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Gauge 3 Track Length

Started by Terry, Nov 08 2015 22:19

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I was recently at the Exeter Show. As with many shows, various scale groups run circular exhibition layouts.

I was stood in front of the Gauge 1 stand as a couple of good examples of British pattern rolling stock came rushing through.  The thing I noticed was the (clickty clack, clickty clack), you know the rhythmic, to scale sound of rolling stock over the joints.  Also the Dopler Effect as the train moved into the distance.

My question is:  At an average main line, goods running scale speed, what ever this may be. What distance would joints or small cuts to create grooves need to be made in the track, to recreate this sound.
What lengths were the old BR stretches of rail laid in, before the now virtually seamless track of today.

At 13mm to the foot, I could calculate MPH to scale.

I wonder do any of you place a small nicks in your rails to recreate this sound, on your own garden layouts.  Is it effective.

Over to the forum


Real track used 60ft lengths for many years, I think from at least the early 1900s until well into BR days.  A (very) rough calculation suggests that yard or metre lengths would be about right.



Hi Terry/

while I can't 'speak' for post-nationalisation BR, in 1929 the GWR replaced 45' rail lengths with 60' as a new standard. Having said that, this would have first been done on main lines, the displaced 45' lengths probably going to branch lines and sidings; one of my Didcot friends who worked for Network Rail also pointed out there were still some 30' lengths in some long abandoned sidings.

As for filing nicks in track to represent shorter rail lengths; it is something I plan to do on the Blagdon & Pensford Light Railway - - - one-day.

Ian the Gauge '3' Pirate