Tenmille & LGB track compatibility

L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
23
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Newbie question for you.
Reading through a lot of forum posts I came across a reference to Tenmille track and found this on their website:

135122_ec4f4a8826fa88346956a79203360e4e.png


I can see they supply adaptors for LGB but is the end result any good or should I stick with LGB and Aristocraft?

All replies gratefully received.
Les.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,822
595
Tamworth, Staffs.
Opinion worth what you are paying for it! ;)

I would suggest for ease of supply, cost and availability (especially second-hand) stick with LGB, Aristocraft, and Piko (that is not Peco). Trainline45 is another make you may come across.

As you can see form the Tenmille advert, the rail is not quite the same, so you really need the adaptors to join the two makes together. - an extra 'faff' when you are starting out.

Certainly initially, I would stick to pre-formed track sections.. You will have less problems, and they should fit together more easily.
In six months time, when you perhaps have a better idea of how (if) you want to model a certain period / nationality / style, then you may want to think again.
 
AlanL

AlanL

Registered
1 Mar 2016
43
4
Northampton
Many years ago I built my first oval of track for my son, well that was my excuse ! It was about 12 ft long and was all LGB track. When it came to extending the line to go all around the garden the cost saving of Tenmille track was significant compared to LGB. As it was a single track line gently winding around the garden, flexible track was also an attraction.
So, many metres of Tenmille track were purchased and I had a simple line meandering around the garden. The Tenmille track being a thinner section, is easier to bend and made a pleasing appearance winding through the plants and shrubs. The end result was good and the connection to LGB was not a problem.

The connection to the LGB track required a single adaptor on one rail at each connection to the LGB track. The LGB fish-plate is squeezed enough to hold the thinner Tenmille rail. That was simple enough.

A year or so later I decided to add a station with a passing loop and siding. That required 3 points and all had to use 9 adaptors to fit the Tenmille rail. I am not sure if this was the time to move away from Tenmille or if it was at the next addition of points etc. But slowly the Tenmille was being replaced with LGB compatible rail. Even when I didn't need to replace the Tenmille track I have replaced it.

All of my flexible track (and straight track) is now Trainline 45, and I can recommend it if you want to use flexible track.
The only downside to some is that it uses screwed track clamps. To me they are unobtrusive and allow the track and points to be lifted easily for maintainance. I remove the fish-plates from the points and use clamps on them also to allow the points to be lifted. As a side note, I curved the track by hand (carefully), no rail bender was used.

So my suggestion would be to stick with LGB compatible rail simply because it is easier to add points etc. You wont regret it as your line expands.

Alan
 
SevenOfDiamonds

SevenOfDiamonds

Registered
3 Jan 2010
95
19
is the end result any good
When I laid out my garden line some 20 years ago, I used Tenmille G-Scale ** track and points. As a sizeable order (100 yards plus 6 points), I went to the factory to pick it up. Most of my line continues to be Tenmille.

As I made alterations (new junction, addition of a passing loop, etc.), I tended to buy LGB track (available locally) and used the "crimped LGB joiner" method where the two different rail profiles met. The Tenmille track that was released all got reused in storage sidings. As those "crimped joiners" became unreliable I have replaced them with standard track clamps (Hillman, designed for LGB rail) letting in a short length of copper wire, stripped from mains cable, to give a tight fit on the narrower Tenmille rail. That has proved to be reliable.

The only shortcoming I have encountered with Tenmille equipment is that their points don't have the rigidity of LGB points. They are fine if laid on a perfectly flat surface but are likely to cause problems if the ground is uneven, or becomes uneven with the movement of the earth in different weather conditions (I'm on clay!).

I have no plans to extend my current line, but a house-move may be "in the offing" so I have been acquiring second-hand Tenmille G-Scale track "just in case". I never recommend anything to anyone (for fear of your experience and expectations being different from mine), but some might consider that these continuing purchases as a "recommendation" for Tenmille track.

This is my experience. As others have said, it's an opinion that's worth exactly what you paid for it!

