Post by boxcarwilly on Jul 12, 2017 12:32:24 GMT -5
Well, I recently purchased several sizes of MTL tracks from my normal dealer. As I started to use it, I noticed that 1. the joiners seem to be a lot tighter then in pass lots, which in and of itself is a good thing I suppose. 2. When attempting to take them apart after putting them together, I'm finding that one of the rails is sliding along the roadbed like the fasteners aren't quite tight enough. c. When I attempt to remove a roadbed joiner, I have to use a pair of pliers to pull it off, normally I could do it with fingers and arm strength. Again this is most likely a good thing as a tighter roadbed joiner ensures the tracks are held together. d. When I attempt to remove a rail joiner to replace with a plastic one to interrupt the electrical current, the rail is again sliding away from the roadbed. This is happening on both sizes of the straight tracks and the 13 degree curves. I never used to encounter this problem so I'm wondering if anyone else has or is this a manufacturing defect from MTL's supplier? I can't speak to any of the other track or turnouts.
Post by boxcarwilly on Jul 14, 2017 16:28:05 GMT -5
I checked 15 pieces of assorted track from the last lot I purchased and to my surprise more then half that amount didn't have these pins to hold the track to the ties in one end. There were 3 or 4 other pieces that were questionable. I've never run into this problem before. I think it's worth bringing to MTL's attention. This might be a quality control issue or perhaps a manufacturing defect. Anyway, I'm making due with what I've got.
If you do contact them, try e-mail first, and include an example of the differences. A picture is worth many words. Maybe they know about it, maybe they don't. Ask them to kindly replace the defective ones (X package of Y, Y package of X). You did not cut any, by chance, to fit in a custom track plan? If so, then there could be slippage, as the ends have the captures balls underneath. These are spot-welded onto the rail.
FWIW, I just today received a pack of the 220mm straight tracks, and sure enough, all I've used and checked so far have the "index pins", but the rail joiners are definitely much tighter and harder to connect than previous MTL tracks I've purchased. In fact, I've had to "lever" open some of them slightly with a very fine screwdriver; otherwise, I couldn't get them to connect at all.
I have developed the habit of using pliers to hold the track in place when removing joiners. If you decide to work with the Atlas Z-scale track, it is almost imperative that you do this. The molded spikeheads are small and don't have the strength we typically associate with sectional track or larger scales.
That's an interesting item. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work with the MTL joiners, as they have a different shape to them. I know this because after I entered my previous post, I checked to see if the Atlas (and Micro Engineering) code 55 joiners I have would be a suitable replacement for the MTL items. Both the Atlas and ME joiners are basically small versions of almost any "standard" rail joiner: the MTL joiner has a distinctly different shape. So....
...they do "fit" the rails, but given the difference in design they are a shade too loose, so I doubt that tool would work. I may be wrong....
To continue this discussion, I'm finding I have to pull the roadbed joiners, connect two pieces and then (very carefully!) bend the pieces in a slight "v"; otherwise, they will display kind of a "hump" at the joint. After doing this little operation (and re-installing the roadbed joiners, of course!) the track will lay (more or less) flat.
I did not have this issue with any of the MTL track I purchased in the past few years...
Mark in Oregon
Last Edit: Sept 1, 2017 23:33:07 GMT -5 by strummer