monai

New Track Design from BBB

60 posts in this topic

Big Ben Bricks LCC has shown at the BrickCon 2012 in Seattle new track projects which will be online in the next weekend (Ben Fleskes says). He anticipated the image below and the geometry proposed:

3 curve radii: 40, 56 and 72 studs

straights. The profile is a real "vignole" one

The ties are plastic (ABS). The rails are either plastic (ABS) or solid

metal (Nickel Silver) - customer choice. The same ties work with both

types of rail.

Switches would release in phase two.

they looks greatpost-17952-0-44056900-1349971367_thumb.jpg

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Yesss! This is it! When Ben does it, it will going to be gold standard. Simply wonderful.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,

Thorsten

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Are they going to be available in different colours like his wheels? I am just thinking that most of us have DBG tracks I imagine and I am not sure that brown colour for the sleepers will go too well with the existing track. It would good if there is an option for the sleepers to be the same (Or very nearly the same.) colour as the official TLG track.

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Very cool, can't wait to see more details. Hopefully they will be compatible with the existing lego track.

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Very nice... I have some ME track, and have been disappointed they haven't (last I checked) replenished their supplies. What bothers me about this is that it doesn't conform to LEGO track, so he needs to have switches and stuff or it won't match.

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Awesome! Now all we are missing are metal train wheels (and wipers) to power PF motors via the track :)

Regards,

Alain

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Very cool, can't wait to see more details. Hopefully they will be compatible with the existing lego track.

I don't think so, looking at the image above, but it is betetr to wait the official release.

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Monai. What do you mean by a 'The profile is a real "vignole" one?' I am pretty sure you are not referring to the island in Venice or the Roman stew which are the only two meaning of the word I am familiar with?

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Monai. What do you mean by a 'The profile is a real "vignole" one?' I am pretty sure you are not referring to the island in Venice or the Roman stew which are the only two meaning of the word I am familiar with?

I beg your pardon but the exact spelling is Vignoles and is refereed to Cahrles Vignoles who first introduced the rail profile used till our days

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Blacker_Vignoles

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Indeed. The thing is that, a bit like for the Walschaerts valve gear, the final 's' got lost somewhere... For instance, in French rail circles, the rail is mentionned as Vignole rail (without the 's')

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Oh, thanks for the link, i was not aware of that term for describing a rail profile. I think we have referred to them as flat bottomed rails here, but they look identical so I assume they are the same thing only designed by Charles Vignoles. You learn something new every day. Thanks again.

Any idea when these rails are going to become available? I had a look at his site and it seems there is a tag for track but at the moment you just get a little Mini-fig railway man with a link to BrickCon2012?

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Does anyone know if these tracks are able to be mounted on baseplates or other plates for ballast and the like?

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I'm not sure what to make of it, it seems a novel idea, but I think it just seems to stray so far away from the TLG's track......

Edited by mikka says

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While this looks rather interesting, I'd be much more excited if he released some kind of Narrow-gauge stuff...

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Most interesting.

This seems to be the LEGO-compatible answer to the O-gauge and larger gauge track construction, where anything goes regarding geometry. Code 250 rails are used in O-gauge and larger gauges than L-gauge so it is the logical choice.

The tile-top parts support a lower level of ballast than the current ways of ballasting sectional track or flexi-track. No need to cover the plastic parts of the track pieces with tiles for artificial sleepers. That said I would like to see the sleepers in DBG (steel) and LBG (concrete) to add to the reddish brown (wood).

I would like to see radii of 88M and 104M. Not sure if alternating 56M and straight ones would squeeze smaller than 112M. I might have to swap each 4th 56M one with a 40M one to get 104M.

Ballast might be tricky, or else bespoke. 1-plate gaps are guaranteed for all sleepers, with extra gaps filled with clip plates, cheeses and the like. A lot more unique combinations of small LEGO parts to fit the geometry. More trickly for tram tracks where a tight fit of the street round the track is desired. Unique ballast part comvinations are fine but it means less mass-production for a layout i.e. difficult to repeat the pattern for a point because beyond standard track pieces no two would be alike, so it would take longer to do them all. Just like a model railway of another scale! The bespoke geometry moves the trade towards sprinkled ballast for LEGO non-purists. I wonder if we could get LEGO granules in bulk - that would keep it pure except for the glue!

