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Advanced Train Track System
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Playing with model trains I have realized that multipurpose, variable switches are increasing the fun very much. So I suggest to marriage the advantages of the model railroads and Lego train.
About this creation
The suggested main features of this advanced track system are the following:
-100% compatibility with the existing track system;
-16 studs module in length and in track distance;
-multipurpose, variable, compact switches;
-little length rail parts for proper connections;
-reddish brown slippers that made of removable tiles with mat surface;
-dark gray track like the existing track;
-dark gray ballast molded in one piece with the track (to lower the cost).

Track and ballast together in one piece (ballasted track) in detail:
-ballast around slippers are giving a better, and more realistic appearance, (high quality model railroad producers always have ballasted tracks);
-with the existing track we can build our own ballast by using plates for strait tracks;
-so new ballasted pieces are important for curved tracks only;
-and it is essential for the double slip switch, because the ballast is going to hide the mechanics.

Normal switch in detail:
This is a modified Lego switch. The advantages of the modifications are: better variability, more realistic appearance, proper connections, smaller more compact size; as you can see bellow at the examples. The disadvantage of the modifications is that two more curved tracks are required: a14 is for connecting parallel tracks; a8 is for connecting perpendicular tracks (see at the parts).
The switch is the heart of the concept, so I have tried many different geometries to avoid those two little curves. Unfortunately all other geometries was unable to fulfill 16 studs module or ballasted track feature. The existing switch geometry is very smart, but needs some modifications.

Double slip switch (X-switch) in detail:
You can exchange two normal switches for one X-switch, and this way you can save 27 studs in track length. The geometry of the X-switches are following the normal switch geometry, so a14 and a8 are useful here as well. Unfortunately the diagonal length of this switch is smaller so two different X-switches are needed. Changing the diagonal length would make bigger problems, like losing the 16 studs module in line distance.

Lets see the effect of the new track geometry on some examples. I use gray slippers for existing tracks, and brown for the new. The measurements are in studs.

The new track system is capable of following any platform width very accurately, not like the existing system. Changing the switch geometry, and adding little track parts are the most important modifications.

Laying multiple tracks at a railway station is the weakest side of the existing system. There are many problems with platform, track length, appearance, and there are too many direction changes in the line. The new system is not going to be perfect but much better.

Producing different radius curved tracks is not essential, because of the existing flex track, but gives more proper layouts. Bigger curve radius means bigger bogies. You can take 4 axles (in case of normal rail wheel) on one bogie, if you use R40 curve. I suspect you can use 5 axles with R56, and 7 axles with R72. This is a benefit for heavy transports and steam engines. I also have to mention that the existing switch has R40 radius, so using bigger bogies would also need a bigger switches, unfortunately. And a bigger switch means bigger line distance module, etc..

Unfortunately there is no way to build crossover with the existing switch, if the track distance is 16 studs. (Lego has a special element only for this function. This is not multifunctional piece so I do not analyze it here.) Building crossover with new system is going to need almost half as much space, if you have 3 lines.

Y junctions is also become much smaller. You will be able to save 80 studs in length, 32 studs in perpendicular direction. Even the the new double line junction is 16 studs smaller in length then the existing single line one, and it is 16 studs bigger in perpendicular direction.

Please support. The bigger support, the greater variability.

I am open for any suggestions. If you see any mistake, or if you have any question comment, please.


 I like it 
  February 15, 2018
Hi there, there is a way I can get the cad archives to 3d printing this? thanks.
 I like it 
  June 25, 2014
I like your system very much... I also would like to talk to you so maybe we could try to 3D print of your models and give them a "real life" tryout?! Thank you for your idea ;-) !
 I like it 
  January 10, 2014
This is just the kind of switches and track I need. I wish there was somewhere I could get some. I feel this is a weak point in what Lego is providing. The "flex" track pieces help but they are awkward for the trains to traverse. Like wise Lego switches are not very train friendly.
 I like it 
  September 24, 2012
nice work, but I think the most we could hope for is an angled cross over without switching, I have some custom 9v switches but not as complex as this.
 I like it 
  August 23, 2012
Amazing design. Sad that it will never be a real product. The Lego Company never listens to the good ideas for trains. But maybe things will change. If they do I will be one of the first to buy these.
By Zol Zork
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Added August 23, 2012

LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Advanced Train Track System

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