motor plugs into them below. The mechanism movement of the motor is meant to be transmitted up to the turnout above.

The kit has to be mounted very very accurately and comes with a positioning template. I did that.

The main problem is that they use a feeble bit of wire to switch the turnout. My board is on 3/8" (9.5mm) thick and even with such a thing board, the wire is just not capable of switching the turnout reliably.

I (and others) have wasted many hours trying to get these darned things to work well. They don't.

Mounting the turnout motors above board - but upside down is the answer. The underside of the turnout motor is flat and you can apply some ballast onto that to match the surrounding ground. If your track ballast is thin, I found it also helps to drill a hole where the hand lever is to ensure it does not foul the board, and in fact if you drill a slot long enough you can actuate the turnout manually from below.

In two places I have no access from below so I tied some black cotton to the inside of the slide mechanism, so that if need be I can switch it manually by pulling the thread. See
http://layout.mixmox.com/1/Switch_motor_thread

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline DaleSchultz  
#18 Posted : 17 December 2010 03:38:52(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
for the turntable, you may as well simply use K-track for the roundhouses instead of the expensive adapter to C track - which has ballast that you would not find in a roundhouse anyway... you can glimpse some of the apron I have at
http://layout.mixmox.com/1/second-roundhouse and a fill in technique at http://layout.mixmox.com/1/concrete-rails
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#19 Posted : 17 December 2010 03:49:42(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,790
Location: New Zealand
DaleSchultz wrote:
for the turntable, you may as well simply use K-track for the roundhouses...



Which is what I plan to do on my layout. Because the entry to the turntable yard will be C track, I will have to use 1 or 2 adapter tracks, but the spokes coming off the turntable will all be K track.
Offline rschaffr  
#20 Posted : 17 December 2010 04:52:54(UTC)
rschaffr

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2003(UTC)
Posts: 5,170
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA
Robert:

As you can see by the number of answers your question generated in a relatively short period of time, this is a "hot" topic with us.

Let me wade in with my perspective...

1) If your layout is not permanent, then I would definitely recommend C track. It is easy and quick to set up and pack away, and the plastic brittleness problems in the early batches seems to have been corrected

2) If your layout is permanent, you can go either way. I have two layouts, one with each type of track, so I can perhaps provide an unbiased view. K track is much better for a layout which does not necessarily conform to the standard track pieces because of the 2205 flex track. It also looks great when properly ballasted. The rails are a little taller than C track (0.100 inch vs 0,083 inch) but that does not bother me. It does some of us.
C track has outstanding electrical and running characteristics but without some treatment looks a little toylike. I have started ballasting my visible areas with a Noch ballast that matches the color of the base and it looks great. Overall for ease of use, assembly, outstanding electrical and running characteristics, go with C. If you want a more realistic look (as realistic as tracks with contacts in the ties can get) and need the flexibility of a broader range of lengths and a flex track option, go with K.

Having said that, I must admit that I am primarily a K track fan and my main layout is all K. I tried C on a smaller layout as you can see in my site referenced in my signature, and found it easy to work with.
-Ron
Digital, Epoch IV-V(K-track/IB), Epoch III(C-track/6021/6036/6051)
http://www.sem-co.com/~rschaffr/trains/trains.html
Offline hxmiesa  
#21 Posted : 17 December 2010 10:44:18(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,742
Location: Spain
I use K-track for optical result, and subscribe to everything Dale has stated here (Read it again if needed, to get ALL of the tips and advice he managed to fit into just a few comments. -Years of experience just there!), except that I tried Merkur ballast a couple of times, and have gone back to hand-ballasting with glue. (With alcohol as a wetting-agent and glue in a surringe, its a less messy process than ballasting glue-soaked trackbeds.)

@Robert; I would definatly start with C-track! Avoid buying curved switches (they use the sharp radius 1), and also avoid the slim switches (too long). Once you go for a permanent layout, use your accumulated C-track stock in hidden areas and shaddow-stations, and use K-track in visible areas. Go for slim K-switches; they have a wonderful geometry and the 90cm long flextrack will let you lay ever so soft curves. Even in station- and platform-areas.

The C-track underside mounted decoders should definatly be avoided on permanent layouts. -Another "dumbing-down" method imposed on us, which is not really desirable once you move on in your knowledge about model trains...
With K-track you can service both switch-motors and decoders without having to lift track.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline rwegert  
#22 Posted : 17 December 2010 13:18:33(UTC)
rwegert


Joined: 12/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 94
Location: The Netherlands
After I found my boxes of M-rails back and decided to build a layout, I immediately decided to go and fulfill the old ambition to build using K-track. The reasons stated by the fellows are correct - realism. Correct ballasted, it looks great.

