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Offline baggio  
#1 Posted : 18 April 2016 03:03:42(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
I was wondering if K track is NOT intended to be used without ballasting. I have tried to use it as it is and I ma not happy with the looks or the performance. The track is either very hard to assemble (hands get a painful experience) or they come apart easily once assembled and disassembled and do not look straight any more.

Has anyone had the same experience?


In addition, the K track turnouts are problematic: the locos jump - small Marklin locos in particular, and the Roco locos and wagons sometimes just clash with some small part of the turnouts. One side of the wagon works and other does not travelling in the same direction.

Are there BETTER K track turnouts? Or can one make them more "friendly"?

Thanks.
Offline rbw993  
#2 Posted : 18 April 2016 03:33:22(UTC)
rbw993

United States   
Joined: 19/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 843
Which turnouts are you using? Part numbers please.


Thanks,
Roger
Offline baggio  
#3 Posted : 18 April 2016 03:41:46(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
Hi, Roger:

22715 and 22716 turnouts - suitable for 2 rail and 3 rail dual mode operation.

Offline PMPeter  
#4 Posted : 18 April 2016 04:23:54(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,138
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
I was wondering if K track is NOT intended to be used without ballasting. I have tried to use it as it is and I ma not happy with the looks or the performance. The track is either very hard to assemble (hands get a painful experience) or they come apart easily once assembled and disassembled and do not look straight any more.

Has anyone had the same experience?


In addition, the K track turnouts are problematic: the locos jump - small Marklin locos in particular, and the Roco locos and wagons sometimes just clash with some small part of the turnouts. One side of the wagon works and other does not travelling in the same direction.

Are there BETTER K track turnouts? Or can one make them more "friendly"?

Thanks.


I love K track and wish I would never have started with C track. However, it is not very user friendly if you want to assemble and disassemble it on a regular basis. The end connectors can get bent quickly and then further assembly is difficult until you straighten them. I solder all my K track connections except at isolation points and I have no problem with it. You just have to make sure that the contacts overlap properly when you join two pieces. If there is significant resistance in trying to push two pieces together, chances are that one of the contacts is interfering with the plastic isolation piece above the contacts. A very slight twist downward usually solves this and the tracks snap together.

I do not know why you say it is not intended for ballasting. It certainly is and even M used to provide details on how to do it. You do need a base such as cork, Merkur, Noch, etc. to make it look proper. K track direct on plywood does not look good in my opinion.

I do have a problem with the older switches with built-in solenoids. The movable portion of the points lift up when a magnet passes over them and cause a derailment or short circuit. So I have to be careful to place my magnets (for reed switches) at a point where the locos' wheels will keep the points section down. I am now replacing most of these switches with the newer style with detachable switch motors. They do not lift up to a magnet due to different design.

Cheers
Peter
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Offline hxmiesa  
#5 Posted : 18 April 2016 11:00:20(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
M-locos shouldnt have problems with the "stud-ramp" for the slider crossing the rail. That is indeed strange!

-But for the other problems;

YES; hands and fingers will hurt after prolonged work with the stuff.
YES; You can use it perfectly, even unballasted.
YES; Conections becomes more loose after some use. It is better not to handle it too much, as it is so flimsy...
Non-M locos can have problems with the mentioned "puko-ramp" for the ski-slider. Some -originally DC- models doesnt have enough free space underneath for the slider.
Non-M waggons can have problems with tracking, if the wheels has not been changed to proper AC-ones, or does not have the right spacing. With a spacing of 13.9mm between the inside of the flanges, you should have no problem with K-track.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline PJMärklin  
#6 Posted : 18 April 2016 12:09:20(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
I was wondering if K track is NOT intended to be used without ballasting.



Hello Baggio,

I am not sure what you mean, by way of your double negative, could you please clarify what you mean

Clearly my curiosity is piqued by your comment since I have considered the problem in the past.

