Our train track standards are derived from those of NILTC and PennLUG, but are more flexible.
So far, we have only used a single-track layout, but the straight sections of track are centered on 16×32 half baseplates, so they can easily be combined to form a double-track layout.
In the group’s layout as a whole, the tracks — single or double — run along the outer edge of the layout. You can vary this within your section of the layout, as long as they come back to the outer edge where your section will join with the next section of the group layout.
All train track sections built as part of the Modular City Layout are assembled on plates raised one brick above base-plate-level, just as the sidewalks are. Again, you can vary this within your section of the layout, as long as they are at the proper height at the point where your section will join with the next section of the group layout.
Ballasted tracks are preferred (two layers of light bley plate, staggered to resemble rock). However, since ballasting long stretches of track can be parts intensive and expensive, if you are doing a large section, you can go un-ballasted, as long as you ramp up to the right height at the ends where you join with the rest of the layout.
We use PennLUG’s guidelines for ballasting, especially on the curved sections. Below is one of our ballasted curves and the PennLUG guideline (by Tony Sava) that was used.
On the curved sections of track, the bottom of the two layers of ballast is tiles rather than plates. The curves are anchored to the base at the two ends, where plate studs line up with plate studs.
On the left is the simplest version of ballasted track, with just the two layers of light bley plate under the sections of track. On the right is the preferred version, where the railroad cross ties are indicated by 1×4 and 1×1 pieces of reddish-brown tile.