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Offline Collector  
#1 Posted : 01 February 2017 04:16:38(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
Hi All,


Last time I built a layout it was all M-Track.

For the next layout I have decided to go with K-Track.

So a while ago I ordered some wide radius turnouts and a double slip switch to see what they are like.

I noticed that the switch rails are silver painted plastic. With M-Track these were metal (with C-Track track turnouts they are made of metal as well??)


Does anyone know if there are older versions of these turnouts where they are made of metal or has this moving part always been made of (cheap) plastic?
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline DaleSchultz  
#2 Posted : 01 February 2017 15:12:17(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
sorry wrong thread
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline applor  
#3 Posted : 02 February 2017 00:22:16(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,515
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
I don't believe they are painted plastic?!? Rails are stainless steel and need to be for electrical conductivity.

I will check mine tonight, maybe I miss-understand what you are referring to.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline baggio  
#4 Posted : 02 February 2017 01:10:50(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
K track are a pain to assemble, but are made of metal.

What makes you think they are made of plastic?

While we are at it, do NOT discount the C track line; it is made of plastic, not cheap plastic however, and they work very well.

I used to dislike C track, in favour of M track, until I saw how easily C track comes together and they are smoother than M track. However, K track is smoother.

Bottom line: if you do not need to, stay away from K track.

I use K track in order to have both Marklin and 2 rail trains run on them. Otherwise, I would not.
(C track would need some cutting on the underside and M track does not work for 2 rail DC/DCC.)
Offline applor  
#5 Posted : 02 February 2017 01:37:09(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,515
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
The level of realism achievable with K track ballast and in particular with the flex track leaves the rest for dead though.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by applor
Offline Collector  
#6 Posted : 02 February 2017 01:50:10(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I don't believe they are painted plastic?!? Rails are stainless steel and need to be for electrical conductivity.

I will check mine tonight, maybe I miss-understand what you are referring to.


I am only referring to the parts that move, i.e. those rails that switch, not the rest of the track
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline Collector  
#7 Posted : 02 February 2017 01:53:05(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
K track are a pain to assemble, but are made of metal.

What makes you think they are made of plastic?

While we are at it, do NOT discount the C track line; it is made of plastic, not cheap plastic however, and they work very well.

I used to dislike C track, in favour of M track, until I saw how easily C track comes together and they are smoother than M track. However, K track is smoother.

Bottom line: if you do not need to, stay away from K track.

I use K track in order to have both Marklin and 2 rail trains run on them. Otherwise, I would not.
(C track would need some cutting on the underside and M track does not work for 2 rail DC/DCC.)


The part of the wide radius turnout that moves is PLASTIC at least in the CURRENT version of the turnout.

I seriously dislike the look of C-track. Way too dark and not in the slightest bit realistic looking (although they look better than M-Track)
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline applor  
#8 Posted : 02 February 2017 02:19:37(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,515
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I don't believe they are painted plastic?!? Rails are stainless steel and need to be for electrical conductivity.

I will check mine tonight, maybe I miss-understand what you are referring to.


I am only referring to the parts that move, i.e. those rails that switch, not the rest of the track


Oh, you are referring to the tongue? I think that would be to maintain electrical isolation between the two rails (since the rails on the wide radius turnouts are isolated)

The wide radius turnouts were introduced in the 90's I believe? I imagine they would have always been that way.
I do know that earlier wide radius turnouts had a moveable frog which was changed to being fixed later on due to problems.

If it is a type of plastic I would think it is solid and not painted and that it isn't something to be concerned about?
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline Collector  
#9 Posted : 02 February 2017 04:40:24(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I don't believe they are painted plastic?!? Rails are stainless steel and need to be for electrical conductivity.

I will check mine tonight, maybe I miss-understand what you are referring to.