Regards,

PJ
Offline river6109  
#7 Posted : 18 April 2016 12:46:43(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,858
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Well here we have a topic and this again is a complete surprise to me, although I can relate to joining the tracks can sometimes somewhat hard or difficult and suppose if you take them apart and connect them again several times or even more it gets easier every time, I've used k-tracks now for over 40 years and have never had a problem with them, however I must point out I don't take them apart very often and I have several turnouts and tracks left over. I bought the older version of the sleek turnouts and had some trouble with the moveable heart section and to be honest if I could buy turnouts from some other company I would, the turnout mechanism is something from a failed junior experimental experience. complicated, to many moving parts etc etc.
sorry can't help you with this one

but the trains are running over them without any problems.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline BrandonVA  
#8 Posted : 18 April 2016 17:16:47(UTC)
BrandonVA

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,533
Location: VA
Some of the newer M locos have shorter sliders, with the long turnouts and double slips you have to make sure they are mounted and screwed down well to ensure they are very flat. If they are slightly bowed there can be problems with short sliders or very light locomotives (Kof, etc). Overall I have found K to be very reliable, but I use it for permanent layouts.

-Brandon
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Offline baggio  
#9 Posted : 19 April 2016 01:17:47(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
Originally Posted by: PJMärklin Go to Quoted Post
I am not sure what you mean, by way of your double negative, could you please clarify what you mean


I meant that my usual habit of using C track (or all other track I have used) WITHOUT spending time and effort in ballasting the track, so as to use it "right out of the box" does not work for K track; meaning that K track are meant to be ballasted, with cork or other material, and NOT to be taken down and re-positioned a few months later.

When I re-use K track, the whole line of straight track is loose and does not look straight.

The power to two-rail locos is reduced and so is the speed. (I used K track for dual two and three rail locos - in that sense , it works).

I just put it away, for now at least, and simply put a Roco Geo R3 set (equivalent to Marklin R2) and made a nice oval with one turnout while inside I have a Marklin R 1 set (that I was hoping I could adapt as in the geometry discussion - no luck there) that is dividing the Marklin oval to carve out parking space. ThumpUp
Offline baggio  
#10 Posted : 19 April 2016 05:12:38(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Some -originally DC- models doesnt have enough free space underneath for the slider.


I was referring to two-rail locos that I was using with K track (in a dual mode oval).

I just set it aside and for now am using a Roco outside oval (DC) and a R1 Marklin oval inside it. This way I run two locos rather than three at the same time, but so far I do not miss the third loco and concentrate instead on the two that are running. BigGrin
Offline river6109  
#11 Posted : 19 April 2016 06:19:42(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,858
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
floor/table layouts would mean that you constantly either remove or reorganize the track layout and whether you use M or K track the stiffness would disappear after a while, knowing what it does or doesn't do for these type of casual layouts I assume C-tack would be the most suited track system. I can't see however what ballasting has got to do with it as it is not intended as a permanent layout without scenery it may give you the extra ecstatic look,
so what you've described and you aired your disappointed experience, I would suggest stick with C-track, it more or less fulfills all the requirements you need and eliminates all the negatives you've recognized

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Goofy  
#12 Posted : 19 April 2016 06:58:48(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,497
I did tested by use ballast and water glue to the K tracks.
Never get problem so far i did used by test.
The only i don´t like are stainless steel on the rail. Mad
Offline PJMärklin  
#13 Posted : 19 April 2016 16:25:32(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: PJMärklin Go to Quoted Post
I am not sure what you mean, by way of your double negative, could you please clarify what you mean


I meant that my usual habit of using C track (or all other track I have used) WITHOUT spending time and effort in ballasting the track, so as to use it "right out of the box" does not work for K track; meaning that K track are meant to be ballasted, with cork or other material, and NOT to be taken down and re-positioned a few months later.


Hello Baggio,

Thank you for your reply.

May I precede my response by noting that we all enjoy Märklin in numerous and diverse ways and I respect every one of them.

If your modus operandi is "out-of-the-box" or to be dismantled and re-assembled then perhaps K-track is not for you, but this is an individual decision.

However this is my K-track story:
In the mid 1980's when I became very interested in Märklin I carefully considered how I wanted to go about it. I decided that I wanted a "permanent" (are they ever complete or permanent ? ) layout with "lifelike" track and "roadbed", signals (I decided on Brawa), stations and related areas, realistic overhead catenary (I decided on Sommerfeldt) and scenery (I decided on Woodland Scenics).
Looking at the available track from Märklin I decided on K-track (being aware of the extra particulars required with use of K-track)
Not long after, C-track became available but I did not think the "ballast" was lifelike-enough to come near the K-track with appropriate ballasting.

