Sectional track is great for people who want experiment with their model trains. Users can control the shape of their track layout by adding curves and intersections plus much, much more. The following includes a basic guide to sectional track for Lionel trains.
A good place to start with sectional track is to plan your layout. The simplest designs are circular or oval and more complex layouts may include complex crossings. Consider how much space you have available. Once you have a design planned out for your Lionel trains, take the time to invest in a range of track. You want large pieces as well as small pieces so that you can avoid holes. One of the biggest mistakes is not having enough of the right pieces on hand to build the desired layout.
There are many types of track to choose from. There are of course the basic straight and curved pieces of track as well as more complex options. For example, a turnout is a piece that helps a train enter in one direction and leave on two or three other tracks. Crossings are pieces where you have two pieces of track crossed in 90, 45, or even 30 degree angles.
Some forms of model trains sectional track include roadbeds. These pieces have interlocking tabs that will keep your train running without risk of derailment. With or without roadbed, it is recommended to nail the entire track layout to a piece of plywood. This will prevent carpet fuzz and debris from breaking up the track and interfering with the engine of the train.
To position your sectional track, line up the pieces so there isn't a gap between them. Be sure the pieces are level: You don't want one overlapping the other. Do not try and force pieces of track together, especially curved pieces. If you do this, you risk creating a gap or having an awkward section of track that can cause derailment. You want your curves to be tight so that you can run many model trains on your track, but you do not want the curves to be unnatural.
At first, it may take a while to plan and build sectional tracks, even for popular brands like Lionel trains. You may start with an idea only to realize you lack all of the necessary pieces or that its design is larger than you anticipated. Sectional tracks are like pieces of a big puzzle. Assembling the pieces will help with estimating the layout's dimensions and the necessary supplies needed to for its construction.
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about lionel trains toys. Click here to download a free model trains guidebook filled with hobby tips, ideas and information.
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