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MrB32  
#1 Posted : 20 September 2017 20:07:29(UTC)
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Joined: 06/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 284
Hi,

Apologies in advance if this has been covered elsewhere.

I am not prototypically minded, but having read for years that the Märklin K-track program is judged as inferior by a lot of hard core modellers, I would be curious to find out know what the "hardcore" modellers amongst you are actually missing in the Märklin accessories program.

Are we talking about specific crossings or turnouts accessories? Specific signalling? Catenaries?
How have you overcome this? Did you use other products (i.e. Peco)?

Would be nice to get some input.

Cheers,

Nic
Offline DaleSchultz  
#2 Posted : 20 September 2017 21:49:53(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
I much prefer K track to both M and C tracks.

K track looks much better, especially when combined with Merkur roadbed. See https://cabin-layout.blo...5/11/merkur-ballast.html

C track is good for quick construction, but I think the plastic 'ballast' looks awful.

M track - rusts and no longer in the program.

I think most very serious Märklin layouts use K - track.
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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MrB32  
#3 Posted : 20 September 2017 21:55:54(UTC)
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Joined: 06/01/2010(UTC)
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Hi,

This is understood: K-track = serious :)

But:

Is the K-track program still able to represent reality or is anything specific missing?
Offline mike187  
#4 Posted : 20 September 2017 22:05:39(UTC)
mike187

United States   
Joined: 19/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 52
Location: nj
Hi:

The K track is quite good and very smooth. The old finicky copper tabs used under the connection plates have been long replaced/updated with better material well over a decade ago. K track also looks much better compared to the C track when given a little ballast. The C track is very well engineered and more convenient to set up. The issue usually depends on how much time or effort you want to put into your track work for overall esthetics. Either track system laid out properly will give you excellent results.

Paul
Offline mrmarklin  
#5 Posted : 20 September 2017 22:12:35(UTC)
mrmarklin

United States   
Joined: 27/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 776
Location: Burney, CA
Originally Posted by: MrB32 Go to Quoted Post
Hi,

Apologies in advance if this has been covered elsewhere.

I am not prototypically minded, but having read for years that the Märklin K-track program is judged as inferior by a lot of hard core modellers, I would be curious to find out know what the "hardcore" modellers amongst you are actually missing in the Märklin accessories program.

Are we talking about specific crossings or turnouts accessories? Specific signalling? Catenaries?
How have you overcome this? Did you use other products (i.e. Peco)?

Would be nice to get some input.

Cheers,

Nic


K Track is best for serious modelling if only because it has flextrack that can be used for very gentle curves and special situations. It also has wider radius turnouts, crossings etc. it's very realistic when weathered and ballasted with Merkur Styroplast.
From the People's Republik of Kalifornia
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MrB32  
#6 Posted : 20 September 2017 22:14:30(UTC)
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Thank you for that...

I am not really after a comparison of C vs M vs K track. For me it is a given, that if you are after a realistic look, you should go for K track.

I am more curious about missing track formats, Does anyone think K-track can be improved by introducing missing elements? Have you ever felt constrained by anything missing in the K track program?
Offline asp1880  
#7 Posted : 20 September 2017 22:30:41(UTC)
asp1880

Denmark   
Joined: 04/09/2017(UTC)
Posts: 15
Location: Lyngby
Could it be the pukos that mark K-track down in the eyes of "hard core modellers"?

Regards,
--Anders.
Offline Collector  
#8 Posted : 20 September 2017 22:36:56(UTC)
Collector


Joined: 17/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 147
Location: Europe
I suspect it is because the wide turnouts from M would be more like the small radius turnouts from the other makes.

Also there is no wide radius curved turnout (while there is one for C track)

I have considered to use peco other some other brand when I finally start putting my layout together but adding pukos to those seems like a major headache
DRG/DB/SBB Epoche II/III/IV
Offline PMPeter  
#9 Posted : 21 September 2017 00:07:30(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 987
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: MrB32 Go to Quoted Post
Thank you for that...

I am not really after a comparison of C vs M vs K track. For me it is a given, that if you are after a realistic look, you should go for K track.

I am more curious about missing track formats, Does anyone think K-track can be improved by introducing missing elements? Have you ever felt constrained by anything missing in the K track program?


I have a combination of both C track and K track on my layout and much prefer the K track. I have not felt constrained by the K track since with the flex track I can usually create any length of straight track that may not be available or any radius curve I may require that is not available as sectional track. The only problem that I sometimes have is with the switches. As already mentioned a wider radius curved turnout would be nice, a pure Y turnout would also be nice, and an update of the 3 way Y turnout is required. This last turnout is the only one that remains with the built in solenoids and unless they have modified the points in recent versions they lift and short out when a locomotive with a magnet passes over them. The other K track turnouts have been redesigned in recent versions where the points are restrained from lifting. It is a real pain to get the magnet strength and position just right to make sure a reed switch is activated but the 3 way Y does not short the system.

