In the area group I attend of the Scalefour Society, we’ve all agreed that this winter is a chance to build test tracks. There were two of us who already had test tracks to be inspired by, and there are five or so under construction (including this one!).
Having enjoyed building locos so far, and being aware that a layout is a big thing to have to hand (mine are stored when not in use at the moment), I was keen to join in and build a test track.
The design follows the track Richard Dunning uses, with a 3’6″ reverse curve to challenge the chassis of a loco, and a straight track to observe the chassis working in a stress free way.
Mine is 300mm x 1200mm in surface dimensions, and I’ve used exactoscale track components to lay the track out.
There is bracing underneath, and a batten all around, to provide protection to the track, and stop things rolling off.
I’ve provided some 00 track to rest a Kadee coupler jig on, arranged so that the rail levels are the same height. That way the proportions the jig checks for will remain the wagons I use, and if I convert RTR stock, the NEM coupler pockets will work as-is (if I wish).
Electrical wiring is above the surface, so that anyone using the board (including me after time away!) will be able to see at a glance how the rails are powered. I’ve provided 4 terminals, so the tracks can be powered by independent controllers if I wish. I don’t know if I will use it much like that, but it gives me a convenient way to use the regular and programming outputs of my DCC controller.
More details are on the Scalefour Forum.