I am only referring to the parts that move, i.e. those rails that switch, not the rest of the track


Oh, you are referring to the tongue? I think that would be to maintain electrical isolation between the two rails (since the rails on the wide radius turnouts are isolated)

The wide radius turnouts were introduced in the 90's I believe? I imagine they would have always been that way.
I do know that earlier wide radius turnouts had a moveable frog which was changed to being fixed later on due to problems.

If it is a type of plastic I would think it is solid and not painted and that it isn't something to be concerned about?




With M-Track the tongue was metal and I suspect it also is metal on C-Track turnouts, but I don't have any C-Tack turnouts to confirm this.

I guess I just don't like the idea of a flimsy plastic moveable part. I can't see it last under heavy use. At least not nearly as long as a metal piece because it is pretty thin.

Hence I was wondering if older versions might have been made of metal and the plastic current version was the result of some cost cutting....
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline PJMärklin  
#10 Posted : 02 February 2017 11:30:39(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
K track are a pain to assemble, but are made of metal.

What makes you think they are made of plastic?



"K" = "Kunststoff", and they are.
Offline baggio  
#11 Posted : 02 February 2017 13:20:41(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
"K" = "Kunststoff", and they are.

Confused
Offline Roland  
#12 Posted : 02 February 2017 16:11:32(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
K track are a pain to assemble, but are made of metal.

What makes you think they are made of plastic?

While we are at it, do NOT discount the C track line; it is made of plastic, not cheap plastic however, and they work very well.

I used to dislike C track, in favour of M track, until I saw how easily C track comes together and they are smoother than M track. However, K track is smoother.

Bottom line: if you do not need to, stay away from K track.


I have to disagree with this statement, Baggio. Yes, they are a bit more complex to assemble, but as Applor pointed out, the aesthetic value is well worth it. If you need to frequently take your layout apart, then maybe M or C is better for you, but otherwise K track is definitely worth consideration.



Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post
I guess I just don't like the idea of a flimsy plastic moveable part. I can't see it last under heavy use. At least not nearly as long as a metal piece because it is pretty thin.

Hence I was wondering if older versions might have been made of metal and the plastic current version was the result of some cost cutting....


In the current versions (last 15 years or so) the frog is no longer a moving part. I haven't seen any issues with them likely because of the fact they are static.
UserPostedImage


Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
"K" = "Kunststoff", and they are.

Confused


"Kunstoff" = "Plastic" in German. Just to clarify, the "sleeper" covers are plastic, but the rails and underside of the track are metal
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Roland
Offline Collector  
#13 Posted : 02 February 2017 17:07:18(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe

Sorry for the confusion. I have no problem with the fact the sleepers are plastic.

See the arrows in the picture point to the plastic pieces of track I am talking about.


K-Track.Turnout.jpg
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Collector
Offline Roland  
#14 Posted : 02 February 2017 17:24:14(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post

Sorry for the confusion. I have no problem with the fact the sleepers are plastic.

See the arrows in the picture point to the plastic pieces of track I am talking about.


Ah my mistake! Those are definitely metal. Just tested to be certain.


For anyone wondering, I was referring to the "frog" which was a moving part until approximately 15-16 years ago. You can see in the above images what it looks like today.

UserPostedImage
Offline kiwiAlan  
#15 Posted : 02 February 2017 18:03:05(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post

Sorry for the confusion. I have no problem with the fact the sleepers are plastic.

See the arrows in the picture point to the plastic pieces of track I am talking about.


Ah my mistake! Those are definitely metal. Just tested to be certain.


For anyone wondering, I was referring to the "frog" which was a moving part until approximately 15-16 years ago. You can see in the above images what it looks like today.



If the points have a four digit catalogue number then they have the moving frog. The problem with this is the plastic mechanism under the point to move it doesn't do a very good job and is easily jammed with dust or grit.

So Marklin came out with the same geometry point without the moving frog. This item has a five digit catalogue number, and it would be more like 25 years ago it was introduced.