Other than that I have felt more constrained by the C track system and its limitations on lengths and curves and limited flexibility when the alignment or length required is just not perfect.

Peter

Offline Goofy  
#10 Posted : 21 September 2017 06:59:24(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,072
I want to see Märklin start change the style of the K tracks.
New silver on the rail and more nicer turnouts.
DCC means Digital Command Control.

Offline Minok  
#11 Posted : 21 September 2017 22:12:53(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,076
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
K tracks much taller code size for the rail is a bit off-putting and the rail joiners are of course not prototypical and hiding the wires is a bit trickier, but you can ballast them a bit more easily than C Track. C track solves the blast the turnouts problem, and you can ballast to the edges of it and do some drybrush on the plastic ballast to address the uniform plastic look. Each has a look advantage and disadvantage - it all depends on what your eye/mind finds important.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
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Offline Roland  
#12 Posted : 22 September 2017 02:12:24(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 193
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: MrB32 Go to Quoted Post
Hi,

This is understood: K-track = serious :)

But:

Is the K-track program still able to represent reality or is anything specific missing?


The only thing I wish the K-track program had is slim curved turnouts. Otherwise I have no complaints.
DB Epoche IV-VI
My Layout Build Thread
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#13 Posted : 22 September 2017 04:12:06(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
they do not have a direct transition from 64mm to 57mm track spacing, but where I need this, I use the flex track in the previous curve to perform the transition.

Since the track can be cut down to any length, one can produce almost any transition by inserting the required length at an angle earlier in the track.

At https://cabin-layout.blo...k-length-calculator.html you can download a windows program to calculate the required distance for the angle required.
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 applor  
#14 Posted : 22 September 2017 05:04:00(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: asp1880 Go to Quoted Post
Could it be the pukos that mark K-track down in the eyes of "hard core modellers"?

Regards,
--Anders.


Yes this and a few others things:

Lack of options with turnouts. Those who already have 3 rail locomotives but are serious modellers use other track, such as Tilig Elite, and then installed pukos/relays in them.
This is because Tilig Elite has much wider radius turnouts (including double slip) and code 83 rails (correct height) and the sleepers look better too.
As already mentioned, K track does not have wide radius curved points at all.

There is also the fact the Marklin tracks all have their turnout tongue mechanism set back from the front to allow the spring return of the rail when driving the wrong way.
This has functional benefits but means the turnout mechanism and lantern are in the wrong place. It doesn't look so bad on the wide radius (2271X) turnouts but looks quite wrong on the narrow (226X)
It is also an extra point of failure because the servos/solenoids are not directly driving the tongue. I've had issues with this myself where the mechanism moves but the tongue doesn't.

K track can still be made to look great and work great and is a lot better for an authentic layout than C track though but not as good as 2 rail (or 2 rail with pukos).
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline Goofy  
#15 Posted : 22 September 2017 10:43:02(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,072
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: asp1880 Go to Quoted Post
Could it be the pukos that mark K-track down in the eyes of "hard core modellers"?

Regards,
--Anders.


Yes this and a few others things:

Lack of options with turnouts. Those who already have 3 rail locomotives but are serious modellers use other track, such as Tilig Elite, and then installed pukos/relays in them.
This is because Tilig Elite has much wider radius turnouts (including double slip) and code 83 rails (correct height) and the sleepers look better too.
As already mentioned, K track does not have wide radius curved points at all.

There is also the fact the Marklin tracks all have their turnout tongue mechanism set back from the front to allow the spring return of the rail when driving the wrong way.
This has functional benefits but means the turnout mechanism and lantern are in the wrong place. It doesn't look so bad on the wide radius (2271X) turnouts but looks quite wrong on the narrow (226X)
It is also an extra point of failure because the servos/solenoids are not directly driving the tongue. I've had issues with this myself where the mechanism moves but the tongue doesn't.

K track can still be made to look great and work great and is a lot better for an authentic layout than C track though but not as good as 2 rail (or 2 rail with pukos).


Märklin knows today that there is more advance tracks than for 30-40 years ago.
But too large turnouts is not good for the three rail locomotive with pick up shoe,because pick up shoe or else will have problem by touch on the rail when pass over the turnouts.
It depends of the pukos.
One thing is wrong with the Märklin turnout and it´s serie 226x.
They are too narrow for the locomotives and wagons of today.
There is always pro and cons for the tracks made of manufacture.

DCC means Digital Command Control.

