How to fill gaps between your rails

gap between model railway tracksIf you’ve ever laid track and found you have an unsightly gap between two sections here’s an easy little trick to conceal it and help your trains run easier.

Yes, I know it’s good to have a little gap between rails to allow for expansion in the heat but when laying some flexitrack recently I misjudged and end up with a gap far too wide.

It looked ugly and at this track scale (1:160) was almost 2ft gap for the tiny wheels of my rolling stock to cross. They weren’t happy about crossing it and couldn’t be left.

I could, and probably should, have just cut up some more Flexitrack and relaid this section but it’s not cheap and wasting a long length for a couple of milli-meters seemed silly.

Instead, I cast my eye at my ever-present Dremel and a bit of rail off-cut. Hmmm.

I held the rail with some pliers and when at it with a cutting disc.

Fixing gap between railsSeconds later I had a .5mm section of rail.

With the help of a head magnifier so I could see the tiny slip of rail, I eased it into place and pushed the Flexitrack in a fraction.

As you can see from the picture to the right, I still left a slight gap to allow for expansion but the trains now roll over this section of track without complaint and there’s no ugly gap to distract.

Footnote: I did consider other remedies. Bluetack and clay were both thought about. While they would have worked it would have required careful shaping to ensure the wheel flanges could pass over them and the colour would have made the bodge standout when the whole point of the exercise was to improve the look and running.  The rail method used here seems the best all-round solution.

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.

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