Welcome to the forum   
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Share
Options
View
Go to last post in this topic Go to first unread post in this topic
Offline black_pete  
#1 Posted : 16 May 2020 16:51:44(UTC)
black_pete

Australia   
Joined: 09/04/2007(UTC)
Posts: 150
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Likely many others around the world I have been locked up at home in COVID isolation mode for the last 7 weeks. Luckily, I have remained fully employed and well occupied but have found enough time to review some long held Marklin layout aspirations. During this time alone I have also been rediscovering my various Marklin connections and ended up here again 😊

Over the years I had accumulated a reasonable collection of Swiss SBB outline rolling stock and consistently looked forward to each new annual catalogue as a great excuse to add even more items to the list. However, due to a series of other life distractions over the last 4 years or so I simply ceased most modelling activity and become little more than an interested observer.

So, the enforced COVID break provided plenty of opportunity to read, review some previous doodles and think about layout futures. I guess I simply got re-energised and once again came to the conclusion that the SBB should really be running in my allocated home layout space. But the reality of 4+ years of inactively can’t simply be undone and future plans have to be viewed accordingly. Essentially any thoughts of a hand laid fully ballasted dual track mainline running through a huge mainline station, crossing a mixture of stone and steel bridges with a loop wandering around towering Swiss mountains just had to go.

Hmmm maybe it’s time to focus on a simple start! Step One - Let’s decide what might be important in a layout (more about this later). Step Two - How do we do this. Step Three - Time to have some enjoyment Cool

COVID doodles resulted in a loose plan to initially build two layout tables. These will be 2.4m long x 1.06m wide x 1.1m high and use 18mm plywood framing (120mm wide planks) with 12mm plywood tops. Playing around I worked out an optimal cutting list so these two table units could be built from 2 sheets of each thickness. A local supplier has both marine and exterior grade ply available in the sizes required and will also cut to requirements on either a per cut or hourly basis.

The first shock was the horrendous cost of good quality ply and any thoughts of birch ply were quickly dispelled. But it looks like I should be able to get my table building kitset together using exterior ply for slightly less than A$500. I’m waiting to make the final decision on whether it’s necessary to upgrade to marine ply until after I get a hands-on look at the quality of the sheets. Hopefully the exterior grade will prove satisfactory.

So with trepidation I pulled out some bags of C-track and there was the ugly OhMyGod Marklin’s issues with C-track are well documented both here and elsewhere but as my track had been largely unused I was at least hopeful. Sadly, on opening the bags I was greeted with the all too familiar collection of grey plastic bits sloshing around in the bottom. Some smaller pieces had been left joined and any attempts to separate them generally resulted in an ever increasing collection of plastic scrap - no matter how carefully the separation was conducted.

The damage was along the lines I remember being previously reported but close inspection of a section of damaged R5 curve revealed that one end was almost completely smashed and was only being held in place by the rails. So, it was back to the internet to review the various comments on c-track problems.

I would have thought my c-track had been purchased around 2005 but obviously could have been sourced from production batches prior to that time. No year of manufacture was visible on any of the broken track sections. However my last shipments from Germany had included some boxes of 10 x 24360 straights and I expect that these were definitely manufactured after 2010. Comparing these new sections to the older track I noted the small ASA logo and the slightly darker grey roadbed.

Further fiddling with the older track sections just resulted in even more bits falling off. So, after re-reading all the various c-track threads that I could find and careful consideration of the information ... I have decided that any track that is missing the ASA logo, displays the 5 digit item code or the “Made in Germany” slogan can simply go in the rubbish bin. While this is disappointing and probably represents several A$100’s of purchases it’s just not worth the potential future problems that might be encountered. While it would be fantastic if Marklin continued to support their c-track product that clearly display an obvious manufacturing fault the passage of time cannot be discounted.