Offline hxmiesa  
#16 Posted : 26 September 2017 15:40:58(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,742
Location: Spain
K-track is wonderful to plan- and build with; The geometry is VERY nice, and slim switches does not require special bulky track-pieces that makes the overall space-requierements insane, like it is the case with slim C-track.
Not missing the slim DWK.
Nice flexy-track.
Easy to make costum modifications to all kinds of track-pieces.

The are also CONS;
NOT suited for repeated build-ups and tear-downs.
Plastic-sleepers at the end of the track-pieces are extermely fragile.
Rail is very high, like code 110 or something. (Personally I am not bothered by that at all, but many "prof" people comments on this, so maybe there is something about it? LOL ;-)
Needs to be ballasted. (But Merkur track-bed can help on that. It is also highly recicable)
Rails cant easily be soldered to, but there are other ways.
Center-studs can rust, especially if track is ballasted with the wrong "wet" glue. (Copper-tongues that oxidiced rapidly has been changed but track still has issues!)

Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline applor  
#17 Posted : 27 September 2017 23:03:45(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
I just want to mention also that I have had a couple of turnouts have issue with the merkur roadbed.
Given that there is a lot of missing ballast on the turnouts that is unnecessary, I feel its better to hand ballast K track turnouts.
Merkur for standard track pieces is good though - in particular for flex track because while it is hard to bend to shape, it holds its shape afterwards with the flex.

edit: I feel I need to update this post because I since concluded that the merkur is not the cause, rather some unknown distortion in the turnout which prevents the linkage from moving the bar/tongue (see below)

Edited by user 12 February 2018 23:00:40(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline baggio  
#18 Posted : 28 September 2017 00:13:14(UTC)
baggio

Canada   
Joined: 21/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,659
Location: Toronto
I don't like K track.

I find it is hard to assemble (my hands actually hurt when I assembled a good number of new K track pieces).

In addition, K track easily disassembles after you assembled and disassembled it a few times. Eventually, these pieces come apart on their on on the layout. I do not have this problem with C track. However, I do not nail my track down. No real need to do so with C track.

The K track slim turnouts I used are nowhere near the quality of C track turnouts. Trains can and do jump over the K track turnouts, but not on C track.

K track is smoother than C track, that is true, but thist is not enough for me to use K track.

For me, C track is the way to go.

I would suggest that before you invest a lot of money in K track, you buy enough pieces for a small layout and see how you like them. You should do the same with C track, so you can compare.

You would not waste money because there are adapter tracks you can buy to go from K track onto C track and vice versa on the same layout.

Hope this helps.

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MrB32  
#19 Posted : 28 September 2017 01:15:57(UTC)
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Posts: 284
Thanks Baggio.

The differences between C- and K-track are obvious to me. K-track was never meant to be disassembled and reassembled frequently, but to be attached permanently, modified if necessary hence the more fragile construction. My question was more about the degree of realism and why K-track might be considered inferior and a big put off for the more hard core modellers.

Looking at the thread, and having researched the topic a bit more, I can safely say that no "standard" track program offered by any of the mainstream model train manufacturers is realistic enough, so I don't really understand the statement about MMR K-track being inferior to others in terms of realism (let's leave the question of the pukos aside, this has been discussed millions of times). A simple look at the standard Hornby or Fleischmann programs should settle the argument :) These track programs have the benefit of ensuring a good operation the majority of time, and for the vast majority of their customers.

I was tempted to go down the prototypical route for my next permanent layout, but based on my research and the few hours of interesting youtube material I watched, I will now be refraining... If you want realism, you really need to depart from standard track programs and move to specialist offerings (Peco, Tillig, Weller, Weinert etc..). This means accepting the loss of the intresic flexibility of the Märklin system, and whilst there might be some cost saving here and there at a push, this is offset by the amount of effort required to get things to work. Taking the example of a turnout, the amount of additional work required to install and make the whole thing operational is truly baffling to me: solder this, drill that, glue this, attach that, configure this, troubleshoot that... The purpose of the exercise for me is to run trains, not to watch them gathering dust on a shelf :) This would be too much for my patience, and the effort vs reward scenario doesn't add up for me at this stage.

I am not criticising any of the more or true hard core modellers, I understand why people might enjoy this approach, it is just not for me ...

Thanks to all for the feedback on the topic, this was a great help!

Nic
Offline Minok  
#20 Posted : 28 September 2017 01:31:39(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,076
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: MrB32 Go to Quoted Post
...I don't really understand the statement about MMR K-track being inferior to others in terms of realism ...