I am very surprised if the moving track pieces are now plastic, that would create real problems even for Marklin locos traversing the point. It sounds to me more like there has been a disconnect between the moving blades and the fixed rails.
Offline Roland  
#16 Posted : 02 February 2017 18:37:34(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post

Sorry for the confusion. I have no problem with the fact the sleepers are plastic.

See the arrows in the picture point to the plastic pieces of track I am talking about.


Ah my mistake! Those are definitely metal. Just tested to be certain.


For anyone wondering, I was referring to the "frog" which was a moving part until approximately 15-16 years ago. You can see in the above images what it looks like today.



If the points have a four digit catalogue number then they have the moving frog. The problem with this is the plastic mechanism under the point to move it doesn't do a very good job and is easily jammed with dust or grit.

So Marklin came out with the same geometry point without the moving frog. This item has a five digit catalogue number, and it would be more like 25 years ago it was introduced.

I am very surprised if the moving track pieces are now plastic, that would create real problems even for Marklin locos traversing the point. It sounds to me more like there has been a disconnect between the moving blades and the fixed rails.


My 22715 and 22716 are less than a year old (ordered from my dealer via Märklin, Germany) and those pieces are metal (and connected to the outer rails). But even if they were plastic, axles will still be in contact with one of the outer rails so I'm curious problems you're concerned about?
Offline baggio  
#17 Posted : 02 February 2017 18:48:40(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
My experience with K track turnouts has not been good - they do not offer a smooth movement of the locos/wagons; DC locos in particular, but also Marklin locos.

Offline Collector  
#18 Posted : 02 February 2017 19:03:19(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post

Sorry for the confusion. I have no problem with the fact the sleepers are plastic.

See the arrows in the picture point to the plastic pieces of track I am talking about.


Ah my mistake! Those are definitely metal. Just tested to be certain.


For anyone wondering, I was referring to the "frog" which was a moving part until approximately 15-16 years ago. You can see in the above images what it looks like today.

UserPostedImage


How did you test that? I could swear that the ones I looked at were plastic. The had bit of a metallic silver paint look.

I am on a trip so I can't get my hands on them at the moment.
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline Roland  
#19 Posted : 02 February 2017 19:18:45(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
My experience with K track turnouts has not been good - they do not offer a smooth movement of the locos/wagons; DC locos in particular, but also Marklin locos.


I'm not sure we can expect non-Märklin locos and rolling stock to operate flawlessly on Märklin track... but I would be curious what Märklin items you had problems with. I assume it was only with specific items? Could you share details?

Sorry if this is straying a bit off the original topic but this is useful information for anyone interested in these turnouts.


Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post
How did you test that? I could swear that the ones I looked at were plastic. The had bit of a metallic silver paint look.

I am on a trip so I can't get my hands on them at the moment.


You're right - they do look a bit like painted plastic so I used an ohmmeter to be sure. Unless Märklin used a current conducting paint...


thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Roland
Offline baggio  
#20 Posted : 02 February 2017 20:37:38(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,717
Location: Toronto
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
I'm not sure we can expect non-Märklin locos and rolling stock to operate flawlessly on Märklin track... but I would be curious what Märklin items you had problems with. I assume it was only with specific items? Could you share details?


1. We are comparing Marklin turnouts - specifically C track and K track. I have found little problems with C track turnouts when running Marklin locos or wagons, both Marklin and 2 rail. With K track, it's the opposite. In fact, if I can avoid using a K track turnout I will do so.

2. I can't remember exactly the Marklin locos that had a problem with them; I think it was the 3000 or maybe the 30000 (in analogue) or both. However, I am pretty sure there were others, otherwise I would not feel so disappointed with K track turnouts.

3. I don't think that there is any real difference between HO Marklin and HO Roco (DC or DCC) when it comes to being able to navigate turnouts.

4. K track - all of it- is hard to assemble but also not very good to re-use. I mean, the second or third time you have assembled and disassembled K track, the joints become too loose, the lines are no longer perfectly straight and are prone to come apart.