Thus I settled on K-track. It clearly needed roadbed ballast and peripheral ballast to make the most of it's realistic appearance.

I searched further. In my first layout I used Mössmer, a foam plastic, molded to various, including Marklin K-track. This is now currently produced by Noch with some adherent ballast granules. However I found that the foam deteriorated after 10-15 years and became a contracted degenerate gooey mess:


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


In my current layout (built commencing 1998) I used Merkur roadbed/ballast underlay for the K-track. This is a different substance : it is very firm, fits well with the K-track :


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


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After 18 years it shows no signs whatsoever of deterioration:


UserPostedImage


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and has a matching scatter-particle ballast that can be used for peripheral and associated matching ballast:


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UserPostedImage



In some areas I did not use Merkur roadbed and used either Woodlands ballast or my own mixture of various (mostly Faller) ballasts, such as at station platforms :


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in the freight yard :


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and in the steam service area :


UserPostedImage


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UserPostedImage


So my response is this : to each is own, we all enjoy Märklin in an eclectic manner. If what you want is K-track and if you want it to look more realistic than stand-alone (but resisting the obsession of the "rivet-counters" - not that there is anything wrong with "rivet-counters"- we need diversity in this life) , then the most "realistic", long-lasting and convenient "roadbed" is Merkur together with the matching scatter ballast plus other ballasts to taste.

Just my humble personal experience and opinion.

Regards,

PJ
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Offline Minok  
#14 Posted : 19 April 2016 19:07:20(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,235
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Excellent review of Merkur longevity. I've got experience with what is surely the same chemical structure of foam used in Mössmer's solution, in that it was used in fittings and to seal the edges of flaps in my 1994 VW Golf automobile. After about 8-9 years that foam also began breaking apart and came shooting out of the air vents as a sticky, messy spray of bits. Whatever that foam is made of, the exposure to atmospheric gases and/or UV and/or ozone causes it to break down.

Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline Webmaster  
#15 Posted : 19 April 2016 19:13:43(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 11,136
Have had the same experience with the Mössmer foam as PJ, have not used the Merkur roadbed (yet)...
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 Rwill  
#16 Posted : 19 April 2016 21:30:31(UTC)
Rwill

United Kingdom   
Joined: 04/05/2015(UTC)
Posts: 766
Location: England, London
In my first era of M railways in the 90's I became an absolute fan of Merkur Styroplast it was readily available in the UK albeit expensive as every turnout and radius of curve needed its own part number. There was no flexible option. It made my limited scenic abilities acceptable and I only really considered K track although I occasionally used to "look over the other side" and quite liked the look of Fleishmann profi track for two rail. The Styroplast did not dissemble or store well for the time the kit spent in the loft so on my return last year looked for new supplies and could not really find it in the UK or Germany. Merkur have been taken over by Noch who really want to sell you the foamy stuff so On Ebay, amazon etc you only seem to find an occasional random piece of Merkur and it is not a product for the second hand market. Maybe someone will tell me it is still readily available in the USA or down under in which case I recommend it.
Offline BrandonVA  
#17 Posted : 19 April 2016 22:43:50(UTC)
BrandonVA

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,533
Location: VA
I believe for a time Noch took over Merkur. They are now back in business on their own. I recently (before Christmas) ordered a fairly large shipment from them for my new permanent layout. I would not use Merkur for anything other than a permanent layout. It could be reused on another layout, but it's not something you want to fiddle with on a regular basis. Customer service on ordering was great, and everything is as expected. Sometimes it takes them a couple of days to respond.

They can be found here:

http://www.merkur-styroplast.de/

-Brandon
Offline baggio  
#18 Posted : 20 April 2016 05:20:34(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
so what you've described and you aired your disappointed experience, I would suggest stick with C-track, it more or less fulfills all the requirements you need and eliminates all the negatives you've recognized


I agree with you, but I was trying to run on the same track DC and AC; it works, but not as well as I would like because the K tracks are not user-friendly. Sad
Offline baggio  
#19 Posted : 20 April 2016 05:30:35(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
I love your layout, P.J. BigGrin

When may come over to see it? Laugh

Between your layout and your beaches, Tasmania is looking better and better to me.

How are the turnouts, though? Do the locos struggle across them? That was one of my problems.
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Offline PJMärklin  
#20 Posted : 20 April 2016 12:40:49(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
I love your layout, P.J. BigGrin

When may come over to see it? Laugh

Between your layout and your beaches, Tasmania is looking better and better to me.