In my mind and after having looked at a lot of videos and seen photos, it seems to come down to what cosmetic feature you notice most or care about most. What is important or distracting to one person isn't anything but background noise to another person. What works well in one persons layout theme sticks out in another persons. What one person finds takes no time at all, another finds takes too much time.

Ballast system or not, rail code height, turnout geometry, turnout ballasting, attaching electrical. Its all about what matters to you, the modeler. There is no right answer. What one person can disregard, sticks out like a shining beacon of wrongness to another. Just as there is no clear definition of 'hard core modeler' in my book, since it all depends on what you personally want to get hard core about. Some focus a lot on reproducing reality effects; they tend to build more dioramas than layouts for running trains on in my view, and that may be a different use of your layout. Each hobbyist finds the compromise they find acceptable within the time constraints, budget constraints and their own tool and modeling skills. No wrong answers.
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 Peluo  
#21 Posted : 07 February 2018 18:41:55(UTC)
Peluo

Venezuela   
Joined: 20/12/2017(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: Miranda, Chacao
I am going to use C track on my permanent layout paint and weather the rails. My question is there enough space between the sleepers to add Ballast? Can you dry brush and add a little ballast on top of C track?
Offline PMPeter  
#22 Posted : 07 February 2018 18:54:12(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 987
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: Peluo Go to Quoted Post
I am going to use C track on my permanent layout paint and weather the rails. My question is there enough space between the sleepers to add Ballast? Can you dry brush and add a little ballast on top of C track?


I do. It is not as easy as with K track, but there is enough space to add a fine layer of ballast. You just have to be careful when you brush the excess off of the ties. Generally the finer ballast stays in between the ties and the larger pieces get swept away.

Peter

Offline Minok  
#23 Posted : 07 February 2018 19:20:54(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,076
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
It will be tough as the sleepers/ties are barely above the level of the plastic ballast. If anything, I'd say use N scale ballast, so you can get some coverage without the ballast rising above the sleepers too much. You could also try drybrushing with a lighter color, the existing plastic ballast between the sleepers and see if that provides enough contrast to not want to apply ballast.
My plan (at this point well pre construction) is to only ballast between the C-track in those areas where there would be no drop between tracks (eg stations, yards). Don't know if that will be what I go with - experiments on small dioramas will help test the theories.
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 PMPeter  
#24 Posted : 07 February 2018 19:54:56(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 987
Location: Port Moody, BC
I agree with Minok that N scale ballast may be the best between the ties. It agrees with my observation that generally only the fines from the ballast I use remains between the ties and in my opinion looks quite good.
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Offline applor  
#25 Posted : 09 February 2018 00:13:38(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
I had another turnout play up and I hadn't used merkur at all.

I think just the mechanism design for K track turnouts is crap - for completely unknown reasons some turnouts just don't move the tongue once installed.

I have read that it is related to tension in the track once its connected but I'll be damned if I can figure out exactly where the tension is and why it stops the tongue moving.

As a result it is best practice to not solder K track turnout pieces as there is a chance once they're installed suddenly the tongue decides it won't move and you need to remove it again.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline PJMärklin  
#26 Posted : 09 February 2018 09:38:46(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,401
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I had another turnout play up and I hadn't used merkur at all.

I think just the mechanism design for K track turnouts is crap - for completely unknown reasons some turnouts just don't move the tongue once installed.

I have read that it is related to tension in the track once its connected but I'll be damned if I can figure out exactly where the tension is and why it stops the tongue moving.

As a result it is best practice to not solder K track turnout pieces as there is a chance once they're installed suddenly the tongue decides it won't move and you need to remove it again.



Post # 1 :

https://www.marklin-user...ut----switch-motor-75491
Offline skeeterbuck  
#27 Posted : 09 February 2018 13:18:47(UTC)
skeeterbuck

United States   
Joined: 15/12/2015(UTC)
Posts: 447
Location: Maryland, Baltimore
Originally Posted by: Peluo Go to Quoted Post
I am going to use C track on my permanent layout paint and weather the rails. My question is there enough space between the sleepers to add Ballast? Can you dry brush and add a little ballast on top of C track?


This may help:


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Offline Rinus  
#28 Posted : 09 February 2018 19:27:09(UTC)
Rinus


Joined: 20/02/2005(UTC)
Posts: 1,665
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: MrB32 Go to Quoted Post
Hi,

This is understood: K-track = serious :)

But:

Is the K-track program still able to represent reality or is anything specific missing?


The only thing I wish the K-track program had is slim curved turnouts. Otherwise I have no complaints.


The sleek double slip switch is demanding for a lot of my trains as are the sleek normal switches. I’d love to see improved versions. Also I’d like to see some high speed switches with low angles.

And the sleepers of k track either in wood colour or concrete colour.