My home layout space is a large internal space that was originally the formal sitting room. It’s a fully carpeted space and just on 7.2m long by 4m wide. Thinking cap on RollEyes
Regards
Pete

expat Kiwi - now living in Melbourne

SBB Era IV & V - Digital - CS1 - C Track
thanks 5 users liked this useful post by black_pete
Offline DaleSchultz  
#2 Posted : 16 May 2020 18:21:02(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,361
before actually placing the C-rap track in the bin, write to Märklin and explain that you are now using the track for the first time after it being in storage and see if they will honour an exchange...
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#3 Posted : 16 May 2020 18:39:05(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,970
Location: NY, NY
This is not a large-scale fix, but Plastruct Plasti-Weld (the orange label) welds pieces of C track on like new. It was already a weapon in my tool kit, but I was really impressed with the c track results. I got rid of my "crumbling era" c track ages ago and accepted the loss. (angrily!) but sometimes the new ones will break under stress (usually the tabs after repeated use/abuse- from kids in particular) and the Plastruct sorts them right out
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by 5HorizonsRR
Offline vmsysprog  
#4 Posted : 16 May 2020 20:37:00(UTC)
vmsysprog

United States   
Joined: 09/09/2010(UTC)
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
This is not a large-scale fix, but Plastruct Plasti-Weld (the orange label) welds pieces of C track on like new. It was already a weapon in my tool kit, but I was really impressed with the c track results. I got rid of my "crumbling era" c track ages ago and accepted the loss. (angrily!) but sometimes the new ones will break under stress (usually the tabs after repeated use/abuse- from kids in particular) and the Plastruct sorts them right out


I’ve used regular plastic model cement. I decided this older track was a loss anyway, so use it once and toss it. Electrical connections still worked fine, the plastic formula had problems.
Steve
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by vmsysprog
Offline kgsjoqvist  
#5 Posted : 16 May 2020 21:46:47(UTC)
kgsjoqvist

Sweden   
Joined: 04/06/2002(UTC)
Posts: 733
Location: Täby
I have glued back some pieces that broke off from my C-tracks. Usually you can do a nice repair if you use plastic cement or a glue gun from the inside. The cracks are visible from the outside, but with some paint or ballast it is easily hidden.
K-G / H0 and Z model train user
Offline mvd71  
#6 Posted : 17 May 2020 03:53:52(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,230
Location: Auckland,
I have found k track to be a really good fix for cracking c track. 😉
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by mvd71
Offline river6109  
#7 Posted : 17 May 2020 04:42:03(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,038
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
We must go through an age whereas "big" is part of our DNA, when we've build our layout I had dreams of creating a scene park e.g. Hänsel & Gretel, a Devonshire tea room looking out over a dam., the property we had was over 40 acres with a winter creek flowing through, in the end it never eventuated., the only thing that was left over was a huge layout and I've been carrying it on my back ever since., it occupies 90 % of my retirement at the moment which is most the time enjoyable but I wish I could announce a day when its all operational.

regarding C-track, I've had my share amount of these tracks but was able to superglue them together but by the time yo've handled it the next time another piece broke off, some of the left over bits I'm using as a test track on my office desk.

Deciding which locos I have from which country didn't consolidate until I also found Swiss locos fascinating, discovered Roco's 3 rail locos and this started me off buying Austrian locos., before this period I more or less bought every available loco from the catalogue, in 1984 spent at least A$ 15.000.00 on the new digital system, things got a bit cheaper when I also discovered German dealers (in most cases 50% cheaper).

Its shocking when you realize all the other materials have increased 100 % in price over the years and unless you have deep pockets downsizing is most properly the only way to go and the option of compromising is a sad part when it comes to model train layouts.
One has to be very careful to understand downsizing may cause a lack of interest and you may get bored with it and all the money you've spent has been a waste of time., there is always room to do a layout in stages and fund the project over a period of years so it doesn't hit the expenses all at once.

When it comes to the scenery, you can save a lot of money by producing your own bridges, use natural moss as bushes and trees, soil for the ground foundation, etc etc.
One thing we lack in Australia is auctions of Märklin model trains and I wish if I had my time over again I would travel to Germany (inquire first when there is an auction) and than set off and buy as much as possible.

