Track Suppliers Q - Z
USA Trains Track
Sunset Valley RR Track
Mainstream and peripheral suppliers of 32mm and 45mm track and components.
Sunset Valley Railroad (USA)
Sunset Valley Railroad is another track supplier that enjoys a large following in there home country but may not be quite so familiar to large-scale modellers here in the UK. They concentrate on producing a comprehensive model railroad track system for 45mm ( commonly called G gauge), 32mm (O gauge) and dual gauge using code 250 rail (1/4" inch high), used primarily for garden layouts.
Not only do they make track but also complementary mechanical and pneumatic switch operating systems.
I have deliberately stressed the description ‘system’ as this track is a self-assembly job for those garden railroaders who prefer to make their own but like to rely on well engineered professionally manufactured parts ideally suited for the task.
With this in mind Sunset Valley Railroad (SSVR) supply packs of components sufficient to assemble into 6’ lengths of either Code 250 or Code 332 45mm gauge in mainline (1:29; 1:32), narrow gauge (1:20.3) and even dual 3-rail 32mm / 45 mm gauge.
Each pack comes with enough components to assemble discrete 6ft sections, and comprises 2 lengths of rail (looks as if it might be ‘pre-weathered’ from the photos), 6 tiestrips of 1 ft each and 2 railjoiners. As well as track, “packs” you can also purchase rail and ties separately. The website also list a selection of joiners joiners and clamps to connect various pieces of track. They also supply special clamps (RJ CL LGB) to connect their code 250 track to code 332 track, such as AristoCraft, LGB, USA Trains, Bachmann, etc.
When ordering you need to specify the particular track configuration thet you require with the suffix, AL for aluminum, BR for brass, NS for Nickel Silver and SS for Stainless, for example TR BR is mainline brass track.
When ballasted these tracks can look very realistic in both narrow gauge and standard gauge versions. The third image in this sequence shows outdoor track 12 years after it was installed:
No track system would be complete without a matching set of turnouts and Sunset Valley do not disappoint on this score either. In fact they offer no less than 37 different types of Switches manufactured from brass, nickel or stainless steel. There are no aluminium versions as the metal is just to soft to produce finely edged point rails durable enough to stand up to the impact of heavy wheels. Sunset recommend using stainless steel ones in stead.
You can view full details of all the switches including associated switching gear by clicking the button link here:
Four rail types
None really but sourcing may need to be direct from the USA (and 6’ long rails are notoriously difficult -and expensive - to pack, protect and transport).
Tenmille Products (UK)
Tenmille Products are a family run business based in Stowmarket, Suffolk and have been involved in garden railways in one way or another for over 40 years. Apart from their Locomotive, Coach & Van Kits (ex DJB Engineering), Railway Accessories and Mouldings they have an established range of track systems for the garden railway covering Gauge 1, 16mm Scale Narrow Gauge (32mm) and G- Scale (45mm) to approved Gauge1 Model Railway Association (GIMRA) and the Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers dimensional standards and offering a choice between near scale brass bullhead or nickel silver rail.
Gauge 1 (Code 200 Bullhead Rail)
Gauge 1 was the first track range to be introduced by Tenmille and is claimed to be the first flexible track system designed specifically for use in garden railways. It has stood the test of time having been in production for more than 25 years earning a favourable reputation among users for its long life and durability.
The track system utilises a near scale authentic, bullhead rail and is available in brass or nickel silver. The integral plastic moulded sleepers combine UV and heat protection for use outdoors even with live steam locomotives. The track is very flexible to lay when pinned on a suitable track base and will bend to 3ft radius.
The track is also available in 1.5metre lengths for easier installation and fewer joints. It is also available either ready-made or as sleeper packs and rail for self-assembly using Fishplates AG128 and AG128N.
READY MADE TRACK
Thiel - Gleis (Germany)
Thiel-Gleis are a well known brand in Europe (although possibly less so in the UK) and have been making II metre narrow gauge track in Germany for over 30 years. As their website proudly declares their catalogue features no less than 11 different radii up to 3m together with 26 different points and switches in both pre-formed fixed tracks and flexible track conforming to MOROP and NEM standards.
