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Track Mix

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#1 TheBrickster


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Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:09 PM

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Track Mix

Grey, Bley, & Metal Rails - How Do You Mix Your Train Track?

Classic Blue Shunter 7760 is riding along the the metal rails of Train Town.  Modified with a 9V motor, the shunter reduces speed before a whistle is heard.  CLICK! A switchtrack moves the shunter toward another set of tracks, this time bley from the World City and Harry Potter Express collection.  Meanwhile, a beautiful Emerald Express steams into the station along non-metal rails with a busy Cargo Train Deluxe working in the background.  Perhaps even a row of 12V track can be found in the fuel yards as it collects dust from an older era of Lego Trains.  It's a great day in Train Town, for the many engines of the Train Theme.

Blue track, grey track, metal, bley... new R/C track in dark grey.
Lay the track and build your town, too many colors, you might frown.
How do you arrange the track? Mix it up and put it back?
Lego's made it hard, you might find, but all is worth it, don't you mind.

With lots of options for the train fans and collectors of trains through various track eras, how do you mix your train track?
Do you build a single 9V layout for all your trains including R/C?
Do you run a 12V line and a 9V on the same table?
Are you connecting R/C track with an existing 9V layout?
Do you combine old grey with new bley 9V track?

So many track choices, how do you arrange your track layouts?

#2 Matn


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Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:44 PM

I only use 9V tracks and I don't think I ever will change that system. My collection of tracks mostly consists of dark grey tracks, but of course like you said the Hogwarts Express brought my first bley tracks in. And last year I have bought a great batch of new straight tracks, but they were bley. Some time ago I didn't like mixing bley with grey, but who cares? In my LEGO creations I mostly mix the two. But train tracks are something different, I like to keep everything that's in sight dark grey. So the tracks in the back (when layed against a wall) are bley or the tracks that ride behind houses or in a mountain are bley. The tracks you can see are mostly dark grey, the others are bley. I don't like mixing the two in a train layout, but I have to if I want to make a decent layout.
And I will do this also whenever I get the space for a big town with a train layout.

#3 Modulex Guy

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 05:17 PM

I only use 9v track in old grey with 9v trains, I dont own any R/C or PF trains (yet). I never really liked the dark bley tracks.
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#4 legotrainfan


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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:03 PM

Apart from two straight, bley RC tracks, I only own 9V tracks. Apart from two switches plus the two curves that came with them, all of my 9V tracks are old dark grey. I also have Railway Station 7824, a 12V set. I bought it second hand from eBay. The straight 12V tracks were not included in the auction. So I don't have a layout with many different track types. However, since 9V tracks - especially the straights - have become rare, I'll be forced to add bley 9V straights sooner or later, I fear.

As for the two straight RC tracks, I wanted to test them on short-circuited layouts to overcome that problem. I have never tried it though. I think it's bad for the motor when it moves at full speed and is then, for the length of one straight track, not supplied with electricity any more. I know that two motors connected with an electric wire could solve that problem, but I don't want to equip all my engines with two motors. Now I sometimes use the two RC straights as the final track pieces of sidings.
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#5 Klaus-Dieter


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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:19 PM

That's a great and very interesting topic, TheBrickster! :thumbup:

For me the choice is very simple:
Since money lacks everywhere and train sets are next to big exclusvie (City) sets the most expensive sets anyway, I only own the awesome Metroliner (Legend version) (and the Classic Train - but I only use it for Western). And so it's even very clear for which system I go at the moment: 9 V.
(Without force) I will never part with the lovely Metroliner and so I will even add it to my final City layout even if I until then perhaps had some PF trains.
I plan to buy the City TRU Exclusive in next summer/fall which very supposably will be an elevated train. I'll then add it to my City center. So I'll have in my final City layout a mixture of 9 V tracks and PF/RC tracks anyway. But I think that the different systems (9 V and PF) will even get their own track circles since 1. a mixture in the same circle looks imo strange and 2. PF/RC tracks are much cheaper than 9 V tracks (so why should the PF trains run on 9 V tracks?!).

But I think that 9 V tracks and PF/RC tracks fit passably whereas imo the blue tracks really don't go with the grey tracks.


Edited by Klaus-Dieter, 18 July 2009 - 09:22 PM.

#6 Davey


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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:14 AM

Great topic Brickster!   :thumbup: :thumbup:  

I currently own primarily 9V track in Dark Gray and Dark Bley.  I probably own about equal amounts of the two colors and just mix and match.  Since we ballast all of our track, I really don't notice the color difference.  When I wasn't ballasting, the mixing of the colors did get to me a little bit.  I think that was part of what drove Stacy and I to ballast our whole layout.

I also have some 4.5V track from the #7720 set I have.  Someday I might do a 4.5V loop on our layout just for nostalgia.  We'll see!  I did convert the #7720 engine to 9V and will be posting pictures here soon...like maybe tomorrow.

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#7 Captain Zuloo

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:40 AM

I only have 9v, but I do have different colours in it. Not because I choose it to be the case, but it's near impossible to get 9v track for a reasonable price now-days, so I jump at any opportunity to get a good 9v deal regardless of the colour. Although I did just win an auction for old grey 50 straights and 4 points (2 left, 2 right). My dark bley straights are usually in the shunting yard or under rolling stock so as not to be seen.

Tops topic too TheBrickster, well dont thinking of it - it's an interesting read! :classic:

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#8 no_skill


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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:46 PM

Given my lust for never ending expansion and the now difficult & expensive prospects of doing so with 9v track, I have begun using RC track for sidings that are mostly static.  This frees up some 9v track to use where it matters most.  I don't put much thought into segregating gray vs. bley track, however.

#9 DaCheese


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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:34 AM

Remember that on real railways that the colour of the sleepers used can vary due to different types, age, weather exposure and more. Personally I'd be inclined to not worry too much about track colour as provided you put together track in reasonable lengths of one colour it's not unrealistic and is perhaps more realistic. This is Lego though, not real life, so the choice is yours!

Having only just started with Lego trains a month or two ago all of my track is RC or flexible. Due to the rough riding you get on flexi, I try to use as little as possible.

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