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How to make a Tomy Parail train crossing track

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  • How to make a Tomy Parail train crossing track

    Hey guys, I know this is kind of silly compared to the awesome work a lot of you do, but at least one person showed some interest in a how-to of this project so I made another one. It will actually be cool to have two train crossings in the same layout. No need for a bridge or overpass then...
    Well here goes:
    The first thing I did was to remove the rails from a standard Artin straight. Then I clipped and trimmed all the extraneous plastic within the middle sections on the underside.

    The trimming was necessary to accommodate three pieces of 3/16 inch plywood cut to a snug fit and glued into place, making the whole middle section of the track "solid".

    I then marked the centers of the train "rails" for routing in the next step.

    I set up my router table with a 1/4 inch straight cutting bit set just to the depth of the Plarail track groove. Then with the top side of the track facing down, using the mitre gauge for stability, I routed two grooves, one at each mark. They happened to be 1 inch apart. I would have liked to use the router tables fence, but the uneven ends of the track made that impossible. The track did wander slightly as it was pulled by the router bit, but the two grooves remained parallel, so no big deal. After testing the grooves with a train I had to go back and widen one of the grooves a bit to accommodate the wider rear wheels of the train engines.

    With a pencil I used the male end of a train track to trace the lines for cutting the female receiving end into both sides of the slot car track. This necessitates the use of a male to male adapter somewhere in the train track layout, but Tomy does make those, and I have several of them.

    At my scroll saw I cut made the cuts leaving the line for a nice snug fit. If more room is needed then a file would do the job.

    After connecting the pieces together I used a chisel to ease the edges at the corners of the slot car track to make smooth transitions for the trains as they cross.

    Next I masked off the train crossing and gave it 2 coats of gray for a primer, and what do you know? I just happened to have a really close matching blue!

    Then the most tedious part of the whole project began (almost as tedious as this tutorial): cutting, fitting, wiring, and gluing the rails. I would appreciate some advice here, but the best way I found to cut the rails is to score each side part with side cutters (ironically), and then snap it in two to break it. When the pieces get smaller I use needle nose pliers to hold the short ends. I like to hold the rails with a towel to avoid cutting my hand, cause the underside edges can be rather sharp. Also, watch out for the cut ends, they're sharp too. After the "cutting" is done I use a file to clean them up.

    Before installing jumper wires for electrical continuity I drilled holes on either side of the center part of the track. A drill would be handy for this, but I chose to use the awl on my Swiss army knife, rather than walk out to the garage in the snow. I considered bypassing the center part of the rail to make a dead spot where the car would stall out and get stuck on the tracks.

    But I decided to wire the centers anyway, so I twisted up two pieces of wire and shoved them into the center and the other ends went into the holes.

    Each rail has three sets of tabs to hold it to the track, and when cut into three pieces, the center piece has its own tabs. The end parts only have tabs near the sides, so in the middle I had to use glue to hold them in.

    Here's the finished product.

    I taped the bottom to keep the wiring from slipping.

    Here it is installed in my layout.

    well, if anybody actually gets to the end of this and has any suggestions or ways to do things differently, I'd love to hear them.

  • #2
    Nice tutorial.
    I want to do something like this for Lionel O gauge track.
    Last edited by Z1R_Darryl; 04-01-2013, 05:39 AM.


    • #3
      Lot of works there ---looking good


      • #4
        great tutorial!
        and the result looks great and fun! big thumbsup!


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