Somewhat unusually, perhaps, Theil-Gleis chose to make nickel plate their track from the outset although they now offer brass as an alternative. You can check out their reasons on their website by clicking the button-link:
For a full list of fixed straight and curved track just click on the button link
Various lengths of flexible track are also available in kit form in both brass and nickel-plate from 1m up to 3m and can be found by clicking this button-link:
The mechanics of point / switch design and details of the companies products in this area are to be found at the click of the button-link below:
READY MADE GAUGE 1 TRACK SECTIONS
Gauge 1 Flat Bottom Rail (Code 215)
Gauge 1 track is also available with Code 215 Flat Bottomed Rail:
READY MADE GAUGE 1 TRACK SECTIONS
An example of Thiel Trackwork
Train Line 45 are a Swiss supplier of Gauge-1 sectional track and components are are distributed in the USA by Train Li-USA. Their products observe the traditional features of virtually every other European manufacturer of Code 332 sectional track for 1:22.5 scale with brass rail attached to sturdy UV-stable brown plastic ties in a Euro sleeper style. Track sections can also be supplied in nickel-plated form.
Straight track is available in lengths of 300mm (c. 1'); 600mm (c.2') and 1200mm (c.4'). Curves are limited to 900mm (c.3') and 1200mm (c.4') radii to match LGB's R2 and R3 but are not identical or indeed Piko's R' designations so watch out if you are intending to "mix and match". Notice that there is no Radius 1 (600mm) Curved section The track sections are also connected in such a way as not to leave an unsightly gap in the middle unlike several other manufacturers but this results in slightly shorter rail joiners so one has to make compromises.
They also offer moulded standard and flexible sleeper strip in two forms (both approx. 1' long) together with 5' and 8' lengths of rail in a choice of brass or stainless-steel for those modellers who build their own trackwork. They also supply a somewhat unusual 3-sleeper tie section called a "Swiss" tie which snap together to form whatever length you have in mind. Sounds a bit complicated but once you get used to them may have some benefit.
To complete the ensemble they have matching R2 and R3 switches which have tapered ends to the point where they join the stock rails. The apex of the frog itself is also manufactured from brass and can be electrified virtually eliminating any "dead spot" which might cause short-wheel based locomotives to stall. These well engineered switches are also sprung which ensures that a train approaching the switch from the wrong direction can simply push the points over without causing a mishap.
All in a all a useful addition to the track family but possibly more expensive coming from Switzerland.
Describe your image
Good quality sturdy track
well engineered Switches
Nothing much to quibble about
USA Trains track is all made from solid brass with a traditional Code 332 flat-bottomed profile firmly fixed into UV protected simulated American pattern ties (sleepers) using a combination of strong chair “spikes” strengthened by screws from below to hold everything in alignment. It also employs much the same slide-on screw-in brass rail joiners apprach used by Aristo-craft and now Bachmann with the same tiny hex screws to improve electrical conductivity.
The latter prove troublesome and you are advised to magnetise your hex driver or apply a small blob of grease to the end to hold the screw in place whilst you insert same. A magnet is also useful to retrieve any un-co-operative screws that inevitably drop into the ballast – see my earlier suggestion to place a sheet of white card underneath the track whilst carrying out this type of operation.
The track tie strip also has small holes drilled at regular intervals along the centre of each tie strip to provide for fixing to the roadbed.
It is possibly worth mentioning that USA Train track also has an angled ‘lug’ in the bottom of each rail joiner to retain it in position on the tie strip. This practice is also followed by LGB. USA Trains track is compatible with most other Code 332 types although you may have to use a bit of gentle persuasion when initially joining different makes.
The pre-formed Straight and Curved track sections are
complemented by three sizes of turnout (switch/point) –
a No.6 large diameter switch in right and left-hand
configuration, an 8’ diameter turnout (image left) and a
10’ diameter point for a more realistic appearance.
Unusually, they all incorporate all-metal frogs and also
come equipped for remote control electrical operation
using simple A,B,C, D connections and red/green
indicator lights so you can’t go wrong when installing
them. The switches also feature Lighted Lanterns
showing the direction of travel the switch is set for – a
nother useful visual check and further enhancing their
value for money.
All in all, track selection is very workmanlike and should serve you well if you are able to source it at a reasonable price. Depending on the exchange rates and shipping costs prevailing at the time you may get a reasonable deal from a USA stockist (especially direct from Charle Ro although several other dealers seem to stock Track).
For more detailed information on USA Trains track watch this Large Scale Online Video:
Solid durable construction
Useful additional switch features
Hard to find in the UK
No flexible version
or visit their website by clicking the button-link: