Eric J. Olson

The next evolution... ME Track

118 posts in this topic

I'll be placing an order for rails without sleepers which I'll then be using for my tram line - integrated straight on the sides of tiled-up street baseplates (1 plate + 1 tile should correspond to the height of the rail without sleepers). That's precisely why I'd like to wait and see how those new curves will look. On the one hand, I appreciate the wider radius since the tram I'm building will definitely be able to negotiate that much more easily than the current standard 9V curves, but on the other hand I'm worried if that wouldn't make curves too big for a tram line... Have to wait and see, I guess.

@roamingstudio: Shouldn't the track without sleepers be perfectly usable for all kinds of different gauges?

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Thanks, but mine is a MOC tram and my worries are associated rather with its specific design in terms of height and close coupling, not the general issue of integrating the rail in the layout. It's precisely because of that that curve radius is a bit of an issue, but not something that can't be fixed.

Haven't actually posted the MOC itself yet since I'm still waiting for parts to arrive, but gambort surely knows what I'm talking about.

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Well done, ME... I was hoping for either a fresh infusion of plastic rails or 9V compatible tracks... and got the best of both. I noticed the video said curves would be three different radii... that's just plain awesome. The hype was annoying, but I'll definitely give you a pass for delivering.

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Great to see these new rails available now - even if it is April 1st today. Just placed my order.

Hopefully a bricklink or similar re-seller could be found in Europe to get the rails shipped from a less expensive point in Europe. Something similar was once done by someone with BrickJournal.

Looking forward to see the new radii ...

Holger

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You know, now that I've ordered a few doubles (way cool), it's made me rethink what happened when TLG dropped 9V, and it bothers me even more that they claimed to have tried to work something out with a third party to make track and couldn't do it cost effectively... along comes this small company with barely a tiny fraction of TLG's resources and manages to not only pull it off, but do it better (as far as we know, but at least with more options) than TLG, and they did it with reasonable prices.

Perhaps I should reserve judgement until I actually have them and try them out, but railbricks seems to think they work wonderfully.

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Hopefully a bricklink or similar re-seller could be found in Europe to get the rails shipped from a less expensive point in Europe.

This is already in the works...I don't have a time frame though as we're still working out details.

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This is already in the works...I don't have a time frame though as we're still working out details.

Eric,

sounds great! Everything sounds great with your ME Metal Rails ... can't wait to get them :-]

Thanks and good luck with the new train supplemental business for LEGO trains!

Holger

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Awesome, am going to order alot of these in Brown!!!!!!!!! hope this also reals in the crazy eBay prices for the 9v straight rails too!!!!!

LOVE that they offer or soon will offer the quad sections....NICE!!!!!!!!

If i could only get the website to reliably load!!!! i frequently get "the server did not respond" Hopefully a better server is in the future too :)

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Looks like really intresting products for us Lego train nerds :laugh:

Can't wait too see them IRL.

Edited by Selander

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well what about curves? :sceptic:

I think it said May... when I was there, the icon picture was "broken," so it didn't exist yet, but it was there and when you click on it the page says it's coming in May.

That's fine...I've got curves enough for now. The only problem was it was one curve; the video said there'd be three different radii.

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This is already in the works...I don't have a time frame though as we're still working out details.

It's great to hear you've considered so many aspects. At just below 16 USD though, I don't really think postage is expensive, especially compared to what other shops charge for overseas postage.

Can't wait for the May additions...

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The hype was annoying, but I'll definitely give you a pass for delivering.

Ditto. :-)

These look great.

What different radii will be available and will there be points and crossovers, particularly high speed points (smooth turnouts)?

What sort of metal is it? Are they suitable for laying an outdoor track?

:classic: :classic:

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If i could only get the website to reliably load!!!! i frequently get "the server did not respond" Hopefully a better server is in the future too :)

Bandwidth was at a premium today. :laugh:

That's fine...I've got curves enough for now. The only problem was it was one curve; the video said there'd be three different radii.

Correct. There will be three new radii, the first will be unveiled at BrickMagic in Raleigh, with the other two to follow, hopefully, before summer.

What different radii will be available and will there be points and crossovers, particularly high speed points (smooth turnouts)?

As you can see, the next radius will be R56, or 56 stud radius on center using R40 as the current "standard". The next two will then be R72 and R88. As for the other layout elements, we said that this will be a long-term constantly-evolving product line, so yes, all of the above are viable options for the future.

What sort of metal is it? Are they suitable for laying an outdoor track?

They are made from a strong aluminum alloy. I didn't throw any out into a snowbank and leave them, so I have no idea how they will perform outside as they have no coating on them (which would hinder conductivity).

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Thanks for those answers. The larger radii are certainly welcome.

Sounds like outside use would be OK for RC (no rust from aluminum, probably using wooden sleepers to avoid UV issues with the plastic parts) but you might get some conductivity issues for rail powered systems.

I guess for the complex stuff your stock can serve as a basis for scratch building.