All the best

David

** I stress "G-Scale" as Tenmille also make Gauge 1 track - same gauge but a shallower rail profile, that won't suit G-Scale flanges. There's a "Tenmille G-Scale point" on eBay at present that is actually Gauge 1!
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,639
191
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Yes, Tenmille code 332 can be mixed with LGB and its clones (same rail height) - However, you will require their plastic track adaptors, with brass strip liners, to connect. So, there maybe longterm conductivity issues unless you bond the rail ends (solder jump leads) or clamp. If using track clamps you will require special "Hillman" type clamps that will only conect Tenmille to Tenmille code 332, difficult to find now - the rail cross sections and the Tenmillle's flatbottom is narrower than LGB's. There are no clamps that will connect Tenmille to LGB on a mix and match basis. Sleeper appearance is different from LGB. If you are using a track bender you will need different profile "roller wheels" to bend the rails.

Otherwise a good emergency product if no LGB type available or you layout has minimal needs to acheive any desired configurations. Max
 
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SevenOfDiamonds

SevenOfDiamonds

Registered
3 Jan 2010
95
19
If using track clamps you will require special "Hillman" type clamps that will only conect Tenmille to Tenmille code 332, difficult to find now - the rail cross sections and the Tenmillle's flathead base is narrower than LGB's. There are no clamps that will connect Tenmille to LGB on a mix and match basis.
I agree that Hillman's 332-01TM track clamps are "difficult to find" (maybe even impossible!). If anyone has any, I'd like to buy them (or swap for clamps that fit LGB rail).

But, as I wrote above, you can successfully clamp Tenmille rail to LGB rail (or even Tenmille rail to Tenmille rail) using standard Hillman-type clamps for LGB rail . . . by inserting a thickish copper wire against the foot of the Tenmille rail before you tighten it. This method has been reliable for me over (so far) a two-year period.

All the best

David
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,822
595
Tamworth, Staffs.
But, as I wrote above, you can successfully clamp Tenmille rail to LGB rail (or even Tenmille rail to Tenmille rail) using standard Hillman-type clamps for LGB rail . . . by inserting a thickish copper wire against the foot of the Tenmille rail before you tighten it. This method has been reliable for me over (so far) a two-year period.
To allay my curiosity, does the length of wire go on the inside, or the outside of the rail? - I assume the outside, as the inner faces must match-up?
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,639
191
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Hillman's 332-01TM track clamps are "difficult to find" (maybe even impossible!). If anyone has any, I'd like to buy them (or swap for clamps that fit LGB rail).

I have a spare pair left over. Only too happy to swap :) Max
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Phase 1 complete, roll on Phase 2
23 Feb 2018
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I would have thought the Hillman type with the split jaw would work, as long as the solid piece in on the inside of the rail, the jaws will clamp to the appropriate thickness of track.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
23
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Thanks for your replies.
Further delving into the forum archives reveals quite a few posts about the merits (or otherwise) of Tenmille track.
PhilP mentioned PIKO track, something I hadn't considered and this seems to be priced more favourably than some of the others available, so I may be using this in lieu of the LGB.


Les.
 
ge_rik

ge_rik

British narrow gauge (esp. Southwold and W&LLR)
24 Oct 2009
9,649
220
Cheshire
www.riksrailway.blogspot.com
I have a mix of LGB, Tenmille, Aristo, Trainline and Piko track. At first I faffed around with LGB to Tenmille adaptors, but eventually found that Tenmille track would happily fit into LGB fishplates. At that time, I was using track power and so bonded all rail joints with soldered jumper leads, regardless of which track was mated with which.

I've not tried Tenmille pointwork, so cannot comment, but I certainly would have no qualms about buying more Tenmille Flexi track if I was going to extend my railway.

135136_648bf3b5e6237e6ad07df87414961b3d.jpg


Rik
 
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L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
23
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
I have a mix of LGB, Tenmille, Aristo, Trainline and Piko track. At first I faffed around with LGB to Tenmille adaptors, but eventually found that Tenmille track would happily fit into LGB fishplates. At that time, I was using track power and so bonded all rail joints with soldered jumper leads, regardless of which track was mated with which.

I've not tried Tenmille pointwork, so cannot comment, but I certainly would have no qualms about buying more Tenmille Flexi track if I was going to extend my railway.