Rinus
Offline Minok  
#29 Posted : 09 February 2018 19:38:23(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,076
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: skeeterbuck Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Peluo Go to Quoted Post
I am going to use C track on my permanent layout paint and weather the rails. My question is there enough space between the sleepers to add Ballast? Can you dry brush and add a little ballast on top of C track?


This may help:




Yep, ballast between and then just air-brushing on some matte finish to take the shine off between the rails may be all thats needed.
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 DaleSchultz  
#30 Posted : 09 February 2018 21:12:27(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I had another turnout play up and I hadn't used merkur at all.



are you sure you are getting the switch mechanism tongue properly engaged initially?

Once I get them installed,I don't ever recall K-track turnouts failing.

When installing I push the turnout moving parts towards the switch motor, and then push the tongue into the slot. The round end should click into the corresponding hole inside the turnout. Flipping the turnout mechanism up and down should then flip the turnout easily. I then set the turnout into the Merkur ballast and I do not screw it down. They are usually soldered to neighboring track.

The underfloor mounts are another story altogether. They are underdesigned and the pins are simply too weak. Avoid them.

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline applor  
#31 Posted : 10 February 2018 02:28:27(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I had another turnout play up and I hadn't used merkur at all.



are you sure you are getting the switch mechanism tongue properly engaged initially?

Once I get them installed,I don't ever recall K-track turnouts failing.

When installing I push the turnout moving parts towards the switch motor, and then push the tongue into the slot. The round end should click into the corresponding hole inside the turnout. Flipping the turnout mechanism up and down should then flip the turnout easily. I then set the turnout into the Merkur ballast and I do not screw it down. They are usually soldered to neighboring track.



Hi Dale,

I think you have mis-understood where the mechanism is failing. When I say tongue, I am referring to the track itself and not the slot mechanism.

What happens is the mechanism is connected and moves fine and the thin plastic connector that goes from the mechanism to the front of the switch and connects to the track tongue moves, but the track piece itself does not move. Ie. there is friction or something else that is stopping the track tonue from moving to switch from straight/curved.
I have had 2 turnouts with this issue and it has been a massive timesink to try and resolve. They work fine when the turnout is by itself but once laid and connected on the layout it stops.
The first time it happened I ended up resolving it by completely removing the turnout and putting it back in. Worked great and I installed and tested the servo and lanterns etc.
Came back to it a few months later and now the track does not move (mechanism with lantern etc. all work fine, using servos)
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Online michelvr  
#32 Posted : 10 February 2018 02:46:34(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,039
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
I had another turnout play up and I hadn't used merkur at all.



are you sure you are getting the switch mechanism tongue properly engaged initially?

Once I get them installed,I don't ever recall K-track turnouts failing.

When installing I push the turnout moving parts towards the switch motor, and then push the tongue into the slot. The round end should click into the corresponding hole inside the turnout. Flipping the turnout mechanism up and down should then flip the turnout easily. I then set the turnout into the Merkur ballast and I do not screw it down. They are usually soldered to neighboring track.



Hi Dale,

I think you have mis-understood where the mechanism is failing. When I say tongue, I am referring to the track itself and not the slot mechanism.

What happens is the mechanism is connected and moves fine and the thin plastic connector that goes from the mechanism to the front of the switch and connects to the track tongue moves, but the track piece itself does not move. Ie. there is friction or something else that is stopping the track tonue from moving to switch from straight/curved.
I have had 2 turnouts with this issue and it has been a massive timesink to try and resolve. They work fine when the turnout is by itself but once laid and connected on the layout it stops.
The first time it happened I ended up resolving it by completely removing the turnout and putting it back in. Worked great and I installed and tested the servo and lanterns etc.
Came back to it a few months later and now the track does not move (mechanism with lantern etc. all work fine, using servos)


Hi Eric,

Yes, you're exactly correct this is the bane of the K track turnouts and I could not have said it any better!

Your explanation says it all and that is what killed my fondness for the K track turnouts on my layout. It happened so frequently that I could not take it anymore and it was causing me to grind my teeth when I had trains running as I could not depend on the turnouts to throw due to this design flaw!

I've switched most of my layout to C track turnouts and track to have 110 percent reliability at all times. ThumpUp ThumpUp ThumpUp
Offline kiwiAlan  
#33 Posted : 10 February 2018 14:52:02(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4,600
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post

I think you have mis-understood where the mechanism is failing. When I say tongue, I am referring to the track itself and not the slot mechanism.