:classic: :classic:

Edited by AussieJimbo

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just realised it will cost me only $30 to replace all my straights...and then the lego stuff can retired to the shelf :D thankyou so much for the release of this, it means i can get my motor brick to run than more than just a 9v battery box.

it gives us hope for a range for Lgauge that will complement the existing lego sets. so raise your glass to new era.

thankyou MEmodels.

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This is HUGE!

Hopefully the bottom will drop out on the "9v track speculators" on Bricklink. That stuff was going for a premium. I saw a single track segment (part # 2865) going for $2.00 US but if you wanted at least 5 pieces they were $4.95 each. Clearly the new ME stuff is cheaper at $3.33 per section and more versatile with two tie colors and solid metal rails.

Hopefully ME will be in business long enough to top off everyone's rail yards. I can imagine the "work gang/track laying MOCS" that will soon abound.

The only drawback to 9v? Inability to do reversing loops. Hopefully, with the new and plentiful track, we won't have to scrimp on the long straight runs...

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Theoretically, it should be. AFAIK, the "IJ" track has the same "half-slot" connectors that the plastic rails and 9V do, so as long as the slots are the same size, then yes, the straight rails will work with narrow-gauge as well since the rails aren't fixed to the plates. The only issue I can foresee would be connectors, but there should be easy solutions around that.

So there are no plans to include narrow gauge curves in the future? I don't like the Indiana Jones tracks, they are too small. Is it possible to slightly bend the rails like you could with the 12V rails?

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Good to see this stuff. My "dark age" started when they introduced 9v. I was very upset at the loss of all the advanced 12v stuff (though I was too poor to even have any 12v points - let alone signals or decouplers!), and especially disliked the single-piece 9v track as it was so anti-Lego (not to mention, the brain-dead sleeper placement on the 9v/RC curves prevents you attaching 12v conductors to it!).

I could never understand why Lego wouldn't make their own metal track this way...it's just so obvious. Take a big moulded piece like a straight track, then split it into two identical rails and some standard bricks for sleepers. The moulds et al. for that are a lot more cost-effective, surely, and you can then use the parts more flexibly in other kits (witness how the rails used to be used for things like crane gantries, etc.)

The Emerald Night brought me back, and I've since grudgingly accepted PF, but I want metal rails to charge the battery box (I'm also planning on having some dual electrification so my 12v stuff can run as-is). I have assembled a small amount of 9v track, but can't bring myself to buy and disassemble a fully working 9v motor for use as a pickup, nor can I find a cheap broken one. Long story short, offer a 9v pickup (or a dual 9v/12v one!) and you can complete the dream, and save some poor 9v motors being cannibalised ;)

I'll be buying a great deal of the straights for my sidings, and once points are on offer so I can have a consistent look, I'll be buying a lot more for a full layout. :)

Yay!

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As you can see, the next radius will be R56, or 56 stud radius on center using R40 as the current "standard". The next two will then be R72 and R88. As for the other layout elements, we said that this will be a long-term constantly-evolving product line, so yes, all of the above are viable options for the future.

Thanks a lot for the clarification on those, that means I won't have to wait to see what the other upcoming radii would be and I can just go ahead and place my order in May once R56 comes out.

A question that was raised by a fellow LUG member was whether the metal rails' long-term effect on the plastic train wheels had been tested / verified yet? His concern was that the rails' hardness might contribute to wearing out the plastic, could you please give us any information on that? Thanks in advance.

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I'm also cautious about the potential wear of metal rails on plastic wheels and would interested in any information about this.

A potential solution to this could be replacing the plastic wheels with metal ones which may have the added benefit of reduced friction. Any plans in this area?

:classic: :classic:

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So there are no plans to include narrow gauge curves in the future? I don't like the Indiana Jones tracks, they are too small. Is it possible to slightly bend the rails...

I would not suggest attempting to bend the rails without proper machinery...they are hard and in doing so, the holes would be oblong.

A question that was raised by a fellow LUG member was whether the metal rails' long-term effect on the plastic train wheels had been tested / verified yet? His concern was that the rails' hardness might contribute to wearing out the plastic, could you please give us any information on that?

We understand your concern regarding plastic vs metal. Whether it is LGB, Marklin, Lionel, Mike's Train House, etc, all model railway systems have metal track and plastic wheels on the cars. There will eventually be wear as this is unavoidable, however, in most cases, its not damaging and hardly visible. LEGO has metal on their 9V rails and as we all know, plastic wheels. What we can say is that the metal has been deburred using a process involving ceramic rock followed by a wash solution so that there are no sharp edges left on the finished product making them "kid friendly". Basically, we have eliminated as many "wear factors" as is physically possible.

A potential solution to this could be replacing the plastic wheels with metal ones which may have the added benefit of reduced friction. Any plans in this area?

At this point, everything is still on the table, but as I have commented before, the only timeline I can give you at this point is R56 (curve).

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I'm also cautious about the potential wear of metal rails on plastic wheels and would interested in any information about this.

9V users have been running plastic wheels on metal track for two decades. Haven't seen many problems yet.

Wheelsets do eventually wear out, but not at the wheel/rail contact point, they wear out at the bearing. Plastic track won't make a difference there.

The new ME track is exciting, I'm looking forward especially to the quad-length and larger radius curves.

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