Plastic track

M

Markrider

Registered
24 Jan 2019
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Kent
Hi all so I'm.totaky new to garden railways and just getting up to speed with everything .
So track I have seen plastic track on eBay seems cheap compared but is it any good . Has anyone got it used it ? Pros /cons ?
I will be running battery straight from the start.
Thanks
Mark
 
ebay mike

MOTM

ebay mike

Registered
6 Dec 2011
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Norfolk
There are several different makes available Mark. While the G scale ones all share the same 45mm gauge the rail joiners/fishplates differ and are not necessarily compatible. I expect with a bit of work they could be made to fit but if you're going in that direction I would advise sticking to one brand. Research on the product's inherent strength and suitability for outside use is a must.
 
P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
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Sounds as if you've seen some Playmobil plastic track. I've used it outside with my Playmobil RC trains and had no problems. Over time it sometimes goes grey but doesn't crack or breakup. You really need the track connectors and you don't alwayss get these when you buy off eBay. You can also pay more on eBay than buying new track from Playmobil, altjough the worsening pound is maybe making this less likely.

As a guide, you can buy a box of 12 straights with connectors or a box of 12 curves with connectors from Playmobil Direct Service for £40.50 or £3.38 a length with free postage. This link goes to the page:

Accessories PLAYMOBIL® United Kingdom
 
M

Markrider

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Oh wow I didnt know they done track and were still about. Had those as a kid.
So Mike what different plastic tracks are there . Any links

Has anyone else used the playmobile track ?. Is it worth it ?
Thanks
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,452
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North Essex
If the track you've seen on eBay looks more like "normal" track (rails and sleepers), rather than the all-in-one moulded track and roadbed of the Playmobil track, then chances are that it is most probably some of the Chinese-made Newqida (sometimes also sold under the "Train" brand). The Newqida stuff is OK for the price, it is usually moulded in brown plastic, its biggest disadvantage is the very small number of different pieces available - basically straights, Radius 1 (4 foot diameter circle) curves and left and right hand Radius 1 points. If you're planning just a small layout with short (4 or 6 wheel) locos and short rolling stock, then it's quite useable, but for anything more extensive - and for larger locos and rolling stock where you will want large curve radii and larger radius points - it's not much use.

There are a few other plastic track makes out there, including other Chinese made stuff sold under various names like New Ray, New Bright etc, and LGB themselves made some black plastic track a long time ago for their early battery-powered starter sets (do beware of that - the plastic gets VERY brittle with age), but as Mike says above most of them are not compatible with the connectors of the others - which is a problem because the connectors are usually moulded as an integral part of the rail-end and can't easily be substituted; they also all suffer the same fundamental problem as the Newqida, in that you can only get tight Radius 1 curves and points.

Personally, even if you're running battery only, I would invest in some well-used second-hand brass track - you won't be worrying about electrical continuity or clean rails, but the track itself will last almost forever.....

Jon.
 
M

Markrider

Registered
24 Jan 2019
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0
44
Kent
If the track you've seen on eBay looks more like "normal" track (rails and sleepers), rather than the all-in-one moulded track and roadbed of the Playmobil track, then chances are that it is most probably some of the Chinese-made Newqida (sometimes also sold under the "Train" brand). The Newqida stuff is OK for the price, it is usually moulded in brown plastic, its biggest disadvantage is the very small number of different pieces available - basically straights, Radius 1 (4 foot diameter circle) curves and left and right hand Radius 1 points. If you're planning just a small layout with short (4 or 6 wheel) locos and short rolling stock, then it's quite useable, but for anything more extensive - and for larger locos and rolling stock where you will want large curve radii and larger radius points - it's not much use.

There are a few other plastic track makes out there, including other Chinese made stuff sold under various names like New Ray, New Bright etc, and LGB themselves made some black plastic track a long time ago for their early battery-powered starter sets (do beware of that - the plastic gets VERY brittle with age), but as Mike says above most of them are not compatible with the connectors of the others - which is a problem because the connectors are usually moulded as an integral part of the rail-end and can't easily be substituted; they also all suffer the same fundamental problem as the Newqida, in that you can only get tight Radius 1 curves and points.

Personally, even if you're running battery only, I would invest in some well-used second-hand brass track - you won't be worrying about electrical continuity or clean rails, but the track itself will last almost forever.....