This has been my experience with K track; I plan to use it only to run on them both DCC and Marklin locos. If I could avoid it, I would.

If your experience has been better than mine, that's good for you. BigGrin
Offline Rwill  
#21 Posted : 02 February 2017 21:50:02(UTC)
Rwill

United Kingdom   
Joined: 04/05/2015(UTC)
Posts: 766
Location: England, London
My layout splits in the middle with a conversion track the newer C track section came about simply because I bought that MS2 starter kit that includes MS2/power pack/control box plus an oval of C track so I have used C track for the new side. I am equally happy and unhappy with both and would agree with many of the opinions raised above however nothing has ever really overcome the issue of turnout motors on both K and C track. If I were starting again from scratch I would somehow procure a large quantity of K track old style turnouts 2261/2260 with built in point motors and use K track throughout. The old dears are almost indestructible and any problem is solved with a squirt of contact cleaner. The wide radius double switch k track (2270 I recall) which needs two turnout motors and decoder slots I still find a bit of a handful. My befuddled brain still cant quite intuitively get the settings, little kofs etc have a habit of stalling unless the base is perfectly flat and of course the are two 7491's to go wrong and maintain.
Offline Roland  
#22 Posted : 02 February 2017 23:00:13(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
I'm not sure we can expect non-Märklin locos and rolling stock to operate flawlessly on Märklin track... but I would be curious what Märklin items you had problems with. I assume it was only with specific items? Could you share details?


1. We are comparing Marklin turnouts - specifically C track and K track. I have found little problems with C track turnouts when running Marklin locos or wagons, both Marklin and 2 rail. With K track, it's the opposite. In fact, if I can avoid using a K track turnout I will do so.

2. I can't remember exactly the Marklin locos that had a problem with them; I think it was the 3000 or maybe the 30000 (in analogue) or both. However, I am pretty sure there were others, otherwise I would not feel so disappointed with K track turnouts.

3. I don't think that there is any real difference between HO Marklin and HO Roco (DC or DCC) when it comes to being able to navigate turnouts.

4. K track - all of it- is hard to assemble but also not very good to re-use. I mean, the second or third time you have assembled and disassembled K track, the joints become too loose, the lines are no longer perfectly straight and are prone to come apart.

This has been my experience with K track; I plan to use it only to run on them both DCC and Marklin locos. If I could avoid it, I would.

If your experience has been better than mine, that's good for you. BigGrin


2. Interesting. 3000 is a fairly common loco so I would expect to have come across more complaints here on the forum if it had issues on these turnouts. Was your issue relating to power? Or possibly derailment? I'll do some testing when I get a chance to see if I experience any issues with a 3000.

4. As mentioned I agree - you have to be very careful when assembling and disassembling K-track. From an assembly perspective, M and C are much easier to work with for temporary layouts.
Offline Collector  
#23 Posted : 03 February 2017 04:15:21(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: baggio Go to Quoted Post
My experience with K track turnouts has not been good - they do not offer a smooth movement of the locos/wagons; DC locos in particular, but also Marklin locos.


I'm not sure we can expect non-Märklin locos and rolling stock to operate flawlessly on Märklin track... but I would be curious what Märklin items you had problems with. I assume it was only with specific items? Could you share details?

Sorry if this is straying a bit off the original topic but this is useful information for anyone interested in these turnouts.


Originally Posted by: Collector Go to Quoted Post
How did you test that? I could swear that the ones I looked at were plastic. The had bit of a metallic silver paint look.

I am on a trip so I can't get my hands on them at the moment.


You're right - they do look a bit like painted plastic so I used an ohmmeter to be sure. Unless Märklin used a current conducting paint...




Thanks for the comments. When I am back I will try and scratch it a bit to make sure. I would not be surprised if they indeed did use current conducting paint.
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline applor  
#24 Posted : 06 February 2017 01:53:41(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,515
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Just checked mine with an ohmmeter as well, definitely metal. They might be aluminium?
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by applor
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