View attachment 257988

Rik
Thanks for your input, as you're no doubt aware I'm still close to the bottom of my learning curve but this forum is full of great advice.
By the way, I think your blog is excellent!
Les.
 
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maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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191
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Be aware, as you are considering it, that while Piko and LGB code 332 track systems are perfectly compatible (as are Trainline's, Bachmann's, USAT's, Aristocraft's, Accucraft's and some others similar brass rail systems ) their radius numbering system is not, e.g. LGB R3 is a Piko R5. There are various anomalies in the different makes track geometries.

With regards to the idea of crimping an LGB fishplate to mate a Tenmille code 332 rails to it is risking almost certain electrical conductivity issues in the long term unless you bond the rails as ge-rik says. Problem is if you bond the rails and you are just starting out, with a layout that is bound to evolve, you are into a lot of work separating track sections, reorganising and rationalising your track stock and then rebonding it. Something to do when you have the finished article perhaps.

I bought 4.5 metres of Tenmille code 332 and their sleeper pack about 12 years ago. It is still down but I never bought any more because of the issues I have described. Most of my line is in full or semi shade and due to the damp UK climate and is prone to the brass tarnishing issues that can cause voltage drop outs, these have required remedial work with the application of track clamps and a good dose of graphite paste as a corrosion inhibitor at all the track joins. Max
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,822
595
Tamworth, Staffs.
Les,
Whatever rail you end-up using..

Use a little of the 'conductive grease' (which isn't actually conductive) or something like Copaslip (used to stop brake-squeal, or parts seizing. on cars).. Clean the ends of the rail (especially if second-hand, put 'half a pea' of grease in the end of the joiner, and make sure they are fairly tight.

The grease stops air/moisture getting into the joint. So stopping the metal tarnishing, giving you a bad joint.

If you go battery, this is not strictly necessary, but having the option for visitors, is a nice touch.

PhilP.
 
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Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
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Royston
Instead of bonding each track directly, how about soldering fly leads to each track and usi some discrete connectors to join them, makes it a lot easier to change your layout, and you can do the soldering on the bench rather than on your hands and knees
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,185
539
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Instead of bonding each track directly, how about soldering fly leads to each track and usi some discrete connectors to join them, makes it a lot easier to change your layout, and you can do the soldering on the bench rather than on your hands and knees
Good suggestion, problem is that the wire tends to tarnish so after time they become tricky for rejoining and having good connectivity without some cleaning up of the wire joints. Not easy with Multi Strand Cable.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,639
191
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
I use fly leads bonded to the rails to fit simple manual track isolator switches ( x 3) and as a "backstop" where I have a lift out bridge with the rails sitting in Hillman bridge clamps. There I use the mini "choc block" pin connectors bonded to the rails. My line's power leads though are attached via clamps.

All these have been fitted fairly late in my layouts evolution and are in what might be considered "fixed" locations. But as Jon says, while providing an extra path for the current it's also another place for corrosion to occur and create extra complications for the future. I try and follow the KISS principle. Max

Bridge connectors
135146_355263e5e5b29f9d4233f42960c265ba.jpg


Track isolator switch
135148_9b91c40c0006773321702b3aaabe1c8a.jpg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,185
539
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I use fly leads bonded to the rails to fit simple manual track isolator switches ( x 3) and as a "backstop" where I have a lift out bridge with the rails sitting in Hillman bridge clamps. There I use the mini "choc block" pin connectors bonded to the rails. My line's power leads though are attached via clamps.

All these have been fitted fairly late in my layouts evolution and are in what might be considered "fixed" locations. But as Jon says, while providing an extra path for the current it's also another place for corrosion to occur and create extra complications for the future. I try and follow the KISS principle. Max

Bridge connectors
View attachment 257993

Track isolator switch
View attachment 257994
Actually thinking further on this, if the wire is pre soldered or tinned if you like with as much into the wire covering as possible tinned the corrosion issue is resolved and as Max has shown choc boxes will work. Sadly though many of the cheep Chinese ones produced these days do tend to rust either with the screw or the screw holes or both.