Well I wish you all the best with our project and hopefully we'll see some action in the near future.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline black_pete  
#8 Posted : 18 May 2020 14:39:46(UTC)
black_pete

Australia   
Joined: 09/04/2007(UTC)
Posts: 150
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Thank you all so much for your helpful replies and guidance.

@DaleSchultz

I had thought of that but as far as I know Marklin has never offered that replacement program here in Australia ... so by the time shipping to Germany is considered it may not be worth the hassle Unsure

@vmssysprog

Wonderful to meet another inmate from the wonderful days of VAX/VMS … guess I’m showing my age … I did have a personalized SYSMAN number plate for a number of years back in New Zealand and my preferred default password is still one randomly generated for me about 30 years ago by a DEC10 system Cool

@river6109

Your comments just totally hit home with me … I remember seeing a cartoon a few years back outlining the model railroading daydreams of young boys, teenagers, adults and us older folk …my recent design doodles have clearly focused on attainable aspirations as against highly improbable pipe dreams Mellow
Regards
Pete

expat Kiwi - now living in Melbourne

SBB Era IV & V - Digital - CS1 - C Track
Offline Drongo  
#9 Posted : 18 May 2020 14:55:23(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,051
Location: Sydney, NSW
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
before actually placing the C-rap track in the bin, write to Märklin and explain that you are now using the track for the first time after it being in storage and see if they will honour an exchange...


Here's a good old Australian saying regarding your idea - "You've got Buckley's, Mate"!!!
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Drongo
Offline DaleSchultz  
#10 Posted : 18 May 2020 14:58:48(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,361
we I did read very recently that they are still honouring exchanges.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline black_pete  
#11 Posted : 18 May 2020 15:18:12(UTC)
black_pete

Australia   
Joined: 09/04/2007(UTC)
Posts: 150
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
So, where have I got to after some quiet solitude and think time … and of course your thoughts and comments are always truly appreciated.

Project: Build focused around commercially available off-the-shelf items

Theme: Swiss SBB outline straddling eras 5 & 6 with semi-realistic train lengths
Double track mainline with full digital control and paradestrecke emphasis

Location: Schwarzhorn - a fictious Swiss city on a main route near the mountains
The city is close enough to downtown Switzerland to be just on the end of the push-pull commuter route. But it also sees bigger Inter City trains as well as being on a major freight route with both double and single headed freight trains. This is a major tourist area and the SBB regularly run their historic stock through Schwarzhorn.

Style: Round the room layout with trackage on 3 sides (workbench along 4th side)

Staging: Left & Right Helix’s to access lower level storage

Centrepoint: Large city through station with 3 platform tracks and passing loop - Minimal platform train length capacity 1.8m

Station Building: Kibri Bonn (not strictly Swiss but the it’s the longest platform available)

Station Complex: 4 stall shed for local engine storage - snowplow, historic loco, shunter …
Transfer table could provide an additional visual highlight. Siding area to service local business (sufficient for operational play aspects).

Bridge: Future expansion to include Faller Bietschtal Bridge (K flex-track)

Mountain Village: Additional village expansion with simple station stop (Kibri buildings)

Animation: Layout animation for major effect only (Faller Car System)

The technical stuff … also know as the objects of desire!

The overall project objective is to try and build a layout that focuses on reliability from the ground up and minimises the potential for future rework …

Station Area: Table top type construction

End Helix & Open Country: Open framework cookie cutter style

Material: Interior Ply for strength & stability

Layout Control: Latest current digital control option (Hmmm so Marklin or ESU?)

