Easitrac - Flexible Track & Matching Turnouts
The Easitrac range of products can be split into two - plain line and turnouts.
The plain line components are plastic bases which are threaded onto rail to produce flexible track - see Plain Line below.
Turnouts come as a range of components, a plastic sleeper base, onto which chairs are fixed with butanone solvent. The chairs hold running rails, crossings, wing rails and blades. There is a range of jigs to assemble the rail components - to file the crossing rails to shape, solder them to a crossing, to construct wing rails, and to attach an under-baseboard tiebar to the finished turnout. In addition, standard track gauges are necessary to ensure all rails are correctly positioned. Construction of turnouts requires some attention to detail, and Geoff Jones has written two extensive guides to assist in this work; the first covers Techniques, Tools and Processes used in building Turnouts, the second describes the construction of Turnouts using both pre-milled bases from the Easitrac range and individually located sleepers.
The Turnout Operating Unit has a page of assembly sketches. Note that there has been some discussion on the Virtual Area Group of alternative tie bars which may be simpler to construct.
Easitrac moulded sleepers are available to members from Shop 1. Price is under £0.50 for the sleepers for scale 60ft length (which, when the rail is added, is under £5 per metre of model track). The sleepers are moulded to grip rail, when assembled the track is flexible. Sleepers are available in two types; wooden for bullhead rail and concrete for flat-bottomed rail. Both are illustrated below. The concrete sleepers have very small "clips" which hold the rail, and assembly with a jig is strongly recommended for this type. The wooden sleepers can be assembled without a jig, though the plain line assembly jig does make things considerably easier and quicker.
The sleepers are moulded in groups of six to a sprue, two sprues (24 sleepers) are required to make up a scale 60ft length. To assemble, simply cut rail to length, dress the end of the rail with a file to aid threading into the sleepers (it's important to clean any burrs which might otherwise damage the chairs!). Thread the rail onto the sleeper base. There is an optional jig which helps with both cutting the sleepers from the sprue and with threading the rails.
The sleepers on their moulding sprue
Threading the first rail
Two rails threaded
Optional Jig being used to aid threading rail
Place finished track on the layout, curve to shape, fix down and ballast - job done !
The sleepers are moulded in Acetal. The small webbing pieces to join the sleepers (and give flexibility) are half-height so buried by ballast.