My 2 cents on K-rails so far is:

- Turnouts : avoid the "old" K rails. I purchased a batch for a good price and all the old turnouts does not run nice. The trains hobble across the turnouts, something I will fix (in the next layout). Some of the old turnouts also causes some trains to stop and cause a short-circuit when driving slow over them. Some of the studs are too low I think. The new turnouts are great, run without a hitch and allow creeping speeds across without stopping.

- turnout motors: its all backwards compatible, so older motors will fit new turnouts. I decided to mount them upside down. This gives a better look on the final layout. (have pics on "my layout" on this forum)

- I added at least 10 additional contact points to the layout to ensure power. I soldered a wire to the stud on the underside. Simple. Have had no power problems so far.
I run a passenger car with lights to check connectivity (no buffer as the trains have) and if the lights seem burning, and not flicker, I am good.

I love the 14.43 ° turnouts, markling art nb 22716. Great looking and excellent driving.

Greetings /roger
Marklin Half Zero, Kunstoff rails AC - digital - Mobile stations - era III - the Swede living in The Netherlands - My YouTube Channel
Offline David Dewar  
#23 Posted : 17 December 2010 15:32:30(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,760
Location: Scotland
Bigdaddynz wrote:
Dale's point is valid though, as the in turnout decoders take track power, which means less power to run locos. For this reason, I prefer to run Viessmann's 5211 K83, which can be powered from a separate power supply.


............................................................

Hi Dave. I usually run four locos with lighted coaches and can switch a route of a dozen turnouts with no power problems. If you have to lift C track to get at a decoder it is a lot easier than crawling about under a layout with miles of wiring.
I have done both ways and K track does look good but it is not so good that it is worth the extra hassle of boring holes and buying reels of wire and ballast and glue.
It is much more difficult to lift K track which is stuck with ballast.

The only differece I can see between the two types is the appearance. C will give better running but if K is laid properly and kept clear of bits of ballast then the running qualities are fine.

I completely agree with Ron who like me has used both and not committed to one or other.
The thread here is similar to do you like a CS2 or and ECOS. Everybody using an ECOS will tell you it is better and those with a CS2 will tell you it is best. In fact those with a 6021 only will say it is best and again I would say look at the track and try it yourself and do not be swayed by me or anybody else .. other than maybe Ron.

dave
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline dan67millie  
#24 Posted : 17 December 2010 20:44:14(UTC)
dan67millie


Joined: 09/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England Northamptonshire
Robert Davies wrote:
Thanks for the welcome and for these great comments - please keep them coming.

DaleSchultz wrote:
The K-track switch motors are fine - so long as you do not attempt to use the below board mounting kits - which are awful and should be avoided at all costs. What you do is mount the K-track switch motors upside down.

Can you say a little more about this please, as I had planned to use the under-board kits? What is wrong with them?

So far as the 7286 Turntable is concerned, I fell in love with this the moment I saw it and it was part of my recent purchase. (I know I won't be able to use it for a while because I am not going to start cutting holes in the baseboard of the temporary layout but it is soooooo nice!!) The turntable is definitely for K-track and the instruction book states that the 24922 adapter track is needed for C-track.


Hi Robert i started with K track, but then bought a C track start set as well. This gave me a little head scratching!! Its nice and if you are planning a big layout get some Marklin books such as Das Gleisplanbuch, das C Gleis or Das Zugbuch die elektrische eisenbahn by Thomas rietig. These two will give you a balance on the two and might just make your mind up as to what to go for. I still went for the K track mainly because i model French marklin stuff and wanted my track to look so but the C Gleis book doas show some good modelling with C track as it has had extra ballast around it and has been airbrushet!! cheers Dan
Offline mvd71  
#25 Posted : 17 December 2010 23:58:40(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,053
Location: Auckland,
Hi Robert,

One thing to bear in mind that people seem to overlook, is that both C and K track are made of the same material, and as such the running reliability once they are correctly laid is identical.
Neither one is more reliable than the other. This statement may get some response from other people, but it is correct. What tends to sway peoples opinions on this, is that when most people lay K track, they hand ballast the track (looks great) but they tend to finish getting water based adhesives on the centre contacts.
This causes them to rust which then gives poor contact electrically and hence the belief that they are less reliable. However, if you are careful, or use the pre-ballested roadbeds available from Noch you will not have this problem.

