Re: Wiring a Helix for DCC

Vollrath, Don <don.vollrath@...>

A good alternate is to use typical slip-joint type rail joiners with a slight gap in the rails to allow for track-bed movement. Firmly anchor the ties on both sides of each rail joint to help prevent any kinking. Then add an electrical feeder to every section of rail not soldered to another rail with an electrical feeder to the power sub-bus to ensure there will never be any discontinuity.




From: [] On Behalf Of John Cahill
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2018 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Wiring a Helix for DCC


I see where Don is coming from and how that would work. I used plywood and it doesn’t move noticeably even with significant temperature changes. 

Best Regards,


On 8 Jun 2018, at 13:28, Timothy Holmes <taholmes160@...> wrote:

Im listening to this discussion closely, as I am about to begin construction of a helix




On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 7:57 AM Brian Eiland <railandsail@...> wrote:

One nail per helix turn sounds like far to little in a helix spiral? Did you perhaps mean one nail per 36" section of track?? .....Even that sounds questionable.





On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 10:17 PM, Don Vollrath <donevol43@...> wrote:

Yes Brian. It is the roadbed that contracts and expands far more so than the metal rail. When the roadbed shrinks and there is no place like a gap at rail joints for the rail to slide into it can force a kink to occur. If you have neatly nailed down flextrack in multiple places the rials will kink and make wave-like curves between the nails. So in a multi-turn helix one might be better off soldering all rail joints but only securing the track with one nail per helix turn. Now you will not notice the change in roadbed dimension as the track, ties and all, will move ever so slightly.





San Luis and Rio Grande

Join to automatically receive all group messages.