Peco track bending

  • Thread starter Tropic Blunder1
  • Start date
#1
Hi all I'm looking for some advice on peco track. After using brass 332 rail for years I've happened across a quantity of Peco code 250 track. I'm wondering how you all do corners? do you use a rail bender? I've bent the track to the curves I want and it looks great but as i fettle it it always returns back to being straight again! Any help is appreciated, I know some people screw theirs down to boards which I've done in the past too but I'm really trying to avoid burying any wood in the ground because of the rot that'll inevitably happen.

Cheers
Jake
 
royale

royale

G scale and driving my Royale Sabre kit car
26 Oct 2009
1,530
44
Long Eaton
#2
Jake - My Peco 250 code track has been curved by muscle power ( no track bender) and most of it floats freely in ballast, just like the real thing. It's been down now about sixteen years and has given no problems. Some of it has been walked on and suffered no damage and in all those years I have only had to replace about a dozen rail joiners. If you curve your track and then join it to the next piece of track, it should stay curved - I've not had the problem of it straightening out again once it is in position. You will probably have to cut some of the webbing between the sleepers to allow it to be more easily curved - some of this between the sleepers may also have to be removed - depends on how long and/or sharp your curves are.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,511
3,131
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#3
I managed to get a second hand Massoth Rail Bender with Peco Code 250 Rollers many years ago at Garden Railway Specialists. Must have lucked out on the price as most mirtals would want 332 rollers.

In truth a Bender is not the hardest thing in the world to make. Just 3 turned rollers, 2 of them in permanent position the other movable on a grooved slot with a screw. Just make it good and beefy. You could use Nuts Bolts and Washers to make the Rollers if you do not have access to a Lathe.
 
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
Staff member
GSC Moderator
24 Oct 2009
25,278
3,611
60
Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
#4
I suppose it depends on how tight you want your curves to be. Unless you pre bend it to some extend, screwing it down would seem to be a necessity.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
22,954
3,092
North West Norfolk
#5
I bought a load of code 332 flexi track - pre-curved when I needed to straighten most of it out a bit. It came with a rail bender which I never really got on with.

The trouble with belly-bending is that you don't necessarily manage to bend the ends of the rail lengths, so you have to be careful when bending these by muscle power to keep a steady curve.

Needless to say, my track is not perfect and has the odd kink in places, but then what would you expect of a backwoods narrow gauge line :cool::cool:
 
G-force1

G-force1

Prevarication Rules!
4 Aug 2015
3,072
1,152
North Middle Earth
#6
I suppose it depends on how tight you want your curves to be. Unless you pre bend it to some extend, screwing it down would seem to be a necessity.
Alan is somewhere near right, the amount of bend is somewhat critical, but the biggest problem is not the middle of the length, but the ends. I made myself a simple Jim-Crow. It's a little fiddly, but as it's only the ends, and usually only the inside rail is enough, it's not too bad.

I use Peco G45 Flexi-track (code 250) exclusively.


107870_589246d232a287df37d86efdda169abb.jpg


Late Edit! As with all metal it is necessary to 'over-bend' it so it returns to the radius that you require. How much over? Judgement, and trial and error.
 
Last edited:
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
2,122
758
55
Royston
#7
As it happens I asked the same questions to some friends today! Getting the ends to bend and join without kinks is not the easiest thing to do. Apparently removing the track from the sleepers and carefully bending to shape by hand is a good move. Make sure the track is oiled to make it easier to slide the sleepers back.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
22,954
3,092
North West Norfolk
#8
As it happens I asked the same questions to some friends today! Getting the ends to bend and join without kinks is not the easiest thing to do. Apparently removing the track from the sleepers and carefully bending to shape by hand is a good move. Make sure the track is oiled to make it easier to slide the sleepers back.
Yes, we probably all should had mentioned that, in order to use a rail bender, you need to remove sleepers :snooze::snooze::snooze:
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,511
3,131
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#10
You don't with a Jim-Crow. :rock::rock:
Neither do you with a Massoth Rail Bender, both rails are sone at the same time. Do like the Jim Crow may make one for future use.
 
#11
ill have another crack at bending it without the sleepers again, this is the track in question as you can see definitely not super tight! thanks guys
 

Attachments

PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,275
2,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
#12
Have you cut any of the webs? - The plastic bits joining the sleepers under the rail??

You will have to cut some of them on the outside of the curve, and remove some of them on the inside of the curve, else the track will definitely try to straighten itself.

You will also need some support under your track formation.. I fear there will be quite a bit of settlement towards the front of that border? :think:
 
G-force1

G-force1

Prevarication Rules!
4 Aug 2015
3,072
1,152
North Middle Earth
#13
I've found no need to cut the under-ties (webs) with that small amount of bend.

From the look of that you are not 'over-bending' enough. All metal has an element of 'spring back' so you need to exceed that to get it to stay where you want it.

Technically it's called its 'elastic limit' and can be calculated, if you are of a mind, by using Young's Modulus of Elasticity . . . . . o_Oo_O:shake::shake:

Just bend it more than you need, and help it to settle back! :nod::nod::nod::nod:
 
Last edited:
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
Staff member
GSC Moderator
24 Oct 2009
25,278
3,611
60
Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
#14
It looks like you might need a firmer foundation with a lot of grit in it. I doubt the bare earth will grip the track very well and the weeds will soon grow.
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
2,122
758
55
Royston
#15
I've found no need to cut the under-ties (webs) with that small amount of bend.

From the look of that you are not 'over-bending' enough. All metal has an element of 'spring back' so you need to exceed that to get it to stay where you want it.

Technically it's called its 'elastic limit' and can be calculated, if you of a mind, by using Young's Modulus of Elasticity . . . . . o_Oo_O:shake::shake:

Just bend it more than you need, and help it to settle back! :nod::nod::nod::nod:
Elastic Limit? That'a bit of a stretch for my basic education
 
#16
Definitely more work to be done, need to build a few retaining walls and place some big rocks, ive just put half a meter of soil on to make the yard level and it really needs quite a bit more if im honest before i can plant more and mulch it.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
1,994
514
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
#17
If you think Peco track is hard to bend, try bending 332 stainless!

Anyway, I use rail clamps that clear my bender and I bend across the joint, thus ensuring the bend gets to the ends of the rail sections.

Greg