Keeping on track

I have discovered one small but significant problem with my newly acquired toy train set … the track doesn’t have much in the way of straight sections … just four pieces, each three inches long.

The rest of the track is made up of a number of curved sections that can only be laid so as to form a circle or part of an oval.

The only other model railway track that I currently own is N-gauge, which is too narrow. I need to try to find some OO/HO-gauge track to see if that is compatible with my toy loco and rolling stock, otherwise I will have to buy several more toy train sets in order to have enough straight track to go from one end of my tabletop to the other.


20 Comments on “Keeping on track”

  1. Jim Duncan says:

    I imagine you'll be hunting out a model railway shop in your area or perhaps a model railway show.

    I've seen them sell single pieces of straight track 2-3 feet long in a variety of scales.

  2. Prufrock says:

    Could this be a job for popsicle sticks and cardboard, or would that be too much effort?


  3. My toy train has a gauge of its own but luckily 2 sets allow it to cross the table, always has a few twists and turns though.

  4. poundland has a set with more straights (but it costs more than a poynd)

  5. When I saw '4 straight sections' I thought that was two more than is usually sold with such sets. Them I saw they were 'half lengths', which was a bit of a sell. It's typical though. Years ago I bought some HO/OO-scale straight track (NOT Hornby-Dublo) for use as scenery, together with points and some rolling stock – no locomotive, though. However, the H-D tank engine could be pressed into service. I really wanted this stuff so I can do a bit of WW2 urban fighting around railway yards and stuff.

    I have a heck of a lot of curved H-D track as well – sod all straight. But I also have a right and left branching sets of points, which will add some variety. The winding track is fine for hill country, at that…

  6. Jim Duncan,

    There used to be several model railway shops within a couple of miles of where I live, but sadly they have all gone. I hope to make it to Crayford, Kent, tomorrow where the branch of Hobbycraft sells individual lengths of OO-gauge track and spare axles/wheels. With luck, this should solve my problems.

    All the best,


  7. Prufrock (Aaron),

    I could certainly do it that way … but it would probably be quicker if I just bought some model railway track or a few more of the toy train sets.

    All the best,


  8. Ross Mac,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Buying another couple of toy train sets is fast becoming my favourite solution, especially as it would provide me with more rolling stock I can ruin during the re-modelling process!

    All the best,


  9. Vintage Wargaming,

    I shall be visiting a branch of Poundland tomorrow, and will look out for their train sets as well.

    (If it costs more than a pound, doesn't that rather defeat the point of the shop's name?)

    All the best,


  10. Archduke Piccolo,

    I have owned various bits and pieces of OO/HO-gauge model railway stuff over the years, and every train set that is sold always has more curves than straights. As a result, when being used for wargaming one often ends up with a track that loops backwards and forwards across the terrain. Curves are great for more hilly terrain, but how often do we fight wargames in that sort of terrain?

    All the best,


  11. My Colonial games tend to be set in hilly country, (at least since my Arabs all left) partly for atmosphere, partly to give the natives some where to hide, partly to give my train a reason to wiggle. It tends to feature in Colonial campaigns more often than in “civilized” games where it tends to be off table somewhere bringing up reserves. Russian Steppes are problematic but they'll need their own scale of train anyway.

  12. Ross Mac,

    Most of my Colonial games have been set in desert or coastal areas, hence the need for lots of straight railway track. If I used more hilly terrain, like you I would need more curved track.

    All the best,


  13. Stu Rat says:

    One solution would be a smaller table. 🙂

  14. Stu Rat,

    I'll get the saw out just as soon as it gets light tomorrow morning! ;^)

    All the best,


  15. Jonyoak says:

    Hi all

    If N gauge is too narrow(9mm) and OO/HO too wide (16.5mm), there is T gauge (12mm) Peco make it, so reasonably priced. Gaugemaster in West Sussex offer a good mail order service. Jon

  16. Jonyoak (Jon),

    Thanks very much for the suggestions. If my current plans don't work out, I will certainly have a look at the Gaugemaster option.

    All the best,


  17. Tim Gow says:

    It looks very similar to the track in a set I bought some years ago (see it in use here:
    I bought several sets so have plenty to spare. If you can measure the gauge I'll check to see if mine is compatible.

  18. Tim Gow,

    Thanks very much for your kind offer. Your train certainly looks very similar to the one I have bought, and if I cannot find some suitable track, I will be in contact.

    All the best,


  19. Nigel Drury says:

    Peter Pig's armoured trains are meant for TT gauge (or HoM?).

  20. Nigel Drury,

    You are absolutely right. All the railway stuff made by Peter Pig is made in 100th-scale … which is equivalent to TT-gauge.

    All the best,


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