In our local club we have a modular layout with both C and K track. We have as many issues with the five year old C track as we do with the 25 year old K track.

I hope our many varied opinions are of help to you.

Cheers....

Mike.
Offline David Dewar  
#26 Posted : 18 December 2010 00:44:51(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,760
Location: Scotland
C track does have a far better electrical connection although in many cases K will perform as well if greater care is taken when joining the parts together.
I think Peco also do a suitable track for Marklin (or they did at one time) and somebody somewhere must have it and say it is the best lol.
M track will also do fine and gives a great noise as the trains go round.
For a reallly professional looking layout then go for K track.

dave
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline Robert Davies  
#27 Posted : 18 December 2010 19:00:54(UTC)
Robert Davies

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Thanks for all the helpful comments, folks.

My layout is definitely going to be permanent - very!! - so I think that based on what has been said that it is going to be K-track with a ready-made trackbed.

I will investigate the Peco situation - their website was down for a long time for a revamp but I will see if it is back - but I think that flex track is going to see a lot of use.

The translation of the manual for the Track Planning System 2D/3D has now reached page 60 - that's about a third of the way through - so I should shortly be able to do something useful with it!
Robert
Era III - IV
2 x Central Station 2 v.2 (60214 + 60215)
Hardware versions 3.6 / 4.33
Software version 4.2.1 (0)
Offline mrmarklin  
#28 Posted : 18 December 2010 23:00:38(UTC)
mrmarklin

United States   
Joined: 27/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 776
Location: Burney, CA
I find that K track with the Merkur ballast system to be a very realistic and aesthetically pleasing way of modelling track. Try WinRail for your track planning it's aalready in English. It's marketed in the UK by a fellow Englishman!
From the People's Republik of Kalifornia
Offline DaleSchultz  
#29 Posted : 18 December 2010 23:16:52(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
now perhaps you need a new thread on how to build the benchwork ?
Here is how I started... http://layout.mixmox.com...0001112leftareabenchwork
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Robert Davies  
#30 Posted : 19 December 2010 01:29:01(UTC)
Robert Davies

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: Worcestershire, UK
DaleSchultz wrote:
Now perhaps you need a new thread on how to build the benchwork ?

Thanks for the suggestion - I followed the link to your site and there is a lot of very useful (and impressive) stuff there, but as I have not yet even bought the house into which the layout is going, we are a few years off starting actual construction work.

Preliminary design work of the layout (subject of course to the shape of the actual room) has started and I want to establish a few things about the way Central Station 60214 works, particularly in relation to signalling which a particular interest of mine (which I why I have already bought a 60214) but in terms of cutting wood we are a long way off.

I will however be keeping an eye on this board regularly as it is full of very helpful and knowledgeable folk and the discussion is great.

Thanks to all!
Robert
Era III - IV
2 x Central Station 2 v.2 (60214 + 60215)
Hardware versions 3.6 / 4.33
Software version 4.2.1 (0)
Offline jvuye  
#31 Posted : 19 December 2010 08:59:17(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,694
Location: South Western France
DaleSchultz wrote:
some additional comments prompted by comments from others.


Also, the new turntable has k-track rail ends. If you want to use this with C track you need to buy an adapter for every rail... I think.




Correct Dale!
But one can get around this relatively easily.
I use C-track for my new layout, but I have planned my turntable completely in K-track (accesses and all of the 21 spurs)
I use only two adapter tracks to "C" on the accesses where it is convenient to do so without upsetting the "looks"
Since everything has to be heavily "weathered" Wink in the yard, it will be practically undistinguishable anyway.
Just my two pennies
Cheers
Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
Offline Goofy  
#32 Posted : 19 December 2010 10:49:06(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,072
C-track makes much more noise,because of plastic frame and underframe of hole too!
Choise K-tracks instead and placement ballast there too and you will get more realistic tracks as results!
DCC means Digital Command Control.

Offline steventrain  
#33 Posted : 19 December 2010 11:21:08(UTC)
steventrain

United Kingdom   
Joined: 21/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 32,764
Hi Robert,

Welcome to the forum.

I use cork sheet under the C-tracks with less noise and quite running.
Large Marklinist 3- Rails Layout with CS2/MS2/Boosters/C-track/favorites Electric class E03/BR103, E18/E118, E94, Crocodiles/Steam BR01, BR03, BR05, BR23, BR44, BR50, Big Boy.
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