Originally Posted by Chistech
#1. Is floating track still the best way to go ballasted on fines?
#2 need a good recommendation for those station stops
#3 what is the normal distance for track feeder wires? Run in conduit with junction boxes?
#4 I have a tig welder and thinking of tagging the rail ends together for better connections, thoughts?
#5 are there any businesses in MA that help with layout plans or how can I plan my layout better?
#6 any help and suggestions other than my questions are also welcomed
Thanks in advance, Ted
#1: My track is floated on ballast now for 30 years, but my trackbed is raised on poles.
#4: Tagging the rail end s together will not be a good idea. Here is a text I wrote previously about track wiring:
Before assembling and laying the Gauge 1 track, I soldered a 15-cm wire to the underside of each rail joiner. I ran four bus wires (one pair for each track) through the ballast bed and then laid the rail. I connected each of the wires from the rail joiner using “insulation displacement connectors” (sold in automotive shops) to the corresponding bus wire. The four bus wires were connected to a female connector under the track bed and I made a length of cable with a male connector so I could put the controller on the terrace or in the garage. Of course, this works independent of the type of controller or power supply. So, I ran steam as well as electric, and for a couple of years things worked fine.
After some time, I did experience some connectivity problems. Some sections of rail did not get any electricity via either rail joiner because an isolating layer of dirt had crept into the joiners. In the beginning the problem could be solved by spraying with contact cleaner, but in the end even that no longer worked.
I initially thought why not just solder rail joiners to all rails. I started with one or two and then realized that this would give one 30 meter length of material without any slack. On a warm sunny day this might result in a kinky, out-of-gauge track due to expansion. So I just soldered a small wire jumper, electrically connecting each rail with the next. This did the trick.