I look forward to seeing what sort of station throat arrangements will be possible once custom rail lengths and half-sleepers are applied - any geometry built in O-gauge will be possible! Narrow gauge too - just cut the sleepers in half and butt the outer ends together to get 4-wide track!

Mark

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They look fantastic and well thought out (no surprise there).

It would be nice to also have transition pieces that would allow you to mix the new rails in with Lego track (especially 9v, since you could just jump a one stud gap for PF). I suspect the design is superior for AFOL needs, but I would want to try it on the curves first before I went and replaced all of my straight segments. This approach would allow a user to make the transition over time and then after transitioning, to be able to interface with the lego track (e.g., not everyone in a club has to use one track system or the other).

Just like a model railway of another scale! The bespoke geometry moves the trade towards sprinkled ballast for LEGO non-purists. I wonder if we could get LEGO granules in bulk - that would keep it pure except for the glue!

I look forward to seeing what sort of station throat arrangements will be possible once custom rail lengths and half-sleepers are applied - any geometry built in O-gauge will be possible! Narrow gauge too - just cut the sleepers in half and butt the outer ends together to get 4-wide track!

Mark

Yeah, the incorporated ties are great, but now it is difficult to ballast (I actually like this design better, but others might not). I like your idea Mark, though going one step further, fetch the grinder and convert all of your heavily used Lego parts to ballast (reduce, reuse, recycle). Some folks have already used loose 1x1 plates for ballast, so that would also be an option.

I suspect narrow gauge would require new ties to be easier than gluing rail to tiles. But if the standard gauge sells well enough, perhaps narrow gauge would be in the future.

January should be an interesting month.

Benn

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I hope ME models doesn't give up on their solution because of this. They both are good ways to expand 9V.

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They look fantastic and well thought out (no surprise there).

It would be nice to also have transition pieces that would allow you to mix the new rails in with Lego track (especially 9v, since you could just jump a one stud gap for PF). I suspect the design is superior for AFOL needs, but I would want to try it on the curves first before I went and replaced all of my straight segments. This approach would allow a user to make the transition over time and then after transitioning, to be able to interface with the lego track (e.g., not everyone in a club has to use one track system or the other).

Yeah, I'd also hope for a transition pieces. It seems to me these track pieces are a closer match to the old 4.5v/12v track system, and while combining them is possible, it is a bit tricky...

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I hope ME models doesn't give up on their solution because of this. They both are good ways to expand 9V.

Personally I think ME Models gave up a while ago...

I have a little bit of ME track but doubt I'll ever use it as they've basically never bothered to make more available. My needs will never be for running a 9v loop so I could live with plastic curves, switches etc. I wish ME's track worked with Flex-Track and was still being made but at this point I kind of feel like I've already invested too much in plastic track to replace it all with any other solution.

Here is my current Track Inventory:

=============================

1,444 - Flex Track

7 - Double Crossover

202 - Straight

191 - Curve

2 - 90 Degree Crossing, 9v

13 - Switch, Left

13 - Switch, Right

If the BB Solution doesn't work WITH Lego plastic track there is no way I could buy it unless they are making Flex, Switches, Double Crossovers and 90 Degree Crossings and then only if the price is right and I can be assured that they'll still be selling the track 5 years from now.

Edited by kyphur

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Great news! It will be really interesting to see how the parts can be further customized into curves of any radius, etc.

I agree that selling a few types of adapter pieces between 9V / PF track and the new rails would be worthwhile, perhaps as short sections of straight track. This will enable those who have lots of 9V track to integrate the new curved sections into our existing layouts without needing to invest in a whole new track system right away. I realize this may be tricky from a manufacturing / licensing point of view, but it would be interesting to have some guidance as to how easy this will be to accomplish before purchasing (I don't mind modding my own rails, but sometimes it's nice to have a turn-key solution too).

Looking forward to testing these products in January!

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I agree that selling a few types of adapter pieces between 9V / PF track and the new rails would be worthwhile, perhaps as short sections of straight track. This will enable those who have lots of 9V track to integrate the new curved sections into our existing layouts without needing to invest in a whole new track system right away. I realize this may be tricky from a manufacturing / licensing point of view, but it would be interesting to have some guidance as to how easy this will be to accomplish before purchasing (I don't mind modding my own rails, but sometimes it's nice to have a turn-key solution too).

Indeed, one could resort to surgery: taking apart/cutting a straight piece (or even for that matter a flex piece) and glueing it to a BBB sleeper...

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