What happens is the mechanism is connected and moves fine and the thin plastic connector that goes from the mechanism to the front of the switch and connects to the track tongue moves, but the track piece itself does not move. Ie. there is friction or something else that is stopping the track tonue from moving to switch from straight/curved.
I have had 2 turnouts with this issue and it has been a massive timesink to try and resolve. They work fine when the turnout is by itself but once laid and connected on the layout it stops.
The first time it happened I ended up resolving it by completely removing the turnout and putting it back in. Worked great and I installed and tested the servo and lanterns etc.
Came back to it a few months later and now the track does not move (mechanism with lantern etc. all work fine, using servos)


This sounds like you have the original slim turnouts with the moving frog. These were always a problem as any ballast grit or fluff or other dirt that got under the track was enough to jam the mechanism that moved the frog.

The original ones had 4 digit catalogue numbers that matched the rest of the K track range. Marklin later reworked them so they didn't have the moving frog, and by this time Marklin had also moved on to 5 digit catalogue numbers, so these replacement points have 5 digit numbers.
Offline applor  
#34 Posted : 11 February 2018 00:30:13(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post
Hi Eric,

Yes, you're exactly correct this is the bane of the K track turnouts and I could not have said it any better!

Your explanation says it all and that is what killed my fondness for the K track turnouts on my layout. It happened so frequently that I could not take it anymore and it was causing me to grind my teeth when I had trains running as I could not depend on the turnouts to throw due to this design flaw!

I've switched most of my layout to C track turnouts and track to have 110 percent reliability at all times. ThumpUp ThumpUp ThumpUp


Sounds like a man who has suffered more than I have! It would have been quite a lot of work changing over to C track.
Unfortunately C track has different geometry than K track d I am not in a position to change them over - C track also doesn't work with servos and the fixed position lanterns would not work for me, also there is the problem of the fixed ballast on C track where my K track yard is all laid flat.

If there is no real solution to the trouble turnouts, my other option is to remove the mechanism completely and connect the servo to the tongue bar itself (like all the other manufacturers)
This would be difficult to do (I would have to remove the turnout) and would make my lanterns static though.

Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post

This sounds like you have the original slim turnouts with the moving frog. These were always a problem as any ballast grit or fluff or other dirt that got under the track was enough to jam the mechanism that moved the frog.


No, I do not. These are all new 22715/6 turnouts less than a year old. I am well aware of the issues with the moveable frog but unfortunately there are still issues with the mechanism.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Online michelvr  
#35 Posted : 11 February 2018 02:39:44(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,039
Good evening,

Just for some insight......and not to hijack MRB32 (Nic's) post.

What was the defining moment on my decision to abandon K track in my main station was again another failure of a turnout to throw. Actually I was able to prevent myself from suffering damaged train sets! Thanks to the emergency stop I prevented a head on collision between my ICE3 and THALAS. All because the K turnout's failure to diverge! I was very lucky, so without further ado I can say goodbye to the k track in my station and the 22715/6 turnouts. BTW mine were three years old. Please note that the K flex-track rules for my large radius curves.

Regards,

Michel


Offline DaleSchultz  
#36 Posted : 11 February 2018 04:09:28(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
put some graphite powder inside the moving areas as if you were 'oiling' it
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Minok  
#37 Posted : 11 February 2018 04:11:57(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,076
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
[
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post

This sounds like you have the original slim turnouts with the moving frog.


No, I do not. These are all new 22715/6 turnouts less than a year old. I am well aware of the issues with the moveable frog but unfortunately there are still issues with the mechanism.


What about the possibility that the turnouts are getting twisted as you tighten or glue them down? If the things get twisted I imagine they can bind. Could be the benchwork twisting due to
Conditions?
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 Goofy  
#38 Posted : 11 February 2018 07:18:07(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,072
There is both pro and cons about Märklins tracks.
Most of it do have cons.
I did used and tested Märklin trains and theirs tracks.
Today i use 2 rail and DCC.
It´s difference between 2 and 3 rail!
DCC means Digital Command Control.

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Goofy
Offline kiwiAlan  
#39 Posted : 11 February 2018 13:51:44(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4,600
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
[
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post

This sounds like you have the original slim turnouts with the moving frog.


No, I do not. These are all new 22715/6 turnouts less than a year old. I am well aware of the issues with the moveable frog but unfortunately there are still issues with the mechanism.


What about the possibility that the turnouts are getting twisted as you tighten or glue them down? If the things get twisted I imagine they can bind. Could be the benchwork twisting due to
Conditions?


Or even just dirt and grit getting in. This is a continuous problem because the parts under the track are not enclosed, so every bit of grit coming out of the atmosphere tends to get into the mechanism. My thoughts are to make a cavity under the points to collect such stuff, possibly even a hole right through the base board so it doesn't collect.

