The Ultimate Starter Pack includes all the rail (4 x 18"), ties, tie plates and joint bars to construct up to 36" of Ultimate track, along with sample spikes and track details. Your particular choice of rail code, tie length and tie plate type can be selected from the option menus and may affect the cost.
In addition you may add a specially sample priced sample tools set, consisting of the Simple, Single tie, tie plate positioning and assembly tool and two of our disposable precision gluing syringes, with appropriate sized needles. One syringe for ACC Gel (Tie plates to ties) and one syringe for diluted contact cement, such as Barge or Pliobond (Rail to tie plates).
FOR STARTER PACK INSTRUCTIONS: GO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE OR TO THE HELPFUL STUFF TOP MENU
GENERAL INFO ON THE ULTIMATE PLAIN TRACK SYSTEM:
Note: all the parts on this page are dual-purpose and suitable for both HO and proto:87.
MODERN HEAVY DUTY WELDED PROTOTYPE TRACK
PROTOTYPE TIE PLATES
These are Heavy Duty dual-row 8 hole Prototype Tie Plates that can be used on Welded and other large rail sizes, as below. Note that the Plates have a "Groove" on their Upper Sides
Note that, even from a lower angle than over head, after the shiny rail heads, Real Tie Plates show up almost more than Real Ties, and far more than the relatively tiny Real Spike Heads.
Prior to the introduction of Welded rail, smaller Medium Duty Tie Plates with just a single of spike holes each side were common for most of the 20th Century, and even smaller version of those were used under the lighter rail sizes commonly used up until the 20's, and still now, in sidings and yards.
Most Model Railroad Track is normally seen from an angled over head viewpoint, so it is well worthwhile modeling Tie Plates if possible, especially on track that is very near to a viewer's position.
A WHOLE NEW PARADIGM IN HO SCALE MODEL TRACKWORK -
Using ULTIMATE SMART GROOVED Tie Plates with Dummy Spike Heads
While it appears to be exact to scale, Prototypically Tie Plated and Individually Spiked track, ULTIMATE Track and Turnouts are actually much more simply, easily and quickly put togther
One merely glues the THREE BASIC TRACK PARTS (RAIL, SMART GROOVED TIE PLATES AND TIES) together with today's strong modern adhesives, and adds just an occasional spike to lock the Rails down while the glue is curing and to protect extra protection against the occasional knocks and extra stresses that occur, both when first laying down the track, and over the long-term, when the track is in heavy operating use.
This major simplification is only possible because the ULTIMATE TM SMART GROOVED TIE PLATES have ADDED ACCURATE AND REALISTIC molded DUMMY SPIKE HEAD PATTERNS. NOW ONE DOESN'T HAVE TO TEDIOUSLY ADD LARGE NUMBERS OF SPIKES BY HAND, As is the case with TRADITIONAL HAND-LAID TRACK.
Even more Usefully, the DUMMY SPIKE HEADS now form a "SMART GROOVE" to align the Rails to Gauge, Extremely Accurately, usually to within just a few thousandths of an Inch.
Matching REALISTIC SCALE spikes are inserted every few inches to Lock the rails in place, and to handle high stress or curvature.
EXAMPLES OF HO Model LIGHT DUTY (code 55 Rail) and HEAVY DUTY (Code 83 Rail) Track
As bench constructed with TIE PLATES and DUMMY SPIKE HEADS
with our ULTIMATE PRECISION SAWN, REAL WOOD TIES.
We provide all three sizes and types of tie plates, so that you can accurately represent all the various versions of track that existed then through now, and often found together.
STARTER PACK INSTRUCTIONS
We recommend you paint or stain the ties as desired before gluing the tie plates on. Similarly the tie plates should be colored before cutting them up. Paint just the front of the tie plate frets before proceeding to the next step, OR dip them in a well diluted blackening solution, removing them them and rinsing, as soon as they have turned an appropriate medium to dark brown.
Lightly sanding and cleaning the back of the tie plate frets, is strongly recommended, before cutting them apart. Using sharp scissors for cutting is easy and quick.
To mount the tie plates using the simple single tie jigs:
Choose the version which suits your purpose.
These two small, simplified tools are intended for those modelers who wish to initially just try out, or lay a small number of, our Ultimate Tie Plates, without first committing to the purchase of a full Switch-Works Track and Turnout building System.
Each tool consists of a stainless steel tie overlay plate, which for standard HO is placed centrally over the tie, with apertures for laying tie plates accurately to position and gauge. For the two narrow gauge options, use the appropriate end aperture and the the other end inner aperture. The track (and tie) center line for each optionall gauge is shown with a "<" indentation for initial and finished tie alignment.
The "BR" side of the jig will space ties to typical Branch line spacing. The "MN" side to typical main line spacing. The track center line is shown with a "<" indent for finished tie alignment.
The two "D" indentations are reminders to place the tie plates the correct way round - With the flat of the "D" inwards.
Add just sufficient glue to the tie where the tie plate will fit, with ACC glue in the syringe provided. Take care to set the tie plate so the straight edge of its "D" shaped center hole is facing inwards to the track center. Press firmly on the placed tie plate to ensure is is glued fully down and flat on the tie top surface. NOTE: The prototypically accurate tie plates are NOT symmetrical, inside to outside, so setting them the correct way round is essential to ensure a consistent, accurate track gauge and properly aligned rail groove.
Although ACC sets firm in just seconds after application, it still only sets to its strongest adhesion after 24 hours. So we recommend leaving freshly glued tie plates over night, before affixing any rail, for the most ongoing durability.
If you are not using a tie laying and spacing jig, we recommend you only make short track sections between 6” and 12” in length at each time, if using the starter pack tools alone. . Mark out the tie spacing positions and spacing on a sheet of paper, or a use a printed paper template, on a perfectly flat surface on your modeling bench. Lay only 1 in 4 to 1 in 6 ties down on the paper and glue just one piece of rail down into the grooves on the tie plates, using the syringe and contact adhesive. Allow the ties to slide sideways to keep your rail perfectly straight. If you are building a straight piece of track, you can now glue down the second rail, to lock the track into it’s straight shape. Then glue the remaining tieplated ties into the gaps until the entire track section is complete.
If you are instead building the track section to fit a curved template, then bend the first rail to shape either before fixing the first ties and then first rail in place , or bend the finished track section. after having laid the first rail. Fit the remaining ties as above, before adding the second rail. The second rail can be glued in place subsequently to fix and lock the track section to the exact curvature of your template.
It is recommend that you glue each finished track section, while still on the flat bench base, to some sheet card or a length of our sheet plastic track base, to complete its construction into a more sturdy, rigid and preserved flat state, which can then be laid on its intended position on the “flat” roadbed of your layout. Fix each section down to the roadbed by just using glue pads at approximately the four corners and center of the card or plastic base, so that it’s flatness is not compromised by it being fixed too firmly or frequently to follow the shape of the probably less flat roadbed.
The Starter Pack is only intended for use as an introduction to the Ultimate scale model wood ties track with tie plates. Once you intend to build Ultimate track iin greater amounts, you find the Plain Track Option of the Switch-Works Fixture to be far more flexible, faster and easier to use.
See the "Switch-Works" Plain Track Jig Option to make this a rapid and foolproof assembly process which automatically ensures correct positioning of the tieplate and subsequent precision gauging of the rails.