Bus based distribution: Separate bus distribution for track, accessories, lighting, AC/DC power

Lighting: All lighting (and other effects) will be LED based

Marklin C-Track: Reliable and quick to lay

64.3mm Track Spacing: Narrowest standard c-track spacing without reverting to NASA style design gymnastics 😊

Visible curves: Minimum C-Track R3 visible curves & R9 for a gentle effect in open country

Slim track option: Slim turnouts everywhere (damn you Marklin - where’s that slim double cross over)

Turnout control: ESU Switch pilot with under bench servo’s (NO Marklin switch motor issues)

Woodland Scenics Underlay: Minimise track noise upfront (or equivalent product)

Minimal additional ballasting: Fill-in between the tracks and let’s not get too worried about roadbed slope

Train Detection: Optical sensing to minimise potential track related issues

Signals: Working signals seen as desirable (SBB L type provides more manufacturer options)

Catenary: Non-working Sommerfeldt Catenary seems to be the only really suitable approach

Well where to now? Firstly, order the table kitsets from my local plywood supplier and then upgrade my WinTrack software to the latest version.

Marklin fun times ahead …

Regards
Pete

expat Kiwi - now living in Melbourne

SBB Era IV & V - Digital - CS1 - C Track
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by black_pete
Offline vmsysprog  
#12 Posted : 18 May 2020 15:30:56(UTC)
vmsysprog

United States   
Joined: 09/09/2010(UTC)
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by: black_pete Go to Quoted Post
Thank you all so much for your helpful replies and guidance.

@DaleSchultz

I had thought of that but as far as I know Marklin has never offered that replacement program here in Australia ... so by the time shipping to Germany is considered it may not be worth the hassle Unsure

@vmssysprog

Wonderful to meet another inmate from the wonderful days of VAX/VMS … guess I’m showing my age … I did have a personalized SYSMAN number plate for a number of years back in New Zealand for and my preferred default password is still one randomly generated for me about 30 years ago by a DEC10 system Cool

@river6109

Your comments just totally hit home with me … I remember seeing a cartoon a few years back outlining the model railroading daydreams of young boys, teenagers, adults and us older folk …my recent design doodles have clearly focused on attainable aspirations as against highly improbable pipe dreams Mellow


Sorry, you’re a bit misplaced with VAX. I worked on the IBM side, as in VM - Virtual Machine and a few other acronyms IBM used when marketing the product. It is still an incredibly flexible O/S that wasn’t marketed correctly. But, I digress.

Steve
Offline black_pete  
#13 Posted : 18 May 2020 16:07:52(UTC)
black_pete

Australia   
Joined: 09/04/2007(UTC)
Posts: 150
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Originally Posted by: vmsysprog Go to Quoted Post
Sorry, you’re a bit misplaced with VAX. I worked on the IBM side, as in VM - Virtual Machine and a few other acronyms IBM used when marketing the product. It is still an incredibly flexible O/S that wasn’t marketed correctly. But, I digress.

Sorry Steve .... oops too many VMS's Blushing So did IBM also make computers LOL

Regards
Pete

expat Kiwi - now living in Melbourne

SBB Era IV & V - Digital - CS1 - C Track
Offline kiwiAlan  
#14 Posted : 19 May 2020 02:28:37(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,088
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: black_pete Go to Quoted Post
Thank you all so much for your helpful replies and guidance.

@DaleSchultz

I had thought of that but as far as I know Marklin has never offered that replacement program here in Australia ... so by the time shipping to Germany is considered it may not be worth the hassle Unsure


I suspect that if you got in touch with Noel in Brisbane that he would institute the exchange for you. I doubt he would actually send then back, Marklin would just provide him with some free replacements on his certification of destruction of the old track.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by kiwiAlan
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#15 Posted : 19 May 2020 04:28:59(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,257
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
I got rid of my "crumbling era" c track ages ago and accepted the loss. (angrily!)......


Yep he did.....to me! I purchased them knowing they were from the brittle era of manufacturing and that they could break, and in fact some did. They did fill a gap at the time, and some are still being used and are still intact because they haven't been lifted and relaid multiple times - that's when they break.

If they break, they generally get replaced with a new piece because I now have spares available which I didn't have at the time I bought them. If it is just a case of the connector clip breaking off they can still be used because there's still a clip from the adjacent piece which still holds everything together. If the roadbed shatters, then its time to replace it.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Bigdaddynz
Users browsing this topic
OceanSpiders 2.0
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

| Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2020, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.684 seconds.