The grit jams the mechanism very easily because they have had to make it very thin as there is no room under the track so the tolerances have to be very tight.
Online michelvr  
#40 Posted : 11 February 2018 15:56:39(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,039
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
There is both pro and cons about Märklins tracks.
Most of it do have cons.
I did used and tested Märklin trains and theirs tracks.
Today i use 2 rail and DCC.
It´s difference between 2 and 3 rail!


Hello Anders,

I've been living with both pro and cons from Märklins tracks since 2012. Most of it does have cons but so does 2 rail. Right now for me Marklin C track is working out quite well and I'm a happy camper!

In the big picture all we need to do is find the pieces of the puzzle where the compromises work for us. We're very lucky our hobby has so many variations and manufacturers. For me Marklin C track is working out fine.

Who's track are you using? Atlas, Peco, Roco, Tillig, Trix?

My last 2 rail DCC layout was done using Atlas code 83, it was okay to use and worked well.

Right now my friend Roger is rebuilding his layout using Peco code 75.

Regards.
Offline applor  
#41 Posted : 11 February 2018 22:48:31(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post

What about the possibility that the turnouts are getting twisted as you tighten or glue them down? If the things get twisted I imagine they can bind. Could be the benchwork twisting due to
Conditions?


The turnouts are not tightened or glued down. They just sit connected on the layout.
There must of course be a reason and I do believe it is a twisting or tension issue - however the tolerances for failure are so small it makes it impossible to identify and rectify.

One of the turnouts that has failed is the top one in this picture. Yet the other two directly below work perfectly!
If there was a distortion in any way it should affect all the turnouts.
The one that was failed had played up once before and was only resolved after I removed it and put it back in and it worked perfectly until I went to use it many months later and now... dead.

switches.JPG
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline Minok  
#42 Posted : 11 February 2018 23:42:05(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,076
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Just grasping at straws here as I've got no real k track other than 2 m flex to test the c-k-c transition.

Could it be the rails that feed into the switch that is twisting and this twisting the switch itself? Thenthe source if the distortion could be a bit away from the switch itself. The back one is also closest to the corner of that wood so of it shifts at that corner and seam in the back the degree of deviation would decrease going forward. The grain of the two plywood pieces are orthogonal so the behavior of the wood is slightly different between the two pieces.

Just wild guessing.
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/
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Minok
Offline PMPeter  
#43 Posted : 12 February 2018 00:58:21(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 987
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post

What about the possibility that the turnouts are getting twisted as you tighten or glue them down? If the things get twisted I imagine they can bind. Could be the benchwork twisting due to
Conditions?


The turnouts are not tightened or glued down. They just sit connected on the layout.
There must of course be a reason and I do believe it is a twisting or tension issue - however the tolerances for failure are so small it makes it impossible to identify and rectify.

One of the turnouts that has failed is the top one in this picture. Yet the other two directly below work perfectly!
If there was a distortion in any way it should affect all the turnouts.
The one that was failed had played up once before and was only resolved after I removed it and put it back in and it worked perfectly until I went to use it many months later and now... dead.

switches.JPG


Maybe you explained this somewhere else, but what are the turnouts sitting on? I can't identify what the white material is.

I mount all of mine on cork and after 4 years I have not experienced the problem you are indicating. I bought one once on eBay that after a few weeks wouldn't move and upon closer inspection I realized that one of the linkages had been glued together previously and the glue broke off. So that was just a broken one that someone passed on to me.

I'm just wondering if the white material yours are sitting on expands and contracts unevenly which could twist the switch and linkages.
Online michelvr  
#44 Posted : 12 February 2018 01:44:27(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,039
The real issue with the Marklin K track turnout(s) are revealed and uncovered for the first time and you'll read it here on the Marklin-users.net forum!

I'm not grasping for straws as I have the proof as one of our past prime ministers has said, ”"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." - Jean Chretien.

Or

It could be the fickle finger of fate, an unseen and unforseeable force that controls the direction of all living things. Oops, almost right but........


Actually it is the fickle finger of the Marklin K track turnout! Check out my picture and you'll get a close up of the bloody thingy that's causing this grief! It's weak and flexes when it shouldn't causing endless grief!


Offline hxmiesa  
#45 Posted : 12 February 2018 16:42:43(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,742
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
One of the turnouts that has failed is the top one in this picture. Yet the other two directly below work perfectly!
If there was a distortion in any way it should affect all the turnouts.
The one that was failed had played up once before and was only resolved after I removed it and put it back in and it worked perfectly until I went to use it many months later and now... dead.

I see that you seem to be using underground adapter sets.
Those are notoriously iunstable and WEAKENS the power of the throw greatly.
Before signing the death-certificate of said switch, you might try with a drive connected directly to the switch.
Also, the different lanterns and underground adapter-sets seems to be overlapping on the photo. That could also have an influence.