How are the turnouts, though? Do the locos struggle across them? That was one of my problems.


Hi Baggio,


Come over anytime you want.

The turnouts are fine. Work best if all level.


Regards,

PJ
Offline PJMärklin  
#21 Posted : 20 April 2016 12:43:47(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: Rwill Go to Quoted Post
looked for new supplies and could not really find it in the UK or Germany. Merkur have been taken over by Noch who really want to sell you the foamy stuff so On Ebay, amazon etc you only seem to find an occasional random piece of Merkur and it is not a product for the second hand market. Maybe someone will tell me it is still readily available in the USA or down under in which case I recommend it.



http://www.merkur-styrop...erklin-H0:::46_72:2.html


Regards,

PJ

Offline jcrtrains  
#22 Posted : 20 April 2016 13:12:13(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 561
Location: Toronto, Ontario
PJ;

Who makes your platforms?

Thanks
Offline Minok  
#23 Posted : 20 April 2016 20:16:40(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,235
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: Rwill Go to Quoted Post
In my first era of M railways in the 90's I became an absolute fan of Merkur Styroplast it was readily available in the UK albeit expensive as every turnout and radius of curve needed its own part number. There was no flexible option.


Looks like there now is a flex-track option:

http://www.merkur-styrop...klin-H0-200105::190.html
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline BrandonVA  
#24 Posted : 20 April 2016 20:29:37(UTC)
BrandonVA

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,533
Location: VA
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Rwill Go to Quoted Post
In my first era of M railways in the 90's I became an absolute fan of Merkur Styroplast it was readily available in the UK albeit expensive as every turnout and radius of curve needed its own part number. There was no flexible option.


Looks like there now is a flex-track option:

http://www.merkur-styrop...klin-H0-200105::190.html


Yes, and this option covers all "normal" straight options (2200, 2201, 2202, 2203, 2204, 2205, 2009). However, the Merkur is very set on having the sleepers in the right place, so I'm not sure this could be placed under other track (say a 2251 curve). It will not work with odd sleeper arrangements like 2293 for sure. The are a bit longer than a single piece of 2005 flex. I'll check tonight to see if you can lay it under other curves.

-Brandon

Offline PJMärklin  
#25 Posted : 21 April 2016 04:10:47(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: jcrtrains Go to Quoted Post
PJ;

Who makes your platforms?

Thanks



Hello,


Mainly Kibri but others :


The station is Faller "Bonn" used as an endstation rather than the prototype Bonn which is a through station:


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


the platform edges from this Faller "Bonn" kit form the abutment platforms for the end station platforms :


UserPostedImage


The passenger platforms are all Kibri. Made from a number of the 9544 units:


UserPostedImage


but also with the extension sets for the 9544's and a number of extra sections


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


the preiserling travelers and railway staff were all painted by me and from the blank white molded large packets by Preiser


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage



all assembled to fit the length and end requirements :



UserPostedImage



UserPostedImage



The "service platform" needed to be without obstructions :



UserPostedImage



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I made the service platform from plastic sheet cut to size and edged with Brawa platform edging :



UserPostedImage



For lighting I custom fitted small seed globes to the platform roof; standard globes light the station interior and the free-standing lights on poles on the unroofed platform sections are by Brawa :



UserPostedImage



UserPostedImage



UserPostedImage




Sorry if my answer was too detailed (my kids do say "nothing is ever simple with Dad")

Regards,

PJ
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Offline jcrtrains  
#26 Posted : 21 April 2016 16:54:14(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 561
Location: Toronto, Ontario
PJ;

Nothing is to detailed in railroading. The whole thing is excellent. The platforms in particular caught my eye as I clearly need to paint the edge brick work on mine as they really give it some nice pop.

Thank you
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Offline BrandonVA  
#27 Posted : 21 April 2016 20:14:34(UTC)
BrandonVA

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,533
Location: VA
Originally Posted by: BrandonVA Go to Quoted Post
The are a bit longer than a single piece of 2005 flex. I'll check tonight to see if you can lay it under other curves.


I don't think it would work for anything smaller than gentle curves. R5 would require a lot of cutting to work with the flex Merkur piece, and the sleepers would probably not sit right.

-Brandon
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