Jon.
Thanks for the info that's great
Sounds like I have to look for brass track its going to be about 30 odd meters eventually . So just need to find 2ndhand track source :)thanks

Mark
 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
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Idaho
The cheapest plastic track will break if you step on it and will deteriorate outside in the sun. Playmobil plastic track has an advertisement with a bicycle riding over it outdoors, demonstrating it's durability. You can walk on it with no problems (It seems to have nail holes so that you can secure it in place without requiring the connectors). You can change the radius of playmobil track with some effort:
but you would be limited to 2 kinds of switches and one kind of crossing unless you found some rare or custom adapters. LGB brass track has an advertisement with a car driving over it, showing it more durable still. You might come across steel alloy track, but what I have seen is not designed for outdoors, so the plastic sleepers could deteriorate and might brake if you step on it.
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
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........ LGB brass track has an advertisement with a car driving over it, showing it more durable still. .......

One of the early LGB advertising campaigns, back in the late '60s and early '70s, showed a real live elephant standing on some LGB track.... the track was just fine, hope the elephant didn't hurt its foot..... ;)

Jon.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,452
33
North Essex
Thanks for the info that's great
Sounds like I have to look for brass track its going to be about 30 odd meters eventually . So just need to find 2ndhand track source :)thanks

Mark
Best sources are eBay (but watch out for chancers asking high prices!), or some of the established dealers and shops - GRS usually have a good selection of second-hand track bundles, for example. Expect to pay something between £3 per foot for grubby and well-weathered track, up to about £5 per foot for stuff that looks almost new. If a second hand seller is asking a lot more than that, you're up in the price range of brand new track anyway. If you want to buy new, then Top Slots'n'Trains are very competitively priced for Piko track, but there are plenty of other suppliers about too.

LGB, Piko, Aristocraft, Trainline45 and Accucraft/AMS are all almost totally compatible in terms of joining together easily, though the geometry of various curves and points can vary between brands, as can the colours of the sleeper mouldings and the brass rails themselves. My own line has a mix of track from all of those manufacturers, all connected with Massoth railclamps - but that's because I'm primarily using track power DCC and need good continuity.

Jon.
 
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playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
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North Yorks
The cheapest plastic track will break if you step on it and will deteriorate outside in the sun. Playmobil plastic track has an advertisement with a bicycle riding over it outdoors, demonstrating it's durability. You can walk on it with no problems (It seems to have nail holes so that you can secure it in place without requiring the connectors). You can change the radius of playmobil track with some effort:
but you would be limited to 2 kinds of switches and one kind of crossing unless you found some rare or custom adapters. LGB brass track has an advertisement with a car driving over it, showing it more durable still. You might come across steel alloy track, but what I have seen is not designed for outdoors, so the plastic sleepers could deteriorate and might brake if you step on it.
But NEVER walk on Playmobil track without shoes on - it HURTS!
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

Railways, Aviation, Caravanning....
26 Oct 2009
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Cambridgeshire
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I have some Bachmann plastic track which mates up to LGB, but I only use in in my 'Depot', a couple of storage boxes which I keep 3 freight trains ready to hook up to a loco for a quick running session.

It has curves as well as straights lengths which I'm using.

Difficult to find these days though....
 
P

playmofire

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There is a very rare adaptor which allows Playmobil plastic track to connect with LGB.
 
stockers

stockers

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I would suggest you really need to think about what you want your railway to be in a couple of years time. If you just want to run a train on the patio a few time then the cheapest track out there may be suitable. If you have plans for a more permanent railway, maybe with bigger diameter curves (go as large as you can fit) and two or three locos (or 25) then scrimping now will probably lead to disappointment.
 
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Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
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Perhaps not your best option to purchase in your area but below is the range available for Newqida
Hammonds Toys

I doubt it will last a long time though.
 
Xav204

Xav204

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26 Jul 2017
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Marseille FRANCE
There is a very rare adaptor which allows Playmobil plastic track to connect with LGB.
Hello,

Currently there is this rare adaptor to be sold on Ebay France

119441_4c20e9a0e7cbc1063c705d52946a64fb.png
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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That unit appears to have black and red wires in the bag... .also the description says "remote control"

There's no remote control or wires in the plastic adapter to connect track together.

So I would say that no they are not the same....

Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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