I know that the drives might disturbe the visual aspect, but in dense areas, you might want to leave some of them on the top, just to preserve funcionality. (I mean; what is even the most beautiful layout worth, if it doesnt work properly?)
Alcually, sometimes the drives can be installed up-side-down, (turning it around 180º) and covered with ballast you would hardly notice it.

I can only add my own experience, and those are 0 failures in 10-12 years. (Failures of the type you mention here, I have had other problems though...)
I install the drives on top, with the ugliness that it implies.
I bridge the end-cut-off switches with a solder blob, and power the relay with 24Vdc.


Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline PMPeter  
#46 Posted : 12 February 2018 19:16:46(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 987
Location: Port Moody, BC
I agree with Henrik that I certainly have had issues with the K track switches, but not the issue described by Applor or michelvr. In my opinion if the linkage does not move it is either broken, restricted by something between the linkage and the roadbed, slight twist of the switch due to a non-flat mounting, or a misalignment of the actuator mechanism for either the manual lever, the solenoid actuator, or the lantern. I have had switches that worked normally until I added the lantern. Even though both the switch and lantern appeared to move correctly, the movement was very tight and restrictive. Only by removing the lantern and reinserting it until smooth operation was obtained did I get out of this problem. It is as if the tongue of the lantern actuator seats itself high or low in the mechanism and thus causes movement restriction. As I said in a previous post, once I get the actuators seated properly I have not had any linkage issues after 4 years of operation.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by PMPeter
Offline DaleSchultz  
#47 Posted : 12 February 2018 20:35:02(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post


The underfloor mounts are another story altogether. They are underdesigned and the pins are simply too weak. Avoid them.



it appears you are using the underfloor mount units. Put the switch motors onto the side of the turnout. If you care about how they look, mount them upside down after drilling dome holes in the baseboard to give them clearance.

See https://cabin-layout.blogspot.com/2004/12/switch-motor-modification-thread.html
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline applor  
#48 Posted : 12 February 2018 22:39:49(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Just grasping at straws here as I've got no real k track other than 2 m flex to test the c-k-c transition.

Could it be the rails that feed into the switch that is twisting and this twisting the switch itself?
Just wild guessing.


I think you are on the money for what can be the cause - I believe some sort of rail twisting is causing the tongue issue with a different turnout in my layout.

If the is a twist though it is not perceptible and goes back to my complaints as to how fragile the mechanism is.

Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post


Maybe you explained this somewhere else, but what are the turnouts sitting on? I can't identify what the white material is.


It is Merkur roadbed. It is a hard foam underbed rather than cork:

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


Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post

I see that you seem to be using underground adapter sets.
Those are notoriously iunstable and WEAKENS the power of the throw greatly.
Before signing the death-certificate of said switch, you might try with a drive connected directly to the switch.
Also, the different lanterns and underground adapter-sets seems to be overlapping on the photo. That could also have an influence.


Henrik,

You have not read my post properly, I have already stated clearly that I am using servos and that the actuator mechanism has no problems and moves easily.

The lantern install was a custom fabrication to fit them and as stated, there is no problems with the actuator mechanism and so is not related to the issue.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline applor  
#49 Posted : 12 February 2018 22:44:51(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,400
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: PMPeter Go to Quoted Post
I agree with Henrik that I certainly have had issues with the K track switches, but not the issue described by Applor or michelvr. In my opinion if the linkage does not move it is either broken, restricted by something between the linkage and the roadbed, slight twist of the switch due to a non-flat mounting, or a misalignment of the actuator mechanism for either the manual lever, the solenoid actuator, or the lantern. I have had switches that worked normally until I added the lantern.


The actuator works fine, the problem is the linkage only moves at the actuator end and does not throw the tongue.

The linkage is not broken or obstructed which would leave a slight twist of the switch - which I am unable to observe. It goes back to the root of the problem in that the design is inherently poor and so fails even when a switch would appear to be laid flat and true.

I have my suspicions that the linkage itself is fine, rather there is force being applied to the tongue causing friction to prevent the tongue moving.
I have taken a photo and circled what could be the cause.
It is also quite likely related to the throw bar.

22715.JPG

Perhaps I need to take a video of the issue? A number of people are misunderstanding me - it seems Michel is the only one so far who knows exactly what I am talking about and experienced the same issue.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline DaleSchultz  
#50 Posted : 12 February 2018 23:40:30(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,122
hmm I see. Does the servo perhaps actuate it slowly? The Märklin switch motors snap across and that may be the difference.

My k-track 'floats' somewhat in the Merkur, with no screws or nails holding it down other than the electrical wires. I have never had this problem.
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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